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Answering "Amen"
CatholicExchange.com ^ | 02-17-06 | Fr. William Saunders

Posted on 02/17/2006 9:13:03 AM PST by Salvation

by Fr. William Saunders

Other Articles by Fr. William Saunders
Answering "Amen"
02/17/06


I am an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. In distributing Communion, I am surprised by the different answers to “The Body of Christ” I receive. Most people say, “Amen,” but some say, “I believe.” Does it matter?

The simple answer is, “Yes, it does matter.” According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2000), the following rubric was again prescribed concerning the reception of holy Communion: “The priest raises the Eucharistic bread slightly and shows it to each one, saying, ‘The Body of Christ.’ The communicants reply, ‘Amen,’ and receive the Sacrament as they choose, either on the tongue, or in the hand, where this is allowed” (No. 161). The same response of “Amen” also is mandated if the communicant receives the Precious Blood from the chalice or if he receives Holy Communion by intinction, i.e. the priest intincts (dips) the Sacred Host into the Precious Blood and places the Sacrament on the tongue of the communicant (see also No. 286-7).

Given the basic rule, why is the word “Amen” important? The word “Amen” in Hebrew means, “truly,” “it is true” or “so be it.” In sacred Scripture, “Amen” introduces a solemn affirmation and an acclamation of assent. “Amen” denotes not only an asseveration but also a recognition of authority of the one making the proclamation.

For instance, in the Gospel of St. John (6:53), Jesus said, “Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” Often, English translations of the Bible will have “Let me solemnly assure you,” or "Truly, truly I say to you.” Here the Lord solemnly underscores the truth of what He is teaching.

In the Book of Revelation (3:14) Jesus identifies Himself as “Amen”: “The Amen, the faithful Witness and true, the Source of God’s creation...” for He is always faithful to His word. Here the word “Amen” highlights our Lord’s authority since He is Truth.

Finally, in apostolic times, the word “Amen” was used in liturgy as a positive response to the truth of the belief and the authority by which the belief was taught.

For these reasons, since the earliest times of the Church, “Amen” has been the proper response of the communicant receiving the holy Eucharist. For example, St. Justin Martyr (d. 165) in his First Apology (chapters 65-66) notes how “Amen” is the response of the people to the prayers and thanksgiving offered by the priest in the Eucharist Prayer. “Amen” is the assent of the people that the holy Eucharist truly is the Body and Blood of Christ, that the priest has the authority to act in the person of Christ to confect the Eucharist, and that the teaching handed down from the Apostles is truly the teaching of the Lord. St. Justin wrote,

We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration, and is thereby living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and blood of that incarnated Jesus.
Without the “Amen,” one should not receive.

St. Augustine (d. 430) in a Sermon (No. 272), taught,
If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord. It is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are to respond, "Amen" ("Yes, it is true!") And by responding to it, you assent to it. For you hear the words, "the Body of Christ" and respond, "Amen." Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true. (Cited in the Catechism, No. 1396.)
Therefore, we must say our “Amen” with great confidence before receiving the holy Eucharist. Sadly, some people have decided to change the response to “I believe,” or “Thank you,” “or “We are,” or “I am.” All of these responses are inadequate. If a person says, “I believe,” does that person only assent to the holy Communion he is receiving, or also to the whole Church and all of its teachings which “communion” signifies? If a person says, “Thank you,” he is taking, but what is he giving? If a person says, “We are,” does he mean his group, his congregation, the whole Church or his concept of Church? If a person says, “I am,” we ought to lock him in the tabernacle.

The simple straight answer is, “The proper, best, and only legitimate response when receiving Holy Communion is ‘Amen.’” Amen.


Fr. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and a professor of catechetics and theology at Notre Dame Graduate School in Alexandria. If you enjoy reading Fr. Saunders's work, his new book entitled Straight Answers (400 pages) is available at the Pauline Book and Media Center of Arlington, Virginia (703/549-3806).

(This article courtesy of the
Arlington Catholic Herald.)


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For continued discussion...............

When people answer with anything else than the "Amen" has always been one of my pet peeves when I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

1 posted on 02/17/2006 9:13:05 AM PST by Salvation
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To: Religion Moderator

Oops, I see that I copied the link into the title space. Hopefully it can get fixed right away.


2 posted on 02/17/2006 9:15:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Religion Moderator; Admin Moderator

Thanks.


3 posted on 02/17/2006 9:16:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

I sometimes worry about forgetting to say "Amen" when I receive at the Novus Ordo...at the Latin Mass we don't respond at all.

Frankly, I didn't know there were other answers floating around out there.


4 posted on 02/17/2006 9:20:04 AM PST by Claud
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To: All
Without the “Amen,” one should not receive.

5 posted on 02/17/2006 9:20:40 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Claud

I would think a silent "Amen" would be appropriate then, don't you?


6 posted on 02/17/2006 9:22:27 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

7 posted on 02/17/2006 9:23:21 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

I've heard people in front of me say "I believe" before. More often than that I've seen people say nothing. (I don't think it's beacuse they are used to the Latin Mass- most likely it's because they had their mouths full of chewing gum.) The worst though is when they grab the Host out of the priest's hand.


8 posted on 02/17/2006 9:26:29 AM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Nihil Obstat

Yes, it can be disheartening to see these abuses. And the sad thing is that the priests can re-educate their congregations and solve the problems! (Or at least some of them.)


9 posted on 02/17/2006 9:35:09 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation; All
When people answer with anything else than the "Amen" has always been one of my pet peeves when I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Do you correct them?

And ... just curious ... does your pastor allow EMHCs to "bless" children in the communion line?

10 posted on 02/17/2006 9:45:56 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Claud; RKBA Democrat; redhead
at the Latin Mass we don't respond at all

Ditto in the Maronite Rite. Probably because in both rites, we only receive on the tongue.

11 posted on 02/17/2006 9:50:44 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Salvation
I would think a silent "Amen" would be appropriate then, don't you?

Of course! But if I forget, I'll forget silently too. :)

As I'm usually kneeling, I doubt if the priest has any doubt about what I believe when I'm receiving.

12 posted on 02/17/2006 10:11:59 AM PST by Claud
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To: Claud
at the Latin Mass we don't respond at all.

It is because the priest does not just say, "the Body of Christ", he prays:

"The Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul unto life everlasting. Amen."

"Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen."

including the Amen.

13 posted on 02/17/2006 10:30:05 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: Nihil Obstat
The worst though is when they grab the Host out of the priest's hand.

I know things have changed, but even this lapsed Catholic is shocked that people touch the Host. {{{shudder}}}

14 posted on 02/17/2006 10:36:59 AM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: Nihil Obstat

I saw a man take the host from the priest's fingers, and then as he was walking away with the host, he tucked it into a plastic bag and put it into his pocket. I told the usher about it and he didn't believe me. Another usher said that when he was trained for (Ordinary) Eucharistic Minister, they taught the class that when a fragment of the host falls to the floor it's not important because a crumb or piece small enough that it's hard to see whether or not it is a fragment "loses its character."

That same priest faced another man who knelt for communion but the priest told him to stand. The man just knelt there with his toungue out, waiting, with the single file line of people behind him. The priest finally placed the host on his tongue, but as the man rose, the priest said to him, "You're a big help." The communicant would have had to speak with his tongue occupied in order to answer.

One mother was in line behind her daughter, and when the girl opened her mouth to receive on the tongue with her hands in a prayerful vertical posture, her mother reached around the girl, grabbed her forearm and thrust it forward toward the priest, as if to encourage her to take the host in her hand, instead.

As an observer I've seen at least one abuse every day at such Novus Ordo places. But in years of observation, I have yet to see any abuse at a Traditional Latin Mass. Whenever I asked a N.O. priest about the abuses, he gave me some excuse and changed the subject. When I've mentioned this to a TLM priest, he usually says something like, "It sounds like you should have no problem deciding which Mass to attend."


15 posted on 02/17/2006 10:58:05 AM PST by donbosco74
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To: Salvation

Why would anyone want to say anything else?
Seems that would be a form of humanism they would be practicing in doing so.


