Summorum Pontificum does not create an ecclesiastical Jurassic Park

Under another entry, there is some debate about the reception of Communion in the hand during Holy Mass celebrated in the extraordinary form.

Some contend that Communion may not be given in the hand, because it could not be given in the hand back in 1962.

I think that is incorrect.  I think that if a person participating at Mass with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII stick’s his hands out, in the right fashion, in a place where the conference of bishop’s has given permisson for Communion in the hand, and if there is no serious risk of profanation (but isn’t there nearly always?) of the Sacred Host or a particle thereof, then a priest errs in purposely not giving that person Communion in the hand.

Please understand, I am not in favor of Communion in the hand at all!   I wish it was not permitted and that people didn’t choose to receive that way.  Still, the law is the law.  Dura lex sed lex.

Still, there is discussion of this issue, and I respect it.  In a comment under that other entry a knowledgable priest chimed in saying:

Reverend and dear blogmaster: Am I mistaken in thinking that the 1962 Missale does not exist in isolation, but in organic continuity, and that it must be celebrated integrally according to all the rubrics that in fact were binding during the pontificate of Blessed John XXIII ? Otherwise, to be consistant should we not distribute Holy Communion saying “Corpus Christi.”, without any sign of the cross, and not “Corpus Domini nostri, etc.”

Seriously, Father, not just because it would be upsetting, but because it is right and just, I respectfully submit that we should not give “communion in the hand” at a Mass in the vetus ordo.

Comment by Fr. Paul McDonald

The same Fr. McDonald also writes in another comment:

Reminder:
“Communion in the hand” is contrary to the universal, present law of the Church
and may only be given if about seventeen conditions are simultaneously fulfilled. Which conditions have increased over the years. It is not allowed at a “Tridentine” mass as a number of bishop’s statements have reiterated.
Now, that being said, “charity in all things.”

Comment by Fr. Paul McDonald

I respectfully respond that the Motu Proprio derestricts the use of the older form of Mass according to the Missale Romanum of 1962.  Summorum Pontificum does not, however, revive all the decrees in force in 1962.  The Missale Romanum did not describe how certain things were to be done.  Distribution of Communion was not described in the Missal.  Separate decrees covered Communion. 

Also, I respectfully remind Father that when those conditions are fulfilled, the Church’s law does in fact (alas) permit Communion in the hand.

Here is my solution.

First, we take the former way of doing things as guidelines rooted in a firm tradition and practice.  It is sensible and right that Communion should be received on the tongue, while kneeling when possible, and not in the hand during the older form of Mass (newer too! IMHO, but especially the older). 

Second, it strikes me as reasonable to put a note in the bulletin or handout describing why Communion in the on the tongue is preferable.  We need education, not on the spot surprises or confrontations.

Thus, if people come and put their hands out (in the proper fashion, etc.) then give that person Communion without making a scene about it. 

We need some time to form people on this issue.  Some people have (alas) never known anything other than Communion in the hand.  We have to be a little understanding and gentle with these folks.  If they are coming to celebrations of the older form of Mass, that is a huge step in a new direction for them.  Let’s not make their experience jolting at the moment when they really need a sense of receiving Communion in the context of something wonderful, though unfamiliar.  Remember, it is already going to be odd for many of them to be kneeling.  Don’t freak people out.  It is easy to hurt people in that vulnerable moment.  Let the older form of Mass, and the practices that go with it, exert that "gravitational pull" and slowly but surely.   Help people come around, don’t force them.

Summorum Pontificum does not create an ecclesiastical Jurassic Park.  Pope Benedict did not stick a needle into a 1962 traditionalist mosquito trapped in liturgical amber and then rebuild a fenced in world from another epoch.  He did not revive all the decrees or canon laws in force in 1962!  So, make prudent use and reference to how things were done, and even adopt the old practices properly and fruitfully.  But recognize the rights people have according to present law and practice. 

The eyes of many people, some very hostile to the older form of Mass, will be open, indeed peeled, scrutinizing how things are going.  If there are problems we can avoid, avoid themDo we really need some person looking to pick a fight in the first place writing nasty letters to the bishop about the priest and the older Mass because she was refused Communion in the hand?  After all, it is (alas) allowed.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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92 Responses to Summorum Pontificum does not create an ecclesiastical Jurassic Park

  1. Pater, OSB says:

    Dear Father,
    Should the line:
    “Second, it strikes me as reasonable to put a note in the bulletin or handout describing why Communion in the hand is preferable. We need education, not on the spot surprises or confrontations.”
    Instead read:
    “Communion on the tongue is preferable.”?

    Or did I miss something?

    Pater, OSB

  2. Father Z,

    A great analogy!

    Forgive my ignorance here, but should we anticipate the release of a revised GIRM to clarify or make explicit some of these points?

    God bless,

    Gordo

    PS: BTW, it appears that Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT does not celebrate the Extraordinary Form every Saturday as previously reported. I drove over to the chapel last Saturday and there was no Mass. I even brought my camera to take a few pictures – with their permission – and send them to you, Abouna. I plan to contact the seminary today to find out when it is being offered. As an Eastern Catholic, I want to support this wonderful development for my Latin brothers and sisters by attending periodically and worshipping with them. After all, it’s not just the Latins that need to learn to breathe with both lungs!

  3. Michael R. says:

    “Do we really need some person looking to pick a fight in the first place writing nasty letters to the bishop about the priest and the older Mass because she was refused Communion in the hand?”

    And, sad to say, it’s going to be a “she”, isn’t it?

  4. Mary says:

    I hate to admit my ignorance, but what are the “conditions” for communion in the hand? I vaguely thought only permission of the bishop was necessary. For the record, I have never received in the hand, though I’m one of only about a half dozen in my parish (that I’ve seen) who receive on the tongue. (A couple of them look to be only in their 20s.)

  5. Fr. E says:

    As a priest, my solution to this would be to give communion in the hand to anyone who requests it at the altar rail. However, I would also mention from the pulpit or the bulletin that it is a laudable and long-standing custom and tradition to receive communion in the Extraordinary Form on the tongue. Will that ensure that everyone receives on the tongue? No, but it will mean that most will, particularly after observing the discontinuity between reception of communion in the hand and the priest’s reverence with regard to touching the host (fingers closed after the consecration). Furthermore, it will respect both people’s right to receive in the hand, as well as the tradition of the Church. Just my thoughts…

  6. Janet says:

    I too would like to know what those conditions are for receiving Communion in hand. As a convert I was taught only the ‘in hand’ version and never told there were conditions. Almost a year ago I changed over to receiving on the tongue, and wish I’d done so sooner. But I agree with Fr. Z that people need to be coaxed along in these changes rather than forced. Perhaps just knowing that there isn’t a ‘blanket’, condition-less permission for communion in hand, will sway a number of people into changing how they receive, regardless of which form of Mass they are at.

  7. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    Thank you, Father, for this judicious and wise analysis. It does stimulate some questions.

    Personally, as much as my poor priestly soul loves not having to give Communion in the hand at a vetus ordo Mass, I would *never* refuse it if that would hurt one of Christ’s little lambs.

  8. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    Does the vetus Rituale Romanum, in the section on Communion outside of Mass say how to give Communion?

  9. I want to express my agreement with Fr. Z. on the question of Communion in the hand at old rite Masses. If after an announcement as to mode of Communion, an individual presents him or herself at the rail with the hand extended, the best pastoral choice is to administer the Sacrament using the new form and in the hand. The alternative is to treat Communicants the way his exellency of Orange has treated those who kneel. This kind of act creates “admiratio.”

    When I have distributed Communion at Dominican Rite Masses in Portland and San Francisco, someone almost always appears who presents him or herself in the new manner. Contrary to what one might expect these people have generally not been trying to make a political statement. They are usually elderly, cannot kneel, and often seem to be partly deaf. The pastoral way to deal with this is not to “correct” the individual in public at the rail. Catechesis should be done after Mass for those who have had a problem understanding.

    I do think that as the Extraordinary use becomes come common and in some places even a regularly scheduled Sunday event, there will be more people showing up for the Masses who don’t understand the old form (or have been brain-washed–sorry to use the term but it fits–against it in CCD or RCIA programs). We need to treat those people better than kneelers have been treated in too many places.

  10. EDG says:

    Fr Z:

    First of all, my most sincere thanks for your rationality, kindness and hard work at this crucial moment.

    You made a very good point about the ignorance of most modern Catholics about the Mass and the need to treat these people courteously and patiently. I think this is crucial, because many of them are genuinely confused and afraid and are hostile based on their fear. Certainly, those who come to a Tridentine Rite mass should be treated with special consideration, and we should avoid scandalizing them by insisting on what may be “correct” but is not required and is something totally unfamiliar to them.

    I also think we have to give some consideration to the way in which we are going to welcome people to this Mass, introduce it to them in a positive, non-conflict driven manner, and gradually instruct them in its general standards of behavior, which, of course, are all based on its spiritual orientation. I really think people will come to love it once they come to understand it, and we have to be careful not to drive them away before they get to that point.

  11. Lourdes says:

    As someone who was raised with communion in the hand and then switched to communion on the tongue, I am familiar with the trepidation that can come with the switch. Having never received that way before, you worry about opening your mouth the right way,etc., etc…. Those of you who have consistently received on the tongue may not be aware of this anxiety. A word of encouragement from the pulpit may help tremendously in encouraging a switch over.

  12. Fr. Leo says:

    EWTN has a document from the Congregation of Divine Worship which addresses communion in the hand http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWREPON.HTM I hope that this helps :)

  13. L_D says:

    The norms concerning Communion on the hand don’t really seem to mesh well with the forma extraordinaria anyway since the communicant does not say “amen” after the words of the priest. I once forgot to say “amen” when I went to a forma ordinaria Mass and the priest was prepared to refuse me Communion.
    It does make sense to me that the various indults applicable to the forma ordinaria would by default apply to the forma extraordinaria. There should at least be an authoritative discussion of their applicability in light of the spirit and letter of the forma extraordinaria as well as various pastoral considerations. If the mainstream celebration of the forma extraordinaria involved altar girls, Communion on the hand (self-communication really), Haugen-Haas ditties, EM’s etc., I doubt that those groups who have been estranged from the Church over the issue of right worship (among other things) would be reconciled to the Church.
    I realize it is more complicated than this and that the analogy is inaccurate on many levels, but I see it as somewhat analogous to Latinizations in the Eastern rites. Why not insist upon a fully traditional celebration of the extraordinary form? What is there to be ashamed of? Is it because the laudable practice of receiving Communion from the priest on the tongue may make some people “uncomfortable” or perhaps even cause some people to refrain from partaking of the meal? It the Mass incomplete if everyone does not drink from the blessing cup and join in the supper of the table of the Lord?
    I am sure I am not the only one who fails to receive Holy Communion at times because I am uncomfortable receiving from an EM, standing up, etc.
    In spite of the many historical arguments that people make to justify Communion on the hand, and even to assert that it is “more traditional”, it is quite simply a profanation of the sacred in the modern context as well as being an expression of Protestant ideas.
    I am not saying this because I have read a little too much Michael Davies; I am saying this because I have been reading literature from the 1970′s which admits this agenda.
    I am talking about articles from people who served as periti at the Council and/or on the Consilium. This research has done far more to convince me of the errors of the post-conciliar reforms than any traditionalist literature.
    In the opinion of many influential scholars of that time the distinction between the sacred and profane is obsolete and a truly Christian worship service will be rooted in the profane (put another way the liturgical reform will be a program of profaning the sacred). The supper motif is what defines the communal celebration of the Mass. There is no such thing as “sacred” music, we should speak only of “church” music, and this could include jazz, folk tunes, anti-war ballads, etc., so long as it expresses the worldly spirit of the gathered assembly. It actually gets much worse than this. People may think I am making this up but all of these ideas and more are explicitly laid out in the “scholarly” literature of the 1960′s and 1970′s. As a start I would recommend volumes 51, 61, 71 and 91 of the series “The New Concilium: Religion the Seventies”. The first edition of “La riforma liturgica” of Annibale Bugnini is also pretty informative although only the tip of the iceberg. The later editions which were toned down a bit and the sometimes inaccurate English translations are good enough if that is all one has access to.
    I am putting together a thematically arranged anthology of writings on the Liturgy from scholars who participated in a notable way in the implementation of the Council for personal use in future studies. My hope is to use this anthology as a point of reference in studying the liturgical documents of the key years of the reform as well as the materials in Notitiae from that time period. If anyone would be interested in helping me please feel free to speak up. There are many details that are extremely ambiguous to me right now. One area that I have been unable to probe at all is the precise role played by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in the Congregation of Rites in the early 1970’s. This is particularly important to me since I find the liturgical side of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate to be most perplexing. For the record I love Pope John Paul II and my intention in this regard is to honestly understand the mind of that great Pope, not to criticize.
    Sorry for the tangential rant.

  14. Rob in Maine says:

    I think the inception of the reception of the Holy Eucharist “ab manu” was crippling to the role of the alter boy (girl / server). With the reception of the Holy Eucharist on the tongue, as an alter boy I got to wield the paten. Sigh…if only someone had dropped a Host, I could have caught it and been a hero! Perhaps made a Knight of Malta by the Pope! Such are the dreams of youth…

    At my parish, the alter servers do no more than process with the cross then sit in the corner all Mass. I feel much of this has to do with the self expanded role of the EMoHEs. Again, at my parish, our EMoHEs are so busy around the alter the Servers don’t even attend to the sacred vessels post-communion. Perhaps with this liturgical renewal attention may be given to those forgotten “active participants”; alter boys!

    Tangent finished.
    Over & Out.

  15. “Summorum Pontificum does not create an ecclesiastical Jurassic Park” (Fr. Z)

    Yes, I think that’s an excellent way of putting it.
    “Summorum Pontificum” has removed the former restrictions imposed on the 1962 Missale Romanum which has been kept in a ghetto, so to speak, for 40 years.
    Well, that era is over.
    Not everyone realises it yet.
    But the Roman rite may now be celebrated using either the 1962 Missal or the 1970 Missal.
    (There are provisos, of course.)
    That’s official.

    But 40 years have gone by.
    An entire generation of priests and laity have little or no knowledge of the 1962 Missal.
    And “local custom” has undeniably changed in many areas (not in my opinion always for the better).

    When I speak of “local custom” I do not, of course, refer to flagrant abuses.

    But if the 1962 Missal is successfully to be re-integrated into local communities, great patience and sensitivity will have to be shown to people who are new to, and unfamiliar with, the “old scene”.

    We want people who to come to the “old” Mass (in some trepidation, perhaps, at first) not to feel put off by their experience, but to feel impressed by it, attracted to it, drawn to it (for all the right reasons) in ever greater numbers.

    This won’t happen if people feel unwelcome.

    We don’t want to see the “old” Mass remain in, or return to, the ghetto.

    So, yet more patience is required.
    And an acknowledgment that in 40 years things have changed.

    It would be nice too if newcomers to the “old” Mass were sensitive to the old traditions and customs.
    They will have to get used to the fact that there is no shaking hands, etc.

    I find most people want to “do the right thing” in unfamiliar situations.
    Well, the best way to help is by providing them with information.
    Most people catch on quick.

    Even so, it could be a long, slow process.
    But slow progress is better than no progress at all.

    Let charity prevail.

  16. Humbert says:

    Father,

    I am very much torn as to my response.

    First, all of our altar boys (FSSP apostolate) have been trained to deftly and gently place the paten under the chin of the communicant. This usually forestalls them from offering their hands. It has happened, however, and when my son has been serving, that a new-comer to the Mass has held out their hands and the altar boy has imposed the paten between their outstretched hands and their chin. No one has recoiled, no one has said anything to the priest, and no one has complained. I think the communicants were simply new to the Mass, and were used to receiving Communion in that fashion, and so proffered their hands.

    I think this is the perfect solution.

    However, as to peeled eyes, you are absolutely correct.

    I will leave my diocese un-named, but last week I had the honor of being included in a personal meeting with our bishop as regards to Summorum Pontificum and the status of our apostolate. I was one of only two laymen present. The rest of the room was filled with priests. Of the nine or so “collars” in the room, only four faces had smiles above them, and one of those, fortunately, belonged to the bishop. There was little at least visible joy at what was being proposed (something quite wonderful, btw, however I’m not at liberty right now to share). In fact, one particularly vocal priest made it clear that SP will be “re-visited” by the Holy Father in three years, and by then we might have a new pope, and all of this may be moot. His wish, at least to me, was clear.

    That said, I’m at a loss to understand why you would speculate publicly about matters such as Communion in the hand, altar girls, and other abominations at a TLM. You know how widely you’re read, and I can’t help but think that your reluctant “okay” (in the legal sense) to these things will simply encourage liberals who otherwise may have thought such things forbidden. As Father McDonald remarked, a number of bishops, indeed, a number of self-identified “liberal” bishops, have already issued statements that presuppose the existence of 1962 conditions when the 1962 Mass is celebrated.

    Why not just let this sleeping wolf lie, and wait for Cardinal Hoyos to sort it out?

  17. William says:

    In the pre-Summorum Pontificum days I had the opportunity to witness several one-time indult masses in parishes that had not seen a traditional mass in a long time, if ever.

    In each case, the celebrant Priest closed his sermon with a statement on Holy Communion: that only Catholics may receive, that Catholics must not be aware of grave sin and must have received absolution through individual sacramental confession in the past year, and always that Holy Communion must be received kneeling and on the tongue. After this explanation, not a single person ever attempted to stick their hands out.

    On the other hand, I have seen people stick their hands out at regularly scheduled Sunday masses in indult parishes and be refused.

  18. Neil Mulholland says:

    We mustn’t forget that among the “peeled eyes” will be many pairs belonging to those whose canonical situation is presently “irregular”, and for whom it is hoped SP will provide a bridge back to the Church. For these individuals, should communion in the hand at the TLM become a widespread or even occasional practice, any genuine hope of a rapprochement will end.
    Personally, I consider communion in the hand to be an abomination. When serving at the Altar, I was always physically able to prevent it from happening simply by jamming the paten directly under the communicant’s chin and fixing them with a deathly glare.
    Anyone who insists on sticking out their paws for communion at the Mass I attend would do well to remember that the bones of the human wrist are delicate and intricate, and often difficult to set.

