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Liturgy: Reservation and Exposition of Blessed Sacrament

9/29/2004 - 2:30 PM PST

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And More on Gluten-free Hosts

By Father Edward McNamara

ROME, SEPT. 29, 2004 (Zenit) - As we have just celebrated this column's first anniversary I would like to thank all of our readers for the great interest they have shown in my attempts to answer their questions.

I have been quite astonished at the reception accorded this little effort and I hope that it has been of some use to those who take the pains to read it. At the same time I wish to ask forgiveness of those many readers who are still patiently awaiting a reply and whom I have not yet been able to address.

Because of the amount of e-mails that arrive, it is materially impossible for me to respond personally to every correspondent.

That said, I will try to give brief answers to some questions waiting in line.

* * *

Q: How is the procedure regarding the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament? In one of the parishes in Malta, for example, on the first Fridays and first Saturdays, the priest exposes the Blessed Sacrament. When it is time for Mass, the priest reposes the Blessed Sacrament and exposes again after Mass. This is done during all the Masses celebrated during the day. Is it permitted to do this? -- J.G., Gozo, Malta

A: The procedure described is perfectly correct, as liturgical norms do not allow the Blessed Sacrament to remain exposed in church during Mass.

The procedure followed is that described in the liturgical books for veneration of the Eucharist outside of Mass.

It may be possible to have perpetual adoration if there is a separate chapel specially dedicated for this purpose.

Such a chapel should ideally be accessible without the adorers having to pass through a congregation participating at Mass and should be sufficiently soundproofed so that silent prayer is possible while Mass is being celebrated.

Finally, the exposed Host should not be visible to the congregation at Mass.

If these conditions cannot be met, then the proper solution is to reserve the Blessed Sacrament during Mass.

Both reservation and exposition after Mass are done in the simplest possible form with no need to use incense or

* * *

Standing During the Eucharistic Prayer

Q: Our parish insists on having the children stand during the Eucharistic Prayers at school Masses, although there are kneelers in the pews. The children stand from the prayers of the faithful until the end of the "Lamb of God." They then kneel before and after Communion. This has been going on for about three years in order to teach them "the new way." Is this happening globally? -- D.R., Joliet, Illinois

A: Whoever invented this "new way," it was not the U.S. bishops.

The norms for kneeling in the United States are the following, as found in the approved adaptation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 43.

"In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise."

The universal norms for the Roman Missal indicate kneeling during the consecration, from the epiclesis to the acclamation after the consecration. This is the common practice in Italy and some other European and Latin American countries.

There is no provision in the Latin Church allowing for standing during the whole Eucharistic Prayer except in the exceptional conditions mentioned in No. 43.

* * *

"The Lord Be With You"

Q: The other day, I was at Mass and the priest kept saying, "The Lord is with you" instead of "The Lord be with you." The use of the indicative mood rather than the imperative sounded to me like an attempt to de-emphasize the unique, sacramental role of the priest (which was especially pronounced when coupled with the mistranslation "And also with you," which, I understand, is about to be replaced by the correct "And with your spirit"). I am not a Latin scholar, but can "Dominus vobiscum" be properly translated "The Lord is with you," and does the celebrant have the authority to render such a translation? -- P.S., Columbia, South Carolina

A: Even if it were a correct translation, the priest should not change on his own authority any approved text from the missal. Even if he were an expert Latinist and the official translation were blatantly erroneous he would not be authorized to change it.

In the case at hand the two ...

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