Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Rail by rail! (priest explains why he installs altar rails at each parish where he serves)
WDTPRS ^ | May 13, 2013 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Posted on 05/13/2013 6:31:03 AM PDT by NYer

One for the Brick by Brick file.

I had a note from a friend in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, where the great Bishop Robert Finn presides.

At St. Andrew the Apostle on the north side of KC, Fr. Vince Rogers has installed a new brand new Communion rail!

My friend wrote:

He has installed altar rails in most of not all of the parishes in which he has served over the past 15-20 years.

He noted in his homily this morning, “So, why do I do this everywhere I go? It started when I was a seminarian at the NAC. Mother Teresa came to visit and when time came for communion, she went first and knelt on the marble floor and received. We all looked at each other and went up and knelt to receive our blessed Lord. From that moment forward……”

“The largest denomination in the US is fallen away Catholics. Why? Because we have forgotten what the Eucharist really is. If it’s only bread we are like pigs at a trough. If it is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, then let’s act accordingly.

Prior to the rail, he had a double prie-dieu in front of the altar. Maybe 30-40% received kneeling. This morning, the first Sunday Mass with the rail, all but a dozen or so at the 8 a.m. Mass received kneeling. Several still received in the hand but many more received kneeling, reverently and on the tongue – likely for the first time. What happened to their heart, only time will tell.

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Rogers.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Worship
KEYWORDS: altar; catholic; communion; communionrail; eucharist; liturgy; mass; sacraments

1 posted on 05/13/2013 6:31:03 AM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 05/13/2013 6:31:28 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I am only in my 30s but I remember how much I enjoyed receiving kneeled at the alter. The whole mass seemed more reverent. I remember wondering why the heck they stopped doing it that way. I also wondered why rock bands with drums and electric bass were chosen over organs and choirs. I miss the old days dearly.


3 posted on 05/13/2013 6:39:54 AM PDT by Phillyred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

This brings tears to my eyes reading it. I hope it catches on.


4 posted on 05/13/2013 6:43:26 AM PDT by sneakers (Go Sheriff Joe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Having an official role in Sunday Mass I can tell you there are certain practical issues at play in our parish. In particular many elderly parishoners with walkers, canes and wheelchairs. Bringing everyone to the rail would be fraught with difficulties IMO.


5 posted on 05/13/2013 6:56:16 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Back when polio was ravaging the young in America, I remember priests exiting the altar to administer Holy Communion to those on crutches, wheel chairs and in braces. They may have been the last to receive at the Mass, but it was no great bother for priest or congregant.


6 posted on 05/13/2013 7:14:59 AM PDT by Roccus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer

It would take some getting used to. The last time I did it, a year ago at a Latin Mass, I felt very rushed and a little stressed (did I open my mouth enough? Lift my head enough? Am I getting up fast enough for the people after me?).

So, I would say maybe it feels reverent when You feel reverent, instead of self-conscious. Personally, I think I am prone to distraction by the Evil One no matter what bodily position I am in.


7 posted on 05/13/2013 7:15:39 AM PDT by married21
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Vatican II proof that the shameful scourge called “The Sixties” reached even into the Vatican.


8 posted on 05/13/2013 7:16:06 AM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Because of my knee replacement, revival of kneeling at the altar would preclude me from ever receiving Communion again.

This article does not surprise me, however. My son belongs to a parish in Overland Park, KS. Their “new” (about 10-15 yo) church has what looks to me to be “baby” altar rails. IOW, the main altar is separated by rails. Parishioners are not asked to kneel at them, but the practice could be instituted easily. The church is beautiful with many old world details. My son blangs to St. Michael the Archangel Parish.


9 posted on 05/13/2013 7:19:09 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog
I think you're imagining problems where there are none.

1. There were plenty of elderly, disabled persons back when there were communion rails everywhere.

2. Episcopalians still receive kneeling at the rail and always have (albeit in the hand rather than on the tongue). And the Episcopalians are definitely a "graying" denomination, as most of the young families have left for churches that actually believe something.

