Verba

As the celebrant chants the Words of Institution, he bows his head at Our Lord Jesus Christ, takes the celebrant's host between thumb and forefinger of both hands at took bread, lifts his eyes to heaven at had given thanks, and, while still holding the celebrant’s host between his left thumb and forefinger, he makes the sign of the cross with his right hand over this host, and over the paten containing the other hosts to be consecrated, touching the paten at four points of the cross he makes. Then, at the words of Christ, Take eat, etc., he bends over the hosts to be consecrated, holding the celebrant's host between thumb and forefinger of both hands, with both elbows on the altar. Though all these words are uttered slowly and distinctly, the words of Christ are uttered even more slowly than the rest. For the words This do in remembrance of me, the celebrant stands erect, still holding the host. Then he genuflects once, and elevates the host slowly, still facing the altar. Gazing at the host, he whispers “My Lord and my God,” lowers it, and genuflects a second time. From this point until the ablutions, the celebrant takes care never to separate his thumbs and index fingers except as needed to distribute Hosts. For the consecration of the wine, the same rubrics apply, except that the head is bowed rather than raised at had given thanks. While the celebrant makes the sign of the cross with his right hand at “given thanks” over the chalice, flagon, and tray, he places his left hand on the base of the chalice as a precaution. At “took the cup,” the chalice is held by the knop between the index and remaining fingers, while the index finger and thumb are held together (to keep any crumbs from the sacred host from falling). After “in remembrance of me,” he sets the chalice on the corporal without removing his hands from it, genuflects, and then elevates the chalice while gazing at it as he had done with the host, this time whispering, “We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood,” lowers it, and genuflects a second time.

6 comments:

Mark said...

What is the significance and historical background of the elbows on the altar?

Father Eckardt said...

The significance of this is that the celebrant is making it abundantly clear by his actions--he leans over the elements directly as he speaks the Verba--that it is these words of Christ which make these particular elements what they are, His Body and Blood.

This has a long historical precedent; I believe it is Tridentine and probably Gregorian.

Mark said...

Thank you, we were discussing rubrics in class and my prof. asked if any of us knew about the practice, which is mentioned by Piepkorn (sp?) We were also wondering why there is a suggestion to make a small crack in the wafer during the Verba. Not break, which is understood, but crack . Any thoughts?

Father Eckardt said...

I believe that this is called the fracture, and it is a definite rubric in the Roman rite, in imitation of Christ's action, "the breaking of the bread."

Fr John W Fenton said...

In the Roman Rite, the fracture is made after the Canon of the Mass, not at the words "broke it" or "brake it." The fracture is made over the chalice, the host being broken in two pieces, and then a small portion of one of the halfs broken off and placed into the chalice as part of the commingling or comixture.

Fr BFE said...

Right.

Fr. BF Eckardt, Editor-in-chief, Gottesdienst