Expert Answer Forum

Beating breast during concecration QUESTION from Kevin February 13, 2000
Years ago I remember people beating their breast (placing their right fist to their heart) during the great elevation of the host and chalice (usually at the time the bells are rung). What is this action called, what is its significance and is it still required as part of the mass? ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on February 13, 2000
Dear Kevin, Thank you for your question. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... The practice of striking one's breast is a sign of repentance and was done liberally throughout the Mass of the Tridentine rite both by the priest and the faithful. The rubrics of the current Roman missal don't call for it, however there's certainly nothing wrong with doing it as a private act of repentance. Old habits die hard and I also find myself doing it. Your servant in Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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