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Communion rail cloth - Printable Version

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Re: Communion rail cloth - kzarah - 04-18-2009

PeterII at our parish communion has stopped while the priest closely exam the communion rail cloth for particles.  Sometimes it has taken as long as ten minutes.  So yes the communion rail cloth is used to collect loose particles of the consecrated host. 
Daniel


Re: Communion rail cloth - Historian - 04-18-2009

(04-18-2009, 12:09 AM)PeterII Wrote: Nowadays though,  the cloth is being flipped after use which inadvertently launches our Lord across the sanctuary if stray particles are on it.  It's better not to have one at all in this case because it is easier to see stray particles on a bare rail.   

You have a point, but mostly it is used in conjunction with a paten.  So, nowadays it's more tradition and aesthetic than practical in most cases.  I agree if a paten isn't used, it should be done with extreme care.


Re: Communion rail cloth - glgas - 04-18-2009

(04-17-2009, 12:03 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: A cloth that hangs over the rail kinda like a tablecloth.

You put your hands under it so that if the Sacrament falls it lands on the cloth and you don't inadvertently touch it, but still could catch it and prevent it from hitting the floor.

The only place I've ever seen one is St. John Cantius in Chicago.

In the good old times it was the duty of one of the altar servers to turn it over the rail before communion, and turn back to hanging position (in the side of the altar) after the communion.

In the Chicago area the Institute of Christ priests are using it too, at least in the St Mary Oratory in Rockford.


Re: Communion rail cloth - JacafamalaRedux - 04-18-2009

FSSP here in Northern NJ has one, and the ICK doesn't.


Re: Communion rail cloth - veritatem_dilexisti - 04-18-2009

(04-18-2009, 10:46 AM)glgas Wrote:
(04-17-2009, 12:03 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: A cloth that hangs over the rail kinda like a tablecloth.

You put your hands under it so that if the Sacrament falls it lands on the cloth and you don't inadvertently touch it, but still could catch it and prevent it from hitting the floor.

The only place I've ever seen one is St. John Cantius in Chicago.

In the good old times it was the duty of one of the altar servers to turn it over the rail before communion, and turn back to hanging position (in the side of the altar) after the communion.

That is how it is done at the TLMs that I attend.


Re: Communion rail cloth - PeterII - 04-18-2009

(04-18-2009, 12:49 AM)kzarah Wrote: PeterII at our parish communion has stopped while the priest closely exam the communion rail cloth for particles.   Sometimes it has taken as long as ten minutes.   So yes the communion rail cloth is used to collect loose particles of the consecrated host. 
Daniel

It sounds like your Parish has it right.  The rail cloth must be treated in such a way that any particle landing on it will make its way down to the top of the railing, which is suppose to be at least 6 inches wide I believe.  After communion the acolytes are to fold the cloth rather than flip it, thus keeping all particles secure. 


Re: Communion rail cloth - PeterII - 04-18-2009

(04-18-2009, 01:13 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(04-18-2009, 12:09 AM)PeterII Wrote: Nowadays though,  the cloth is being flipped after use which inadvertently launches our Lord across the sanctuary if stray particles are on it.  It's better not to have one at all in this case because it is easier to see stray particles on a bare rail.   

You have a point, but mostly it is used in conjunction with a paten.  So, nowadays it's more tradition and aesthetic than practical in most cases.  I agree if a paten isn't used, it should be done with extreme care.

The 1962 edition of Ritus Servandus eliminated the rail cloth and uses a paten exclusively.  A cloth alone was the official practice before that until a paten in addition to the cloth was allowed in the 1920s.

So its true that the cloth/paten hybrid is really an aesthetic practice nowadays.  Personally, I would prefer it one way or the other as having both confuses people, and people end up doing weird things with the cloth. 


Re: Communion rail cloth - tradmaverick - 04-18-2009

(04-18-2009, 07:29 PM)PeterII Wrote:
(04-18-2009, 01:13 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote:
(04-18-2009, 12:09 AM)PeterII Wrote: Nowadays though,  the cloth is being flipped after use which inadvertently launches our Lord across the sanctuary if stray particles are on it.  It's better not to have one at all in this case because it is easier to see stray particles on a bare rail. 

You have a point, but mostly it is used in conjunction with a paten.  So, nowadays it's more tradition and aesthetic than practical in most cases.  I agree if a paten isn't used, it should be done with extreme care.

The 1962 edition of Ritus Servandus eliminated the rail cloth and uses a paten exclusively.  A cloth alone was the official practice before that until a paten in addition to the cloth was allowed in the 1920s.

So its true that the cloth/paten hybrid is really an aesthetic practice nowadays.  Personally, I would prefer it one way or the other as having both confuses people, and people end up doing weird things with the cloth. 


.....Can you provide some source or evidence as to the communion rail cloth's purpose being to catch falling particles of the sacred hosts? This seems a bizarre notion to me, ive never heard of it, or read anything about it. It seems completely impractical, note how on the paten the particles are fairly visible and it requires very little purification. (of course on the sacred linens they need not be visible)
It seems much more logical it is used for the above mentioned purpose - to prevent the sacred hosts from dropping to the ground.
In fact the more you think about it, its actually practically speaking impossible for it to be used for this purpose, i.e if the communicant has to hold the cloth under his chin, or even just hold it underneath with their hands, such particles would naturally fall by gravity to the ground below the rail the moment the communicant drops the cloth, ive always been taught it was for catching the sacred hosts, not for the sacred particles, I mean such care is taken by the Priest with the sacred linens in their folding and moving, hardly anywhere close to the way a cloth at the communion rail is treated.

Still if you provide evidence, Ill accept it.





Re: Communion rail cloth - PeterII - 04-18-2009


Quote:.....Can you provide some source or evidence as to the communion rail cloth's purpose being to catch falling particles of the sacred hosts? This seems a bizarre notion to me, ive never heard of it, or read anything about it. It seems completely impractical, note how on the paten the particles are fairly visible and it requires very little purification. (of course on the sacred linens they need not be visible)
It seems much more logical it is used for the above mentioned purpose - to prevent the sacred hosts from dropping to the ground.
In fact the more you think about it, its actually practically speaking impossible for it to be used for this purpose, i.e if the communicant has to hold the cloth under his chin, or even just hold it underneath with their hands, such particles would naturally fall by gravity to the ground below the rail the moment the communicant drops the cloth, ive always been taught it was for catching the sacred hosts, not for the sacred particles, I mean such care is taken by the Priest with the sacred linens in their folding and moving, hardly anywhere close to the way a cloth at the communion rail is treated.

Still if you provide evidence, Ill accept it.

You'll find the following article informative:

http://www.geocities.com/pelicanlara/answers/qa072002.html

The altar rail cloth is essentially a development of the ancient domenical.  When used properly, a stray particle should fall onto the cloth over the top of the rail.  The communicant should not have his mouth behind the rail.  However, my friend who has studied rubrics extensively also says that the acolytes were to assist at the reception by taking full control of the cloth and following a certain procedure.  Here is a picture from a Dominican liturgy in 1958 showing the concept. 

[Image: Mass13FriarsCommunion.jpg]

It seems that the modern use of the paten at reception of communion starting around the 1920s was done to counteract sloppy handling of the altar rail cloth. 


Re: Communion rail cloth - WhollyRoaminCatholic - 04-18-2009

This conversation is fascinating.