Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On the hermeneutics of fittingness: the removal of the Communion rail?

I would like to enter this as a subject for discussion in our series on the sacramental hermeneutics of fittingness. Why was the Communion rail removed? What good rationale was offered for its removal? What is signified by its removal? Communicants no longer have a natural place to kneel to receive Communion. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion ('civilians,' or 'pedestrians') now freely move about and behind the free-standing Altar after the consecration. What is the purpose of this? What has been lost by the removal of the Communion rail? What did it symbolize, signify, and facilitate? Was it in any way a hinderance, an obstacle? Is Communion more fittingly administered and received at a Communion rail, or without one? Why? Which conduces to more reverent and intimate participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass? Why?

I realize that this question can hardly be isolated from other questions such as we have we have been already entertaining -- for example, the question of kneeling vs. standing, or receiving in the hand vs. receiving on the tongue. Nevertheless, I think there are sufficient issues germane to the question of the Communion rail to warrant a discussion of this question in its own right, and I invite your considered comments, for which, as always, I am very grateful.

1 comment:

Site Manager said...

See the related discussion of "Anthony Esolen on the Communion Rail" (Musings, May 23, 2006).

See archived comments to that post at: