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2148 Thu 26 Jul 2001

I visited my aunt in hospital this morning and she has had the operation to repair her hip this afternoon. She was quite cheerful after a couple of difficult days since she had her fall.

This evening I have written on the Forum of www.catholic-pages.com:

The question raised was whether it is a "liturgical abuse". I understand this to be about the important issue of whether a liturgical law is being broken. To operate effectively I think the Church needs laws for such situations, rather than individual assessments of what irreverent.

The "Directory for Masses with Children" allows changes in things like the Creed. But here is what it has for this part of the Mass:

"D. Rites Before Communion

53. When the eucharistic prayer has ended, the Lord's Prayer, the breaking of bread, and the invitation to communion should always follow, because these elements have the principal significance in the structure of this part of the Mass.

E. Communion and the Following Rites

54. Everything should be done so that the children who are properly disposed and who have already been admitted to the eucharist may go to the holy table calmly and with recollection and thus take part fully in the eucharistic mystery. If possible, there should be singing, suited to the children, during the communion procession."

It makes no provision for children to come to the altar for the Lord's Prayer. This could be changed. According to the Directory for Masses with Children, n 33: "If, in accord with the norm of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, [n. 21] a conference of bishops adapts the gestures and postures at Mass to the mentality of a people, it should take the special condition of children into account or should decide on certain adaptions that are for children only." But I am not aware of such a change having been made by any country's Conference of Bishops.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 26 July 2001.