The Consecrated touch what is Consecrated

From: Rorate Caeli

Postquam autem venerunt ad aream Nachon, extendit Oza manum ad arcam Dei, et tenuit eam: quoniam calcitrabant boves, et declinaverunt eam. Iratusque est indignatione Dominus contra Ozam, et percussit eum super temeritate: qui mortuus est ibi iuxta arcam Dei. (From the Roman Breviary, 2nd-3rd readings of Thursday within the fifth week after the Pentecost Octave, II Kings/II Samuel vi, 6-7: “And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza [Uzzah] put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza, and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the ark of God.“)

The above citation is also found in I Chronicles 13:9-10 and as such is one of the paralipomena.

Now as to the use of this holy sacrament [the Most Holy Eucharist], our Fathers have rightly and wisely distinguished three ways of receiving it. For they have taught that some receive it sacramentally only, to wit sinners: others spiritually only, those to wit who eating in desire that heavenly bread which is set before them, are, by a lively faith which worketh by charity, made sensible of the fruit and usefulness thereof: whereas the third (class) receive it both sacramentally and spiritually, and these are they who so prove and prepare themselves beforehand, as to approach to this divine table clothed with the wedding garment. Now as to the reception of the sacrament, it was always the custom in the Church of God, that laymen should receive the communion from priests; but that priests when celebrating should communicate themselves; which custom, as coming down from an apostolical tradition, ought with justice and reason to be retained.

Sacred and Ecumenical Council of Trent
Session XIII (October 11, 1551)
Chapter VIII

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20 Responses to The Consecrated touch what is Consecrated

  1. Mr Badger says:

    “And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza [Uzzah] put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza, and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the ark of God.“)

    You’re thoughts are needed Toad.


  2. Mr Badger says:

    *Your not you’re. Grrr. One of those days.


  3. Factmonger says:

    The above citation from I Chronicles 13: 9-10 is one of the paralipomena (things left out from the court history of David and added by a later priestly hand). Even in biblical scholarship it is suspect as an interpolation reinforcing priestly pretensions in post-exilic Judaism. This Old Testament passage is not a cogent argument for a restrictive practice in Christian worship (the consecrated touch what is consecrated) as regards either lay ministers of the Eucharist or the mode of reception of Holy Communion. Nor is the text from the Council of Trent relevant, since it refers only to a Protestantizing practice of the period and has been superseded by the teaching of Vatican II and by newer and more nuanced liturgical directives. All the people of God are consecrated into the priesthood of Christ by baptism, and may touch sacred things with due reverence.


  4. Mr Badger says:

    It’s not my favourite Biblical anecdote. It portrays the God we know to be transcendant and perfect as a bad tempered, tribal, (and insecure) dictator. I read it as primitive theology — attempting to express the otherness of God, and the awe appropriate in any encounter with God. Read as a “simple factual account” it makes God sound like a ****.


  5. Gertrude says:

    The comment from Factfinder (and the reference to the paralipomena) were made at the his request (as the author). Whilst I agree that we are indeed consecrated by baptism, this does not make us Priests. I am not sure (but someone will no doubt enlighten me) that Vatican 2 ever said we were.


  6. Mr Badger says:

    If I remember correctly Gertrude, Vatican II explicitly stipulated guitar based folk songs at every Mass.


  7. Mr Badger says:

    Jokes aside, I believe the council did affirm the doctrine of the “priesthood of all the faithful”, but I leave it to the better informed to clarify what was meant. Obviously it did not intend to collapse the distinction between the laity and the ordained priesthood.


  8. Mr Badger says:

    Teresa, I don’t disagree with you at all. I probably shouldn’t have used the phrase “priesthood of all believers / faithful” — as you point out that is a protestant formulation. I was thinking about what “Factmonger” meant (in a Catholic context).

    As you say, I presume he was thinking passages such as this from Apostolicam Actuositatem

    In the Church there is a diversity of ministry but a oneness of mission. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their successors the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His name and power. But the laity likewise share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal office of Christ and therefore have their own share in the mission of the whole people of God in the Church and in the world

    Clearly that in no way blurs the distinction between the laity and sacramental ministry.


