Monday, December 8, 2008

Communion Lines Too Long?

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Communion in the Hand; Communion Kneeling: or are there too many Communicants not in the state of grace?

Father Z has an interesting discussion going on over at his blog, What Does The Prayer Really Say about the problems of desecration of Holy Communion hosts by dropping them that occurs on occasion when Communion is taken by hand. His commenters, more than 50 in number, seem to prefer that all should kneel at the communion rail for reception, most probably with servers holding a paten under the chin of each communicant.

I think they missed the point and would like to raise an important issue that is rarely mentioned. This is especially important because of the problems the archdiocese is having with some parishes using the forbidden (except in case of real emergency or in areas with a real shortage of priests) General Confession as a regular method. This is my comment on Fr. Z's blog:

I think that a major point has been missed in this interesting discussion.

The real problem is that too many are going to Holy Communion not in the state of grace.

“If I were in charge”, I would establish a policy that Communion in the hand would not be given until 25% of the members of the congregation go to private Confession at least once every few months.

If a parish had 2,000 communicants, that would be 500 Confessions a month, or about 16 a day. If Father offered Confession daily, preferably before each Mass or after the last Mass so that he wouldn’t be under pressure if the line happened to be long and thus have to deny someone. It seems workable to me.

Once all 2,000 parishioners are going to Confession once every four months, one would hope that the Confessions would be shorter.

By the time that that had happened, a change to “kneeling only” would probably not be a controversial decision because they had been already become used to kneeling.


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