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My experience of the altar rail — 29 Comments

  1. This article has moved me tremendously. I am a frequent adorer of the Blessed Sacrament and have felt this is the way we should all receive our Lord. Thank you for sharing

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  3. This is great news! I have been kneeling and receiving on the tongue for probably 20 years or more now. I do come across priests, now and then, who insist on me standing. They can’t insist on me receiving in my hand, however. They are supposed to allow me to kneel, but they make a fuss about it. I see from the photos that not only were altar rails installed, but the look of the sanctuary is markedly changed. This is wonderful! I pray for many more parishes to do likewise. Great article! Keep up the good work. God bless you with His peace, love, and joy.

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  6. I absolutely LOVE the altar rail; especially after being able to use it for our First Communion recipients last year. It shows so much more reverence that is deserved for our Lord.

  7. Beautiful addition. Nothing like bringing a humble contrite sense a of Awe and “Reverence” at Mass. For Lo here upon this sanctuary is true holy ground, a sacrificial altar where there lies our hidden Sacred Lord. We adore Thee O Christ; and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy cross You have redeemed the world. Amen.

  8. Beautiful! I would love this at our parish but doubt it will happen in my life-time, being already 75 yrs old! Most parishioners receive devoutly here and a few even kneel for Communion. We have well-attended Masses and the pastor sends two ministers of Holy Communion to the rear of the church to distribute Communion. I wonder what they would do if an altar rail was in place?

  9. Pingback:My experience of the altar rail by Fr. Jay Finelli « Deacon John's Space

  10. “Memories, cloud the corners of my mind, misty, water colored memories, of the way we were….” Harkening back to 1967 and receiving my First Communion, kneeling and on the tongue at the altar rail of St. Louis Church, now All Saints in Woonsocket. What a joy, what a rush, what an event! 8 years later, 1975, as a student at what was then Woonsocket Catholic Regional Junior High School, attending “folk Mass” at the local CYO Center, and with no altar boys having been requested (?) a friend and I stepped forward and served Mass, dumbfounded to not have a paten for Communion and using the inverted cover of the Ciborium in lieu thereof! After Mass being told by the priest, “we really don’t need altar boys anymore.” As I look back on my 52 years, I have received by hand less than 5 times…. Bring back the altar rail. Bring back respect for Holy Communion. Bring back God. Thank you Father Jay!

  11. In the Episcopal church I attended in Florida in 1974 we had altar rails, no Extraoridinary Ministers of Holy Communion (only Episcopal priests and deacons could administer), and two altar boys held candles on either side of the priest as he read from the Gospel. And the Episcopal churches in Hartford, Connecticut had the same arrangement as late as 1990. Although I cherished these signs of reverence but it wasn’t enough to keep me from leaving behind the Episcopal church to become a Catholic!

    • I agree completely regarding the reverence and the NEED for the altar rail. I remember the Latin Mass and the beauty of knowing that I was kneeling before the Lord at Communion. That was all taken away by the Vatican II “cult”. The Anglican Communion has retained the beauty of ancient Catholic practice even though its “mass” is not valid.

  12. The church looks beautiful. The carpentry looks great. But theologically the spirit of the changes was do that people receive communion standing. Vatican 2 happened. Lets not try undue tge changes that were made, even if on a technicality….

    • Actually this is not an undoing of Vatican II. Receiving Holy Communion standing and in the hand was an innovation that followed the Second Vatican Council. Communion in the hand and standing was a practice fostered by Priests and some Bishops in disobedience to the norm of the Church, and still is the norm. It was only later that Pope Paul VI regrettably gave an insult as way of exception to the norm. I recommend reading the excellent work of Bishop Athanasius Schneider in “Dominus Est“. His work is of excellent scholarship, even destroying some of the myths and false scholarship of the 60’s & 70’s and of the mind of Pope Benedict XVI.

      • I love your response, and the irony that the author you cite’s first name honors “St. Athanasius” former archbishop of Alexandria, known as “The Pillar of Orthodoxy.” His feast day falls on my birthday, May 2.

  13. Thanks for the reply, I would also recommend reading this weeks edition of America magazine by fr John O’malley entitled Misdirections- 10 ways people misinterpt Vatican 2. It is a good read.

  14. Thanks so very much, Fr. Finelli! Thanks be to God I’ve found this web site. We, Roman Catholics, need to hear this. We have started to talk about renovating the parish which we go now. I am so worried, because I smell modernism. (labyrinth, altar in the center, circle seating, etc) Please pray for us. St. Dorthy Catholic Church in Glendora CA.

    May God bless you and protect you! May our loving Mother keep you safe and holy!

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