Chrism Mass 2012 in the Archdiocese of Colombo
The Archbishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has restored in his archdiocese the practice of communion on the tongue only and while kneeling. Last month, on the Feast of St. Joseph, he reiterated in an address to his clergy that this manner of receiving communion is mandatory for all of the faithful in his territory, even during outdoor Masses (emphasis mine):
May I also remind you once again that in all Churches and Chapels in the Archdiocese Holy Communion is to be administered only on the tongue and kneeling. This should be implemented as normal use even at Holy Mass celebrated with the participation of a big crowd outdoors. On such occasions at least the youth and the children as well as the “youthful” should be called upon to kneel and receive the Lord. This is the most appropriate way of expressing our profoundest belief in the continuous and personal presence of the Lord in the most Sacred Host as we acclaim “down in adoration falling, lo! the Sacred Host we hail”. And in all our Churches, as an expression of that faith our people should be called upon to receive the Holy Communion, kneeling. And so kindly take steps to fix the altar rails and a cushion line fixed to the ground before the railing so that all could kneel and receive easily. It is also good for us to explain to our people about the teaching of the Church on the Most Holy Eucharist as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Nos. 1373-1381.
The Archbishop also announced that he will personally take charge of the effort to correct liturgical abuses regarding Mass vestments in the Archdiocese of Colombo:
I would also like to insist with you on the culture of priestly vestments at Holy Mass. In a sermon Pope Benedict gave at the Chrism Mass held at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on 5th April 2007, he explained this need in relation to what happens at Baptism where we put on Christ. St. Paul said so: “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” [Gal. 3:27]. The Pope continued: “This is what is fulfilled in Baptism; we put on Christ, He gives us His garments and these are not something external. It means that we enter into an existential communion with Him, that His being and our being merge, penetrate one another” [Priests of Jesus Christ, Family Publications, Oxford 2009 p.31]. The challenge to let Christ live in us is indicated by this putting on of Christ – “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” [Gal. 2:20]. The Priest is one who is called upon to live that intimate spirit of communion with Christ even more intensely, especially when he celebrates the Eucharist. It is the highest point of our communion with Him, when we become totally identified with Him in His salvific sacrifice on Calvary. States the Pope “at the moment of priestly ordination, the Church has also made this reality of “new clothes” visible and comprehensive to us externally through being clothed in Liturgical vestments……the “putting on of Him” is demonstrated again and again at every Holy Mass by putting on the Liturgical vestments……the fact that we are standing at the altar clad in Liturgical vestments must make it clearly visible to those present that we are there ‘in the person of Christ’ ”[ibid p.32]. Indeed we ought to recall how Jesus explaining the parable of the wedding feast stressed on the need to be attired in a proper garment. He who was not thus dressed was ordered to be thrown with hand and feet tied into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. [cfr. Mt. 22:13]. The Vatican Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum of 2004 states on the matter: “the vestments proper to the priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with the Mass, unless otherwise indicated, is the Chasuble, worn over the alb and stole”  and then it states “the abuse is reprobated whereby the sacred ministers celebrate Holy Mass or other rites without sacred vestments or with only a stole over the monastic cowl or the common habit of religious or ordinary clothes” . The same document states that the “ordinaries should take care that in all Churches and oratories subject to their jurisdiction there is present an adequate supply of Liturgical vestments made in accordance with the norms” [ibid]. And so dear fathers, kindly ensure that in each Church in your parishes there is an adequate supply of a sufficient number of amices, girdles, stoles and chasubles for daily use. When I come for my parish visits starting from January next year, I will check on this matter personally. Kindly begin celebrating your daily sacrifice of the Eucharist properly clad and that means dressed with the alb, with or without the amice, the girdle, stole and chasuble. This should start immediately. The Auxiliary Bishops and Episcopal Vicars should kindly ensure that this is strictly followed in your areas.
His sharp remarks regarding abortion should be noted as well.
“Kindly begin celebrating your daily sacrifice of the Eucharist properly clad and that means dressed with the alb, with or without the amice, the girdle, stole and chasuble. This should start immediately. “ ..and not a moment too soon, either. Good to see someone taking this stuff seriously!
