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Full Version: I know, I know… I should know better about going to the Novus Ordo…
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Friends- I want to ask your opinion about a situation, sorry for the length of this post.

First though I must repeat my subject line…

I know, I know… I should know better about going to the NO…

I attend an SSPX Mass and a diocesan TLM on weekends.

A few months ago I resolved to begin reciting the Little Office and it’s been a big boost to my spiritual life. Right after Christmas I discovered that a huge beautiful old church (built 1847!) a few blocks from my job has a NO Mass at 12:05. The church is locked otherwise. I maneuvered my lunch hour and found that leaving work at 12, I could be there for the start of Mass and quietly recite the little hours during the Mass. I’d pause during the consecration and receive kneeling in the aisle and then go back to reciting my office, standing and kneeling at the appropriate times to not draw undue attention This Mass is quiet- reverent for the most part and sparsely attended by a handful of regulars. I noticed that two other men also received kneeling in the aisle. I was able to chat with one briefly and found that he attends a diocesan TLM.

After attending daily for a month and a half I emailed the pastor (his email address was in the bulletin) and asked if “those of us who receive Our Lord kneeling, on the tongue” could perhaps utilize the (beautiful marble) altar rail. He responded by saying yes and also offered to make an announcement to that effect. I don’t believe that an announcement was ever made, but maybe I missed it.

So I started to approach the altar rail to kneel and receive. It was very awkward because Father would be in the center aisle distributing Communion and I had to walk up a side aisle then across the front of the Church- heading straight toward Father’s side. I would then bow to the Eucharist in father’s hands and ascend 3 steps to the rail and wait for him to finish distributing at which point he would come to me. To my dismay, the other two men did not join me at the rail (I didn’t talk to them about it).

Aside from the pastor, there are 2 other priests who say Mass occasionally and I notice them sitting (in lay clothes) in the congregation when the pastor says Mass. They seem very nice but I’ve heard a few questionable things in some sermons. Since I’d only asked the pastor’s permission to go to the rail, I’d kneel in the aisle during their Masses. As the weeks went by, I felt VERY self-conscious kneeling up there all alone but finally, wonderfully, a couple weeks back the other two guys suddenly joined me at the rail! This was so wonderful. We never discussed it; they just started coming up with me. I was so happy. Since the others had joined me, I decided to approach the rail when the other priests were saying Mass- when it was just me I had the option of going up the aisle, but now I felt it almost a responsibility to set a good example.

Then today one of the other priests said Mass and only one of the other kneelers was in attendance. As Father gave us communion, he patted my shoulder and said to us both “Let’s chat after Mass about why you receive this way”.

Sigh…

He was actually very kind and expressed that we were free to receive as we wish (especially when I told him that the pastor had ok’d it). However he said he felt that our actions could be interpreted as us acting holier-than-thou and that he didn’t want us to set ourselves apart from everyone else. I said that kneeling in the aisle might cause a disruption and that it was awkward for everyone and he replied that coming up to the rail was more disruptive and awkward. The other gentleman (the one I’d chatted with briefly) then said that we both attend TLMs and Father seemed a little surprised and said “Oh, I love Latin! Wow, so you guys are used to that rite, huh?” He also pointed at my Office in my hands and said “I notice that you don’t really participate, that you just follow along in your little book there”. He left us saying “Think about it”… and asked us to pray for him. Very cordial, but a rebuke nonetheless.

Now, I tend to get over sensitive about things and maybe tend to feel persecution where none exists, but I kind of feel like I’ve been socked in the stomach. What should I do? I actually emailed the pastor shortly after this (I wonder if maybe he asked the other priest to approach us). He was in the congregation during Mass today in lay clothes. I explained what had happened and asked him if he was more comfortable with me receiving kneeling in the aisle. But I still feel very bad about the whole thing, you know? I don’t want to bother anyone, I just want to say my Office and be in Our Lord’s presence. What would you do in this situation? Not go back (my first instinct)? Go and not receive at all (I don’t want to be seen as acting spiteful), keep kneeling at the rail? I haven’t received a reply back from the pastor yet…

I know, I know… I should know better about going to the NO…

Thanks for reading and letting me vent.

