Moderator’s note: “Non solum” is a new feature at Pray Tell for our readership community to discuss practical liturgical issues. The title comes from article 11 of the Vatican II liturgy constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Therefore there is to be vigilance among holy pastors that in liturgical action not only are laws for valid and licit celebration to be observed, but that the faithful should participate knowingly, actively, and fruitfully.” (Ideo sacris pastoribus advigilandum est ut in actione liturgica non solum observentur leges ad validam et licitam celebrationem, sed ut fideles scienter, actuose et fructuose eandem participent.) May the series contribute to good liturgical practice – not only following the law, but especially grasping the spirit of the liturgy! – awr
Today’s Question: Distributing Communion from the Tabernacle
We all know the ideal: that the faithful all receive Communion from bread and wine consecrated at that Mass as a fuller sharing in the sacrifice in which all are participating. This ideal has been expressed repeatedly down through the centuries – the liturgy geeks out there can look up the references for us if they want. Practically, how does this work? How do you gauge it so that you’ve consecrated the right amount? If you realize you need more or fewer hosts during Mass, how do you gracefully adjust things without causing a distraction? What do you do when your tabernacle gets overfilled – say, because much bread was consecrated for a wedding or funeral but few received? And if you do have to distribute hosts from the tabernacle, how do you do it so as to minimize it and not draw emphasis to use of the tabernacle? In my experience, this ideal is a tricky one to implement. Your thoughts?