Saturday, July 26, 2008

"The doors, the doors!"

I’ve a growing concern for security around Our Lord’s Body and Blood. Here’s a reason why. There are others.

We (Catholics) will give the Eucharist to anyone who gets in line. “Satanists, blasphemers, pagans, excommunicants, step right up!” – seems to be a message we send by this practice.

This was not always so. Even today, there are Orthodox parishes where one is not able to receive communion unless the priest – to whom he has recently confessed his sins – knows him.

The Early Church was far more scrupulous regarding who may receive – or even attend during the consecration. There are remnants of this in the Divine Liturgy: “I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies,” all vow before communion; “The doors, the doors!” the priest calls out before the Liturgy of the Faithful (a.k.a. Liturgy of the Eucharist). This call is to signal that the doors must be guarded to keep out all intruders – pagans and catechumens already having been expelled by the deacon.

This expulsion fell away from the Liturgy in both East and West. In the centuries after the Edict of Milan, pagans and catechumens became hard to find in Christian Churches. Therefore, expelling them became mostly unnecessary.

This is no longer the case. Christendom has been crumbling for centuries, but has failed to respond liturgically to the situation. We are no longer a Christian culture. Surely this must be apparent? The many conveniences we’ve adopted over centuries of enjoying a Christian culture ought now to be abandoned.

Out of such convenience, the Roman Church has seen fit, by and large, to reinstitute an early Christian practice of communion in the hand, rather than on the tongue; along with this, they should reinstitute the expulsion of pagans and catechumens (and Satanists, atheists, unbelievers, Protestants, etc.). Communion in the hand makes theft and desecration of the Eucharist that much easier. None but the fully initiated should even be permitted in the presence of the Eucharist.

We must recognize the truth of the situation: we are now surrounded by unbelievers, many of whom come into our churches and steal Our Lord’s Body and Blood – often unwittingly. In some cases, this is done with open malice, but usually this is no crime of the one who receives inappropriately, but our own negligence towards the One Who offers Himself for us in the Eucharist.

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