Fr Deryck Hanshell SJ concludes his articles on the Mass with the Sacrament of Communion.
AFTER THE consecration, the priest is instructed to genuflect. The custom that has grown up (especially irt certain student Masses) of nobody's genuflecting is not to be tolerated.
The people should kneel for the consecration. It is not often that they are too crowded together for this or that for some other reason it is not practicable. Nor is their gathering round the altar an excuse: they should not have been invited to do this in the first place.
On no account may the people be permitted to recite with the priest any part of the Eucharistic Prayer or Canon, not even the doxology at the end — which would destroy the whole impact of what does belong to the people, the "great amen", their affirmation of all that has gone before. Granted that the full force of the amen is only realized when the doxology is sung, the priest can nevertheless elicit a more than perfunctory response by reciting the doxology in a slightly raised voice and at a slightly reduced pace.
Care should he taken before giving out communion to genuflect before the ciborium, whether this has been brought from the tabernacle or whether the hosts in it have been consecrated in the same Mass. if any hosts are left after communion there should be another genuflection when the ciborium has been placed on the altar.
Communion is always to be administered to the people; they should never be encouraged to help themselves from the chalice placed on the altar for that purpose.
The giving of communion is a ministerial function, and if layfoik are promoted to this office, they are 'lieutenants' of the ordained clergy, and they should be clad as ministers of the altar.
To give thy blessing the priest holds his hands together before his chest, and then while saying the words parts his hands and joins them again. Then while the right hand describes the sign of the cross towards the people (the fingers held straight and 'culling' with the little finger), the left hand is placed, fingers together, on the chest. The hands are then brought together for the lie missa est.
The priest kisses the altar at the end of Mass with — as at the beginning — a certain deliberateness.
It would help the spirit and general appearance of reverence II' at the Offertory the priest were to make the sign of the cross over the corporal with the paten and the chalice hefore replacing them after the prayer of offering. This may be the more desirable when Mass is said facing the people. Likewise it would add to the solemnity if the priest were to make the sign of the cross with the host and with the chalice as he says (silently) Corpus . Sunguis Christi ete,, before communicating himself.
In general when Mass is said in the old position some sign of reverence of perhaps a slight inclination of the head should he made before turning away from the altar or on turning back to it. When the sanclissimum is on the altar and the priest turns to the people to say "The peace of the Lord", he ought to make a stronger sign f reverence perhaps a deep bow.
Nothing has been said about solemn Mass though the new missal allows for degrees of solemnity. But those who have a right view of "simple" Mass will have no difficulty when it comes to higher degrees of solemnity. Simple Mass is to be regarded as an adaptation of solemn Mass, and not solemn Mass as the simple sort with bits added on to it.
The rite of Mass comprises ceremonies, and though these have been simplified In a greater or lesser degree, ceremonies they remain; and ceremony — public ceremony — requires attention to detail if il is to be fully expressive. Not all will agree with all that has been said here, hut if it contributes to a greater awareness of what celebrating Mass entails it will have served its purpose.