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There is video of the Mass here:

Part 1 [rtve.es]

Part 2 [rtve.es]

Part 3 [rtve.es]

It was a beautiful Mass, and I hope it won't be remembered only for Queen Sofía's apparent faux pas.

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It appears that the Queen dressed in traditonal white (as this is possibly not a State Visit the Queen is not wearing more formal dress on this occasion) received communion at the throne and in the photo she is leaning over, as they are on different floor levels. It does not appear that there is anything to kneel on anyway, as it is she has moved forward to make it easier for the Pope to give her communion. I assume there was a kneeler in the usual place for the Pope to give communion to those chosen to receive from him, back in front of the altar.

cool

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If you watch the video (Part 3 [rtve.es]), you'll see (at 21:30) that there was a prie-dieu in place for the Queen to kneel on. Instead of kneeling, she made a rather awkward maneuver around it. Why she didn't use the prie-dieu, we don't know. However, she did make a profound bow when she received Holy Communion, so I don't think we have the right to ascribe any bad intention to the Queen.

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Logos-Alexis,

You do not know she refused to kneel. Perhaps she cannot kneel, perhaps their Catholic Majesties have the privelege of standing to receive. I noticed they did not kneel after the Sanctus either. Watching the video the Holy Father did not look at distressed and didn't miss a beat. You really need to stop and think before you post.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Father Deacon Lance,

I mostly agree with you, but, while I may be wrong, I don't think there is any such privilege. Rather, one is not required to kneel immediately after the Sanctus. In the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer, which was used here, the ministers knelt at Supplices ergo, but according to Ordo Missæ ad usum fidelium (4th edition, Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2003) one is not supposed to kneel until Ipse enim. Kneeling at Supplices ergo makes a lot of sense, though, since this is the beginning of the epiclesis.

Frankly, I think there is, sadly, so much liturgical confusion in the Western Catholic Church today that even her Catholic Majesty may be excused for perhaps not knowing exactly what to do.

That, of course, is why the Reform of the Reform promoted by Pope Benedict XVI is so urgently needed. We really do need a new liturgical movement. [newliturgicalmovement.org]

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Christ is in our midst!!

Perhaps it would have been better if Her Majesty had signaled in advance that she would prefer not to kneel. For me, the only thing that really should matter is not to do things that are unexpected in a situation. There is always ample time to let those who ought to know if there is need for a little change in what is expected rather than to cause a scene and possibly scandal. Surely Her Majesty has a secretary who could have alerted the Holy Father's Master of Ceremonies or other assisting minister and averted all this hullabaloo.

In Christ,

Bob

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Bob,

I agree. What happened did seem awkward and should have been avoided. But I am more inclined to think that there may have been a bit of confusion and bad communication than to think that the Queen made some kind of protest [marymagdalen.blogspot.com], which is just plain silly, if not downright offensive.

Also, I do hope that what will be remembered is the fact that the Holy Father has dedicated an architectural masterpiece to the glory and service of God. That is the main thing here, I feel.

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I am, frankly, amazed at the willingness of so many to discern both the thinking of Queen Sophia and the reaction of HH Benedict, and perhaps the more amazed at the willingness to conclude that they have the right to decide whether or not the Queen acted appropriately.

Regardless of our personal beliefs as to the posture that one should assume in reception of the Mystery of the Eucharist, the fact remains that, in the Latin Church, reception while standing is an acceptable posture and reception in hand is allowed.

While HH has apparently an expressed preference to offer the Mystery to communicants in the kneeling posture, he has not declared that standing is an unacceptable posture.

Likewise, he has reportedly expressed a preference to offer the Mystery on the tongue, rather than in hand. Again, however, he has not taken upon himself to declare that such be the manner for reception.

That means that Catholics of the Latin Church have the right to both stand and to receive in hand in the Latin Church. Whether the Pope has an alternative preference or not is neither here nor there. He is the Pope; he is not God. His infallibility, if one accepts it, does not extend to his preferences and since Latins may not be denied the Mystery if they choose to kneel, they presumably cannot be denied the Mystery if they choose to stand - since that too is normative.

So, get over it, folks. The lady is 72 years of age. Whether she elected to stand because she likes to or is infirm is neither our business nor have we the right to sit in judgment of her on the matter. Likewise, whether she chooses to receive in hand or on the tongue. Likewise, whether she wears white or chartreuse and whether she elects to go about bareheaded, wear a mantilla, or don a hat in the style of Queen Elizabeth.

When appointed to the protocol staff of the Vatican, feel free to demand of visiting heads of state and their consorts that they adhere to the protocol that you've decreed. Otherwise, get on with your own lives and concerns. I heartily wish that prayer threads evoked the degree of interest that's been put into this silliness.

Many years,

Neil


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Neil

Well said. I too was disconcerted about this whole thread. There does occasionally seem to be a serious case of hypersensitivity to the little t's around, maybe at the expense of the big T's.

My own sense is that this Pope is quite above the idiosyncratic peculiarities that lead too many priests to assault the sensitivities of innocent people who violate their personal priestly preferences. I guess you could call that their PPPs.

Jim

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
I have been taught (by an Orthodox archimandrite) that it is inappropriate to take photos during Holy Communion...

That would definitely make sense...unfortunately, it happens alot--even within Orthodoxy.

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Maybe did anyone ever think, she has knee problems like me.
I dont think I would have, or even been able to kneel.
Stephanos I

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
It was a beautiful Mass, and I hope it won't be remembered only for Queen Sofía's apparent faux pas.

Agreed!


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I just watched the video, and I noticed no "hullabaloo" when the Holy Father gave Her Majesty Holy Communion. The Pope may have been privately distressed, but if so this was not visible.

So why did Her Majesty not adopt the kneeling posture? I have no way of knowing. It has already been remarked that the Queen of Spain is of an age where that might well have been proper (I'm 68 and I am physically almost incapable of kneeling without a good pillow and two assistants).

His Majesty King Juan Carlos did not receive Holy Communion, presumably because of a difficulty between the Spanish government and the Holy See over certain matters to do with Catholic marriage law. The King is not in a position to interfere with the Spanish government in the matter; the government is of course at liberty to take up the matter via the Papal Nuntio and/or the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See.

Finally, and purely for the sake of comic relief, I shall offer an old quotation to the effect that "the Queen of Spain has no legs"! I hasten to add that neither the origin nor the use of this expression have anything to do with religion, but rather with the propriety of a particular gift presented on one occasion to the then Queen of Spain. It is thought to refer to the later sixteenth century.

Fr. Serge

Last edited by Fr Serge Keleher; 11/11/10 10:57 PM.
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I have just watched the footage and notice that the Queen has to lean well over towards the Pope, who seems to be unable to get very close to her. Possibly the flower display in front of the dais the King and Queen are on got in the way. Quick thinking on the part of the Queen saved the moment. A very nice Mass thanks for posting the links.

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Unfortunately, reading some Roman Catholic websites and blogs (even by some clergy) commenting on the event, one would think that the way the Queen went to Communion was the result of a liberalist, Masonic conspiracy that was put in motion to bring down the church and turn back the "new liturgical movement" that is supposedly afoot. crazy

Let's not even mention that she wore white and her head wasn't covered! confused

As for why the King didn't go to Communion, that's between him and God and no one else's business.

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