Monday, June 25, 2007

"Let us kneel before the Lord who made us"

1) 'was wondering' asked: “Why do we use the host instead of real bread for the body of Christ?”

The following comes from Wikipedia; to view the full text and to see photos of hosts and the instruments used to make them, please click on the title of this post.

A host is a thin, round wafer made from bread and used for Holy Communion in many Christian churches.
The word is from the Latin, "hostia", which means "victim" or "sacrificial animal." The term can be used to the bread both before and after consecration, though it is more correct to use it after consecration - "altar bread" being preferred before consecration.

In the Roman Catholic Church, hosts are often made by nuns as a means of supporting themselves. It is required that the hosts be made from wheat flour and water only (Code of Canon Law, Canon 924). The Roman Church teaches that at the words of consecration the bread is changed into the Body of Christ through transubstantiation...

2) 'Anon': "Why, at some churches, does the host look different?"

If you look at the photos from the wikipedia site, you’ll see that there are different “tongs” within each convent which make the hosts look different. Also, hosts are made at multiple convents, so there are multiple tongs / designs of hosts.

3) 'Short hair': "Why is it that it’s only in the Catholic churches that people kneel?"

I don’t know if this is definitely true or not, but if it is, I would guess it’s because the Catholic Church takes transubstantiation so seriously that she requires her members to kneel in the presence of the Lord, out of reverence for Jesus in the Eucharist. One biblical basis for this is Psalm 95: “let us kneel before the Lord who made us”.

7 Comments:

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Kneeling is a sign of reverence, as well as a sign of penitence.

Standing, too, is a sign of reverence, which is [one reason] why we stand during the Gospel proclamation.

Kneeling between the "Lamb of God" and reception of Communion is an American thing; the unadapted Roman Rite calls for standing from after the "Amen" of the Eucharistic Prayer until Communion, and afterwards for either sitting or kneeling until the Communion Prayer.

I know the Dominicans have preserved their custom (from the old Dominican Rite) of standing during the Consecration.

The one Anglican Communion service I attended followed basically the same sit-stand-kneel cycle we're used to.

Eastern Catholics, meanwhile, follow different traditions and customs. Some don't kneel on Sundays, others kneel unless it's a Sunday between Easter and Pentecost -- because, again, kneeling is a sign of repentance, and on Sunday or during Easter they prefer to signify joy.

So there's not much that can be said about liturgical kneeling v. standing that's true everywhere, always, and for all.

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel badly when you cant kneel if there are no kneelers , kneeling to me is a sign of love and respect for our Lord in the Eucharist!

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mention of kneeling and reverence made me think about someone who I saw bowing her head in church Sunday after, the day before, she asked me a rather outrageous question. It made me think about how we behave in different places.

It’s curious to me that people can behave so differently in and out of church. Have you ever heard what is said about someone who openly and honestly shares (and lives) their beliefs with fellow worshippers? Look at how many roll their eyes or say outrageous things in response (or even whisper to a nearby friend). They are the same people I see in church on Sunday with those responses, but then again, maybe they aren’t the “same” people I see then. Maybe the Spirit moves them to behave differently in church than outside it.

This person (with the bowed head) recently asked me if I was pressured or brainwashed by a priest to attend church celebrations, encouraging me to “stand up and be my own person.” It was such a nervy and insulting thing, which left me feeling as though I was perceived as some mindless dolt. It’s almost as if others feel the need to brand people regarding their beliefs into different categories- barely, slightly, average, very much, waaay over the top, and then judge regarding those perceived standings. Why? Why? Why?

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger fran said...

Anon 1:06-

There is no single or simple answer to your question, as you are most likey aware.

I often ask "why?" when people say or do things that are deliberately hurtful or just plain thoughtless. Do they really know what they are saying? Do they really know how it effects the person to whom they are speaking? Are they unhappy with some other aspect of their lives?

I don't get it either; so stick to your convictions, pray for those who offend you, and read Matthew 5:10-12.

 
At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Marion (Mael Muire) said...

Anonymous 1:06 p.m. wrote "This person (with the bowed head) recently asked me if I was pressured or brainwashed by a priest to attend church celebrations, encouraging me to 'stand up and be my own person.' It was such a nervy and insulting thing, which left me feeling as though I was perceived as some mindless dolt. It’s almost as if others feel the need to brand people regarding their beliefs into different categories . . . Why? Why? Why?"

Dear Anonymous 1:06,

I think there are a couple of different kinds of bullying: the overt schoolyard kind of bullying that involves thrashing, kicking, and yelling, and then there's the more subtle, stealthy kind that "civilized" adults do to one another: verbally assualting, undermining and picking at one another. They are both reprehensible and unchristian.

What can we say about someone who bullies? That the person is miserable, feels terrible about himself or herself, feels worthless and powerless to change, and can't find any way at all to feel good about herself. The only way for her to feel some momentary relief from this torment is to try to make someone else feel more worthless than she does. She gets a momentary thrill of power from that, but it is soon over, and she is left feeling worse than ever.

Sounds pathetic, no? It is a pathetic way to live. Jesus doesn't want any of us to live like that!

We've all encountered these adult "stealthy" bullies, and we've all had to ask ourselves at one time or another the question: "if someone else is miserable and feels worthless about herself, can I find a way to recognize her hateful words for what they are, and not to react by believing what she says, but to just pray for her instead?"

(Sometimes this is easier said than done.)

Good luck, Anonymous, and God bless you.

 
At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the woman with the bowed head, last night I discussed with a family member what was said, from whom and why I thought it might have happened, and today, she responded with this:

"Life will either bless you or bury you. The difference lies in your attitude. If someone throws dirt on you (and they will), shake it off. Maybe even use it as fertilizer to grow stronger. No one can make you feel inferior w/o your consent. What's important is NOT what others say about you, but what you say to yourself when they're done talking. Jesus said, "Offenses will come" (so expect them). People will criticize you for rising above where they think you should stay. When you decide to move ahead, you will leave others behind who may not be happy about it. The only way to avoid that is to do nothing and stay where you are. Isn't that unacceptable?"

I think she said quite a lot worth repeating.

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one can make you feel inferior w/o your consent. What's important is NOT what others say about you, but what you say to yourself when they're done talking."

Amen!

 

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