  19. Fr. W. T. C. says:

    Dear Fr. Z

    Reception of communion in the hand at a celebration of the Usus Antiquior violates the principle of continuity, not in the sense of chronology (diachronic identity)—“this was not the way it was done in 1962 therefore it is not the way it can be done today”—this argument against reception of communion in the hand falls apart when one considers that communion in the hand is an indult granted regionally, not universally and is not intrinsic to the rubrics of any Use of Mass. Rather, communion in the hand violates the logic of the rubrical structure of the Usus Antiquior at its most fundamental level, and in this sense represents a grave violation of the principal of continuity. The bulk of the rubrics of the Vetus Ordo are written to guaranty that the most meticulous care in the handling of the Sacred Species is observed. It would make no sense for the celebrant to keep custody of the fingers; scrape the corporal; and be conscience of keeping his hands outside the corporal before the consecration, and within the corporal after the consecration, if he then at communion were free to place the sacred host in the hands of anyone who puts them out to receive communion. That would be logical rupture of the most blatant kind, and ridiculous in the extreme.

    Fr. WTC

  20. Fr. D. D. says:

    Respectfully, disagreeing about Communion in the hand.
    First, I do not think we can we that Communion in the hand is the law? It would seem that because the recent innovation of Communion in the hand is permitted only by indult, that indult applies only to celebrations in the ordinary form accoridng to the mind of the legislator. It should not be presumed it can be extended.
    Secondly, the extraordinary form by law and immemorial custom demands reception of Holy Communion on the tongue.
    Thirdly, Holy Communion in the hand is absolutely foreign to the rubrics, practices, and organic flow of the extraordinary form. The priest, whose hands have been consecrated, only touches the Blessed Sacrament with 4 fingers! [The subdeacon does not even touch the sacred vessels in a Solemn High Mass except when his hands are covered by humeral veil.] Meanwhile, the priest is instructed to keep the fingers joined until purified. A Communion plate is placed under the communicants chin. All this is to prevent particles of our Lord’s most Sacred Body from being lost. Placing to sacred Host in someone’s hand makes no sense.
    Fourth, in order to avoid scandal it would seem best not to give Communion in the hand at extraordinary form celebrations until Rome speaks clearly in this matter.
    Finally, “when in Rome…” Customary liturgical practices should be followed. Communion in the hand is not practiced in the extraordinary form.

  21. B. says:

    I think that there will be a document from the Ecclesia Dei comission forthcoming, which will adress both the communion and the girl altar boys question.

    Unfortunately there are people (and I have read them planning this on progressive forums) who would really like to get priests celebrating in the extraordinary form, especially from the FSSP, etc. in trouble. They will deliberately go into their masses and demand communion in the hand with the sole purpose of getting the priest into trouble should he refuse to give.

  22. Fr. A says:

    Fr. Z:

    I think you have this one wrong. I believe the permission to which you refer is for the ordinary form. It is a practice that grew out of disobedience in the ordinary form; therefore, it applies to the ordinary form of the Roman rite. I don’t think it over-turns the immemorial custom of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, which would be something foreign to the manner in which this form of the rite is said.

    All the bishops who are reminding their people that Communion is to be received ONLY on the tongue while kneeling (unless impeded), are correct. Even in the EWTN booklet for the televised Mass according to the extraordinary form, it states, “… the communicant receives the Sacred Host on the tongue while kneeling.”

    Let me tell you, if one of the reasons for _Summorum_ _Pontificum_ is to attract people from the SSPX, just start giving out Communion in the hand to those who are ignorant of the immemorial custom and see how many will come.

    Thank you, Fr. WTC, for responding. I agree with what you’ve written.

  23. I disagree. People who are new to the TLM will usually observe the postures of the regular folks. It is just human that no one likes being the odd one out. Those who do wants to be the odd ones out usually wants to make some kind of statement.

    Similarly, what if those who wants to receive communion in the hand be treated by an Eastern Catholic priest celebrating the Divine Liturgy?

  24. Martha says:

    Fr. WTC,

    What a pleasure it is to read your comment. You make perfect sense.

    God bless you!

  25. EVERYONE: NO ALTAR GIRL DISCUSSION HERE.

    This is OFF topic and a rabbit hole.

    It is a good topic for another entry, but not here.

    This is about Communion in the hand.

  26. I have to strongly disagree Fr. Z….

    The longstanding problems with the New Mass come to mind.

    Once you begin fiddling with the received form, it will end in tears
    and more bad feelings. The unity of the old form was based precisely on its
    rigidity and uniformity! I would say to one…”if you don’t like the
    traditional way of doing things then DONT GO…stick to the usus recentior!”

    I also believe that communion in the hand in particular grates against
    the very charism of the Traditional Mass, which is to show regal reverance
    for Christ.

    It would be like having communion in the hand at the Byzantine liturgy…
    it would be complete historical anachronism.

  27. Neil: among the “peeled eyes” will be many pairs belonging to those whose canonical situation is presently “irregular”, and for whom it is hoped SP will provide a bridge

    Right. Sure. However, I think we ought to attend to our own house. If those folks think they can simply dictate terms, they are wrong. Also, if this who initiative is about the good of the Church, then we need patience with people. People are smart. They will get this over time. However, at the beginning, when they need to adjust, we need some patience.

    Also, I think the law is on their side.

    I was always physically able to prevent it from happening simply by jamming the paten directly under the communicant’s chin and fixing them with a deathly glare. Anyone who insists on sticking out their paws for communion at the Mass I attend would do well to remember that the bones of the human wrist are delicate and intricate, and often difficult to set.

    I don’t appreciate the value of that approach.

  28. Fr. WTC: What a thoughtful and interesting response.

    And I really do agree with you, you know. Frankly, I think that Communion in the hand violates the internal logic and continuity of every Mass, according to any book as well as the teaching of the Church about the Eucharist.

    Nevertheless, …

    …falls apart when one considers that communion in the hand is an indult granted regionally, not universally and is not intrinsic to the rubrics of any Use of Mass.

    In a sense that makes part of my argument for me. Reception of Communion, in the hand or on the tongue, it isn’t part of the rubrics. Thus, it is a matter of law. I think the present law applies. Where people are lawfully given the option of receiving Communion in the hand, they have the right to do so, provided they do so in the right way.

    Rather, communion in the hand violates the logic of the rubrical structure of the Usus Antiquior at its most fundamental level, and in this sense represents a grave violation of the principal of continuity.

    No… I agree that it violates its logic, but not its rubrical structure. The rubrics are silent.

    The bulk of the rubrics of the Vetus Ordo are written to guaranty that the most meticulous care in the handling of the Sacred Species is observed.

    You are certainly right about this, and it is a very good point. I agree that with understanding, the properly instructed person would not every choose to receive on the hand. Once they “get it”, they will choose to receive only on the tongue, and from the hands of the priest (whose hands are consecrated).

    Thanks for your very well argued comment. You are certainly right about the logic of the rubrics and what they aim to do: reduce as much as is reasonable the risk of profanation.

    Of course there is always that risk. It is GREATLY increased with Communion in the hand.

    Nevertheless, the law provides an option. People have rights. Priests also have responsibilities to safeguard the Blessed Sacrament. So, education and prudence about this are in order.

  29. Fr. D.D. Respectfully, disagreeing about Communion in the hand.

    Fair enough.

    …the recent innovation of Communion in the hand is permitted only by indult, that indult applies only to celebrations in the ordinary form accoridng to the mind of the legislator.

    Clever. But I don’t think we can say that. I think that that legislation applies to all celebrations of Mass in the Roman Rite.

    It should not be presumed it can be extended.

    I respond, odiosa restringenda, favoribilia ampliantur. In no way do I think that CitH is a “favorable” thing, in the sense of good. I think that when laws are given, and those laws give rights, people can use them. Remember, that for a long time people were ready to argue that the “indult” given for the older form of Mass ought to be generously and widely applied and that, once it was given, people had some rights to the older form of Mass.

    Fourth, in order to avoid scandal it would seem best not to give Communion in the hand at extraordinary form celebrations until Rome speaks clearly in this matter.

    I see it the other way. I think that to avoid scandal it should be allowed, giving the legislation presently in force the benefit of the doubt, until it is clarified. I hope it is clarified that that indult does NOT apply to the older use. But I am not holding my breath.

    All good arguments, Father. All possible, too.

    Remember, I am not in favor of Communion in the hand. However, I think that in practice we need to remember the present legislation, that the older book’s rubrics don’t describe Communion of the lay people, that people have rights once laws are given, and that it is easy to confuse people and turn them off by an approach that jolts them when they are unfamiliar with the older ways.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  30. Chris says:

    sorry, Father, to say this, as I really enjoy your blog, but I completely disagree with you on
    the communion in the hand bit. The USCCB explicitly says that there is no mixing
    between the vetus ordo and novus ordo, and they–for instance–say that altar girls
    are not allowed in the former. So, one can take that logic, and say that communion
    in the hand, also, is illicit in the vetus order. Afterall, altar girls and
    communion in the hand are two novelties, which often detract from the faith, created since
    VII. I’m sorry, but we should honor our traditions and the reverence of the Eucharist
    in a fitting way, which is NOT to take it in the hand. This should be obvious.
    Perhaps a reminder before Mass begins would put folks on notice not to take
    communion in the hand. But, really, let’s not get into the attitude, or give
    modernists the option, of allowing the vetus order to be slowly watered-down and
    changed. Because, trust me, there are priests out there who would do just that.

