Friday night, just before the awards dinner, I had the opportunity to vest for the annual memorial Mass—the final liturgy of the event, at which all those Catholic journalists who have died in the past year are remembered by name during the Prayers of the Faithful. (Two deacons from Charlotte—a seminarian and a permanent deacon assigned to the cathedral—served the Mass and wore green vestments; the concelebrating priests and myself wore white). The celebrant was Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications—and, perhaps most notably, the guy who put the pope on Twitter.
The Masses in Charlotte were impeccably executed. But I was struck by one detail in particular.
Friday night, there were a handful of very young altar servers—so young, when they sat in their chairs in the sanctuary, their feet didn’t touch the ground. (A couple of them were assigned to handle the miter and crozier and did it perfectly, complete with humeral veils.) There were a dozen or so Knights of Columbus, in full uniform, complete with swords. There were three or four seminarians assisting at the altar. There was a young MC. There were two deacons.
From what I observed, every single one of those people who served the Mass—the Knights, the deacons, the seminarians, even the young altar boys—received communion on the tongue.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen that done so widely and so consistently by so many.