16 posted on 02/17/2006 11:22:31 AM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Salvation
many of the people to whom I distribute say absolutely nothing. some will say "hello", and I notice some take a bite out of the host and palm the rest and walk out of the church with the Eucharist in hand.
17 posted on 02/17/2006 1:08:11 PM PST by Coleus (IMHO, The IVF procedure is immoral & kills many embryos/children and should be outlawed)
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To: radiohead
I know things have changed, but even this lapsed Catholic is shocked that people touch the Host.

Worse yet, is that many Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence.

Have you been away a long time?

18 posted on 02/17/2006 1:14:44 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: donbosco74
Another usher said that when he was trained for (Ordinary) Eucharistic Minister, they taught the class that when a fragment of the host falls to the floor it's not important because a crumb or piece small enough that it's hard to see whether or not it is a fragment "loses its character."

((((Shudder)))) Oh brother! Thanks for proving the point that most catholics have lost all concept of the Real Presence. Once something sacred is manhandled, reverence is lost. (BTW - laypersons who distribute communion are not eucharistic ministers but extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. On the priest can properly be called minister of the Eucharist because he is the only person who can confect the Eucharist.)

But in years of observation, I have yet to see any abuse at a Traditional Latin Mass.

This is also true in the Eastern Catholic Churches which prohibit distribution of communion in the hand and the use of EMHCs. In all of these churches only the bishop, priest or deacon may distribute communion and only on the tongue.

19 posted on 02/17/2006 1:22:52 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Coleus
I notice some take a bite out of the host and palm the rest and walk out of the church with the Eucharist in hand.

Is there no way you can prevent this? Can't you insist that they consume the host before they step away? What an abominable practice!

20 posted on 02/17/2006 1:24:20 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: radiohead
I know things have changed, but even this lapsed Catholic is shocked that people touch the Host. {{{shudder}}}

God bless you, my good radiohead, for that remnant of good old-fashioned catechesis and piety of the sort that has perished lo these 40 years.

21 posted on 02/17/2006 1:28:11 PM PST by Claud
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To: NYer

Away so long I changed religions. I guess I should have said former Catholic, but those 12 years of Catholic schooling and a pre-Vatican II orientation have left their mark.


22 posted on 02/17/2006 1:31:12 PM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: Claud
piety of the sort that has perished lo these 40 years.

Oh my. What a compliment. Truly I am not worthy, but thank you for your sentiments. Thank you.

23 posted on 02/17/2006 1:32:55 PM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: Salvation
And the sad thing is that the priests can re-educate their congregations

Careful what you wish for. Our parish was "re-educated" last week by the new pastor. He's a Mohany-quoting humanist. Now I have to find a new parish after 7 years.

24 posted on 02/17/2006 1:52:03 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
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To: Claud
I sometimes forget, too, because I'm used to assisting at the TLM. Not that I've been to a Novus Ordo lately.
25 posted on 02/17/2006 2:48:18 PM PST by dcs.trad
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To: Salvation
If a person says, “I am,” we ought to lock him in the tabernacle.

LOL!

26 posted on 02/17/2006 3:58:20 PM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Claud

Frankly, I didn't know there were other answers floating around out there.

77
Same here.


27 posted on 02/17/2006 4:03:50 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: radiohead

even this lapsed Catholic is shocked that people touch the Host

**
It bothers me each time I receive. And I will not chew the Host, no matter what they say.


28 posted on 02/17/2006 4:05:47 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: donbosco74

...tucked it into a plastic bag and put it into his pocket...

^^
Saving it for a devil-worship ceremony perhaps?


29 posted on 02/17/2006 4:07:29 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: Salvation

I have been an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for just a few months now. I am very surprised by the number of people who don't say amen. Often, I will hesitate in handing them the Eucharist or the cup and then I will hear a belated amen.

So apparently they know what to say and are not saying it. Very strange.


30 posted on 02/17/2006 4:10:01 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
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To: Coleus


...take a bite out of the host and palm the rest and walk out of the church with the Eucharist in hand.
&&

Saving it for a devil-worship ceremony perhaps?


31 posted on 02/17/2006 4:10:27 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: Bigg Red

Saving it for a devil-worship ceremony perhaps? >>

that's what I was thinking or maybe for a sick relative at home.


32 posted on 02/17/2006 4:13:29 PM PST by Coleus (IMHO, The IVF procedure is immoral & kills many embryos/children and should be outlawed)
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To: Salvation; NYer

At Mass two Sundays ago, our aged Associate Pastor (73 years old) chewed out the entire congregation. After Communion and a period of silent reflection, he said, "You'd think after 40 years, everyone would be on the same page! When you receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, you are to respond, 'Amen!' I don't think more than half the people who just received responded at all!" He then made us practice out loud at least 5 times, responding each time, "I can't hear you!" He sure got the point across and I had a smile from ear to ear. The voice level the following week was really an improvement. I should mention that only priests administer the Eucharist at our Church Masses and the Blood of Christ is not offered. Both priests attend to distribute Communion.

Finally, the majority of folks in my Church respond, "Amen" using the Latin pronunciation (Ahh'-men). Father told us a while back how "AYE-Men" crept into the Church after the movie "The Lilies of the Field" introduced that pronunciation. I thought about it and he is right. Back to Catholic pronunciations!

F


33 posted on 02/17/2006 4:17:15 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." ~GK Chesterton.)
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To: NYer

Is there no way you can prevent this? Can't you insist that they consume the host before they step away? What an abominable practice!

&&
While I was still teaching in a (nominally) Catholic school, my students and I attended a Mass at which one 9th-grade student started to walk away with the Host in his hand. The priest (a young, passionate man who tried very hard against all odds) chased after him and got the boy to consume the Host.

I am sure this kid meant no harm. It's possible he was not even Catholic, but I suspect that he was baptized RC and just never properly taught. It's amazing how many of these so-called Catholic kids and their parents never attend Mass.


34 posted on 02/17/2006 4:17:34 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: Bigg Red
Saving it for a devil-worship ceremony perhaps?

LOL! I almost choked on a piece of candy reading this.

35 posted on 02/17/2006 4:42:25 PM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: radiohead; Nihil Obstat
I don't understand the psychological resistance of some to 'Take this and eat, for this is My Body' I view the receiving in the hand - taking - and eating the real body of our Lord as following his command.

How is this not reverent obedience to His command?

36 posted on 02/17/2006 5:09:47 PM PST by FatherofFive (Choose life!)
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To: radiohead
Away so long I changed religions.

Oh how I know that feeling! I came very close to leaving the Catholic Church out of sheer despair with the novelties introduced post VCII. I walked away several times but each time, I had a flashback to the night I received the Sacrament of Confirmation. I was barely 10 years old and seated with my classmates. Okay .. we took some liberties with Sister. She had her clicker at the ready, just in case :-).

Though it was October, the Church was packed and it was steaming hot. There were no microphones back then and the Bishop mumbled the prayers in Latin. We elbowed each other ever hopeful not to catch the eye of one of the nuns. Then the Bishop got up and delivered his homily ... in English. Stifling a yawn, something he said suddenly caught my attention. He called us "Soldiers of Christ". Those words struck a chord within me ... Soldiers of Christ. But, how?! What were we supposed to do?

Over the years, I lapsed but each time those words came back to haunt me. I had been baptized into the faith and confirmed in it; like you, I spent 12 years in Catholic schools. Surely all of this was intended to prepare me for my role as a 'soldier' ... but how? when? where?

The answer came 15 years ago when I relocated to a diocese run by an ultra liberal bishop. I didn't recognize my 'Catholic Church'. It was so changed. It looked more like a protestant church. Felt banners replaced the Crucifix, kneelers were removed from the renovated churches, the Tabernacle was relocated into another room or closet. Then, I discovered this forum and met some very knowledgeable catholics. They bolstered my morale and gave me the courage to confront the abuses being introduced by the new 'light in the loafers' pastor of my parish. Still, each Sunday turned into a penitential sacrifice as I confronted the priest about the regulations governing the proper rite that are clearly written in the GIRM.