  9. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa, this probably has all you need:

    INTERDICASTERIAL Instruction Ecclesiae de Mysterio, on certain questions regarding the
    collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priest
    Vatican City 15 August 1997

    Part I-I. The Common Priesthood of the Faithful and the Ministerial Priesthood


  10. Mr Badger says:

    Mr. Badger, thanks for the clarification.

    No problem, I have a gift for expressing myself badly, and then making things worse with my poorly phrased attempts at explaining what I meant. But you can’t expect too much from a talking badger. 🙂


  11. golden chersonnese says:

    From the same document (Part II, article 8):

    § 2. Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.[99] They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. [100]:


  12. golden chersonnese says:

    Badger, guitar Masses, eh?

    I’ve already expertly exegeted (on the ‘Who’s there?’ thread) the chapter of 2 Samuel referred to at the head of this thread, as well as as a verse in Daniel, to show that these drive God nuts. Not to mention orchestral Masses, which evidently send Him into a towering rage.


  13. toadspittle says:


    “And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza [Uzzah] put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza, and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the ark of God.“

    Your thoughts are needed Toad.

    Well, Badger, your thoughts are, no doubt, as good as mine on this. God the Peevish?
    Toad does remember, on first hearing this passage as a boy, debating with himself whether God was all he was cracked up to be..
    It leads one to consider if God is actually worth worshipping if indeed He does exist.

    Of course He may have ‘improved’ a bit since then. Somehow. We will be reassured.


  14. Mr Badger says:

    GC, strangely enough the question of the “irritability of God” brings us back round to the original post.

    I must admit that I tend to forget that my habit of making tongue in cheek remarks — though indulged by long suffering friends and family — may occasionally get me in trouble in the online world where aids such as intonation or a twinkle in the eye are unavailable.


  15. golden chersonnese says:

    You are most welcome, dear Teresa.

    The amusing thing is that they are called ‘extraordinary ministers’ yet you can find several of them in every packet of Corn Flakes.

    But most bishops appear to think that the ‘extraordinary’ in ‘Extraordinary Form of the Mass’ has the same sense as the number of staunch Trinitarians to be found in a mosque.


  16. Mr Badger says:

    God the Peevish?

    Well in his defense (mark my hubris!), the Old Testament does imply that the whole business of constituting the people of the covenant was a bit like herding cats. Would put anyone in a bad mood.

    @Teresa, thanks for the link, now I can do this :mrgreen: , I have no idea what emotion it conveys however.


  17. golden chersonnese says:

    Of course He may have ‘improved’ a bit since then. Somehow. We will be reassured.

    Apparently He mellowed with age, like Mel Gibson.

    Here’s a good read on it, Toad (if you haven’t already given away your autographed copy):


  18. Gertrude says:

    I’m a bit late in entering this discussion, but it has been beautifully clarified by Teresa and GC. Just one thing….please don’t get me started on ‘Extraordinary Ministers’!….. or ‘guitar Masses’ At my tender years I would have to lie down after suffering the vapours.


  19. Factmonger says:

    I awakened this morning in another hemisphere to find that Mr. Badger and I have provoked a very interesting discussion. I only want to add that the lay priesthood and the ordained diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate are of course complementary dispensations in the Church, and not to be confused. But in case of urgency or for any genuine pastoral good (for example, in the large regions where there are no ordained priests available, or where Fr. Francis simply cannot get round to the convent, school or chapel) the Christian sacraments and liturgy can be and ought to be celebrated in whole or in part, with due reverence and attention to the proper norms, with a lay man or a lay woman presiding or dispensing. When you look into it, canon law tends to be much more flexible and adaptable to pastoral realities than do our hidebound spiritual attitudes.

    Apropos of frozen spiritual attitudes outweighing pastoral reality, what really gives me the pip in connection with the issue of touching the sacred is the theological and historical illiteracy of those ultraCatholics who claim on the Internet that the whole Church is in sin for allowing communion to be received in the hand. According to some of them, it’s right up there with abortion as a scandal and an outrage to God!


  20. toadspittle says:

    “Apparently He (God) mellowed with age, like Mel Gibson.”

    Rather unsettling news, Godlen. Poor little Mel just gets worse and worse. Like Toad, he is growing old disgracefully.
    Mind you, we should be a bit more optimistic about God. Toad supposes.

    (The new ‘smiley’ face The Astonishing Badger can now do, looks vaguely racist to Toad.)


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