The risk of desecrating a Host

The CDW document entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum has the following serious paragraph (my emphasis):

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

Over at Da Fidei Quae Fidei Sunt there is an account of what might have been some receiving (in the hand) a Host at Communion and then instead of consuming It, leaving with It, over the protests of concerned Catholics who questioned him about what he was doing.

 

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18 Responses to The risk of desecrating a Host

  1. Fr. Bartoloma says:

    That quote from Redemptionis Sacramentum and alot within the document resounds with “one step forward, two steps back”. It’s a sad thing when virtually any and every priest has numerous “war stories” of communion-in-the-hand. I or any priest could easily give blow-by-blow accounts of what ranges from the routinely incorrect ways that individuals receive communion (at Sunday and even daily Mass), eg. the “Body Snatchers”, the “poppers”, those who “take Jesus for a walk”. (use your imagination for all of those), and I or any priest could tell the worst of the worst stories from wedding and funeral Masses. Is communion-in-the-hand the sourse of every such sacrilege? No. But it ENABLES the majority of them.

  2. Andrew says:

    At one parish I was told that it is common to find hosts on Monday morning in the pews, in the missalettes between the pages, and elsewhere.

  3. Black Cassock says:

    In the university where I study and work, I suggested the use of communion plates at the weekly campus Mass. The Catholic students were enthusiastic but the idea was killed by the Chaplain. *sigh*

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    Is communion-in-the-hand the sourse of every such sacrilege? No. But it ENABLES the majority of them.

    If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

    2 + 2 = 4. QED.

  5. Black Cassock:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “communion plate” — do you mean a paten with a handle on it, held by the server?

  6. Forzajuv says:

    It happens in Singapore (where I am residing), where the ‘norm’ of receiving communion is on the hand. I was once denied communion on the tongue and the EMHC said to me, “Your hand, please.”

  7. Catholic Lady says:

    In the reference article it mentions “the warden”? I am totally unfamiliar with such a term in the Church or at Mass?

  8. Forzajuv says:

    In Singapore, it is common practice to have “wardens”, lay people whose tasks are to:
    1. usher people to empty seats when they are late
    2. take care of the collection bag
    3. ensure order during communion

    During communion, a warden will usually be stationed near every priest/EMHC.

  9. fr.franklyn says:

    There is a parish in Florida that has aparish wide evangelization program centered around Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed SacramentIt is a strongly charismatic parish.They have “ministers of hospitality” who stand next to the priests and deacons distributing communion.Their job is to smile at the communicant and to make sure they consume the host.And woe to anyone who takes the host away without consuming it.The ministers of hospitality become very inhospitable.

  10. Demerzel says:

    “I was once denied communion on the tongue and the EMHC said to me, “Your hand, please.”

    Now that particular EHMC seriously does not even know the instructions regarding the reception of Holy Communion. While this has not happened to me, the very fact that it occurs shows how poor the level of Catechesis is in Singapore. Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is the norm, via the hand is just the indult. Staying in Singapore myself, its sad to see this situation.

  11. Black Cassock says:

    Yes, Fr Fox, that’s what I mean. In many parishes in Singapore, people make do with oval stainless steel plates (without handle).

  12. michigancatholic says:

    I attended one of Pope Benedict’s masses at St. Peter’s last year, and they had “wardens,” if that’s what they are called. They stood near each priest and watched to ensure the host was consumed before the person walked away. I suspect that there were too many incidents of abuse with outdoor papal masses, no watching–and they are becoming aware of it after publicized incidents.

  13. michigancatholic says:

    By way of explanation, it was the mass for bishops who had died in 2005, and was held in the Holy Spirit end of St. Peter’s, inside.

  14. michigancatholic says:

    Holy Spirit window end, that is. I cannot see my posts before I send them. I’m sorry.

  15. Jeff says:

    Wardens and stainless steel communion plates! What next?

    My former parish priest saw a woman take a consecrated Host and pop it into her purse and walk out the door! He tapped an altar boy on the shoulder (in those days there were boys, you see), “Go after that woman and get that back!” The server scurried off in pursuit and soon reappeared in triumph with the Host.

    Tsk! Tsk! And they wonder why the ranks of the Catholic faithful are thinning when martinet priests treat them in such peremptory fashion! Good grief, whatever happened to the old rule of “love and do what you will”?

    After all, Jesus just walked about making blind men walk and cripples see and generally doing good, right?

  16. Black Cassock says:

    Dear Jeff, re stainless steel communion plates.
    while far from the ideal of having it gold-plated,
    I’d like to think that the intentions are good,
    and that it does its job of catching a falling host and particles and that
    it’s better than nothing, compared to those parishes here who don’t have
    any plates at all. Fr Z and Fr Fox, any comment?

    I’m disappointed at my idea being killed. Our actions reflect our beliefs.
    If that’s the Body Of Christ we’re talking about, its only logical that we
    take reasonable precautions to prevent it being profaned. sighs.

  17. Henry Edwards says:

    Our actions reflect our beliefs. If that’s the Body Of Christ we’re talking about, its only logical that we take reasonable precautions to prevent it being profaned.
    How true! Not being a priest, I sometimes wonder how priests and (especially) pastors can (apparently) feel no obligation to take those “reasonable precautions”, and instead are willing to go along to get along.

  18. Felipe says:

    Here, in México. Communion in tongue and use of patens are the norm in almost 99% of the masses. Thanks God!