Communion rail cloth
Seems to me the paten is the better choice. Much better than risking launching Our Lord across the sanctuary inadvertently.
We use both.  The communion rail cloth is a back up.  In the past when the priest has seen a particle drop., he would stop communion until he found it.  If he could not find it, the communion rail cloth would be folder over the approximate spot where the particle was seen to fall. 
(04-18-2009, 09:49 PM)PeterII Wrote:
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:

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. 

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. 

...... I stand corrected, thank you for what I must admit is a fascinating article!

But this brings up the question  - what the hell is going on with the current practice of the communion rail cloth?  Surely its actually being counterproductive at the moment, aside from the obvious benefit of catching falling hosts  -its such a shame its not being used for its former purpose, the idea of  'flipping the veils' seems terrible to me now after reading that!

It was considerably warm in church today and the side doors were open for a very warm breeze to dry the sweat from my face.  I couldn't help think about particles being scattered through out the church during communion. 
It gets very hot her in SoCal.  Here in California as well as in the Mid West when I was growing, large fans are used on hot days. 
Where is the consideration for the blessed sacraments in the case of warm weather, and wind (artificial or natural)?
I'm 52 years old and I live in Ireland.  Our church used both the cloth (we put our hands under it and lifted it) and the paten until the "reforms" after Vatican II.  Since I found Mass in the Extraordinary Form again in the last few years I haven't seen the cloth used except in an SSPX chapel but perhaps that is because of the change in the rubrics in 1962.

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)