POLL: communion in the hand

Do you believe that each particle of a Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Jesus, God and man?

Do you receive Communion in the hand?

A reader sent two photos.  The first is of an unconsecrated communion host rest on the palm of a black glove.

This photo shows the fragments left behind.

"But Father! But Father!", some of you will perhaps be howling now.  "That’s a glove, not a hand!  We don’t know that that is what happens with hosts put into people’s hands!  That’s not fair!"

I grant that we don’t know.  I grant that palms are not gloves.   I grant that there are differences.

But …

Consider the lack of care with which many receive, how they move the Host around and handle it. 

Consider that often there is a more or less properly prepared EMHC also handling the Host.

Consider the condition of the skin of the palm. 

Consider the few seconds after a person transfers the Host from palm to mouth. 

Consider that the Host has been in contact not only with the palm, but the fingers of the other hand. 

Consider.

Let me be clear: I do not think people intend to be irreverent when they receive on the hand

Knowing that most Eastern Catholics have a different manner of receiving in both species, here is a question for you Latin Catholics.

POLL CLOSED

How do you Latin Catholics generally/habitually receive Holy Communion?

  • Directly on the tongue (including intinction) (84%, 2,425 Votes)
  • In the hand (16%, 474 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,899

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Mail from priests, POLLS. Bookmark the permalink.

349 Responses to POLL: communion in the hand

  1. Girgadis says:

    I used to receive in the hand. Not any longer. After numerous profanations of the Sacred Host our priest urged us to try receiving on the tongue. I won’t go back to receiving in the hand and can’t believe the practice was ever allowed. I’m woefully ignorant, by the way, about the TLM but I’m working on it.

  2. Nick says:

    My protest is that the glove shown is felt. If it were black leather and still showed those particles, I’d say we have a much stronger argument. The glove in the picture even looks like its got some lint. Do it over!

    I guess this brings up the question: what ingredients make up the host, what are the minimum ingredients that would qualify as a particle? I know there is wheat, flour and water–but the water is dehydrated in the baking process, so need there only be a grain of wheat and piece of flour attached in order to qualify as a particle? What about the “dust” from hosts rubbing together in ciboria–is that wheat and flour or just a wax coating rubbing off?

  3. Thomas says:

    When I occasionally attend the EF, of course it’s on the tongue. But I receive in the hand at the OF I always attend. I want to receive on the tongue there, too, but I’m too nervous. For a brief time before leaving for college I was an EMHC and I hated it. I was terrified about placing the host on someone’s tongue for fear of dropping it. My hands would actual shake. Now when receiving I tend to project that onto the person giving the host to me, so I just take it in the hand.

    I know, nuts, but what can I say?

  4. Nick says:

    I receive in the hand. I once received on the tongue, but the Host almost dropped off my tongue. Now I always receive in the hand.

  5. michael r. says:

    I too used to receive in the hand. One day about a month ago, after I returned to my pew, I looked down at my hand and there was a small particle which was very visible. I consumed the particle, wondering how many times this must happen every day. How many particles are not visible to those of us who don’t have great vision? I go to daily Mass at a cathedral location where 3 or 4 priests rotate. One of the priests has an obvious preference for communion in the hand. He flicked the host into the back of my mouth, and I had a terrible physical issue trying to deal with that. When he says Mass, I continue to receive in the hand.

  6. Dr. Eric says:

    In the OF I receive on the tongue from the priest. From the female Extraordinary (Extraneous) Minister, I receive on the hand.

    I think an easy fix to this problem would be for the priests in the OF to intinct and place the co-mingled species on the tongue like it is done in the Maronite Liturgy. This would keep the line moving (even better-bring back the Altar Rail!) and keep people bumping into each other while processing from the Host line to the Cup line or from the Host line to the pew.

  7. Chris says:

    This is the second poll that has really taken me by surprise. The first was father’s poll on confession.

    How can anyone who cares enough to read this blog receive our Lord in their hands? Has nothing sunk in?

  8. Jason says:

    I receive on the tongue.

    Having said that, I don’t think the glove pictures are are reliable. We don’t have a “before” shot of the glove, and the “after” shot has what looks like lint, not particles from the host. [True enough.]