My husband was head usher for the 11:15 service at our pre-conversion ECUSA parish. The rail itself provides support for those who merely have difficulty getting up and down. The first step makes the distance shorter, and cushions are provided. For those on crutches, walkers, or in wheelchairs, they come to the open altar gates and stand, or the priest goes to them.

10 posted on 05/13/2013 7:20:14 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Bring this priest to my parish too. The handicapped, those with walkers or canes can receive in their seats at the end of Communion.


11 posted on 05/13/2013 8:15:37 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cyman

I doubt that Vatican II changed it. Vatican II did not change the requirement to eat non-meat meals on Fridays — the American Bishops did that.

We need to be talking to them.


12 posted on 05/13/2013 8:18:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NYer; All

I remember this when I was Kid. It was awesome and sacred. Also I would take my mother before she passed in the wheelchair to Mass. No worry about receiving communion. The priests know what to do. Cheers in Christ.


13 posted on 05/13/2013 8:26:39 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic
The church is beautiful with many old world details. My son blangs to St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

Found some nice photos on the 'net.


An All Saints' Day Mass was held Thursday evening, Nov. 1, 2012, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church

The photos come from an interesting article, Building on spirit: The Rev. Bill Porter energizes a new church and school. Apparently the church is only 4 years old as it was dedicated in 2009.

14 posted on 05/13/2013 8:45:17 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog
many elderly parishoners with walkers, canes and wheelchairs.

In every parish I have attended Mass at, the Eucharist is brought down to those with walkers, canes and wheelchairs. They are not expected to proceed up to receive. In churches with altar rails, they could so the same.

15 posted on 05/13/2013 8:53:10 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (People are idiots.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

You would never be denied Communion because you cannot kneel; there are many people at my parish who are unable to kneel at the rail. Father never has nor ever would deny them Holy Communion. However...at the TLM, Communion IS received ONLY on the tongue.

I remember once, there was a very old woman, wheelchair-bound, who was unable even to receive a whole Host. Father came down from the altar, broke a tiny piece off a Host, knelt down next to her and gently and patiently gave her Communion. He waited there until he was sure she’d been able to swallow it and then returned to finish distributing the Sacrament to the rest of us.

It was beautiful.

Anyway, you shouldn’t worry about not being allowed to receive if you cannot kneel. Happens all the time.

Regards,


16 posted on 05/13/2013 8:54:33 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Cyman
Vatican II proof that the shameful scourge called “The Sixties” reached even into the Vatican.

If you read the history of the time, the Lefty termites were already undermining the Church structure and had been for decades. VII only gave them cover.

17 posted on 05/13/2013 8:56:37 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (People are idiots.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: VermiciousKnid

Thank you. I already feel guilty about sitting in the back with all the rest of the crippled people, although Father says it’s perfectly OK. He has had a couple if knee and hip replacements, so he’s delivering his homilies sitting in a chair.


18 posted on 05/13/2013 8:57:06 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I know the real reason they took the rail out the my childhood church is because some yenta parent threated sue my parish because her daughter big wheelchair got stuck at altar at the time

The parent was feminist attorney for NAG gang in 1970s that real reason she felt the priest was too manley he need come down to her level LOL!

Real scandel at my childhood church I love those rails they were so artsy


19 posted on 05/13/2013 9:24:53 AM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

Ah, see? It works both ways! There is a priest who used to say the TLM for us at our parish. He is very old and is no longer able to say the Mass, but while he was doing it, the altar boys had to literally pick him up from a kneeling position every once in awhile.

The boys didn’t mind, and are to this day very protective of Father, helping him walk to an from the church if they see him out and about.

Everybody understands when someone just can’t do something anymore. I think it’s a great lesson for all of us.

Best to you,


20 posted on 05/13/2013 10:15:08 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Females wearing cassocks and surplices. Big no-no.