    Here are the norms promulgated by USCCB (not the Vatican, I know)which show there is a bright
    line between the vetus and novus ordo:
    http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/bclnewsletterjune07.pdf

  31. danphunter1 says:

    Ecclesia Dei will presently come out with a statement and a law which prohibits reception of the Blessed Sacrament in the hand at Tridentine Mass’s.
    Following on the heels of that issuance will be the prohibition of reception in the hand at Novus Ordo mass’s.
    God bless you.

  32. Gavin says:

    To those who feel strongly on this, what about writing in the leaflet something to the effect of “In this form of the Mass, it is customary to receive communion in the following way….” and include a note about communion rail procedure and tongue reception. Don’t forget that many people have no idea how to use a communion rail! So it could serve to both educate and encourage people to receive properly. I don’t think even the most pants-suited nun would make a huge point to violate what is presented as a mere matter of procedure.

  33. Geoffrey says:

    Hopefully people will be willing to follow the “customs”. My mother does not wear a veil and receive Communion in the hand at the ordinary form of Mass, but when attending the extraordinary form, she will wear a veil and kneel to receive Communion on the tongue because that is the “custom” for that liturgy. If everyone did it at the ordinary form, she would do it there too. So hopefully, people will respect the customs when it comes to this…

  34. Timothy Clint says:

    Imagine that following the 1962 and previous rubrics following the consecration of the Sacred Host that the priest must his
    thumb and index finger together to prevent any particle
    from falling on the ground and in reverance for the Body
    which he has just consecrated. Now, should any one of us
    laymen think that we are superior to the priest and deserving

  35. Henry Edwards says:

    This may be a case where people who attend the traditional Latin Mass can instinctively realize better than erudite priests and canon lawyers that immemorial custom and tradition may tell more reliably than written law what is right, and that that we ought to worship God rather than rubrics. Some of them might even wonder idly when inordinate worship of law and rubrics itself verges on a form of idolatry.

    Nowadays we are blessed to see lots of newcomers and first-timers at traditional Masses, especially at those in mainstream churches with relatively new TLMs. In my experience, the simplest routine instruction (before Mass or in a sermon) about what’s customary does the job nicely. People appreciate such information (just as with simple suggestions about information when to kneel at a Mass they’re unaccustomed to).

    Beyond that, folks see what’s done by others in such a setting, and they do it that way themselves. They may have never seen people kneeling for communion before — and have no clue how to — but observation of the people in front of them in line suffices. No one needs to be told how to kneel.

    At any rate, in observing numerous newcomers (as well as oldcomers) at many TLMs, I’ve never seen anyone try it any other way except on the tongue while kneeling. Except in the case of inability to kneel because of infirmity, in which case what’s sensible is obvious, and always done.

    A wise priest can always deal appropriately and sensitively with such individual exceptions better than laws designed for general application. So why try to use a “law as an ass” approach to conjure up nonexistent problems?

  36. Andrew says:

    Fr. Paul McDonald: [b]Personally, as much as my poor priestly soul loves not having to give Communion in the hand at a vetus ordo Mass, I would never refuse it if that would hurt one of Christ’s little lambs.[/b]

    There are a lot of things that may “hurt” Christ’s little lambs when refused, but have to be so because respect for the integrity of one of the most ancient church traditions comes first.

  37. I have reviewed both missals. The missal from Angelus press containes MORE than the Baronius edition. Namely, the Kyriale with Gregorian chant notation, as well as several other Gregorian hymns, etc. I used it at Mass, and did not have to change books to sing the Gregorian chant of the Mass. The Angelus edition is a totally new creation, whereas the Baronius, from what I understand, and please correct me if i am wrong, is a reprint of an older missal.

    Also, communion in the hand is NOT permitted at the traditional Mass, because it was not part the rubrics, and in fact was forbidden. I agree with Fr. McDonald. Let’s not start changing the traditional Mass all over again. Communion in the hand is not analygous to the one hour communion fast. The fast is not a rubric.

    William A. Torchia, Esq.
    Philadelphia

  38. Paul, South Midlands, UK says:

    So if communion in the hand is ok does it then follow that extraordinary monsters of communion at TLM are ok?

    Slippery slope alert.

    Personally I think that any priest in England allowing either at TLM would very quickly find himself preaching in an empty church. IMHO it is mainly because of the twin sacreligious abominations of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion and communion in the hand (brought in – as when Crmaner did it after the reformation – to discourage belief in Transubstantiation) that people rejected the Novus Ordo & sought out the TLM in such numbers in England.

    What was it Mother Theresa said when asked what the worst thing about modern life was? – she replied people receiving communion in the hand.

    I have never seen people receive communion in the hand in England at TLM, and it is common, if not usual, for the priest to explain when giving notices after the Gospel that only communion on the tongue is permitted. Long may this continue.

  39. Susan says:

    “Words, words, words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through, first from him, now from you. Is that all you blighters can do? Don’t talk of stars burning above, if you’re in love–show me! Don’t talk of spring, don’t talk of fall–don’t talk at all! Show me.” Eliza Dolittle, My Fair Lady.
    I have never been to a traditional mass (that I can recall) and I’m 40. I would like to experience this form and thought I would find a traditional mass, but honestly, this conversation betrays certain legalistic attitudes that may change my mind. I do want to learn the expectations for congregants at a traditional mass. I don’t want to have to get semester credits in TLM before I go and definitely don’t want to be at mass feeling scrutinized for any error. Those of you who can lovingly help folks like myself, who are ignorant of all things Latin, please help. Everyone else who would like to hold the host hostage until compliance is achieved, please know that your attitudes are not going to encourage folks like me to attend a traditional mass.
    Thank you, Fr Z, for being such a good pastor to your little e-flock. I have learned so much from you and your kind and educated post-ers. This is a safe place to learn.

  40. Jordan Potter says:

    Paul said: What was it Mother Theresa said when asked what the worst thing about modern life was? – she replied people receiving communion in the hand.

    Actually, I think that’s just an “urban legend.” I’m no fan of Communion in the Hand, but I don’t think we can enlist Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in this battle.

  41. Henry Edwards says:

    Susan: I have never been to a traditional mass (that I can recall) and I’m 40. I would like to experience this form and thought I would find a traditional mass, but honestly, this conversation betrays certain legalistic attitudes that may change my mind. I do want to learn the expectations for congregants at a traditional mass.

    I am fortunate to attend a TLM on Sundays (as well as a Novus Ordo Mass daily), and feel exactly the way you do about all these words, words, words. Can hardly wait till Sunday’s TLM to get away from them. (Unless I just go ahead and turn of the computer as a thread like this sorely tempts.)

    One thing I can be sure of. None of the foolishness of threads like this will come up there. Never has. Never will. No talk about what to do. Just people worshipping God well.

    So go ahead and go. Don’t worry about anybody’s “expectations”. It’ll just happen for you. And perhaps your life will never be the same.

  42. danphunter1 says:

    Jordan Potter,
    That is an actual quote from Blessed Mother Teresa.
    I disagree, you can enlist the aid of a Beatified man or woman when it comes to truths of how the Blessed Sacrament is to be treated.
    God bless you.

  43. Henry Edwards says:

    Finally, a question of fact! Rather than interminable opinions.

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=11748
    As reported by Fr. George Rutler in his Good Friday sermon at St. Agnes Church, New York in 1989, when Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked by Fr. Rutler, “What do you think is the worst problem in the world today?”

    She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, world debt, nuclear threat and so on. “Without pausing a second she said, ‘Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.’”

    (note: Fr. Emerson of the Fraternity of St. Peter was also a witness to this statement by Mother Teresa.)

    http://www.latin-mass-society.org/teresa.htm
    “Not very long ago I said Mass and preached for their Mother, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and after breakfast we spent quite a long time talking in a little room. Suddenly, I found myself asking her — don’t know why — ‘Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?’ She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, world debt, nuclear threat, and so on.

    “Without pausing a second she said, ‘Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.’”

    - Father George William Rutler, Good Friday, 1989 in St. Agnes Church, New York City (a precise transcript taken from a tape of his talk available from St. Agnes Church)

    And likely many here have heard on EWTN this same verbatim account by the eminent Fr. Rutler himself.

  44. Jon K says:

    Communion in the hand grew out of disobedience. Accordingly, if priests refuse to give communion in the hand in the old rite, this will become lawful in due course, whether this kind of refusal is yet permissible or not. As I care nothing for legalism, I hope that as many priests as possible will refuse communion in the hand.

    Most of all, though, I hope for a return of tradition instead of arbitrary decisions.

  45. Paul, South Midlands, UK says:

    Communion in the Hand in England goes back much further than Paul VI. I quote:

    The 1552 BCP revision —thanks to Bucer’s direct input— was far more radical. Cranmer and Bucer intended by the new rite to deny any difference between the minister and the people. They also wanted to deny the sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic rite, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic Species. To those ends, several things were done. Altars were replaced with free standing tables. The minister faced the congregation over the table during the entire ceremony. He was not a priest mediating between the people and God but the leader of the congregation leading them in a rite that proceeded from the authority of the community as a whole. Kneeling was held to a minimum because this was a sign of difference between minister and people and because it implied worship of the Eucharistic elements. The congregation stood during the “consecration” of the eucharistic elements just as the minister did. Reception of Communion was done standing, into the hand, and under both species for everyone, both minister and laity. The Eucharist was not reserve. What was not consumed was often used later deliberately for regular eating and drinking in order to scoff at the scruples of the Catholics.