  9. Karen says:

    I used to receive on the hand until I saw an interview with Cardinal Arinze talking about how careless people don’t check to see if particles are left on the hand and Jesus is brushed onto the floor to be stepped on. The next time I received in the hand I looked down and sure enough, there was particle left behind. I was appalled to think about how many times I “brushed Jesus” onto the floor to be stepped on. From then on…it’s been the tongue only. It is also a more humbling way to receive. I am STRONGLY encouraging my Sacramental class to receive this way after telling them my story. I asked if I could ONLY teach them that way, but was told I had to give them the choice :( Hurry up PBXVI and make it MANDATORY!!!

  10. xavier says:

    I used to receive on the hand, and that photo is pretty ridiculous. How did the “particles” get all over it? Do people typically receive the Sacred Host in their hand, then pick Him up and forcefully rub Him all around their palm and fingers before consuming Him?

  11. CB says:

    I receive on the tongue. However, once every couple years I get really bad cold sores on my mouth and then I receive in my hand. I don’t want to risk the priests fingers touching them and then giving the virus to someone else.

  12. Immaculatae says:

    I receive on the tongue. When I first came into the Church (21 years ago this May) I was only taught to receive in the hand. Thanks be to God somehow I learned about receiving on the tongue. Like from reading a book about Eucharistic Miracles that I read at that time. I worry about the particles even receiving on the tongue. I wish we had patens in use.

  13. Jayna says:

    I receive on the tongue. I used to receive in the hand, but after I started attending OF Latin Masses at the Brompton Oratory while I was living in London, I started receiving on the tongue. There was a priest at my parish, who has since retired, that I used to receive in the hand from because every time I didn’t put out my hands, he was clearly exasperated. While he really had no right to act like that, I didn’t like the idea of annoying my priest, so I just received in the hand from him.

    I know a couple of people that lick their hands after receiving in the hand. While I admire the dedication to not lose any particles, but surely just receiving on the tongue would be a better option than licking one’s hand as you return to the pew.

  14. cordelia says:

    reading CB’s response made me think about the times i’ve been sick and was in a quandry about what to do (i receive on the tongue). What did people do “back in the day” when everyone received on the tongue. did people just not receive communion that day if they were sick?

  15. Immaculatae says:

    I meant to say “likely from reading a book about Eucharistic Miracles at about that time.”

  16. jaykay says:

    I thankfully have the option of receiving on the tongue and from a priest although, sadly, not always kneeling. The EMHCs in our parish are mostly middle-aged to elderly and have absolutely no “problem” with reception on the tongue (neither, of course, ought they to have). Reception in the hand came in relatively late over here – early to mid 80s as far as I recall – although I think it really depended on the preference of the Bishop. Ours at that time was very traditional and it wasn’t pushed, although little by little it somehow now seems almost to have become the default, at least for anyone under 40.

    We still have the rails and becaue people still stand along them (in the way they used to kneel) and the priest (or EMHC) moves along it means that it’s still relatively decorous and we avoid the unholy scrum that seems to happen with people queueing at the one point.

    The parents of an altar server told me, having brought him to a TLM where he saw the “active participation” of the altar boys his age, that he said to them he felt cheated (his words)because he and the others have so little to do apart from bringing the gifts, and just stay seated during communion. Unfortunately he can’t learn the TLM as that location is over 50 miles away, but they have decided to make the sacrifice of going more often, even though it’s not convenient. I couldn’t encourage them enough.

  17. TJM says:

    I have always received communion on the tongue. I might have been open at one point to receiving it in the hand, if the practice had first been authorized by proper Church authority. Since the practice was born out of rank disobedience,I decided never to do so.

    Jayna,

    I had a priest like that once. After he gave me a funny look, I knelt down. It really put him on the spot. He NEVER gave me that funny look again.

    Tom

  18. Jenny Z says:

    I used to receive in the hand, but started receiving on the tongue thanks to this blog.

  19. C.L. says:

    Trying to receive the old-fashioned way in many (perhaps most?) Australian dioceses will result in the receiver being looked at as though he or she has two heads. I have a few friends who finally gave up on doing so, such was the weekly hostility, strange looks and theological presumptions (‘Eek! A traditonalist who rejects Vatican II, renewal and, like, post-conciliar niceness generally! Run for your lives!’). A few years ago, I saw a priest refuse to give communion the old way to an elderly recipient – he made her put her hands out. She was a most dignified looking lady and, needless to say, she was distressed. This was in a cathedral, by the way. Short of an enforced requirement emanating from Rome to change back to the former method worldwide, I’m afraid to say this horse has well and truly bolted. Receiving on the tongue is also best suited to a congregation kneeling at altar rails – and altar rails were vandalised and ripped out years ago. It’s scandalous, really. We say we believe in the Real Presence and yet we accept a ritual of reception that deliberately went from solemnity to banality.

