Saturday, March 29, 2008

Communion Rails


The railing which guards the sanctuary and separates the latter from the body of the church is also called the communion-rail as the faithful kneel at it when receiving Holy Communion.
It is made of carved wood, metal, marble, or other precious material; it should be about two feet six inches high, and on the upper part from six to nine inches wide.




The church prescribes that a clean white cloth be extended before those who receive Holy Communion. This cloth is to be of fine linen, as it is solely intended as a sort of corporal to receive the particles which may fall from the hands of the priest. It is usually fastened on the sanctuary side and when in use is drawn over the top of the rail. It should extend the full length of the rail, and be about two feet wide, so that the communicant, taking it in both hands, may hold it under his chin. Its very purpose suggests that it is not to be made of lace or netting, although there is nothing to forbid its having a border of fine lace.




Instead of this cloth, a paten, to which a handle may be attached may be used. These latter are usually passed from one communicant to the other, and when the last at the end of the rail at the Gospel side has received Holy Communion the altar boy carries the paten to the first communicants at the Epistle side. A consecrated paten may never be placed for this purpose in the hands of lay persons.

3 comments:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Alar rais are amazing and humbling. Vatican II as you know didn't say to get rid of them. My Church still has theirs untouched. Are yours still present, or have they been wreckovated?

Catholic Teen- said...

No altar rails for us, actually we are a small town parish and the old church was torn down years ago (to improve space) and they built a new one that is shaped like a crown... Ya, that pretty much says it all, but we make do, you can see the picture on the side bar. It's not bad, and considering we aren't rolling in the money..

Thanks for your comments, and send my blog around if you could- =D

Nate-

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