    So all those post vatican 2 innovations in the “Spirit of the council”

    * Freestanding Tables for altars
    * Priest versus populum
    * Kneeling at a minimum during mass
    * Standing to receive communion
    * Receiving communion under both kinds
    * Communion in the Hand

    Were ALL first introduced by the Apostate Archbishop of Canterbury Cramner in 1552 to “deny the sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic rite, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic Species”

    THAT is why I regard communion in the hand as a sacreligious abomination. But even Cramner did not dare to let the laity give people communion.

  46. Father Z. has a point in that rubrics of the Mass follow the particular Missal (1962 for the extraordinary form; 2000 for the ordinary form). Liturgical rubrics determine how the Mass is celebrated, postures, gestures, etc.

    Canon Law, however, is abrogated when a new Code is promulgated. Hence, the 1917 Code of Canon Law was replaced by the 1983 Code. This means that both the ordinary and extraordinary forms must conform to the 1983 Code. Canon 919 says that one must fast for one hour before Holy Communion. The 1917 Code mandated a fast from midnight until Holy Communion and was amended in 1957 to three hours and in 1964 to one hour. This means that BOTH the ordinary AND the extraordinary forms coincide according to canon law in having a one hour fast. One may FREELY and VOLUNTARILY fast for three hours OR from midnight on, but no is ever OBLIGATED to do so. Likewise, the Holy Days of obligation are determined by the Code of Canon Law and therefore the 1983 Code allows for national episcopal conferences to ask Rome for dispensation from some of those days. The USA was exempt from four of the ten (mentioned in BOTH the 1917 and 1983 Codes) by papal decree.

    My personal opinion is that whenever and wherever the 1983 Code of Canon Law is silent or ambiguous, the liturgical rubrics of the particular Missal (1962 for extraordinary; 2000 for ordinary form) retain their force of law since canon 2 of the 1983 Code states that the liturgical laws in effect up to now retain their force, unless any of them should be contrary to the canons of the revised Code.

    This would lead me to believe that communion in the hand is only permissable as an option in the ordinary form since only the 2000 Missal liturgically allows this, whereas the extraordinary form according to the 1962 Missal forbids such a practice. I do agree with Father Z. that if someone (innocently and in simple ignorance) placed their hands at the Communion Rail, they be given Holy Communion BUT that they also be told after Mass AND an announcement made BEFORE Mass that the proper gesture for reception is kneeling and on the tongue.

    Another crucial matters concerns the Pontifical Commission on the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law which decided that altar girls were allowed as a ‘possibility’. Bishops and pastors can still decide NOT to have female altar servers, since it is never OBLIGATORY. Therefore, while canon law may permit it, it is not prescriptive. This means that female altar servers may theoretically be allowed, YET in neither the ordinary nor the extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite are they MANDATORY. It is at the discretion of the Bishop, then the pastor. A bishop may permit altar girls for his diocese but each pastor (according to Rome) can choose to implement this OPTION or he may choose not to do so. So, not even a local bishop can FORCE altar girls into the Tridentine Mass. No one should fear finding them at the extraordinary form since I doubt any priest would in fact use them in this Mass.

  47. Paul, South Midlands, UK says:

    Sorry, I forgot the website for that quote:

    http://www.aquinas-multimedia.com/catherine/cranmer.html

  48. wcy says:

    Chris said: “The USCCB explicitly says that there is no mixing between the vetus ordo and novus ordo, and they—for instance—say that altar girls are not allowed in the former.

    I agree with Chris completely. The legislation allowing altar girls and communion in the hand seem to me (unless I am otherwise informed) to be of the same nature. They seem to be indults and exceptions to the law, applied only at the discretion of the bishop and not by Conferences of bishops. (Conferences are overrated and have no juridical personality in the Church!) If it is agreed that altar girls cannot be used in the Trad Mass, then it ought to be agreed that Communion in the hand is not allowed.

    Furthermore, liberal Bishops (and probably orthodox ones) are saying that altar girls and communion in the hand are not allowed in their publications. We should not second-guess them on this particular issue. Besides, this is a matter best left to each community to decide.

    Fr. Z: Respectfully, this is a matter to be careful on. Your words carry a lot of weight, and some may attach juridical weight to them. This is really a grey area in the law, due to 40 years of neglect, and that is the most we can say, until more competent authorities (perhaps PCED) makes a statement.

    The best judgement to me seems to lean towards “conservatism” as the early Catholics were wont to do, but an exception may be made by the celebrant in charity, on only on charity, to avoid scandal.

    This goes back to the issue on vernacular readings in the motu proprio, which at best (or worst?) are ambiguous, and really point towards the readings in Missale 1962, not the modern lectionary. My reading of SP was based on calendar issues, integrity of the readings and propers, the mention of “Missal of Bl. John XXIII”, and above all, proper statutory construction of the law, including word placement and commas (at least to a civil lawyer as myself). It was not really a good idea to say that we could use the new lectionary until the situation was clarified, (besides the fact that whoever tried to do so would have been banished by the community).

    Summary: Let’s not give people with disdain for the Mass ammunition, especially not on issues that are at best (or worst?) ambiguous.

    Besides, what ever happened to collegiality? The people have already said a firm “no”.

  49. Chris says:

    Of course only men can become priests which is why boys should
    only be altar servers: to explore a potential vocation (which we drastically
    need right now). The same thing goes for communion on the tongue: it teaches
    reverence and the Real Presence. Sad to say, but only around 10% of “Catholics”
    believe in this central truth; and, I would say, a great deal of this disrespect
    (may I say “sacrilage”) has to do with communion in the hand.

    Rubrics and standards are not intended to make things hard for you folks
    who have not been to a vetus ordo mass; we are not “Catholic pharisees”; hell-bent
    on rules and regulations. But rubrics are intended to offer God proper respect,
    and keep us from detracting from the central meaning of the Mass: the Sacrifice.
    For the same reason, I find it detracting to shake hands with (and sometimes hug) those
    around me during the sign of peace. I love my brother and sister Catholics, but
    my purpose at mass isn’t to socialize, except with God. I can socialize with
    my brother Catholic before or after mass–at donut and coffee time, say.

    It’s not that we’re mean, condesceding, judgmental or rule-based at the vetus ordo
    mass (or at least, I should hope not), we just believe Christ deserves His due
    during this one hour of the week.

    And remember, the majority of the great Saints were nourished during the vetus
    ordo.

  50. L_D says:

    I vaguely recall an authoritative statement from the CDW published in Notitiae a couple decades ago (when self-communication was a new thing) which framed the matter in language that suggests that the practice is an option particular to the Communion rite of the Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI. I don’t buy the “it’s the law for the Roman rite in all its forms” assumption. It is an option added to the specific Communion rite of what is now the ordinary form of the Roman rite. I certainly agree that in light of today’s pastoral situation people should not be refused who out of ignorance stretch out their hands, but the practice should be discouraged as it has nothing to do with the Communion rite of the forma extraordinaria.
    Let us not forget Memorale Domini which clearly states that this practice, which it consistently describes as a new rite, “does not merely affect discipline.”

    “Three questions were asked of the bishops, and the replies received by 12 March 1969 were as follows:
    1. Do you think that attention should be paid to the desire that, over and above the traditional manner, the rite of receiving Holy Communion on the hand should be admitted?
    Yes: 597
    No: 1,233
    Yes, but with reservations: 315
    Invalid votes: 20″

    What was discussed, and what was decided upon, was the introduction of an optional new rite for the distribution of Holy Communion to the reformed Mass. The 1962 missal was not a part of the discussion and this ritual change was not imposed upon this Mass. The two Masses may be described as two “forms”, but they are utterly distinct missals and it makes no sense whatsoever that adaptations and indults approved for the forma ordinaria would by default apply to the forma extraordinaria. I don’t see this issue as a matter of “law” or “rights”, it is a matter of Rome spelling out how the Communion rite is to be carried out in the forma extraordinaria and until she says otherwise the 1962 practice seems to be the only obvious approach.

    Put another way, it is obvious that adaptations or changes that pertain to things such as the prayer of the faithful or the handshake of peace do not bind the forma extraordinaria since there are ritual differences which make this absurd. I think the same thing applies in this case because there are structural differences between the two Communion rites such that it is absurd to assume that the legislation had this missal in mind or that the new practice is even applicable to said rites. The lack of an “amen” response and the logistical tensions pointed out in previous comments highlight this fact.

    And quite frankly the forma extraordinaria is an occasion to counteract various liturgical innovations that have brought harm to the life of the Church. The fears and dangers that were expressed at the time the self-communication indult came out have proved all too real.

    “It carries certain dangers with it which may arise from the new manner of administering holy communion: the danger of a loss of reverence for the august sacrament of the altar, of profanation, of adulterating the true doctrine.”

    That’s my opinion anyway.

  51. L_D says:

    Please excuse this momentary hi-jack…

    Father John Trigilio,
    I love you. Your EWTN show helped me on my way into the Church years ago. Thank you for all your work.

    Peace.