“Indeed we ought to recall how Jesus explaining the parable of the wedding feast stressed on the need to be attired in a proper garment. He who was not thus dressed was ordered to be thrown with hand and feet tied into the dark where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. “
Sometimes it’s the only way to ensure correct dress sense.
Otherwise peole will start showing up in blue suits with brown shoes.
Amen, my salute to the great Cardinal Ranjith of Sri Lanka. I hope and pray this will also happen to us here in the Philippines, where 80% of the 92 millions people are Roman Catholics.
i’m not waiting for similar strict orders from my bishop, Cardinal Ranjith’s call is noble and his intentions clearly seek the glory of God especially at that moment when so humbly He accepts to became one with us, is it not only feeting that we return such humility firstly with being well disposed and also with an unequally marching gesture of kneeling and recieving Him on our tounges? Lord we are not (even) worthy to recieve you…
At last a Bishop/Cardinal with guts
I prayed and prayed that he would be selected Pope… but Our Lord wills to continue our punishment for a while longer ….
And what do people with mobility or joint issues who cannot kneel do? Forgo Communion?
Don’t forget that the Latin way is NOT the only Catholic way. Christianity existed in India for centuries from Apostolic times before the Portuguese missionaries came.
Jack Isaacks: Our Lord goes to those who cannot leave their sick bed. But for those who can kneel, why should they stand before God? I think that is the Catholic sense the Cardinal is emphasizing.
“I prayed and prayed that he would be selected Pope… but Our Lord wills to continue our punishment for a while longer ….”
…And, as always, your prayers were answered, Rod. In this case with, “No.”
Undoubtedly, He works in mysterious ways.
Often involving “punishment,” it would appear. Odd, that.
\\But for those who can kneel, why should they stand before God? \\
The normal position in the Byzantine Churches for receiving Communion is STANDING, and has been at least since the time of St. John Chrysostom. Kneeling is not an option and has never been: further proof that the Latin way is NOT the only Catholic way.
Jack Isaack has forgotten to inform us whether in Byzantine Churches people receive communion in hand.
Oh, it’s a Byzantine tradition, is it. OK.
“But for those who can kneel, why should they stand before God?”
Logically, why should those who can kneel not prostrate themselves flat?
It happens, I know. Not traditional, I suppose.
\\Jack Isaack has forgotten to inform us whether in Byzantine Churches people receive communion in hand.\\
Reasonable question, Lester, I shall answer, though I thought that most people here already knew.
Normally, the Eucharist is given to the faithful in both kinds from a golden spoon.
However, certain liturgies occasionally celebrated call for the Kinds to be received separately, with the Body received in the hand and Blood directly from the Chalice. The Liturgy of St. James is one example.
In the Assyrian Church of the East and her counterpart, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Body is received in the hand as well, after purifying them in the smoke of the incense.
In the Armenian Churches (Catholic and Orthodox), Communion is received by intinction while standing.
Communion while kneeling is actually one of the many ways the Latin Church is out of step with the other Apostolic pre-Reformation Churches.
The Golden Spoon, eh, Jack?
Thanks for that. Fascinating. Splendid.
We live and learn – don’t we?
I am sure the customs and traditions of the non-Latin Catholic Churches are very beautiful and reverent too, but clearly some of them differ to ours. Bending the knee or kneeling signifies adoration in the Latin Catholic Church. It transcends culture because it is an act that has scriptural, traditional, and cosmic significance. Receiving the Blessed Sacrament whilst kneeling is an act of adoration that has developed in the Tradition of the Church and which the faithful have adopted down through the ages.
God says through Isaiah: “To me every knee shall bend” (Isa. 45:23). And St. Paul says, “for it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me”‘ (Rom. 14:11).
St. Francis of Assisi said in his twelfth century “Letter to All Superiors of the Friars Minor”:
“When the priest is offering sacrifice at the altar or the Blessed Sacrament is being carried about, everyone should kneel down and give praise, glory, and honour to our Lord and God, living and true.”