  20. Frank H. says:

    I am 55, and to the best of my recollection, I have received in the hand only twice in my life. For a long time I thought it was just once, at a dimly recollected Mass in a suburban Detroit high school classroom around 1975 or 1976, where a loaf of bread was consecrated, torn into pieces and, I think, passed around in a basket.

    Recently, while looking over pictures from my wedding in Milwaukee 26 years ago, I was stunned to see that I was taking communion in my hand! I really did not recall that at all! My wife’s uncle was the Priest who married us, and he was, at that time, pretty enthusiastic about us being “creative”, you know, write our own vows and such. Plus, it was in Archbishop Weakland’s Archdiocese of Milwaukee, so the liturgical abuses were, I think, rampant. Wish I had known then what i know now, perhaps I would have been able to influence things in a more orthodox direction. But, still, only twice in the hand in all those years isn’t TOO bad a track record.

  21. Chris says:

    C.L.: Trying to receive the old-fashioned way in many (perhaps most?) Australian dioceses will result in the receiver being looked at as though he or she has two heads.

    So what?

  22. Jonathan says:

    I was actually just thinking about this after mass this morning. Usually, when I receive from a priest or a deacon, I receive on the tongue. If I receive from an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, I receive in the hand. This morning, however, I began to reconsider receiving in the hand at all because when I receive from a layperson, there was a large fragment left on my hand. I consumed it, but thought about what this post discusses. From now on, I think I am always going to receive on the tongue.

  23. Frank H. says:

    Jonathan, good decision! I know others who do the same, but it seems to me that the clerical status of the Eucharistic Minister has no affect on the sacred nature of the host.

  24. mrsmontoya says:

    From now on – always on the tongue.

  25. Martin says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,

    I receive on the tongue for medical reasons – I suffer from an involuntary movement disorder which affects my arms, and do not wish to drop a consecrated Host.

    What is exceptionally galling to see is the way in which the Host is too often treated by communicants receiving in the hand. For some, this will no doubt due to a deliberate lack of reverence; I have sometimes wondered whether a deliberate lack of reverence of that type is seriously sinful. However for many others it may be the case that, incredible as it might seem, familiarity with the Eucharist has perhaps led many communicants to fail to appreciate the extremely profound and mystical nature of the act in which they are participating. An occasional reminder from the pulpit of the extremely serious nature of the commitment that communicating should indicate wouldn’t go amiss.

  26. Jack says:

    There was once a study by a scientist who discovered that very many particles, microscopic and not, remain after receiving on the hand. The scientist then turned his results into Pope John Paul II.

    I wish I knew where I saw the study – maybe in an old Latin Mass Magazine.

    P.S. Nick, but it didn’t fall off your tongue.

  27. Laura Lowder says:

    Thanks in large part to the catechesis I received via Catholic Online webforum, from a certain Fr Z et al, I have only received on the tongue since I was received into the Church almost six and a half years ago. It seems the only appropriate thing to do. My hands are not clean, and certainly are not consecrated to handle the Precious Body of Our Lord.

    If I had episodes of cold sores, I’d make a spiritual communion until they were healed up (and take zovirex to speed up the process!) – just my personal recommendation.

  28. Jimbo says:

    I receive on the tongue, no matter who is distributing the Host. I echo the sentiment that the practice was born out of disobedience, but that is a negative reason. There are many positive reasons for receiving on the tongue. I could go on and on (most points have been discussed here) but suffice to say that liturgical aberrations in general, whether an abuse or just a bad practice, are dangerous. One such danger for parents is when they have taught their children about proper liturgy, and then go to a Mass rife with abuses and bad practices. The priests saying Mass, whether or not they realize it, are teaching us that disobedience is okay, and there are no consequences. They are teaching that to our children. Sad that most of them probably don’t even realize it; they’re saying Mass the way they were taught. They need to be properly taught. I hope we return to liturgical sanity in my lifetime (mid 40’s here!) but, well…lets keep praying.

