So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Lowly Paten

The priest (in the Ordinariate form of the Mass, i.e., Divine Worship) takes the broken Host between the thumb and forefingers of his right and left hands and, with his other fingers of both hands cradling the paten, the priest turns to face the congregation.
The Priest genuflects, takes the Host and, turning to the People, holding it slightly raised above the paten [...] says aloud:
Behold the Lamb of God, behold him that taketh away the sins of the world. (At this point the people customarily cross themselves.) Blessed are those who are called to the Supper of the Lamb.
The People respond together with Priest [said once or three times, according to custom]:
Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.
All eyes turn to the Host. It is customary to strike one's breast each time the words "I am not worthy" are spoken. For an obvious reason, some find it appropriate to momentarily lower one's eyes when speaking those words.

The Host is elevated, held aloft, raised above the paten. The paten could be thought of as the "roof" above which the Lord dwells, the "roof" of one's heart, one's mind, one's soul.

It is a most striking image to contemplate: the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity humbles Himself to become bread. The bread, of course, has become the Body of Christ.
Concomitance - the doctrine that the Body and Blood of Christ are each present in both the bread and the wine of the Eucharist.
Jesus waits to enter under our roofs. The roof of the enfleshed human soul is symbolized by the paten. It is a beautiful image one could easily miss given attention to the Eucharistic Christ, i.e., the Sacred Host.

The paten, at least on its upper surface upon which the Body of Christ rests, is made of precious metal. Typically, the upper surface of the paten is gold plated. Only the penitent, refined by the fire of the Holy Spirit, have hope of worthily receiving the most precious Body and Blood of the Lord.

Saint Paul has some choice words for those who fail to discern the Body of Christ, the Holy Eucharist.
1 Corinthians 11:27-32
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

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