And from Crisis Magazine comes this:
“[In the Early Church] Holy Communion was probably not administered in the fast-food manner we have today, with a “grab-and-go” system of multiple efficient lines that move from one station to the other, and the communicant touching the Host or Precious Cup with his own hands. Our current arrangement may have more in common with the Protestant than the patristic.”
Sadly, “dunking,” nowadays carries an unfortunate connotation with “doughnuts” – a relatively new North American “Tradition,” which – as such – must be revered.
…But a tradition that may well endure for eternity.
kathleen, I think in the Eastern rites traditionally you either stand or perform prostrations, rather like the Muslims do. Muslims squat also, but I’m not sure Christians do that. There’s really no kneeling (traditionally, anyhow) , although I have seen Greek Orthodox women walking on their knees along a path to a shrine of Our Lady on one of the Greek islands. There is no tradition of pews and kneelers in the East, though I hear some churches do have them.
Receiving communion while prostrated would be interesting (perhaps catching one one’s way down or, possibly better, on one’s way up again) , but it is probably not encouraged. That sort of leaves reverent standing, I guess.
We have not recently heard anything of the fate of abducted Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, of the Monastery of St Moses the Abyssinian in Syria, have we? Here he is prostrating.
“I have seen Greek Orthodox women walking on their knees along a path to a shrine of Our Lady on one of the Greek islands.”
Doesn’t something very similar happen (or did) on a pilgrimage in Ireland?
Right On Kathleen. The very act of Genuflecting restores “the sense of the sacred” which is so sadly missing from those of the Novus Ordo Missea. In my part of the world It is a rarity to see even the Priest Genuflect.. Geoff Kiernan Perth Western Australia
“Maybe everyone else knew it but I was intrigued to see the word “intinction”. I have just been told it may mean ‘dunking’. Is that correct?”
Re Byzantine Rite. During communion the consecrated species are already mixed and placed on a tongue from a tiny spoon with a long handle.
“This practice (proceeding while kneeling) has still to come on an ancient (yet modern) pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella..”
True. And I would advise against attempting it on the stretch between Moratinos and San Nicolas Del Real Camino – as this stretch is frequented daily by six dogs, who can be sadly lax and casual in their personal habits.
==kathleen, I think in the Eastern rites traditionally you either stand or perform prostrations, rather like the Muslims do. ==
Where do you think the mahometans got the practice of making prostrations?
In the Byzantine tradition, prostrations are supposed to be made on most weekdays, especially during Great Lent.
Indeed, prostrations seem to have been the practise for both Jews and Christians, during prayers especially, before Islam arrived on the scene.
I suppose you know the word “mosque” ( Castilian “mezquita”) is masjid in Arabic, “ma” (a place) for “sujud” (performing prostration).
Would you be able to tell me whether in the Byzantine liturgy communicants perform a “small” prostration or anything reverent before orally receiving communion while standing by means of the priest’s spoon? In the Western Church, only a very small minority might genuflect or make a bow before reception in the hand. It seems to have all the reverence of everyone just lining up for a peppermint.
I hope Jack ISSACS is not suggesting the Novus Ordo Missea is A Catholic Way. It is decidedly un Catholic and very much protestant in its Fabric. Paul 6th, John Paul 2nd and Benedict 16th all spoke against H/C in the Hand whilst standing and yet still we persist. Geoff Kiernan West Australia
\\Would you be able to tell me whether in the Byzantine liturgy communicants perform a “small” prostration or anything reverent before orally receiving communion while standing by means of the priest’s spoon?\\
The custom and practices of different churches vary. Generally in the Russian tradition, one makes a metany (deep bow) on Sundays, Feasts, and during Paschaltide, or a prostration the rest of the time, when getting in line to receive Communion. Because of my knee problems, I make three metanies when getting in line, and three more just before receiving, even in Latin churches.
**I hope Jack ISSACS is not suggesting the Novus Ordo Missea is A Catholic Way.**
Geoff, if it is a properly authorized rite for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, it IS a Catholic way. Deal with it.
While you’re at it, please spell my name properly.
Thanks for that, Jack. It is very reverent indeed. Do you mind if I ask whether you are Russian Catholic?
