communion rail


I’m considering venturing to Manchester, about 20 miles from where I live in Warrington in the north of the UK on sunday to attend my first ever LM, being only 20 years old. My question is this, I know you dont reply in the LM the way you are required to do in the NO, but what about communion? What are you supposed to do? How do you appoach the altar, same as in the NO? And what do you do at the rail? And are you expected to recive the Blessed sacrament on your tongue? Sorry for the dumb questions!



See this is where I have a problem with some folk who change rite for no good reason. Unless there is a very good reason why you cannot or will not attend your usual Parish Church for Mass then I suggest you stick with it. Under no circumstances should we entertain another rite simply out of curiosity. It does no one any good at all.

This post typifies the preoccupation with what to do physically that the spiritual dimension seems lost completely. The answer is very simple indeed: You simply approach the Blessed Sacrament the same way you would at each and every Mass with profound interior recollection and in the state of grace.

This is enough to worry about instead of having to worry about posture, hand, tongue etc. You did not make it clear if it was Tridentine or No in Latin so I will share both scenarios.

If the LM is a Tridentine one then you kneel, receive on the tongue and say nothing. When the Priest distributes the Host you omit the ‘Amen’.

If the Mass is the NO in Latin then it is slightly different.
If there is an Altar rail and you wish to kneel, kneel. If there is no Altar rail then a sign of reverence is expected before you receive whether it is a genuflection or a dignified bow.

It is permitted to receive Holy Communion either by hand or by tongue, but it is preferred that you receive by tongue. Again it is a personal preference.

If the Pastor of that Church has a desire to distribute Holy Communion on the tongue to the kneeling faithful, it will become apparent very quickly.

If you are not sure what to do even when you get there don’t be first to go for Communion. Wait and observe but there again even that steals proper time from preparation.


I’m a little confused as to what you are saying. Are you saying that if my usual Parish Church has a NO that I should attend there rather than attempt to go out of my way to attend a TLM simply because I want the experience?

How is the TLM supposed to grow in use if no one will go out of their way to attend one, even if out of curiousity?


I’m afraid, sir, that I’ll have to disagree with you there.:slight_smile: The Church’s Liturgy is made up of many rites, and each shows the cultural expression and development of worship, to the point that it forms part of our Faith Heritage. His Holiness, Benedixt XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis has said that the Holy Spirit has guided this process of development. So it is beneficial to see how the Church in all her rites celebrates the Paschal Mystery.

Finally, it is very important for Latin Rite Catholics, [edited by Moderator] to see how our forefathers worshipped and what the Mass is meant to be like, which is most easily done in going to a good Classical Roman Mass (ie the Traditional Latin Mass).

To the OP, I hope your visit to the Latin Mass will be as beneficial and inspiring to you as it has been to me and to countless others. After a while you start to wonder how you prayed with the guitars and banal rock songs.:smiley:

Yes you receive the Blessed Sacrament on your tongue, the Priest will say “Corpus domini nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam Amen” (in english “may the body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep your soul unto everlasting life”). You do not say Amen, you just stick your tongue out and hold your head back as you receive Christ’s own Body into yours.:slight_smile:


I can see now that I was not too clear on the subject. My apologies. What I am trying to say is that if the Parish the OP attends offers a reverent New Rite Mass then I cannot see why someone would consider travelling 20 miles for another rite. The Church has made it clear that both rites offer the same sacrifice and both are acceptable to Heaven.

There are no extra graces, no extra bonus points in Heaven for ditching your reverent New Rite Parish Mass simply to attend something that maybe provides greater consolation to the senses. Our faith is not dependant on emotion.

If on the other hand the Parish cannot offer the Holy Sacrifice without the presence of serious abuses then I can understand. I have considered it myself seeing some of the nonsense that happens in my own Parish. Yet I have always decided to stay to console the Lord during these moments.

In answer to your last question, something that has been assigned the title of ‘Extraordinary’ should remain just that and it is not envisaged that it would become ordinary. That is unless you think the ‘Eucharistic Ministers’ were right to ignore the title ‘Extraordinary’ in favour of becoming ‘Ordinary’?


How about folks who are interested in the old Mass? How is interest ever supposed to pick up if we tell people you need an excuse to go the TLM? If the priest says the black and does the red in haste is that a good enough reason to go to the TLM?

There is absolutely no need for an “excuse” to go to the TLM-whether your parish has a decent NO or not. I went to an Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy (without any excuse) and I am glad I did. I also started out going to the TLM just because I wanted to experience it.


Hmmm…no extra bonus points, huh? I may have to rethink this … :smiley:

All kidding aside, thank you for clarifying your thoughts. I have to say that I love my NO parish and I have never seen the abuses that are talked about frequently at CAF. However, being a convert to the Catholic Church, I do feel the urge to explore her history more deeply than maybe others would. My husband, a faithful cradle Catholic, looks at me like I have two heads when I express my desire to attend the TLM. He is happy where he is at and that is fine. And it may be that I will still prefer the NO after attending a TLM. But I do feel that I should give it a try, even if out of curiousity.


I guess I don’t understand your attitude and I am sonewhat dismayed by it. First of all, I remember the TLM from when I was younger. When I found out we had a church that offers the TLM on a daily basis, I started going there. Nothing against my own parish where I am registered…where I go every Saturday for vigil Mass and where I contribute time and money…but I also want to experience what I feel to be a most beutiful and sacred rite…to me! My parish does not have any abuses and I feel as close to the Lord when I go there for a NO Mass as I do when I go to a TLM.

I started going about 3 months ago, and I to was like the OP poster asking questions and answers wer given in a very helpful manner by members here. I would ahve been slightly taken aback if someone would have given me the answer you have given.

My Bishop has seen fit to offer the TLM here in this diocese in a very fair and generous way…so we can all partake of it if that is OUR choice. I go 3 times as far everyday to attend the TLM…time well spent.

To the OP…you will enjoy the experience, I am sure…and God Bless…

BTW…just follow along with what the others are doing and you will do fine.



To the replies in this post, thankyou. To Fergal, i must say im a little hurt by your comments. to claim i am considering switching from the NO mass to the TLM for “No good reason” is a little hurtful. First off, you dont know my situation. I have grown up with the new mass and would like to experience what the latin tridentine mass is all about, because my local church is very modernised with guiatars and singing of the eucharistic prayers and so forth.

Due to this, i moved to a parish in my town instead, a little longer to travel but now i get a very reverent, spoken mass instead. Also, the church is more traditional looking, unlike my local church which has the appearance of a doctors surgery!

However, im only 20. I have grown up on this version of the mass and i often, before the Motu Proprio, felt like i wanted something more, soemthing that made me feel even closer to God, i felt that this something was the TLM. The MP has given me the choice to go to the LM so why shouldnt I? Why should i not be curious? Why should I not worry about how to behave in parts of the mass? I simply wouldnt want to cause offence to those who have a close affiliation with the TLM, so would like to know what to do. To claim i am preoccupied with actions rather than the spiritual meaning is unfair.

To simplify, im going to atend the TLM to see what my forefathers did, and because i feel the mass i attend now is lacking somewhat spiritually. Yes, it may not be all guitars and singing, and it is very reverent, but i have a feeling i would appreicate the old latin mass a lot more, thats all. cant blame me for wanting to find out. yes, there is a degree of curiosity, but its spiritual curiosity:)


My wife and I, and our four young children belong to a very orthodox Roman Catholic church that’s 25 miles one way from our home. There are at least 20 other “Catholic” churches that are closer to our home, but it’s well worth the drive to belong to a parish whose priests are faithful to the teachings of the Church, and who offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the way the Church intends…no “innovations” done here.

We attend the NO Mass (in English) there on a daily basis, and on Sundays, we attend both the NO Mass followed by the Tridentine (old Latin) Mass (we’re blessed that our bishop gave the indult many years ago).

We love the NO Mass when it’s done properly, but we’ve also fallen in love with the Tridentine Mass. Come Sept. 14th, our parish will also offer the Tridentine Mass on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in addition to the current Sunday Tridentine Mass.

All I can say is, we’re really looking forward to it. In spite of our very faithful priests celebrating the NO Mass with the greatest of reverence (it’s as good as it gets), we cannot ignore the fact that the Tridentine Mass is even more reverent and beautiful.

We never would’ve known any of this if we hadn’t been “curious” enough to attend our first Tridentine Mass last year.

May God bless you on your journey, Matt. :signofcross:



I cannot understand why you think that this young person wanting to go to a traditional mass is doing something wrong. I was at a TLM this evening and was reading the front page of the missal where they have a quote from Pope John Paul II basically stating that if anyone has a desire to go to a TLM they should be given the opportunity, thus his reason for permitting it. He never said anything about having to go to your own parish simply because it’s near you and having to spend time discerning whether you have a good enough reason to go to a TLM. I went because I was born after Vatian 2 and never experienced the Latin mass, so is simple curiosity wrong? My parish is full of liturgical abuses and that’s why I am travelling 45 minutes to the one church in the entire dioceses that offers the TLM. The church is a small one located in kind of an industrial area so pretty much everybody going there is coming from areas where they have their own parishes. The church wouldn’t survive if it had to rely on people from it’s direct vicinity attending. I’m still dumbfounded over this post.:shrug:

To the OP, go for it. And I understand why you asked the questions that you did. When I first went I didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to do something that would be considered offensive to the priest and parishioners. I sat in the back row and watched what everyone did when they went up to the communion rail. Then I got in line and went up.

Keep asking the questions!:thumbsup:


I am so glad you are still going to attend. If I had a TLM anywhere near me (meaning within an hour and half) I would go for no other reason than just to go. I have been to several, I travel for work a lot and when I do, I search out the TLM, and feel closer to God and Heaven more than any other time, ever. It’s beautiful, reverent, and mysterious.

Go, you will experience something great. The reason I can say that so strongly is because it can’t be helped but to experience something great. I don’t know if the person who left the second comment on this thread has been or not, but I hope they do sometime.


Go for it, my friend! You’ll like it!

I’m a cradle Catholic baptized at age of 8 days in the mid 1950’s, and so grew up with the Tridentine Mass and so was glad to more directly relate to what was happening at Mass when it was said in English… though the priest facing the congregation makes it feel more to me like a company “board meeting” than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That’s just me… or maybe, not just me.

Anyhow, in the last couple of dozen years I’ve come to miss the deep solemnity I experienced from the Tridentine Mass rite. The Novus Ordo Masses that I attend now vary in their levels of solemnity… and one Mass I attend (it’s an evening Mass on a Sunday that I go to when I miss the morning Mass) has not only guitars (shades of the 70’s!) but drums, too!!! It’s a Youth Mass that focuses on paying special attention to the teens in the parish who are vibrant with Faith and loyal Catholics. Still… as good as it is, it’s not the same “feeling” that I get from the more solemn “Latin” – Tridentine Mass.

Your curiosity – “spiritual” or otherwise – is leading you to discover what really is not able to be expressed by me in my words. You’ll just have to celebrate that Mass, yourself.

May our Lord be with you!! Pax vobiscum!!


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