  52. Mike in NC says:

    Rather than Jurassic Park (an unintentionally offensive choice of words, I sincerely believe) or gravitational pull metaphors, perhaps we can use metaphors ‘quarantining’ the 1970 Missal’s ‘plasticity’ (ambiguously described as ‘creativity’)? Recall Pope Benedict’s remarks in his Letter to Bishops:

    . . . in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal . . . the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. . . . And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

    Is it distorting the meaning of His Holiness’ words to change them thus?:

    . . . in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of [the extraordinary form] . . . [Summorum Pontificum and the accompanying letter] actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. . . . And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

  53. Mike in NC says:

    Would someone please discuss whether the 1962 Missal (and other books revivied by Summorum Pontificum) are silent or whether they speak to prohibiting:

    Communion in both kinds,

    lay distribution of Communion, and

    lay readers of the Epistle, Gospel (and Prophecies when used) after the priest reads them at the altar.

    Fr Z: If they do not prohibit these practices, but are are silent, would your arguments (Code of Canon Law, 1983, and ‘Let’s not make their experience jolting . . . Don’t freak people out. It is easy to hurt people in that vulnerable moment. . . . Pope Benedict did not stick a needle into a 1962 traditionalist mosquito trapped in liturgical amber and then rebuild a fenced in world from another epoch.’) have the same weight regarding these practices?

    Another metaphor: do we want a black hole to eat the Mass?

  54. Chris says:

    One final thought: if one can recieve in the hand during a traditional mass, then, surely one can bring a portable altar rail into the Novus Ordo mass; set it up, hand the priest a paten, openn our mouths, recieve worthily, pick-up our portable rail, and move on.

    Fair is fair, quid pro quo.

  55. L_D says:

    If I may be slightly bombastic: That “another epoch” sentiment is a bit obsolete in my opinion (reminiscent of the rallying cries of the 60′s and 70′s). The “groovy” Catholics had their day and they’ve screwed things up good enough. There are millions and millions of Catholics who find Communion on the hand to be disgraceful just as there are millions of Catholic women (including young women) who wear veils at Mass of their own accord. There are even still men who feel ashamed to show up for Mass in any old street clothes. A manifest faith in the Holy Eucharist, a sense of sacrality and spiritual propriety, and a love for tradition will never go out of style. What have gone out of style are the Protestant song books and the group hugs around the altar. It is for the most part the “progressives” who cling to the ideals of “another epoch”, and sadly hoards of faithful who don’t know any better follow blindly behind them. It is clericalism and a regime held over from the 1970′s that keeps authentic Catholic piety and worship on the down low. I am convinced that the gathering around the supper table Mass exists in a fenced in world of its own and that its gates shall not prevail against that procession to the heavenly realm which has been unleashed into the heart of the Church.

  56. Everyone: Great discussion. I am reading all the comments and thinking about them.

    A couple things.

    First, let not anyone come away with the idea that I am in favor of Communion in the hand. This whole thing stems from thinking about the Church’s law, about which there is obviously a serious question we hope will be clarified.

    Second, I am pretty serious about NO ALTAR GIRL DISCUSSION. I will edit posts or delete them when that theme is introduced in any significant way. We should keep that discussion for another blog entry.

  57. Jordan Potter says:

    Dan said: That is an actual quote from Blessed Mother Teresa.

    No, it’s not. Read these words, from a radical traditionalist who thinks Communion in the Hand is absolutely terrible and un-Catholic:

    On Feb 17 I asked by email Fr George Rutler, “are you the priest who interviewed Blessed Mother Teresa and was told that she detested communion in the hand as an even greater crime than abortion? If so is there any article available on the web that relates this interview?”

    He replied, “This has been misquoted. Mother Teresa told me she thought the greatest sadness to her was how people receive communion unworthily. She made clear to me that she was not condemning communion in the hand per se and instructed me to make this very clear. I told her that I’d pray about it and write a clarification to which she responded, “We need it right away. I pray. You write.” I have published this statement many times and people willfully ignore it. This is bad faith. Mother preferred communion on the tongue, as do I, but her point was that the disposition of the heart is what matters, not whether one received on the tongue or in the ancient manner of in the hand. There are fanatics abroad who twist her words.”

    You can read the rest of this message here:

    http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=95088&highlight=&sid=a4943d063aec0bd61a01090875e04830

    (Just so you know, the person reporting this clarification of Fr. Rutler’s is a hostile witness, disagreeing vehemently with Fr. Rutler about Communion in the Hand.)

  58. J Christopher says:

    Isn’t communion in the hand up to the bishop of the diocese to ok? In speaking of the TLM, our bishop specifically said communion was to be only given on the tongue. If it’s his call, then where a bishop has spoken the matter is settled in that diocese at least.

  59. Brian says:

    I am 57 years old and by the grace of God have two sons, ages 11 and 9, who only know the Old Rite.

    The New Mass has always haunted me from its time of introduction. Nothing ever seemed right to me about it. When Holy Communion in the hand was introduced, that pretty much did it for me. God only knows how many sins of anger I committed after each New Mass I attended from the 70′s to the mid 80′s. Then in the mid 80′s, we had several “approved” indult Masses at which I could assist every week. This did. however, require driving as much as 120 miles round trip.

    I remember making visits to the Blessed Sacrament, in the church of my youth, some thirty and twenty years ago and praying to God that the magnificent High Altar would once again be used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass;(it had never been wreckovated.

    Communion in the hand, to me, seemed then, and still seems to me now as an abuse. Just because the Church permits it, does not make it right.

    Michael Davies once said, “just because a Pope can change something, and has the authority to do it, does not mean that he ought to do so.”

    With Summorum Pontificum, there seems a real possibility that the High Altar, in the church of my youth, will be used again.

  60. Diane says:

    I’m with Fr. WTC, Fr. DD, and Fr. Trigilio on this.

    I’m also in agreement with others who have brought up the care with which the priest must handle the Holy Eucharist, only to drop it into non-consecrated hands? Why would a priest have to take such care in how he holds his fingers?

    I also feel that for years to come, we can assume new people will trickle into Tridentine Masses who don’t know anything about it or it’s customs. Therefore, explaining things before Mass would be prudent, or having info like this on the inside cover of booklets for them to plainly see.

    I think it would be imprudent for a priest to make a scene for someone who does manage to beat the altar boy’s paten into place. In such cases, yeah – distribute out of charity, but then “catechize” the person following Mass.

    If half the people assisting decide to “exercise their rights” to receive in the hand, then you can kiss goodbye the idea of those of irregular status coming back into the fold. Can you imagine them witnessing a bunch of people at the rail receiving Communion in the hand?

  61. Father L says:

    I have been following Fr. Z for a while now. Here I am stunned. Communion in the hand is a terrible problem. Part of my hope to celebrate in the Traditional Rite is to put a stop to all of the sadness that has crept into the Liturgy.

    If the consensus becomes Communion in the hand will be given, it will eventually become the norm. Many people will gravitate to the most ‘comfortable’. i.e., secular. That is why it was desired in Poland.

    I fear that if even the Fr. Z’s of the world don’t really mind it, it is inevitably the wave of the future. It is the nose of the camel under the tent.

    If I attended a Byzantine liturgy, I would never for a second presume that I could go up and put out my hands. I would see how other people do it, perhaps ask, and if I were surprised at the Communion rail, I would say ‘Oh, this must be how it is done. I get it.’

    I pray to God that the abuses of the present Mass would stop at the door of the Traditional Mass. Some reform, fine. But not the abuses.

    Father L.

  62. Susan says:

    Henry Edwards – Thank you.

  63. Scott Smith says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I really do disagree with the assessment that, as a general rule, communion should be given in the hand during the Mass celebrated according the Missal of 1962. The following describe my reasoning and understanding.

    1) The Code of Canon Law expressly states that matters of Liturgy are regulated elsewhere.

    2) Permission to give Communion in the Hand as a norm is found in the Third Edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (US English Edition).

    3) The Missal of 1962 is “Integral”.

    In order celebrate the Mass correctly according to the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal one must have grasp of Tradition and an understanding of the mind of the law giver that promulgated that Mass. I seriously doubt that it was the mind of the law giver, John XXIII, to allow communion in the hand or under both kinds.

    As far as the earlier indult for communion in the hand, it would seem that it was the intention of the law giver that it affect the ordinary use of the Roman Rite not the indult Mass.

    At the same time: It would seem to me that Communion in the hand could be denied only if there was danger of profanation, or if it was explicitly stated that communion in the hand was not licit. (When in doubt…)

    The general liturgical law of the Church says that one may stand or kneel for communion in the Ordinary Use, and cannot be denied communion solely because of one’s posture. However the Missal I have (1961) says that the posture for every, even prelates during the communion of the faithful, is kneeling. If I were a priest, and I’m not, and I were celebrating the Older form of the Mass, which I would, and a pious woman came to the communion rail and had her hands out, I would think that she forgot to put her hands under the linen cloth first, or that she might not be a Roman Catholic, but perhaps a well intentioned Episcopalian because of her apparent lack of knowledge of the usual custom for the extraordinary use.

    Just some thoughts.