I knew many of them in Australia many years ago at their centre in Kew (Melbourne). Archimandrite George was serving at that time along with Father Peter.
So, if Toad understands it rightly…(yes, very unlikely) … it would be safest – and most traditionally correct – if we all lie prostrate in the aisles – while we are spoon-fed communion. (Can one be prostrate face upwards? Sounds wrong.)
No… That scenario can’t be accurate. Can it? Hopelessly impractical, surely?
Unless we are saying: “One man’s* tradition, is not another man’s tradition.”
All this remarkable diversity is stimulating, is it not!
*”Man’s”? Sexist? No! This is a Catholic website.
To Jack Isaacks… Sorry about misspelling your name Jack. …The Novus Ordo Missea a properly authorised rite??? I wonder about that Jack, what with Archbishop Annibile BUGNINI contribution to its ‘creation’. Also the 6 protestant ministers… That the very subject is being discussed suggests some confusion in the Church and last I heard, Confusion was not one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
I have dealt with it, about 3 years ago. It is after some 40 odd years of accepting and embracing every novelty and abuse of that “Holy Rite” and seeing the ever increasing disrespect for the Body Blood Soul and divinity of the Creator of the universe, including you and me, I thought something is not right here. Don’t get to caught up in the semantics of all this mate. The essence of this is that we, the created, give due reverence (and be seen to do so) to our Creator.
Geoff, I understand your feelings about the Novus Ordo Mass – I have been there myself and wondered about the forming of this new Liturgy under the largely discredited Bugnini and his “helpers”. How much of all the scandalous rumours about this are absolutely true remains a mystery. But Pope Paul VI – a validly elected Vicar of Christ – gave his acceptance of it!
Therefore I feel we can not (nor must we) deny that the Novus Ordo Mass, piously celebrated according to the rubrics, is a valid Mass and a true representation of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary. It is also often the only Mass available to the majority of Catholics in the world! If the Holy Catholic Church has permitted this new Liturgy of the Novus Ordo Mass we all know the Church cannot err on such matters. That does not mean that every NO Mass celebrated is a valid Mass… especially when so many abuses and illicit practices take place during its celebration. In fact I am quite sure that sometimes the abuses are so bad and way out, they may well make the “Mass” invalid. This is a great tragedy; many souls are being led astray by the banalities and irreverence they have had to suffer at such Masses, until eventually, these poor souls walk out the door never to return!
How good it would be if the Mass of the Ages (Tridentine Mass) were more readily available for the faithful. At EF Masses I have managed to attend, the pews are packed, and the reverence of celebrant and congregation so beautiful to behold.
(The Novus Ordo is the Mass I grew up with, as the EF Mass disappeared when I was a tiny child. I only properly discovered the sublime Tridentine Mass in my adulthood.)
\\The Novus Ordo Missea a properly authorised rite???\\
Since it was promulgated by a Pope, what do YOU think?
\\Also the 6 protestant ministers…\\
That’s an urban legend.
Kathleen, thank you very much. The problem is not the OF itself. The problem is not celebrating the OF according to the rubrics and other liturgical norms. But believe it or not, there were similar errors in the EF.
Jack, so at last you must tell us. What is to be done, if anything, about lining up rations-like for Holy Communion in the hand in the contemporary Mass of the Western Rite? A penny for your thoughts?
\\What is to be done, if anything, about lining up rations-like for Holy Communion in the hand in the contemporary Mass of the Western Rite? A penny for your thoughts?\\
There’s nothing wrong with standing in line to receive Communion one at a time. This has been done in the Divine Liturgies of the Byzantine tradition, and in most other Eastern liturgies (as far as I can tell) for centuries. I think it’s more respectful than the priest going down the communion rail like a Host-dispensing machine. (Depends on your viewpoint, doesn’t it?)
As far as “what is to be done,” you can do nothing about anyone but yourself.
Where have you been jack? The 6 protestant advisors is neither an Urban legend or myth. It was well documented at the time even in the secular press and has been confirmed by commentators many times since.
