20/4/08 – Take a Bow

As we approach Pentecost Sunday, and the implementation of a new edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, we have been looking at the some the small changes this new General Instruction will make to the celebration of Mass.

The first change for the assembly we explored last week; namely the assembly’s standing after the priest says “Pray, my brothers and sisters, that our sacrifice…” and before our response “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands…”

There is only one other change that will be required of the entire liturgical assembly.  This centres on the way we give reverence to the Blessed Sacrament as we approach to receive Communion.

At present, you may see people make one of a number of signs of reverence.  These may include genuflecting, bowing, or making the sign of the cross.  A sign of reverence to acknowledge Christ present in the bread and wine is a worthy practice.  The new edition of the General Instruction asks that we, as a people formed into one Body of Christ when we worship, unify our practice in a common gesture.

Therefore, we are being asked to bow to the Blessed Sacrament being ministered to us by the priest or Communion Minister.  In Wentworthville, the most appropriate and practical time for us to bow is when we reach the front of the aisle and the person before us is receiving Communion.  You do not need to bow a second time if you wish to receive Communion from the chalice as well.

Like our changed practice of standing after the Preparation of the Gifts, this change is an easy one that will soon become habit.  We explain both these changes to you at Masses closer to Pentecost Sunday, when they will take effect.

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