Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why does Fr. Hardesty do that?! Part 2

For the second installment in "Why does crazy Fr. Hardesty do that?!" I'm dropping the "crazy" but we all still know its true!

Question: "Why does Fr. Hardesty take so long to do the dishes after Communion?"

Answer: Well if it was just a matter of doing dishes, I probably wouldn't do them at all! They would probably stay piled up on the credence table until Fr. Chuck finally did them! I'm not a very domesticated guy! But its about more than doing the dishes, its about purifying the vessels, not in the sense that they have been sullied bit in the sense of preparing sacred vessels for sacred use. This has ritualistic and devotional connotations. So then its not about being slow and mechanical but being reverent and careful. St. Thomas Aquinas taught us that as long as it still has the characteristics of bread and wine to the naked eye then it still is the Body and Blood of Christ. Without being scrupulous, what looks like a bread crumb is still the Body of Christ and what looks like a drop of wine is still the Blood of Christ. Therefore I try to be very careful with how I collect/consume/repose What remains after Communion.  On Sundays most of the vessels are purified at the credence table by the deacon which expedites this greatly.

I purify my chalice and paten at the altar because in the Missal there is a private prayer between the priest and God that is said during this: "What has passed our lips as food O Lord may we receive with purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity."

Finally, the time after Communion is a beautiful time to speak intimately with the Lord who loves us and is living in us through the Eucharist we have just received. It is a time for praying to the Lord as a friend, thanking him, telling him about our day, asking for his help, etc. If we are praying during this time, the priest wont even be noticed.

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