From Mrs Sue Sims Sir, I am sorry that Dr MacGregor-Fairlie (July 7) is scandalised by the behaviour of his fellowparishioners who "walk past the eucharistic ministers as if they weren't there, without bowing their heads to acknowledge the Presence as they go by".
It seems a little hard on these parishioners to be judged wanting for failing the doctor's own private test of devotion, particularly since it doesn,t make sense theologically. We don't genuflect or bow to the Hosts being distributed after we have received, since we are ourselves living tabernacles: we have just received the Body of our Lord.
And since the Host is the entire Body and Blood of Jesus, just as the Chalice contains the Body and Blood of Jesus, if we do not salute the former with outward reverence at that time, nor do we need to honour the latter. Since the doctor admits that they are free "not to partake if that is their wish", it might be better if he did not "look at this ] fellow-parishioners as they partake", and began immersing himself in private devotion a little earlier.
Personally, 1 normally receive in one kind for a single reason: an evangelical Protestant until two years ago, I took it for granted that one should eat bread and drink wine because one was merely copying the disciples at the Last Supper, and remembering what Jesus did for us.
But the Mass is not a nostalgic memorial of a long-ago event; it brings us to the Upper Room and to the Cross, and makes the sacrifice of our Lord present in the church and in our own bodies and souls; and by receiving in one kind, I assert my faith that I receive my Lord whole and entire and real.
Yours sincerely, SUE SIMs
Sue@sims.abel.co.uk Bournemouth BH7