Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Epiclesian gestures

On commencing
This Oblation, &c.,

he extends his two hands over the Host and Chalice together,
so that, the thumbs being joined in the usual manner,
the palms of the hands are turned towards the Host and Chalice,
and they are retained in this position until the words

Through Christ our Lord,

when they are closed without being first disjoined.
During the next prayer,
at the words


three Signs of the Cross are made over the Chalice and Host together
and at the word

a single Sign of the Cross is made over the Host alone,
and at the word

a like Sign over the Chalice alone;
these Signs are made with the right hand,
the left being placed on the Altar outside the Corporal.

The above is taken from Ritual Notes (1894)

On Monday, a woman who helps with our Playtime group joined us at Midday mass. She is not a church goer at all.

It was interesting to be a part of the service, and hear it, experience it, with a sense of it being completely new for someone. It made me remember how confusing and odd the Communion service was for me when I first experienced my first service. Of course these days, I understand the words and what why we do it.

Upon the end of the service, the woman turned to me and said "If you're going to be doing that, you are going to have to remember an awful lot of stuff". Very true. She also pointed out the "ritualness" of it all.

I am interested in the epiclesis at the moment, and it is this part that contains some distinctive movements and gestures by the priest, which I have placed above.

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