Archbishop Ranjith's intervention into the debate about recieving Holy Communion can only be helpful.
I am trying to train myself to always say "Holy Communion" rather than just "Communion".
I think being able to receive under both kinds is a good thing.
My problems with it are:
- The multiplication of vessels, the ideal is the biblical, "one bread and one cup", it is an important sign of unity. Even in the ancient Papal Masses there seems to have been only one ciborium and one chalice.
- Where there is no deacon the priest vested and standing in the centre of the church distributes the Sacred Host and an Extrordinary Minister of Holy Communion dressed in lay clothes or as an altar server distributes the Precious Blood to one side, this seems to say the Blood of Christ is less than the Body of Christ.
- The use of Extraordinary Ministers, though valuable, is hardly a good idea, even though in this parish it means the sick can receive weekly rather than monthly, the fact they are used diminishes the role of the priest (or deacon) and their connection to the Eucharist and introduces a heirarchy into reception of Communion and into the Church. Being "Extraordinary" means that they are not normal, and the church craves normality: more priests.
- Despite having allowed, and encouraged it in our diocese for twenty-five years the reception under both kinds is very patchy, I was at a Confirmation Mass at which less than a third received from the chalice. Most people ignored the Sacred Species under the form of wine which seemed to suggest it was less than that received the form of bread
People ask me to restore the altar rails, not as a means of separating the sanctuary from the nave but simply so that the elderly might have something to hold onto whilst receiving.
One good thing, so many of our younger people genuflect before receiving, younger people seem to want to receive on the tongue according to the Church's norm rather than in the hand according to the special indult, this could be because here in Brighton we are a multi-cultural parish.
For our Polish community the problem is that so many people simply do not recieve Holy Communion for the rest of us the problem is the other way round.