Monday, September 25, 2017

Surprising Insights In Our Month With a Communion Rail

One of my two parishes was just restored, thanks be to God.


I know a lot of the arguments and theological advantages of the communion rail, and that the Church has never said anything about taking them out.  The following are advantages that I was NOT expecting



1) In announcing and catechizing about the new communion rail, I have said, from the beginning, that a person can kneel or stand and received on the tongue or in the hand.  I have never stated a preference in any way for how a person receives.

On their own, over half of our congregation has CHOSEN to receive kneeling



2) The communion rail provides people with about 20-30 seconds to NOT be shuffling up in a line, but to instead stand or kneel facing the altar giving them a few precious moments to contemplate Whom it is that they are about to receive.



3) It has severely cut down on the awkward potentially non-Catholic person receiving Communion.  Let's face it, the majority of Catholics today fail to prepare their visiting family and friends for how to handle Holy Communion (i.e. either stay in the pew or come forward for a blessing)...but standing there at a communion rail for 30 seconds before the priest arrives gives the Catholic friend a chance to say "No, don't hold out your hands, cross your arms on your chest" whereas this doesn't happen when Communion is done in the American style of emptying the pews in an orderly style and shuffle up in a line and then be offered the Eucharist as soon as the person arrives at the front of the line