Having been raised pre VCII, we were always taught that only the priest could touch the consecrated host. When, post VCII, it was decided to create the position of the EMCH, I had a difficult time adjusting. Suddenly, the most sacred Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, was now being distributed by women with painted fingers, doused with heavy perfumes. It just didn't seem right. Now, 40+ years later, we have seen the abuses that have slipped through the 'well meaninged' intentions of those who enacted this rule.

Encouraged by my fellow catholics in this forum and armed with VCII documents, I accepted the challenge given me on that hot day in October and armed myself with the documents from VCII and began addressing the abuses in my parish. When the pastor invited a group of students preparing for their Confirmation to participate in a liturgical dance, I handed him the document that banned liturgical dance in the US. He tried to 'soft sell' me by referring to it as 'liturgical movement'. I didn't buy and brought it to the attention of the diocesan office for Liturgical Worship. In their initial response, they threw their support behind the pastor. Undaunted, I wrote back, citing two documents from VCII which stipulated that all catholics had the right to a valid liturgy. That stopped them in their tracks, and the pastor was advised not to introduce the liturgical dance.

One small victory was followed by encouragement from my fellow catholics. Then, one Sunday, after receiving Communion, I looked up just as a EMHC dropped a consecrated host on the floor of the Sanctuary. From your pre-VCII education, do you recall what you were told should happen in such an instance? We were told that the Mass stopped while the errant host was covered with a cloth and/or carefully disposed of according to church norms. I watched in stunned silence as the EMHC looked towards the pastor for guidance. He met and then averted her gaze. Unsure of what to do, she bent over, picked up the host and redeposited it in her Pyrex glass communion bowl. It was more than I could bear. I bowed my head before our Lord, present in the Tabernacle, asked his forgiveness for her, and then asked him to guide me to holy priest, a reverent liturgy and a welcoming community.

That Sunday, I went home and compiled a list of other RC parishes in the local area. Another freeper suggested that I also include any Eastern Catholic Churches. There were two - one Maronite and the other Ukrainian. Over the next several weeks, I attended Mass at a different RC Church each week. Then the Maronite Catholic Church surfaced on the list. Equipped with the wrong Mass time, I arrived one hour early. The Church was dark with the exception of 3 spotlights on 3 alcoves in the Sanctuary - one contained the Tabernacle, another a beautiful Crucifix and the 3rd, the Book of the Gospels. Befofe me were the most fundamental elements of my Catholic faith. I took out my Rosary and began praying. Though disoriented by the Maronite Divine Liturgy, I knew I was home ... in unmistakable terms. I left the church that day with a sense of peace unlike anything I had ever known.

The Maronite Catholic Church is one of 22 churches that comprise the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. It is a 'sui uiris' church with its own Patriarch and governing body. Of all the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Maronites are the only ones that have never been out of communion with the Magisterium.

The Maronite Divine Liturgy is more ancient than the old Latin liturgy, coming out of Antioch where Peter went following the resurrection of our Lord. The words of consecreation are those of our Lord at the Last Supper, in His language - Aramaic. Communion is distributed ONLY by the priest. It is 'intincted' (dipped into the consecrated wine) and placed on the tongue of the recipient with the words: "The Body and Blood of our Lord are give to you for the remission of sins and eternal salvation". A Roman Catholic may attend the liturgy at any Eastern Catholic Church and fulfill their Sunday obligation.

I can't begin to express the joy that has accompanied me on this journey into the Maronite Catholic Church. There are several other forum catholics who have set off to explore the eastern churches. They are now practicing their faith at Byantine Catholic Churches.

Apologies for rambling on at such length. Your comment touched my heart and I felt the need to respond. God bless you on your journey!

37 posted on 02/17/2006 5:51:38 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: ElkGroveDan
Now I have to find a new parish after 7 years.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please consider looking East. Short of the TLM, you won't find more reverence. Check your local community at the following link and look into attending an Eastern Catholic Liturgy (not to be confused with the Orthodox Church).

