Wednesday, 31 December 2014
No, this is not that post I abandoned in March or April which was designed to be a complete synthesis of the history of that superstitious custom. This is rather a very brief answer to a question put to me by a valued reader.
That would be the subject of a post, not a comment. Suffice it to say that I do believe in the Real Presence but in a different mode to "transubstantiation," which I reject entirely. I think it rash to define the Real Presence as much as the Incarnation. How do we really understand the union of the Divine and Human in the One Person of Christ?
With regard to the Real Presence, if I had my way:
1. Major elevation of the host and chalice in the midst of the Canon would be abolished on pain of latae sententiae excommunication. The liturgical books would be revised to reflect this change.
2. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament would be abolished along with the Forty Hours prayer and adoration.
3. The feasts of Corpus Christi, Precious Blood and blessed sacrament processions would be abolished.
4. Masses coram Sanctissimo would be abolished.
5. The rites for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday would be significantly revised to incorporate the change; restoration of pre-Tridentine praxis being the desired order.
6. The Sacrament would no longer be reserved in tabernacles under lock and key but kept apart in the priest's house in a fitting place and kept solely for communion of the sick.
7. Distribution of Holy Communion would be under both kinds always and everywhere, except in cases of grave necessity. Fear of profanation is not a grave necessity.
8. Monstrances would be rounded up and destroyed.
9. The use of wafers for Holy Communion would discontinue and actual unleavened bread would be used (in the West), according to Tradition. There is nothing, to me, more distasteful in respect of the eucharistic gifts than when a sacristan rips open a plastic bag of wafers and tips them into a ciborium.
That is, in brief, what I would do if I were the pope. If popes have the authority to change so much else, why can I not introduce these changes, for the good of humanity and the tonic for their superstition?