Some one else that believes Popes can do no wrong!!. What was Paul 6th talking about when He mentioned that bit about the ‘smoke of satan’ having entered the Church? (1972) Fathers of the church tell us that every Catholic has an obligation to defend the Faith first. Popes have promulgated error and heresy in the Past.
Kathleen…I agree with your assertions in respect to a reverent Novus Ordo mass. There are many good priests about and many that don’t even believe in the Real Presence. If you don’t have the intent of the Church then the mass is invalid…… Geoff Kiernan Perth Western Australia
\\Some one else that believes Popes can do no wrong!\\
But that is not what I said. Go back and read it. If necessary, get someone to explain it to you.
You denied that the EF was authorized. I pointed out that it was promulgated by a Pope. What other authorization does it need?
If a validly ordained priest goes to the trouble of putting on the vestments, reading the prayers properly, and performing the rubrics, in the absence of positive information to the contrary, I must assume proper intention to do what the Church does and accomplish the Mystery of the Eucharist (as we say in the Eastern tradition).
“Some one else that believes Popes can do no wrong!”
Jack, I might be wrong, but I thought Geoff was saying that to me, not you, because of what I had said about the forming of the Novus Ordo Mass being given its blessing by Pope Paul VI.
I do not believe that “Popes can do no wrong” of course. They too are subject to the consequences of Original Sin, and only when they speak ex cathedra on matters of Faith and Morals do I believe they cannot err.
However, by the words of Our Blessed Lord to Peter, I do believe that they are guided by the Holy Spirit when they act as the Vicar of Christ on Earth. Therefore I find it impossible to see how a Pope could allow a Eucharistic Sacrifice (Mass) – that is at the very foundation of our Faith – that was not wholly valid.
Personally, I prefer by far the Tridentine Mass if I had the choice – but unfortunately I seldom do.
“But believe it or not, there were similar errors in the EF.”
Yes, I’m sure you are right. Like everything else, people can sometimes mess things up. 😉
Still, by its very nature, this would be much harder to do at an EF Mass.
Kathleen, I have serious misgivings about the claim that the NOM was inspired by the Holy Spirit. As I’ve said previously Confusion is not one the Gift of the H/S.. I am nudging the three score and ten and have experienced things both pre and post Vat II. Nobody or few could meet or exceed my zeal for Vat II. As I said I embraced every novelty of every Bishop and priest that flooded the Church at that time.. These were great times to be alive in the Church. She was reaching out to the world and would surely would bring millions to the One True Church.
After some 40 odd years I began to notice the lack of respect and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. About 4 years ago my son discovered the Tridentine Mass. He asked, What on earth were we thinking back then in virtually ditching the Mass of the ages, of the angels and Saints. I could go on with the confusion and the almost diabolical results of What happened post Vat II.
Pre Vat II our Schools were staffed with religious, religion educators. Now the abuses and out right heresy taught in our Schools to our kids is mind numbing. Our Grand kids still go to ‘catholic’ schools but are home schooled in their faith.
Those religious teachers that did not leave their orders, have become sad old women that now can be seen attending the Local Casino dressed in their Power suits and make up. And still churchmen
rattle on about the ‘new spring time’ and the re evangelisation taking place in the Church.. What diabolical tripe.!! The local Casino I speak of,is the one in Perth WA.
A local social commentator and activist said: “Let us not conclude with the monumental absurdity that as Catholics vote with their feet and empty once filled Churches, the Holy Spirit is renewing what is visibly ceasing to exist.”
Pope Benedict 2001: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are a experiencing today is to a very large extent,due to the disintegration of the Liturgy”
Pope Paul 6th, on the 6O th anniversary of Fatima 13th Oct 1977.” Satan is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic Church. The darkness of satan has entered and is spreading throughout the Church even to its summit. Apostasy and loss of the faith is spreading into the highest level within the Church.”
I don’t believe Paul 6th was acting ‘ex cathedra and the new rite of the mass (NOM) was not, strictly, matter of Faith and morals. ( I stand to be corrected on that point)
I noticed that Jack did not comment on Paul 6th comment about the smoke of satan having entered the Church. Perhaps its just an urban legend…Geoff Kiernan Western Australia
Thank you very much for this Geoff. It is a heart-breaking tale of 45 to 50 years of great (but never total) destruction.