Eastern Catholic Churches in the U.S.

The Eastern Catholic Rites retain the rich heritage of our church, without the "novelties" introduced into the Novus Ordo liturgy. Incense is used throughout.

38 posted on 02/17/2006 5:57:25 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Frank Sheed
Thank you for this encouraging post! It is indeed comforting to know that 'out there' are still priests who continue to fulfill their priestly commitment.

As for the "ahhh .... men", it is not unusual in our parish to hear the Aramaic pronunciation: "Ahhh - meen".

39 posted on 02/17/2006 6:06:50 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

I notice some take a bite out of the host and palm the rest and walk out of the church with the Eucharist in hand.

Is there no way you can prevent this? Can't you insist that they consume the host before they step away? What an abominable practice!

Sure there is..Teach the Parishioners from the Pulpit that they must consume the Host when they receive it at Holy Communion. It is not to be removed from the Church in one's pocket or purse ..To do so is a terrible abomination and desecration of the sacred Host and is a violation of Canon Law #935 which reads: " Can. 935 It is not lawful for anyone to keep the blessed Eucharist in personal custody or to carry it around, unless there is an urgent pastoral need and the prescriptions of the diocesan Bishop are observed. "...That means one cannot carry it on them, or take it to their home or to another place...What is so difficult about teaching this in RCIA, or at Mass, or in a Church weekly bulletin?....


40 posted on 02/17/2006 6:11:05 PM PST by billmor
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To: NYer

I just looked at your link. While there are no Eastern Catholic Parishes here in VT, there are some near where we vacation.

Can you tell me what differences there would be between the TLM and Maronite or Byzantine liturgy?


41 posted on 02/17/2006 6:13:00 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: Bigg Red
The priest (a young, passionate man who tried very hard against all odds) chased after him and got the boy to consume the Host.

Lol! My Maronite pastor is bi-ritual (Maronite and Latin Rite). On those occasions when Roman Catholics attend the Maronite liturgy, should they step forward hands extended to receive the host, he gives them a quick education on the proper reception of the host in the Maronite Church - only on the tongue. When he says the Latin Mass, he has been known to chase down those communicants who do not immediately place the host on their tongues. He has also been known to lecture the nun who serves as 'chaplain' at a local Catholic hospital, on the proper distribution of consecrated hosts. He has turned into a thorn in their sides :-)

42 posted on 02/17/2006 6:14:28 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: FatherofFive
Welcome back! Good to see you in the forum again. Hope and pray all is well with you and the family.
43 posted on 02/17/2006 6:18:01 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: billmor
What is so difficult about teaching this in RCIA, or at Mass, or in a Church weekly bulletin?....

Absolutely nothing! However, in those parishes where the pastor is unwilling to address the situation from the pulpit, shouldn't the onus now fall on the EMHC who has been commissioned to perform this service?

44 posted on 02/17/2006 6:26:59 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Straight Vermonter
Can you tell me what differences there would be between the TLM and Maronite or Byzantine liturgy?

Well .. my parish in Troy, NY is about 1 hour from Burlington, VT. Is that anywhere near you?

As most of us realize, the Church began in the East. Our Lord lived and died and resurrected in the Holy Land. The Church spread from Jerusalem throughout the known world. As the Church spread, it encountered different cultures and adapted, retaining from each culture what was consistent with the Gospel. In the city of Alexandria, the Church became very Egyptian; in Antioch it remained very Jewish; in Rome it took on an Italian appearance and in the Constantinople it took on the trappings of the Roman imperial court. All the churches which developed this way were Eastern, except Rome. Most Catholics in the United States have their roots in Western Europe where the Roman rite predominated. It has been said that the Eastern Catholic Churches are "the best kept secret in the Catholic Church."

Many people forget - or do not realize - that Christianity came from Judaism. As the church expanded beyond the realm of Judaism, it adapted itself to the people and cultures in which it took root. This cultural adaptation resulted in the 22 different rites of the Catholic Church today.

It is from Jewish roots that the church of Antioch sprung. In fact, the church of Antioch was founded by St. Peter and it was there that the terms "Christian" and "Catholic" were first used. The first Christians were Jews and entire communities came to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Evidence from archaeological studies of Maronite church buildings show that they had earlier been synagogues.

During the many disputes among Christians in the fourth century over the divinity and humanity of Christ, the arguments became heated in Antioch. Under the leadership of St. Maron, the head abbot, monks left the city for peace and quiet. Lay people and clergy -Maronites- followed the monks. Later during the Arab invasion of the Middle East the Maronites fled to the Cyprus and to the safety of the Lebanon mountains.

To this day, the Maronite Church retains its Jewish roots more than any other Catholic rite, as evidenced by its use of Aramaic/Syriac and by the prayers which remain faithful to Semantic and Old Testament forms.

You can learn more about the differences at this link:

EASTERN CATHOLIC CHURCHES

45 posted on 02/17/2006 6:37:19 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Salvation

"When people answer with anything else than the "Amen" has always been one of my pet peeves when I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion."

The semantics of how we take Eucharist in certain of the eastern churches makes it tough to say amen right at the point of receiving the precious Body. In my church, the precious Body is served with a golden spoon and is actually placed in the mouth. Saying amen at the point of taking Eucharist would likely cause you to choke.

I do say amen, but I make sure and wait a few seconds.


46 posted on 02/17/2006 6:51:40 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer

Thanks, I am just outside of Burlington but it is actually >3 hours from you so definitely too far for each Sunday.

I think we will try to visit when we go to Lake George this summer.


47 posted on 02/17/2006 7:03:55 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: Salvation

Ay MEEE-yun, bruth'r.


48 posted on 02/17/2006 7:05:08 PM PST by ovrtaxt (Join the FR folding team!! http://vspx27.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=teampage&teamnum=36120)
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To: Straight Vermonter; NYer

"Can you tell me what differences there would be between the TLM and Maronite or Byzantine liturgy?"

The TLM and Byzantine liturgies are dramatically different. Not in reverence: both are very reverential liturgies and beautiful in their own way. First off, there's the language, the TLM is in Latin of course, while the Byzantine liturgy is in the vernacular (usually English). To me, however, the biggest difference is in how parishioners participate in the liturgy.

In Byzantine liturgy, parishioners are very involved in the liturgy. You're not a spectator or taking a relatively passive role. The vast bulk of the liturgy is chanted back and forth between the Priest, Deacon and the parishioners. So you're pretty much singing back and forth for the better part of an hour and a half. You're also crossing yourself a lot. (One of these days, I'll count how many times we cross ourselves during Divine Liturgy, but it's got to be over 50 times).

We also have different ways of showing reverence. We don't genuflect per se, but do something called metanies. We generally don't kneel, either. But bow instead.

One nice thing about Byzantine liturgy is that you're compelled to be focused on the Liturgy; you have to be simply to keep up.


49 posted on 02/17/2006 7:13:37 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.)
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To: NYer
Unsure of what to do, she bent over, picked up the host and redeposited it in her Pyrex glass communion bowl.

Whoa! I sucked in my breath so loud, my son asked me what was wrong. "Just Catholic stuff." : )

I commend you on your journey. Mine led me back to the roots, to Judaism. I guess I was such a good Catholic that I couldn't bear the thought of going to a Protestant church!

There is so much from Catholicism that still guides my life and my worldview, however, I just can't get past Original Sin and the Resurrection thing, and those are pretty central to Christianity. I don't believe God had to come down on earth and rise again. There are so many myths around the world that are similar to this, this isn't specific to Christianity. Nor do I believe someone back in the dawn of time is responsibile for the state of my soul. If I could be Catholic w/o believing in these, I'd give it a shot again, but I can't.

All that said, the pull of the Church is strong. I am interviewing for a professorship at a Catholic college after turning down offers to interview from bigger and 'better' schools. Though my advisor thinks I'm insane, I feel pretty good about it.

50 posted on 02/17/2006 7:19:35 PM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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