  29. Luigi says:

    I’m 47 and have never received in the hand. (Almost all of it in the OF) Some Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are not very comfortable with it, so I do my best to receive from the priest.

    Too long of a story to tell here in detail, but while traveling for business the rector of a Cathedral in the midwest, an older man of about 70 or so, as I closed my eyes and opened my mouth sighed loudly and literally shoved our Lord into my mouth with exasperation. I spoke with him after Mass and he ended up screaming at me, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”

    It was real clear that demonic warfare was afoot. That was 6 or 7 years ago. I still pray for him.

    Intereested parties whould check out “Dominus Est – It is the Lord” by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, published in English by Newman House Press. (Fr. Peter Stravinskas’ outfit.) It’s an excellent treatment of this topic.

  30. I always received the Blessed Sacrament in hand during my youth. However, when in College, I attended a TLM, at which reception was on the tongue. After this I completely stopped receiving in the hand, with very few exceptions through the rest of my days. When I do receive in the hand I try to be very careful for crumbs and particles; usually I find some.

    It saddens me to see people receive as if it were no big deal. Grabbing at the Host from the minister rather than being sure to receive it as the free gift which it is, and even (gasp) wiping their hands on their pants after taking the host, presumably to clean their hands of crumbs. It is things like this that make me long for altar rails, servers holding patens, and the faithful receiving respectfully on the tongue.

  31. AM says:

    On the hand when from a layman, on the tongue when from a priest. From a priest whenever possible, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

    Always kneeling.

    When I receive on the hand, I kneel, I open my right hand over my open left hand, I receive from my palm directly into my mouth before standing up, and I always check _very_ carefully that no particles remain.

    Since the reason for receiving on the tongue is related to the reverent gesture of not touching the Host except with consecrated fingers, and since a layman is almost certainly not trained to communicate to the tongue nor expecting it, this seems the right compromise, with due reverence.

  32. Collegeville reject says:

    Nick;

    The glove is velvet not felt and it was done by a very reverent priest. The glove was cleaned AND a lint roller was used to make sure that the particles were indeed from the host to clear up any questions such as yours. [Wouldn’t it be interesting to see this whole process as a video?]

  33. Patrick says:

    I returned to receiving on the tongue after many years. Many priests seemed to discourage receiving on the tongue, and I confess that an EMC does not evoke feelings of confidence when it comes to receiving on the tongue. We have many instances of the Most Precious Body being dropped by EMCs.

    Earlier a post said that it was not a properly controlled experiment because the glove used was felt and might abrade the hosts more than the palm of the hand. I must disagree, the unconsecrated hosts have been knocked around in a box or jar before being prepared for Mass. Then they are moved and jostled further. Have you ever seen the bottom of a container used to hold unconsecrated hosts? Its bottom is full of crumbs and dust.

    Each time a host is handled, some fragment of it is subject to detachment. It is basic physics, and basic geology as far as mechanics and erosion go.

    On another note, there is the thankfully infrequent use of those huge ovoid altar breads that break up into little squares. They are fragment generators. At my old parish the new priest had introduced this type of matter, and it resulted in many fragments of the Most Precious Body being broadcast over the altar. This parish did not use a white linen altar cloth, thus it was easy to see the white fragments of Our Lord’s Body against the green of ordinary time on the altar.

    Scandalous, but not the least of the offensive novelites that can be seen.

  34. Tim says:

    I prefer to receive on the tongue and always do so at the Sunday TLM. During the week when only the Novus Ordo is usually available, I prefer to receive on the tongue also. However many priests now are unsure and nervous about placing the Host on the tongue and twice I have had an accident in which the Host has falled onto the floor. (On one occasion the priest told me it was my fault because my tongue was not extended ‘horizontally’ enough). If I think there is a danger of another accident, I will receive in the hand but I don’t touch it with my fingers.

  35. flannerywannabe says:

    On the tongue, even when I am looked at like I have two heads. That is, unless I can gauge that there is a more serious risk of mistakes or inadvertent irreverence from receiving on the tongue (granted, I try to avoid these situations to begin with).

    It was difficult at first (and I was very discouraged by an early incident where a priest, obviously nervous and unaccustomed to giving Communion on the tongue, put it so far in my mouth that part of his finger went in too and I ended up inadvertently biting his knuckle. THAT was embarrassing). