From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

 

CM 2A brief explanation of some aspects of the Mass in its Extraordinary Form

As soon as the words of the Consecration are pronounced, the priest, holding the host between his two first fingers, adores the Host making immediately a genuflection. Then, standing up, he raises the Host as high as possible to be seen by the faithful, keeping his eyes on it. He places the host again on the corporal and genuflects again. He does the same with the Chalice.

The Adoration of the Host after consecration is consistently attested since the Divine Institution of the Eucharist. We find very early interesting Greek icons representing  Jesus as an infant laying on the paten (gilded plate on which the Host is placed).

  The act of adoration itself takes various forms according to cultures and traditions. One might be standing, kneeling, seating, or prostrated on the floor: each one marks in its own way the same spiritual act of faith and adoration.

St. John Chrysostom attests that in Eastern Liturgy the “elevation of the host” came only just before communion and with great solemnity. The Holy Doors are finally opened, the curtains removed and the celebrant comes out (remember that the whole liturgy in this rite is out of sight) saying: “Consider the Table of the King. The King is here. If your vestments are pure, adore and receive communion.”

Since the 10th century, another sign of Adoration of God, is the addition of the ringing of the bells. We can read on the Carthusian rules the following ordinance: “Whenever the bell is rang for the consecration, wherever one is, he musts stop his activity and kneel down as long as the bells are rang.”

Yves de Chartres, Bishop of Paris (1115), gave thanks to Margaret, Queen of England for her gift of Bells for the Notre Dame Cathedral. He promised that her soul will be remembered at each consecration as they will ring.

The genuflection, done immediately after the words of the consecration are said, is a great act of faith on the power of the Instituted Words themselves. “This is my Body”: Adoration follows. Elevation comes after.

Another great addition of adoration in liturgy is the use of Torch-Bearer. Candles are sign of respect.

Since the heresy of Beranger – who denied the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist- the use of particular signs of adoration have been encouraged to sustain our faith. All that can help us is good to have.

 

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