I got into a brief debate with a co-worker over this subject today. I was talking about benediction, she doesn’t remember it at all from when she was a child, nor has she been to it as an adult. I was taught by my very orthodox organist that the purpose of veiling the priest’s hands with the hummeril veil during benediction is to demonstrate that Christ whom is present in the blessed sacrament is blessing us. (Hence the name “benediction”)
She went off on me that is post-Vatican II thinking. Why would the hummeril veil stand for that, when Jesus works through the priest? I explained that I was taught that Jesus works through the priest at certain points only, such as: the celebration of the Eucharist, confession, annointing the sick, and giving blessings. In this case Jesus is present already. She said she was not taught that at all in her day. I said that she was not taught properly the priest is not persona christi 24-7, only at the certain points I mentioned. She then went off stating nah, I’m wrong, this thinking has led to lay ministers distributing communion, communion on the hand, etc, etc. If you ask me, I think she just got mad because I am younger then her and I was correcting her. I am not here to start a debate about how communion is distrubuted and the current trend of lay people’s involvement at Mass. I only want to know about what was the pre-Vatican II teaching on the priesthood. Is it that the Jesus works through the priest at certain points, or is it 24-7. What was the pre-Vatican II teaching?