I am still thinking about the recent poll regarding the lack of belief in the Eucharist among Catholics.
So just posting as things cross my mind. I don’t want to make the mistake of saying “Fix this one thing” and everything will be fine. So this blogging will be on aspects and not making a systematic plan for renewal. Plus I will take this GKC quote in mind.
“The Reformer is always right about what’s wrong. However, he’s often wrong about what is right.” G.K. Chesterton
One of the things I have noticed in my own diocese over the years is the increased use of a credence table.
A small table of wood, marble, or other suitable material placed within the sanctuary of a church and near the wall at the Epistle side, for the purpose of holding the cruets, acolytes’ candles, and other utensils required for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice.
Mainly the use I have noticed is that it is now being used for the purification of the vessels after Communion. As I remember before there were smaller credence tables in use and I have been seeing them increase in size to accommodate this use.
There is a reason I really don’t like this trend and I see it as part of the loss of faith in the Eucharist. For one thing, I love to watch a priest purify the vessels after Communion. Especially when done with careful attention. That this is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ and you really want to make sure there are no leftover particles or his body or precious blood. For some priests, I think I could have come to faith in the Eucharist just by seeing their Eucharistic piety. The purification of the vessels is an important part of the Mass.
Unfortunately, I see the increased use of the credence table as if this rite was now the “cleaning of the dishes.” Moving from the altar to the side where usually you can not even see the priest purify the vessels, just his back. Although it is not the priest facing away, the deemphasis of the purification. I can see no reason either logistically or theologically to move this from the altar to the credence table.
Plus I get rather suspicious about such trends that usually start from some infertile mind of a liturgist somewhere and take off for no good reason that it is different.
I see this as more of a symptom than a cause. Truly though we have now for some time about the loss of belief in the Eucharist and so any deemphasis just makes no real sense.