Reclaim the Mass: reclaim the Faith

Posted at Catholic Insight

869_Francis_Ad_Orientem_previewDuring a recent Sunday Mass, I witnessed an incident that I hope I never see again. A child whom I know is still receiving catechism classes in preparation for First  Communion received the Holy Eucharist with the family. Since the child is older than the other children in the class, the priest didn’t realize anything was amiss. I teach the class and I know that the child does not have a clear understanding of what and Who the Holy Eucharist is.

After Mass, I asked the adult family members why they allowed the child to receive Communion.  “But the Protestants all do it,” they reasoned.

“We’re not Protestant,” I replied. “We’re Catholic.”

The Catholic Mass is not the same as a Protestant service and no practicing Catholic should ever think the way that family does. We know, or we should know, that the focus of Holy Mass is the Eucharistic Sacrifice that takes place at the altar and only Catholics who understand this truth and who are in a state of grace are able to receive Communion.

Sadly, the family I confronted reflects some troubling statistics. A 2005 Gallup Poll of 875 American Catholics showed that while all respondents identified as Catholic, only 76% felt that the Sacraments, including reception of the Holy Eucharist, were important. A mere 41% of respondents agreed that the teachings of the Catholic Church were important. Just 30% of respondents believed that in Holy Communion, they were actually receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine. Statistics in the United States and Canada show that 39% of Americans attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis while in Canada, regular Sunday Mass attendance is around 30%. While some of the reasons for these sad statistics are societal, we can’t rule out factors in the Liturgy as well.

Please continuing reading on my blog at Catholic Insight Magazine

Photo: Pope Francis celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ad orientum. Source: the Facebook page of Monsignor Guido Marini

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5 Responses to Reclaim the Mass: reclaim the Faith

  1. trallskis says:

    This is so sad :/ especially because the mass is so important me …how can anyone not love it ?! 🙂

  2. oarubio says:

    The Church is not discriminating when setting requirements for receiving the sacraments, but showing respect. Oh, the uninformed, or perhaps, the un-formed. Sorry you had to experience that.

  3. Imelda says:

    Oh, sad to hear that. I guess this all boils down to poorly catechized adults.

  4. Hello , powerful and truthful post.Our Catholic faith was originated on the Mass and the holy host.Blessings and regards.jalal

  5. rcconvert says:

    I’m sad to say I’ve seen a woman break off a piece of her communion wafer and share it with her toddler as though it were a snack, much to the shock of the priest. Thank you for this post and the reminder that we need to focus on the Eucharist and treat it with reverence!

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