But, for this post I shall focus on the EF Mass just to show what a blooming good and even handed fellow I am..... aherm.
The Domine non sum Dignus takes place, the altar servers receive the Host and then.....erm, then a bit of a pause and one or two souls timidly commence the process of leaving the pew while the Priest (and Our Lord) wait patiently by.
You might think that they were being invited to commit an act of self disembowelment with a rusty saw blade, such is their lack of enthusiasm to be there ready and waiting to receive their God.
The Priest (and Our Lord) are left waiting, not for long admittedly, but you just don't keep the Almighty hanging around while you wait to see if Mrs Hecklethwaite will make the first move.
In times gone by (yawn) we did not have this problem.
People would rise from their pews at the appropriate time and kneel in readiness for the most terrifying moment of our lives; that instant when we receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Maker.
Why and how you ask?
|Ivan Pavlov, famous Russian|
scientist who liked bells
(and meringue desserts)
In time, he only had to ring the bell and the dogs would start salivating in anticipation.
They were ready for the meal. Ever since, this experiment has been known as 'Pavlov's dogs' but it is a mystery to me why a meringue pudding should have been named after him, perhaps it was the salivation bit (no puns here, please).
Now, back to the Dark Ages of ignorance and superstition (pre Vatican II).
In those days the altar server rang a bell prior to Holy Communion and this was the call to the feast.
Immediately, (we were all sheep then) the faithful would leave their benches and process to the communion rails (also covered with a communion cloth, rarely seen today).
|Summoned by bells, just like|
And when in the Mass was this bell rung?
The moment the priest commenced to consume the Precious Blood; it also acted as a signal for the servers to commence the second Confiteor.
You know what? It was all so much simpler then!
Of course, some would be left queuing but that really is no different to the present day. The more devout and supple limbed would go down on one knee at the final "Domine non sum Dignus" and all was very satisfactory.
The Lord would not be kept waiting.
Photo: Lex Orandi
* Perfectionists and liturgists may wish to point out that the Sanctus bell was also rung three times at the final "Domine non sum dignus" (pre 1960) but this is a part that was omitted reasonably, or so I believe.