low EF Mass

In the low EF Mass, how can the laity effectively participate in the Mass when they are separated by a communion rail?

Does a short barrier that does not block even so much as sight negate participation?


Let’s first agree on what “effective participation” is.

What does “effective participation” mean to you?

Through prayer, How do Eastern Orthodox/Catholics actively participate when they are separated by the Iconostasis or the Anglicans by some of their (very ornate) Rood Screens?

The same way the Jews did in the Temple Sacrifices of the Levitical Priesthood:through prayer

Off topic: Can we bring back Rood Screens? The one in my nearby (medieval) Anglican Parish is simply beautiful! :o

Rood screens can indeed be lovely, but let’s not get carried away. In a great many places it’s nearly impossible to get a simple altar rail installed or restored. Just think what would happen with a Rood. :eek:

I’m sure I could convince the nearby Oratory, they have already kicked up a fuss by changing their principal Mass on Sunday to a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind causing a little bit more controversy :stuck_out_tongue:

Many old prayer books (if you can’t buy one, you’ll find some PDF scans through Google Books) have prayers for Mass participation. Since the average lay person didn’t know Latin and couldn’t hear the priest anyway, they would pray certain prayers depending on what was happening in the Liturgy. At least that way one would be attentive and prayerful and supporting the work of the priest through prayer.

One example can be found in the Augustinian Manual on page 93.

I just have to ask: unless you’re planning on dancing into the sanctuary, what effect does the rail have on your participation. We need a healty reminder that God is above us.

I just want to know how i could enhance my participation in the low EF mass.

I’m not sure the altar rail is effecting anything.

By praying.

What form does your participation take in an OF mass which does not have a communion rail?

I’m not trying to put you on the spot. I just want to better understand your question as concerns the communion rail.

I also am a little confused. How does a structure that does not block your view limit your participation in Mass.

I do not have an EF Mass anywhere around,maybe nowhere in our diocese even, so take with a grain of salt. My approach to Mass is first to listen and comtemplate. I like to arrive a little early and sit towards the front if possible. But in an case to listen and pray quietly and then participation flows from that.

I don’t know how EF low masses are conducted, but in the Episcopal Church, it is quite common to have a “low” Holy Communion at 8:00 on Sunday. Typically this service is without any music and is conducted in quiet simplicity. Often, in the US, Rite 1, in traditional language is used. I attend one of these every week and we all participate by reading the prayers that are appointed for the congregation, with feeling.

I suppose if you don’t know Latin, the EF would be a challenge, high or low, but as a good Episcopalian, I taught myself enough Latin to be dangerous when it was not offered by my high school.

I doubt that a rood screen is the best idea. I think Catholic Churches should simply install communion rails. How you live without them is beyond me.


The most effective and complete way to actively participate in any Mass is to worthily receive communion.

But they are so beautiful (when done well) :frowning:
Oh well, best I should work on getting the Communion rails reinstalled before attempting to convince anyone to reinstall a Rood Screen :stuck_out_tongue:

And prayer

Well it does make kneeling to receive easier.

I’m just gonna add my vote into I don’t really understand the question as I don’t see how the communion rail would limit ones participation in any respect…

A rood screen would block the laity from actively participating in the mass. Even altar rails might get in the way of … what, I’m not sure. But they might.


This is clearly a bait thread. Don’t bother responding (clearly, I am a hypocrite).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.