21 posted on 05/13/2013 11:54:19 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: A.A. Cunningham

At my local Cathoic church they can’t get altar boys to serve so they have bring in the girls also my Cathoic priest is totally hard*** lib


22 posted on 05/13/2013 1:00:48 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: VermiciousKnid
the altar boys had to literally pick him up from a kneeling position every once in awhile.

Same deal here two weeks ago.

23 posted on 05/13/2013 1:08:20 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SevenofNine
At my local Cathoic church they can’t get altar boys to serve so they have bring in the girls also my Cathoic priest is totally hard*** lib

We are told there is an obligation to attend Catholic Sunday Mass but that isn't Catholic and may not be a Mass. Very possible it does on occur on Sunday.

24 posted on 05/13/2013 1:11:31 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Rail bump!


25 posted on 05/13/2013 1:15:34 PM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I’m sorry that Protestants removed the kneeing benches in the pews. Most churches I’ve attended do have prayer rooms and some have places where one can kneel at the front. But it’s not the same as everyone kneeling for prayer. It reminds me of a song by Barry McGuire...

“We have million dollar churches but no one on their knees...”


26 posted on 05/13/2013 1:50:10 PM PDT by HarleyD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler

I came across evidence of that a few years ago, in the choir loft of an old church. The hymn books from the late 50s gave hints, in terms of “modern” illustrations and the way things were expressed in the foreward and such, like Vatican II was coming.


27 posted on 05/13/2013 1:59:21 PM PDT by married21
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: steve86

You may have a point there
I don’t know what wrong with this Priest he is shumuck


28 posted on 05/13/2013 5:49:18 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Good post, as always.

We Orthodox stand to receive, just as we always have, with arms crossed, and maybe kneeling a bit if we have a short priest. But then we are usually standing during the entire Divine Liturgy, except for when we sit during the homily or hit the floor for a prostration.

And communion in the hand? What is that? Have the priests no spoons?

29 posted on 05/13/2013 8:29:11 PM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler
VII only gave them cover.

In other words Vatican II was a formalization of leftist error.

30 posted on 05/13/2013 9:33:27 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Martin Tell
We Orthodox stand to receive, just as we always have, with arms crossed, and maybe kneeling a bit if we have a short priest. But then we are usually standing during the entire Divine Liturgy, except for when we sit during the homily or hit the floor for a prostration.

: - )

Though baptized in the Latin Church, I practice my faith in a Maronite (Eastern) Church. Like you, we stand during the Divine Liturgy and receive communion standing. Recently, a lapsed catholic wandered into our church and I gave him a tour. The first thing he noticed was the absence of kneelers. I explained that kneeling was a sign of reverence in the west whereas standing is the norm in the east. He wasn't buying it. To drive the point home, I asked him if he knelt during the reading of the Gospel. He said "no, we stand". And "why", I asked. "Out of respect". Precisely! The light went on and he also smiled.

Communion in the hand should be eliminated. Personally, I consider it profane. Pope Benedict and now, Pope Francis give communion by intinction. Like the Orthodox, we eastern rite catholics receive communion by intinction. Since the Maronite Church uses unleavened bread, no spoons are necessary. The Melkites and other eastern churches that follow the Byzantine Rite, use leavened bread and spoons.

Thanks for the ping! BTW, did you see the meeting between Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II? I am about to post a thread and will ping you to it.

31 posted on 05/14/2013 4:08:01 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

‘Bringing everyone to the rail would be fraught with difficulties.’ Wouldn’t this always have been the case? How was it dealt with previously? Does not seem to me that their frailties need to set the rule for the entire congregation?


32 posted on 05/14/2013 1:33:07 PM PDT by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer

bumpus ad summum


33 posted on 05/14/2013 9:28:02 PM PDT by Dajjal (Justice Robert Jackson was wrong -- the Constitution IS a suicide pact.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson