I am hoping to learn some things to help me adjust to Catholic liturgy, which seems in a lot of ways less formal than the high-church Anglo-catholic parish I come from. There are welcome additions I was already aware of (i.e., “may the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands…” and “I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word…”, etc.) but some things seem to be missing, at least partially:
1. Why no confeitor by congregation?
In my Episcopal parish, the congregation always did the “we humbly confess that we have sinned against you, in thought word and deed, by what we have done and by what…” Why is this not a part of the Catholic mass? We do have some sort of general absolution at the beginning of the Catholic mass, where the priest says everything and then asks that God forgive us our sins and bring us into everlasting life. But the congregation doesn’t seem to say anything. I was expecting to hear “by my fault, my own grevious fault” or something like that. Where is the confeitor?
2. Why no Thanksgiving After Communion by congregation?**
Again in the Episcopal church we prayed a prayer after communion, something to the effect of thanking God for “Most mercfiul God, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with the spiritfual food of the sacrament of his Body and Blood. Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us stength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart, through Christ our Lord, Amen.” Is there ever anything like this in the Roman rite?
3. Why no kneeling at the chancel rail to receive communion?**
I heard something once about the bishops thinking this looked like the congregation was being subservient to the bishop and so they didn’t want the faithful to kneel. Is this true?
4. Why no bowing before stepping up?**
Why did the church do away with most of the ceremonial gestures, like bowing and praying confeitor before approaching the high altar, etc. at Vatican II? Is there an explanation in official documents somewhere?
Some of my terminology might be off, so I’d be happy to clarify what I mean in case it’s confusing. Thanks!