Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bishop celebrates the Mass of Ages

Yesterday saw the first celebration of a Pontifical High Mass by a diocesan bishop in his own cathedral in quite a while.

Deo gratias. Long live Bishop Tobias.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Only the Priest Could Distribute Holy Communion

Here's a Catholic Answers post I just tried to reply to:

Re: Communion in the hand

Originally Posted by ANNE 2 View Post
Br. JR, OSF have you seen what is posted on the Vatican web site.
It is closer to Voris's statements than yours.

Further the Holy Father only gives Holy Communion on the Tongue and while kneeling, since 2008 per the Vatican web site.

Yes, indeed St. Thomas Aquinas was the Voris quote about Priests, and that is also on the Vatican web site.
Be careful. Go back to the site. It says

"Saint Thomas Aquinas also refers to the practice of receiving Holy Communion only on the tongue. He affirms that touching the Body of the Lord is proper only to the ordained priest."

Then it moves right on without telling the reader that this never became law in the Latin Church and that in fact, it is contrary to current Canon Law in the Latin Church. Canon Law says, as I quoted above, that deacons are also Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. We know that the hands of the deacon are not consecrated.

The thread was locked while I was composing my reply, but I suspect the issue will arise again, so I'm saving my comment:

"Then it moves right on without telling the reader that this never became law in the Latin Church"

Are you sure that this was never the law?

Canon 845 of the 1917 code of canon law:

§1. The ordinary minister of Holy Communion is only a priest.

§2. A deacon is an extraordinary [minister], authorized by the local Ordinary or a pastor, granted for grave cause, which in case of legitimate necessity is presumed.

I can't quote earlier canon law, but the Council of Trent (session 13, chapter 8) decreed:

"Now as to the reception of the sacrament, it was always the custom in the Church of God, that laymen should receive the communion from priests; but that priests when celebrating should communicate themselves; which custom, as coming down from an apostolical tradition, ought with justice and reason to be retained."

and the Roman Catechism, referring to that decree, stated:
It must be taught, then, that to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful the Holy Eucharist. That this has been the unvarying practice of the Church, that the faithful should receive the Sacrament from the priests, and that the officiating priests should communicate themselves, has been explained by the holy Council of Trent, which has also shown that this practice, as having proceeded from Apostolic tradition, is to be religiously retained, particularly as Christ the Lord has left us an illustrious example thereof, having consecrated His own most sacred body, and given it to the Apostles with His own hands.
followed even more explicitly by:

To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion.

Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the Eucharist.

Happy Easter to anyone who visits this blog.

"Christ is risen indeed!"

"And hath appeared unto Simon!" [Luke 24:34]



On the Minister of Holy Communion

From the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law:

Canon 845

§1. The ordinary minister of Holy Communion is only a priest.

§2. A deacon is an extraordinary [minister], authorized by the local Ordinary or a pastor, granted for grave cause, which in case of legitimate necessity is presumed.

Canon 846

§1. Any priest whatsoever, during Mass and, if he celebrates privately, even just before and immediately after, can administer Holy Communion, though observing the prescription of Canon 869.

§2. Even outside of Mass any priest whatsoever, if he is a stranger, partakes of the same faculty with the at least presumed permission of the rector of the church.

Canon 847

Holy Communion is to be brought to the sick publicly, unless a just and reasonable cause persuades otherwise.

Canon 848

§1. The right and duty of bringing Holy Communion publicly to the infirm, even non-parishioners outside the church, belongs to the pastor within his territory.

§2. Other priests may do this only in case of necessity or with the at least presumed permission of their pastor or the Ordinary.

Canon 849

§1. Any priest can bring private Communion to the infirm with at least the presumed permission of the priest to whom custody of the Most Holy Sacrament is committed.

§2. Whenever Holy Communion is privately administered to the infirm, the reverence and decency that is due to such a holy sacrament is be carefully observed, according to the prescriptive norms of the Apostolic See.

Canon 850

It belongs to the pastor in accord with Canon 848, with due regard for the prescription of Canons 397, n. 3, and 514, §§ 1-3, to bring Holy Communion in the form of Viaticum to the sick, whether publicly or privately.

Canon 851

§1. Priests will distribute Holy Communion [made from] leavened or unleavened bread according to the proper rites.

§2. Where necessity urges and there is not present a priest of a different rite, it is permitted to an oriental priest who uses fermented bread to minister the Eucharist in unleavened [form], and likewise to a latin or oriental priest who uses unleavened [bread] to use leavened [bread]; each must observe his own rites of administration.

Canon 852

The Most Holy Eucharist is to be given only under the form of bread.

Canon 868

A celebrating priest is not allowed to distribute the Eucharist during Mass to those faithful who are so distant from him that he loses sight of the altar.

Canon 869

Holy Communion can be distributed wherever it is permitted to celebrate Mass, even in a private oratory, unless the local Ordinary, for just cause, prohibits it in particular cases.

Canon 1274

§1. In churches or oratories to which it is given to preserve the most holy Eucharist, there can be private exposition, that is, with a pyx, for any just reason without the permission of the Ordinary; but public exposition, that is, with a monstrance on the feast of the Body of Christ and within the octave, can be done in all churches within solemn Mass and vespers; but at other times, it shall not [be done] unless there is just and grave cause, especially for public [exposition] and then with the permission of the local Ordinary, even though a church belongs to an exempt religious [institute].

§2. The minister of exposition and reposition of the Most Holy Sacrament is a priest or deacon; but the minister of the Eucharistic blessing is only a priest, nor can a deacon impart it, except in that case where he brings Viaticum to the infirm according to the norm of Canon 845, § 2.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Resurrection Homily of St. John Chrysostom

Let all pious men and lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast. Let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord. Let those who have born the burden of Lent now receive their pay. And those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward. Let anyone who came after the third hour be grateful to join the feast. And those who may have come after the sixth hour, let them not be afraid of being too late, for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first.

He gives rest to him who comes on the eleventh hour as well as to him who has toiled from the first. Yes, He has pity on the last and He serves the first. He rewards the one and is generous to the other. He repays the deed and praises the effort.

Come you all, enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward. You rich and you poor, dance together. You sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day. You who have kept the fast and you who have not, rejoice today. The table is richly laden, enjoy the royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one, let no one go away hungry.

All of you, enjoy the banquet of faith; all of you receive the riches of His goodness. Let no one grieve over his poverty, for the universal has been revealed. Let no one weep over his sins, for pardon has shone from the grave. Let no one fear death for the death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed death by enduring it. He has despoiled Hades by going down into its kingdom. He has angered it by allowing it to taste of His flesh.

When Isaiah foresaw this, he cried, “O Hades, you have been angered by encountering Him in the nether world.”

Hades is angered because it is frustrated. It is angered because it has been mocked. It is angered because it was destroyed. It is angered because it has been reduced to naught. It is angered because it is now captive. It seized a Body and, lo! It discovered God!

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished! Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead. Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power unto ages of ages. Amen.

Saint John Chrysostom (407)

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Limbo of the Fathers

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
"He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon."

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses' words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed

Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raising a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
"How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?"

Sister Mary Ada, C.S.J.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

The Lamb
Apocalypse 5 (Douay Rheims)

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it.

5 And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne.

8 And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints:

9 And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

10 And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands,

12 Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.

13 And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them: I heard all saying: To him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever.

14 And the four living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces, and adored him that liveth for ever and ever.

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Bible passage courtesy of

The Supper
Apocalypse 19:5-9 (Douay Rheims)

5 And a voice came out from the throne, saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants; and you that fear him, little and great.

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned.

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself.

8 And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints.

9 And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith to me: These words of God are true.

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Bible passage courtesy of

The Invitation and Warning
Apocalypse 3:15-22 (Douay Rheims)

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot.

16 But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold fire tried, that thou mayest be made rich; and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance.

20 Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

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Holy Thursday

Matthew 26:26-29 (Latin Vulgate)

26 Cœnantibus autem eis, accepit Iesus panem, et benedixit, ac fregit, deditque discipulis suis, et ait: Accipite, et comedite: hoc est corpus meum.

27 Et accipiens calicem gratias egit: et dedit illis, dicens: Bibite ex hoc omnes.

28 Hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

29 Dico autem vobis: non bibam amodo de hoc genimine vitis usque in diem illum, cum illud bibam vobiscum novum in regno Patris mei.

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Matthew 26:26-29 (Douay Rheims)

26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to His disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is My Body.

27 And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.

28 For this is My Blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

29 And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.

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Bible passage courtesy of

John 6:47-52 (Douay Rheims)

47 Amen, amen I say unto you: he that believeth in Me, hath everlasting life.

48 I am the Bread of Life.

49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.

50 This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.

51 I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven.

52 If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever; and the Bread that I will give, is My Flesh, for the life of the world.

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Ecclesiasticus 43:29-37 (Douay Rheims)

29 We shall say much, and yet shall want words: but the sum of our words is, He is all.

30 What shall we be able to do to glorify Him? for the Almighty himself is above all His works.

31 The Lord is terrible, and exceeding great, and His power is admirable.

32 Glorify the Lord as much as ever you can, for He will yet far exceed, and His magnificence is wonderful.

33 Blessing the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can: for He is above all praise.

34 When you exalt Him put forth all your strength, and be not weary: for you can never go far enough.

35 Who shall see him, and declare him? and who shall magnify him as he is from the beginning?

36 There are many things hidden from us that are greater than these: for we have seen but a few of His works.

37 But the Lord hath made all things, and to the godly He hath given wisdom.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crowned with Praise

On Thy way to die, they crowned Thee with praise.
      We raise our song to Thee, now King on high.


And on the next day, a great multitude that was to come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written:
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
John 12:12-15

The multitude praises our Lord today, but will soon turn the praises to curses.

Mercifully forgive them, O Lord who this day at least speak the truth, even if it is without understanding: that Thou art the true King of Israel, the true Son of God, forever blessed. Forgive us, O Lord, make us constant in devotion, and merciful in imitation of Thy utterly pure and holy mercy.


Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Emerging Anglican Ordinariates

The first group of Anglicans will be confirmed in the Catholic Church in eight days, with their pastors to be ordained on Pentecost. More will follow, God bless them.

I just learned about this today from this Catholic Answers post by a gentleman of good will, who, unfortunately, is himself separated from the Church with no immediate prospects of rejoining.

May God save us from the sins that separate us and lead us to true repentance and unity in Christ.

These interactive maps show the emerging Anglican ordinariates in Canada, the U.S., Scotland, Wales and England. Click here for a larger map with additional information.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Tabernacle in pre-1983 Canon Law

From the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law
(the canon law in effect when Eucharisticum Mysterium was published):

Canon 1268

§1. The most holy Eucharist cannot be kept continually, that is, habitually, except on only one altar of the church.

§2. It shall be kept in the most excellent and the most noble place of the church and therefore regularly on the major altar unless it seems that the veneration and cult of such a sacrament is more convenient and decent elsewhere, observing the prescriptions of liturgical law, which pertain to the final days of the great week.

§3. But in cathedral churches or in collegial or conventual ones in which choral functions are conducted at the main altar, lest ecclesiastical officials be impeded, it is opportune that the most holy Eucharist not regularly be kept at the major altar but in another chapel or altar.

§4. Let rectors of churches take care that the altar in which the most holy Sacrament is reserved be decorated above all the others so that by this appearance the faithful be moved to greater piety and devotion.

Canon 1269

§ 1 The most Holy Eucharist must be preserved in an immovable tabernacle located in the center part of the altar.

§ 2 The tabernacle shall be well-constructed, closed on all sites, decently decorated according to the norm of liturgical law, empty of all foreign things, and thus carefully kept so that any sort of danger of sacrilege or profanation is excluded.

§ 3 If grave causes, approved by the local Ordinary, so persuade, it is not forbidden to preserve the most Holy Eucharist at nighttime outside the altar but on a corporal in a safe and decent place with due regard for the prescription of Canon 1271.

§ 4 The key of the tabernacle in which the most Holy Sacrament is preserved must be diligently kept, gravely burdening the conscience of the priest who has care of the church or oratory.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Saint Vincent Ferrer

"In order to subdue his passions, he fasted rigorously from his childhood every Wednesday and Friday. The passion of Christ was always the object of his most tender devotion. The blessed Virgin he ever honoured as his spiritual mother. Looking on the poor as the members of Christ, he treated them with the greatest affection and charity... To the exercises of prayer and penance he joined the study and meditation of the holy scriptures and the reading of the fathers... The arms which the saint employed against the devil were prayer, penance, and a perpetual watchfulness over every impulse of his passions. His heart was always fixed on God, and he made his studies, labour, and all his other actions a continued prayer."In adulthood, he progressed in self-denial: "... he never ate flesh, fasted every day except Sundays, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he lived on bread and water, which course he held for forty years: he lay on straw or small twigs. He spent a great part of the day in the confessional..."

In his last days, "under the pains of his distemper, he never opened his mouth about his sufferings only to thank almighty God for making him, by a share in the cross, to resemble his crucified Son: for he suffered the sharpest agonies not only with resignation and patience, but with exultation and joy. His prayer and union with God he never interrupted."

"He reduces the rules of perfection to the avoiding three things: First, the exterior distraction of superfluous employs. Secondly, all interior secret elation of heart. Thirdly, all immoderate attachment to created things. Also to the practicing of three things: First, the sincere desire of contempt and abjection. Secondly, the most affective devotion to Christ crucified. Thirdly, patience in bearing all things for the love of Christ".

[quotes from the life of the saint written by Ranzano, Bishop of Lucera]


"Do you desire to study to your advantage? Let devotion accompany all your studies, and study less to make yourself learned than to become a saint. Consult God more than your books, and ask him, with humility, to make you understand what you read. Study fatigues and drains the mind and heart. Go from time to time to refresh them at the feet of Jesus Christ under his cross. Some moments of repose in his sacred wounds give fresh vigour and new lights. Interrupt your application by short but fervent and ejaculatory prayers; never begin or end your study but by prayer. Science is a gift of the Father of lights; do not therefore consider it as barely the work of your own mind or industry."

from A Treatise on a Spiritual Life, by St. Vincent Ferrer

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Laetare Sunday

Today's epistle:

Brethren, It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise; which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sinai, engendering unto bondage: which is Agar; for Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written:

“Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.”
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also it is now. But what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

Galatians 4:22-31

Commentary of Saint Thomas Aquinas: 1, 2, 3


What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who followed not after justice, have attained to justice, even the justice that is of faith. But Israel, by following after the law of justice, is not come unto the law of justice. Why so? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were of works. For they stumbled at the stumblingstone. As it is written: Behold I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and a rock of scandal; and whosoever believeth in him shall not be confounded.

Romans 9:30-33


And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3


May all our works be born out of faith in Christ, performed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and directed towards the glory of God, the Father Almighty.

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