The following are information about the Neocatechumenal Way taken from their facebook website and in the weblink I provided below. It is interesting to note that Msgr. Juan Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts summarized how we receive the Body of Christ. He said that we are to receive the Body of Christ standing up, and then take a seat until all have received the Body of Christ. This was the change that took place in 2008, which I kept saying. This was the change that was approved by the Holy See.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has observed the Way's liturgical practices from the beginning. Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist at the meeting with the communities in Porto San Giorgio in 1989, exactly as the communities do it, including the communion rite in a sitting position.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, however, the Prefect of the Congregation from 2002 until 2008, was unwilling to accept the differences in the liturgy of the neocatechumenal Eucharist. In December 2005, he wrote a private letter to Arguello, Hernández and Pezzi on behalf of Pope Benedict. He warned that "[i]n the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way shall accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything." The letter directed members of the Way to adopt the prescribed method of receiving Holy Communion, to participate in parish life, and to celebrate Mass with the rest of the parish community on at least one Sunday each month.
The Way argues that Arinze's letter has been superseded by the Final Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way insofar as it says that “the celebrations of the Eucharist of the neocatechumenal communities on Saturday evening are part of the Sunday liturgical pastoral work of the parish and are open also to other faithful.”The Way argues that this means that by participating in the Saturday evening Eucharistic celebration with their communities, members of the Neocatechumenal Way are already partaking in the Holy Mass of the parish community. In his Canonical Observations on the Definitive Approval of the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way, Msgr. Juan Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, summarizes the liturgical concessions of the Neocatechumenal Way as follows:
- “First, that the neocatechumens celebrate the Eucharist in the small community, after the First Vespers of Sunday. Second, that this celebration, after First Vespers takes place according to the disposition of the diocesan bishop. Third, that these celebrations [...] are part of the pastoral work and consequently are open to all the faithful. Fourth, that in these celebrations the liturgical books approved by the Roman Rite are followed, 'with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See' (always with unleavened bread), moving the rite of peace before the consecration, communion under both species, brief admonitions and echoes and, finally, a new way for the distribution of Communion: 'Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive standing, remaining at their place.' The faithful receive the precious body while standing, take seat and wait until all have received. Then the celebrant says 'Body of Christ, bring us everlasting life!' and the whole congregation consumes immediately after the priest consumes the host. The ecce Agnus Dei along with the Domine non sum dignus are typically recited but is sometimes omitted due to error on the part of the celebrant. Sharing the cup takes place afterward, individually, while the faithful are standing at their seats and a priest or Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion carries the chalice around.
- "There are no liturgical anomalies [in the Eucharist]; everything is in full compliance of the guidelines of the ‘Ordo Missae.’ What I have really seen there are Eucharists celebrated without any hurry, with a great faith, and where you can perceive the joy and the thanksgiving for the gift which is being bestowed in the Eucharist.”
- The highest number of communities found in Europe (and the World) are found in Italy (10,000 communities) and Spain (7,000 communities).
- The highest number of communities in the world in a country per capita is found in Malta, which has 100 communities in an island of 400,000 persons, which is the equivalent of twice the number of communities both in Italy and in Spain.
- The Way is present in all continents, in over 900 dioceses, with a total of about 40,000 communities in 6,000 parishes. Each community may consist of 20~50 members (Brothers and sisters). In 2014 there are 100 Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer) seminaries in total.
- In Africa there are 800 communities, as well as in the Middle East with Lebanon having the highest number of communities.