Looking to change something this Lent? Cardinal Sarah has some wise words on how to approach the altar and encounter Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of his Real Presence...
The liturgy is made up of many small rituals and gestures — each of them is capable of expressing these attitudes filled with love, filial respect and adoration toward God. That is precisely why it is appropriate to promote the beauty, fittingness and pastoral value of a practice which developed during the long life and tradition of the Church, that is, the act of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. The greatness and nobility of man, as well as the highest expression of his love for his Creator, consists in kneeling before God. Jesus himself prayed on his knees in the presence of the Father.
Why do we insist on receiving Communion standing and on the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? May no priest dare to impose his authority in this matter by refusing or mistreating those who wish to receive Communion kneeling and on the tongue. Let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on our tongue. The saints give us the example. They are the models to be imitated that God offers us!
I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this method. In my opinion and judgement, this is an important question on which the Church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ.’
Robert, Cardinal Sarah, from his preface to a new work on the reception of Holy Communion, La distribuzione della comunione sulla mano. Profili storici, giuridici e pastorali, by Don Federico Bortoli
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian