Of Altar Rails...
We are grateful to have found a home at St Mary's for many reasons, one which is that St Mary's is one of the few parishes in the area to have retained its altar rail following the liturgical reforms which came in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The removal of these rails was not mandated (nor even envisioned) in these reforms, and now there seems to be a growing movement to restore the rails. There was a piece about the movement this week in the National Catholic Register:
In many parishes, a once-standard sanctuary staple is making a comeback: the altar rail.
“Having an altar rail has really brought back a sense of reverence,” said Laurie Biszko, a parishioner at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Receiving Communion this way, she said, “You have a chance to focus, make an act of contrition, make an offering, and think about what’s going on. It contributes to making this a much more holy occasion.”