Henry

I would go and receive at the rail when the priest who agreed is serving and in-line when there are others.
obedience,  is the greatest of the three vows ( and the most difficult)
Thanks Silvia. I'm hoping that's what the pastor says too when he replies. I kind of wish I'd never started this whole thing in the first place and just kept receiving, kneeling, in the aisle.
Ask him charitably next time if you can continue receiving communion at the altar rail
Henry,

This is indeed yet another reason why it's best to avoid the Novus Ordo Missae altogether.  Our Eastern Rite and Orthodox brethren normally don't receive every day.  We need not, either.  The Novus Ordo causes us to lose our peace.

Tim
Thanks Drover. I do think we presented our explanation rather well. I think the Father was a little surprised that we were able to respond as well as we did. When he said we were separating ourselves from the congregation, I replied that we were actually acting in accord with hundreds of years of Catholic tradition. He replied that no one is worthy to approach the Eucharist be it on our knees or standing, etc.
It does not seem so bad. In fact, in balance, I think it is an encouraging situation.

I would keep kneeling at the rail when the Mass is said by the pastor, and kneel in the aisle with the other two priests (unless you get permission from the third priest to kneel at the rail).

Now, maybe this is too out there, but: it would be better to change the altar rail set up so that those of you who kneel at the rail receive first. It would be less awkward, because the priest would give you Communion on his way to the other communicants, and it may even encourage others to also kneel at the rail. All very subtly.

Praying the Little Office during the TLM would be more natural than to do so during the NO, due to the long stretches of silence. You could perhaps explain to the second priest, if you could, that by praying the Little Office you are participating, because you are worshiping the Lord, just not in the way most do it. (There are no rubrics for the laity even in the NO - are there?)

I've heard stories of people who are not allowed to kneel for Communion. You should be happy that you've gone as far as you have in that Mass, and that there are even two other people who do the same!
(03-20-2013, 09:14 PM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote: [ -> ]Henry,

This is indeed yet another reason why it's best to avoid the Novus Ordo Missae altogether.  Our Eastern Rite and Orthodox brethren normally don't receive every day.  We need not, either.  The Novus Ordo causes us to lose our peace.

Tim

You're so right, my friend and your wise advice is welcome as always. I was kind of hoping that you might offer to come down and kneel at the rail with me- LOL (Impy and I are in the same city)...
As traditionalists, we understand that we are somewhat of a minority in the Church.  It's going to take a long time for people to come round.  That's alright, it's human nature to be attached to what we've learned and for reason to sink in.  Give the priest the benefit of the doubt.  He probably doesn't understand.

Since this is your workday church, definitely keep attending.  You're Catholic, the church was built by Catholics for you.  The priest is there to serve God by serving you.  

If you are more comfortable writing the priest, pen or email him a short note saying you have considered what he said.  Tell him you understand why he feels the way he feels.  Tell him that because he is your spiritual father, you will abide by his wishes and not receive at the rail.  Tell him that conscience forbids you to receive the Lord in the hand and not kneeling.  Tell him that you know he would give you communion if you knelt in the regular line, and that you appreciate his consideration in that regard.  However, because you would feel unsteady without any support, the danger of a sudden movement on your part, resulting in dropping the body of Christ on the floor, is simply too great.  Tell him you will commune spiritually instead.   Assure the priest that all appearances to the contrary, when you are at mass, your prayers are joined to his and to the Church's as the Body of Christ.  Assure the priest that you pray for him and his family regularly.  

Sign the letter with something like "your loving son, in Christ ..." Make sure you express a word of love and devotion.  Even if you are older than the priest.  He is still a man consecrated to God, and his sacrifice, as a man, is worthy of our respect and devotion regardless of the liturgical differences we may have.

If he approaches you personally again, let him know there was no personal offense taken by you.  Thank him for his concern.  

Then ask if you may kiss his hand, which consecrates the bread of life!  

Cheers!
(03-20-2013, 09:17 PM)henryt. Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-20-2013, 09:14 PM)ImpyTerwilliger Wrote: [ -> ]Henry,

This is indeed yet another reason why it's best to avoid the Novus Ordo Missae altogether.  Our Eastern Rite and Orthodox brethren normally don't receive every day.  We need not, either.  The Novus Ordo causes us to lose our peace.

Tim

You're so right, my friend and your wise advice is welcome as always. I was kind of hoping that you might offer to come down and kneel at the rail with me- LOL (Impy and I are in the same city)...

Henry, one of the last times I attended the Novus Ordo, I saw Our Lord on the floor under the pew in front of me.

I only attend the Novus Ordo when absolutely necessary (family functions, etc.).  But if you tell me the church, I would like to come in and haul you out (or try).  Wink
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