  64. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    There is a tape-recording of Fr. Rutler’s Good Friday sermon, at St. Agnes Church in NYC, and he said before a thousand people that Mother Teresa said:
    “Wherever I go in the world, the thing that makes me the saddest, is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”
    She said it.
    It is not a condemnation of communion in the hand *as such*, but –I think– the de facto way it is commonly carried out.
    Notice that a careful reading shows that Fr. Rutler does deny her words, but explains them (or explains them away.)
    A priest –as many of my brother priests can attest– can get in *big trouble* from the chancery if he even merely mentions that Holy Mother Church prefers that her children receive commiunion on the tongue.
    A fuller, if imperfect treatment of this question appeared about ten years ago in HPR. It was ghost written by your servant.

    http://www.catholic-pages.com/mass/inhand.asp

    No bishop can forbid communion on the tongue, but an Ordinary could forbid communion on the hand totally or partially.

  65. Susan says:

    While I am beginning to understand the legal aspects, I’m still confused about the sacrilege comments of receiving communion in the hand. Since I have only experienced the Novus Ordo Mass, and would happily receive eucharist on the tongue while kneeling, (though it is prohibited by Seattle Arch), I don’t yet understand the antipathy, beyond the law, to reception by hand. There must be some catechesis behind the transition,…why did this change become so regular?

  66. L_D says:

    Fr. McDonald,

    I’ve read that good old HPR article a number of times (it’s a good one!) and I must say that while I am utterly against Communion on the hand I have a number of critical questions about this article. I have had a certain desire to discuss the matter for some time. Is there any possibility of this happening? Communion on the hand is one of my pet issues and I’m hoping to someday present my own critique of the practice.

    I have at least one question for almost every paragraph of the article (not all critical in nature). Since this is not the place for such things I will of course restrain myself. Oh shucks, one question:
    The article states of St. Cyril’s Mystagogical Catechesis that “some [scholars] think that perhaps there has been an interpolation, or that it is really the saint’s successor who wrote it. It is not impossible that the text is really the work of the Patriarch John, who succeeded Cyril in Jerusalem. But this John was of suspect orthodoxy. This we know from the correspondence of St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine.”

    This article was written of course before Doval’s masterful of this topic. Just one of many issues that I would like to explore.
    http://www.amazon.com/Cyril-Jerusalem-Mystagogue-Authorship-Mystagogic/dp/0813210798/ref=sr_1_1/104-7239136-2251123?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190437111&sr=8-1

    Cheers.

  67. Jordan Potter says:

    Fr. McDonald said: There is a tape-recording of Fr. Rutler’s Good Friday sermon, at St. Agnes Church in NYC, and he said before a thousand people that Mother Teresa said:
    “Wherever I go in the world, the thing that makes me the saddest, is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”
    She said it.

    Or rather, Fr. Rutler said that she said it. He later said that she asked him to correct and clarify what he had said.

    It is not a condemnation of communion in the hand as such, but—I think—the de facto way it is commonly carried out.

    Indeed, that seems to have been her point: expressing sorrow at the unworthy manner in which Communion is received, and not to condemn Communion in the Hand per se. So, as I said above, we cannot enlist her in this battle, as an opponent of Communion in the Hand.

  68. L_D says:

    Jordan Potter,

    Even so it would appear that the way in which the sentiment was phrased is suggestive of a link between the two phenomena.

  69. William says:

    I have only experienced the Novus Ordo Mass, and would happily receive eucharist on the tongue while kneeling, (though it is prohibited by Seattle Arch)

    Susan, communion on the tongue cannot possibly be prohibited by the Bishop of Seattle (or by the Archdiocese of Seattle). It is the “ordinary” means of communion and is always permitted.

  70. Paul, South Midlands, UK says:

    I am loath to dismiss well documented quotations by Bl. Mother Theresa on the basis of one alleged email. I suspect Bl. Mother Theresa was well aware that communion in the hand originated with Cramners assault on the real presence.

  71. Scott Smith says:

    Susan,

    William is of course right that communion cannot be refused to those who prefer to kneel or to those who prefer to receive on the tongue. Nor are those people to be considered “disobedient”.

    As to the sacrilege of communion in the hand. I know from personal experience in a parish in the Diocese of Little Rock, that communion in the hand is not the best way to prevent the sacred Host from being profaned. Small children who don’t know what they are doing end up getting a Host, which they promptly play with like it’s a coin. Also, a little over a year ago a sacred host was found in the trash can outside the front doors of the parish. Someone just happened to spot it. Someone, received communion in the hand and didn’t know what to do with it evidently. Also, there is danger that those involved in the occult, which is somewhat prevalent here, would seek to acquire a Sacred Host. Communion in the hand would allow this to happen more easily.

  72. Jordan Potter says:

    Paul said: I am loath to dismiss well documented quotations by Bl. Mother Theresa on the basis of one alleged email.

    It’s not an alleged email, nor is it just one. I’d already heard a few years ago about the debunking of Fr. Rutler’s misquotation of Mother Teresa. Finding a radical traditionalist hater of Communion in the Hand posting an email from Fr. Rutler just confirms what I’d already been told about this alleged quote.

    L_D said: Even so it would appear that the way in which the sentiment was phrased is suggestive of a link between the two phenomena.

    I don’t disagree — Communion in the Hand does open the way wider to possible sacrilege. That’s one reason I never receive by hand, only on the tongue.

  73. Father-
    By your reasoning about Communion in the hand, would it not also then be required of a priest or pastor to accept the request of a girl to be trained as an altar server in the Tridentine rite?

  74. Marcin says:

    Father L.

    If the consensus becomes Communion in the hand will be given, it will eventually become the norm. Many people will gravitate to the most ‘comfortable’. i.e., secular. That is why it was desired in Poland.

    Would you, Father, clarify what exactly and by whom was desired in Poland?

    I came back from Poland some two weeks ago and saw no one approaching the priest with the hands stretched forth – everyone received on the tongue. Until my early 30s I have lived there and have never seen (or maybe couple of times that escaped my memory) anyone receiving on hand. Yes, there were relatively rare voices heard from the circles of the “intellectual and enlightened” Catholics (particularly those well traveled) calling for the introduction of CitH, but they should not have been enough to make the bishops ask Rome for permission. Anyway they did – the gates are opened now. I presume they did it for our benefit. They know better. (sigh)

  75. Kenneth: By your reasoning about Communion in the hand, would it not also then be required of a priest or pastor to accept the request of a girl to be trained as an altar server in the Tridentine rite?

    No, Kenneth, not at all.  This is because altar girls are not obligatory.  Conferences of Bishops can determine for their regions if females can serve at the altar.  However, even if the conference says they can, individual diocesan bishops staill can decide for their own dioceses what the policy will be: if they can or not.  Beyond that, no pastor can be forced or obliged, under law, to have female servers if he does not deem it opportune.

    The Communion in the hand thing is a little different.  When Conferences determine for their regions that people can receive in the hand, that extends to them a right to receive that way.  Provided that the conditions for Comunion in the hand are met, people who want Communion in the hand shouldn’t be denied it that way.  Of course, if there is a risk of profanation, Communion should not be given in the hand.  I suppose that one could argue that there is always greater risk of profanation via Communion in the hand, but then would start skating onto more difficult ice.

  76. Thank you, Fr. Z., for helping articulate the difference between the instructions of the rite (or the use in this case) and the liturgical or canon law. I completely agree with you. As the dust settles from “Summorum Pontificum” going into effect, I am see instances where there is a confusion of what can and cannot be done in the two uses. While I certainly believe many of these priests to be sincere, I also find them to be sincerely wrong, and I think it is showing an unfortunate lack of formation in liturgy. Even if it not be their own fault, I would advise priests to be prudent and to “festina lente” in introducing not only the older form of Mass but in making “changes” to the ordinary form of the Mass. Even though one might not like some of the things in the either form of the Mass, they still must follow the instructions, ritual, and rubrics of whichever form the use, however it must also be seen in the context of the current juridical laws as well.
    I have seen a similar argument with chapel veils. The only place which required them was the 1917 code of Canon Law, which is now abrogated. But I have heard some women fight tooth and nail that chapel veils must still be worn, especially at the older form of Mass.

    RS

  77. Diane says:

    Fr. Z: Fr. John Trigilio posted an interesting analysis in this comment. (For those who have not read it, it needs to be seen in full, which is why I am not extracting any one portion of it).

    I am interested in your take on his comment, if you will.

    God bless

  78. David Kubiak says:

    While I think that people should be instructed that at the extraordinary form one does not receive in the hand, there is a larger issue here that will have to be dealt with sooner or later. The old rite cannot be frozen indefinitely at its 1962 stage of development. This would be as contrary to tradition as its suppression was — indeed it would be the end of tradition and the beginning of mummification. Whether the Pope has it in mind that the ‘Ecclesia Dei’ commission will begin to act as a kind of Congregation of Rites for the old usage remains to be seen, but some body with that kind of competence needs to exist.

  79. William says:

    On the other hand, the Roman Missal did go for stretches of hundreds of years without revision. I see absolutely no reason to start messing around with the traditional rite for at least the next 50 years apart from two issues: clarifying permitted practice where there is currently some small variation and minor changes to the calendar, such as possibly adding newer saints.

    When it becomes possible to revise the traditional rite without liturgical wreckers trying to get involved, then ok – but that will be a while.

  80. Matt says:

    Father,

    By your logic on communion, couldn’t you say the same regarding altar girls? The Missal doesn’t specify and now they are permitted, so why not have women and altar girls help father at the Extraordinary Form of the mass.

