January 13, 2010

Cathy's Head Scratchers (No, Not Lice!)

Just musing "aloud"

*Why do we kneel before the exposed Sacrament in adoration and genuflect before the Sacrament in the Tabernacle but NOT kneel to actually receive it?

*Why a baldachine (usually only in pre-1960 built churches, though occasionally you'll find one in a well-built newer church) over the "old" high altar just as there is a baldacchinno (sp) carried over the Sacrament in Procession but then this freestanding altar (for the sacrifice) is plopped in front of it and the priests are supposed to use that and ignore the high altar? Doesn't the OT tell us that the Israelites put up tents for the Lord (a visual of the baldachine)?


Blogger ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Q1: a) usually at Adoration we're kneeling on a nice, padded kneeler or prie-dieu b) genuflection is momentary and not a prolong pain (at least for us with poor knees c) Communion in the hand is risky from the kneeling position (whereas Communion in the mouth is actually safer from the kneeling position, especially if the acolyte knows how to place the Paten). Also the Communion line moves faster without the kneeling.

b) One might ask why the High Altar is against the wall, when older churches like St. Peter's & St. John Lateran have the Altar moved to the center of the cruciform church and have a baldachio over it? (I suspect that the Alter was place against the wall when the Tabernacle was moved from a side altar to the main altar for cost reasons in smaller parish churches or in churches which don't have the choir behind the Altar as in a monastery).

Just observations, not a statement of personal taste ( prefer the monastic configuration myself. Choirs in the Sanctuary strike me as converting the Sanctuary into a stage, and behind the Altar is usually best acoustically in most churches built that way. Choir lofts in the back do fulfill the choirs mission to encourage the congregation to participate in the singing, whereas placing them in the Sanctuary creates a performance mentality).
As in most things Catholic, it's the pragmatic which dictates actions, then the theological reason steps in. For example, kneeling to receive communion was (so I've been told) made popular by Louis XIV

January 13, 2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger X said...

Arch - we kneel on a sloped concrete floor with a 1/16" carpet laid over it. I offer it up. Whoever designed our church must have been on drugs.

January 13, 2010 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I remember receiving Communion, as a child, while kneeling. I so wish that this were still the case. I think that this could change.

January 15, 2010 1:28 AM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Actually, a priest CAN use the onld high altar, and CAN celebrate the Ordinary Form ad orientam!

And, just to make you jealous, St. Lewis Betrand Church in Louisville has a baldachino over the new altar, as well as the old one!

January 15, 2010 1:00 PM  
Blogger Fr. John Mary, ISJ said...

Good questions, there Cathy of Alex.
I don't know the answers...beyond this little pea-brain of mine.
God willing, we will, someday, return to proper etiquette before the "Lord of Glory" in His Eucharistic presence.

January 15, 2010 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just noticed the pic with this post!! hahahahha! vincenzo again? man, he is talented!

January 17, 2010 7:48 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

Kneeling - another reason to be a Catholic!!

January 17, 2010 9:04 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Gette: Hi! Yes, that is V's work!

Hi Belinda!

January 18, 2010 11:04 AM  
Blogger belinda said...

Hi :)

People sure get excited when you post about music,
The comments get pretty funny or maybe it's just the music that makes me laugh.

January 18, 2010 12:10 PM  

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