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Bob Ricci wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Could you please comment on the correct or suggested reverential posture at Mass after the consecration when the host is elevated and then when the chalice is elevated?

I see some people bowing their heads and averting their eyes entirely from both the elevated host and the chalice out of reverence.

It was my understanding that the bells being rung originated as a way to let the congregation know that Jesus' Real Presence was now among us, so it does not seem advisable to me that one should entirely avert the eyes in a prolonged bow of the head.

It has always been my practice to slightly bow the head (we are kneeling at this time) and then look directly at the raised Host and Chalice, silently praying words like "My Lord and My God." to acknowledge that the Real Presence of Jesus is now on the altar.

Thanks so much for your kind advice on this.

Bob

  { What is the correct, reverential posture at Mass during the consecration of the Eucharist? }

Mary Ann replied:

Bob,

One can do whatever local custom and devotion inspire, as long as one does not disrupt the assembly or draw attention to oneself.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the very good question.

Mary Ann's answer was spot on. There is no one correct, reverential posture at Mass that the faithful are bound to follow, though private, personal practices, similar to the one you follow, should be encouraged.

As a refresher for what is going on during the consecration, in another answer I gave
I said:

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a symbolic act that brings forth a reality. The priest consecrates the wheat bread, into the Body Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. After that, he consecrates the grape wine into the Body Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. [The wheat bread and grape wine still have the taste, touch, look and feel of wheat bread and grape wine, but their substances, the thing that holds them together have been changed; this is the prime area of faith for the Catholic, and faith is something that is totally independent from our five senses.]

Those two separate consecrations change the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into both the Body and Blood of Christ and also symbolize death because they are done separately.

e.g. If I separated the blood in your body from your body, would you still be alive?

Personally, from the time the priest mentions the words of consecration over the wheat bread to the time he mentions the words of consecration over the grape wine, I am bowing my head and privately offering all my prayers, works, joys, suffering and, most of, all my petitions.

Side note: Anything I think I can't recall during this brief period of time, I ask my guardian angel to help me out with. You can probably make up a personal prayer asking him to help you offer everything up that you want.

The One Divine Death of Our Lord that we re-enter into at every Mass is the high point of Catholic Christian worship.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Bob replied:

Mike and Mary Ann,

Thanks for your helpful comments to my inquiry.

Bob

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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