My parents, both devout Catholics who loved the Tridentine Mass, were devastated when this was taken away from them. They never went along with the ‘new springtime’ and were shocked and scandalised by all the protestantised changes taking place. They were also determined to keep our home as Catholic as possible, so in spite of going to a convent school where most of the nuns (not all) were throwing their habits to the wind and embracing the crazy whirlwind of destruction of ‘the old’, our home was a haven of Catholicity: morning and night time prayers, the Rosary, Catholic teachings imparted mainly by my father, etc. As a result, and through the grace of God, I and my three siblings have hung onto the true Catholic Faith, though this was not an easy thing to do through the turmoil of the 70’s and 80’s. Proper Catholic catechism taught in schools, was, as you say, practically nil, and as a result we have lost whole generations of Catholics – a tragedy beyond words!
The very first tiny steps towards ‘recovery’ of the Faith in the West were experienced once Bl. Pope John Paul II became Pope, and as we all know, even more so under Pope Benedict XVI and the joyful opening of the doors once more of the ‘Mass of the Ages’. There is still so much to be done!
I entirely agree with your quote from BXVI: “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are a experiencing today is to a very large extent,due to the disintegration of the Liturgy”.
I cannot argue with you about the forming of the Novus Ordo Mass, except to say that I trust the Church would not have allowed it were it not – when celebrated according to the proper rubrics and intention – a valid Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Yes, Satan managed to penetrate into the heart of the Church – certainly this statement of Pope Paul VI is no ‘urban legend’ – and has clearly won a ‘battle’ (sowing confusion and dissent)… but not the war! We have the assurance of Our Lord’s words, “the gates of Hell will not prevail against it [His Church]’, and the assurance of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima that we would suffer a period of great apostasy, but that in the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph.
We must not lose hope that this will come about, and if we or our children, or even our children’s children, have been chosen by God as the generations that are to bring about that ‘triumph’, then that is our duty and our challenge: to go to ‘battle’ for the Faith!
Some interesting points, Jack, but I am not wholly sure that you are correct. For example, my understanding is that the body of Our Lord is received in the mouth, and not in the hand, in the Liturgy of St James (there is a description here: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Eucharist ).
And the only illustration of Assyrian communion also shows reception in the mouth and not in the hand: http://www.zindamagazine.com/html/archives/2003/4.21.03/
Kathleen: “the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church” I agree with you. But does that mean ( that those Popes, priests, bishops and the laity that have been led astray by them who claim and maintain that they are members of the Catholic Church and are in a state of apostasy,) be saved? I feel not. I fear for the many millions who will not be saved. I pray that I and my family are part of that remnant Church mentioned in scripture.(Romans 11.5) We must ardently pray for our world and those in it especially our Popes, Cardinals, bishops and priests at this critical time.
The NOM is part of that ‘disintegration of the Liturgy’ (Benedict) and part of the ‘diabolical disorientation’ of the Church that Sister Lucy (Fatima) mentioned . The preceding is also part of that apostasy that commentators have spoken about, that will (has) envelope the Church commencing at the top of the church, as reported by those that have read the 3rd secret of Fatima. Of course, Any that spurn Fatima, will just ignore my comments concerning Fatima. I take great comfort in the fact that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will eventually prevail, for many I feel it will come too late
The sheer arrogance of those that don’t /wont kneel before their God!!
I wonder at the nearing 100th anniversary of Fatima.
I pray for every one especially our young people but especially for those that cannot seem to connect the dots
Regards & GB Geoff Kiernan West Aust.
Some of our communicants receive in the hand, but by making a throne and bringing it to their mouths without employing fingers to pick up the Host. These are most often converts for whom the Eucharist is something for which they have laboured to be able to receive. Apart form being a far more reverent way of receiving in the hand, it also comes closest to avoiding the theological danger of Communion in the hand: self-administration of the Sacrament.
We possibly need a graphic here.