  81. Scott Smith says:

    Customs that had attained the force of law by 1917 were incorporated into the Code of 1917. Unless they are contrary to the code of 1983 those customs having attained the force of law are not abrogated by being ommitted in the new code. The commentary of on the code by the Canon Law Society of America is very intersting on those points. If those customs are contrary then they loose the force of law. If those customs are specifically abrogated they can no longer be observed. If those customs are not contrary then they remain in force. Three different cases. Communion on the tongue has not be abrogated. At best, communion on the tongue has been derogated by the Holy See in certain places and this has remained in the realm of liturgical law which is not a part of the Code of 1983. Liturgical law now applies either universally, or specifically. Communion in the hand is permitted in certain places. Does a Latin Rite Catholic in the US have an indult to receive communion in the hand at an Eastern Rite Liturgy in the US? The next parsing would be to determine what is particular to a rite and what is particular to a use. What is permitted in the Anglican Use parishes? Surely one is not permitted to translate indiscriminately the allowances from one use to another use. If the extraodinary use follows the rubrics from a particular year, 1962, it would seem that permissions granted at later dates would not apply unless specifically mentioned. It would seem evident that if there is only one Roman rite, one ordinary and one extraodinary, that all decrees would affect only the ordinary use unless mention is made of the extraordinary. Are the other Latin Rites given the same indult for communion in the hand? I’m thinking of the Ambrosian and the Mozarabic.

  82. Aaron Sanders says:

    I really think the role of custom should be given greater weight in the discussions of this particular liturgical practice. I’ll say right up front that I’m not a canonist, but I’ll submit my musings for the examination of others who do know better.

    First of all, if communion only on the tongue was the law prior to the first indults for communion in the hand (and while I’m not too sure which exact document regulated this but I think we all agree this was the case) then it can’t simultaneously be custom. Custom must be introduced by the will of the people, not something mandated by a legislator. In other words, if it is codified law it is automatically not a custom, and thus does not fall under the protection of customs with force of law.

    That being said, though, in the time since communion on the tongue only has ceased to be law, I think we can find many instances of communities intending to enforce this custom at their celebrations according to the ’62 missal, and setting aside for a moment the question of whether all of these communities pass the thirty-year test (or whether the 1983 CIC even makes that possible), I think we could assert that many if not most of them have received at least tacit approval of this custom from their ordinaries, thus very likely obtaining force of law for the prohibition, at these ’62 Masses where the congregation intends it to enforce it as a norm, of communion in the hand. Now, custom is a tremendous gray area and I hardly pretend to be an expert on exactly how the law functions here, but the USCCB’s own statement “prohibiting” “mixing of missals” is a good indication that many bishops intend to abide by these customs.

    To sum up, then, even if we determine that, after consulting all the relevant *legislation* on the subject, communion in the hand is technically allowed, isn’t there a large possibility that customs *which have obtained the force of law* could still fairly strictly prohibit this practice where they are in force, or even, given their presumably quite widespread nature, universally?

  83. RBrown says:

    Father,
    By your logic on communion, couldn’t you say the same regarding altar girls? The Missal doesn’t specify and now they are permitted, so why not have women and altar girls help father at the Extraordinary Form of the mass.
    Comment by Matt

    Didn’t he already answer that?

  84. David says:

    This may not be a helpful comment, but will this really be an issue? I mean, when I first attended my “indult” parish, I was so nervous about receiving communion–all I wanted to do was fit in! Goodness . . . I really think all other inquiring minds would do similar: try to mimic what everyone else is doing!

  85. WCY says:

    I still disagree. Intent: If in the (mistakened) mind of the legislator (Holy See, USCCB, individual bishops) the Traditional Mass has been suppressed, and he passes a norm like reception in the hand, does the norm apply to the former liturgy? It seems to me like the body of liturgical law for both uses remains separate. For example: instructions on when to sit, stand, or kneel by individual diocese do not apply to the TLM, even if the text of the instruction do not specify the Novus Ordo and could be read to apply to the TLM.

    If Fr. Z is right thought, in keeping with Memoriale Domini and AAS 61 (1969) 546-547, we ought to:

    *1.* Ensure each communicant receives in front of the minister (who is either a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister [the logic follows that they can be used in the TLM!]) This would, in effect, slow down the “communion procession”.

    *2.* In keeping with norms and customs of the TLM whereby a minister of communion purifies his hand at a vessel by the gradine, *huge fonts should be installed at the end of the communion rails and purificators provided*, so the people can purify their hands after reception on the hand. This would satisfy the indult requirement that *profanation* of the Blessed Sacrament is avoided.

    I know I am being silly, but it proves a point. Until we install those fonts, it ought not be allowed because of the law. It ought only be allowed to avoid scandal, and only on a case by case basis, with “proper catechesis” afterwards.

    As a sacristan, it seems ironic that Memoriale Domini and recent instructions or indults insist on the avoidance of profanation. This is because altars / tables where the Novus Ordo is celebrated, and places where communion in the hand is given, are almost always places of negligent or reckless profanation and sacrilege.

  86. WCY says:

    Fr Z. said: Summorum Pontificum does not, however, revive all the decrees in force in 1962.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am not a canon lawyer. Aren’t customs law in themselves, as in customary law? And would it not make sense that those that are particular to the Missal, like communion and serving, would be revived(not a good word, but oh well..) with the Missal?

    For example, many of the motions and actions of liturgical ministers (deacon, subdeacon, acolytes, thurifer, etc.) are part of customary law. Does this mean that they were not revived with Summorum? If not, am I free to serve the TLM a la Novus Ordo style?

    Would all modern decrees affecting calendar also affect the TLM? *Do we now have to celebrate Ascension Sunday instead of Ascension Thursday?*

    No, the body of liturgical law must be kept separate.

  87. Michael says:

    We all need to wake up to reality. The recent novel introduction of Communion in the hand was spread by disobedience, and I believe with malicious (or at least misguided) intent. It has done nothing but institutionalize sacriledge and weaken faith in the Real Presence. Memoriale Domini stated that Communion on the tongue was to be retained. Of course it allowed the possibility of an indult but unfortunately in a way that was easily taken advantage of by disobedient clerics and laymen. Communion in the hand was supposed to be allowed only where it had become a custom and in a way that did not harm the faith and avoided sacriledge. If I was a priest, knowing that this practice has a very high probability of resulting in sacriledge and does not strengthen the faith in the Real Presence, I could not in good conscience do it. That may sound “disobedient” but I think that protecting Our Lord in the Eucharist from profanation and saving the souls of your flock is more important than accepting this profane practice.

  88. Aaron Sanders says:

    WCY,

    Custom is not law. Customs can have the force of law, but they nevertheless remain customs. On its face this can seem like unnecessary hair-splitting, but the rubber meets the road when it comes to derogating or abrogating them. A law can only be changed by successive law, and that means it can only be done by a legislator. A custom, on the other hand, can be changed by subsequent contrary custom. So if a community wanted to enforce communion on the tongue this could eventually gain force of law; but if that same community 40 years later decided they wanted to switch to communion on the tongue, there would be no legal recourse because they can, in fact, change their own custom (though the new custom could only gain force of law either with some sort of approval or 30 years of age).

  89. WCY says:

    Mr. Sanders,

    What has the force of law is law itself. Custom seems to me to be a species of law that is governed, not by acts of the legislator, but of the community. Here is the definition in the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913:

    *A custom is an unwritten law* introduced by the continuous acts of the faithful with the consent of the legitimate legislator. Custom may be considered as a fact and as a law. As a fact, it is simply the frequent and free repetition of acts concerning the same thing; as a law, it is the result and consequence of that fact.

    The substance of my point though, is that the TLM has attendant liturgical customs that are not part of the rubrics. If we consider that communion in the hand has been superseded by particular law and the attendant traditional custom not revived, are we then to say that Ascension Thursday is now Ascension Sunday in many diocese, and that attendant liturgical customs on the manner of serving are also not now in force? *Can I now invent a new manner of serving the TLM?*

    A.M.D.G.
    WCY

  90. JohnK says:

    To some extent I think the education of communicants receiving communion on their tongue while on their knees is going to require the re-installation of altar rails at many churches. At the moment there is not one set of rails in our diocese.

  91. Aaron Sanders says:

    WYC,

    Your initial statement (“What has the force of law is law itself”) is simply not true in the 1983 CIC. For the purposes of commanding our obedience, it’s perfectly fine of us to consider laws, general executory decrees, and customs to be the same thing, because they do all carry the same binding force upon us. I’m not trying to argue against the Catholic Encyclopedia, but it was written before even the first CIC was promulgated in 1917, and the 1983 CIC has made some alterations in the way our legal system works. This might be one of those.

    Why, though, belabor the point? If the binding force is the same, why insist on technical distinctions? Well, the main reason is that this distinction can have real teeth when trying to mount a canonical argument. For instance, we often see reference made to immemorial customs surrounding the EF, and thus arguing that they retained force even after the change to the 1983 CIC. But here we see the rub: if something was *legislated* prior to 1970, 1983, or whenever, then it *cannot be cited as custom* until it ceased to be law. That won’t necessarily affect all arguments surrounding custom with this issue (of communion) and others, but it is important to be aware of it for the purposes of crafting arguments.

  92. Jakub says:

    Allowing communion in the hand will be a huge mistake, it will open the door to the rest…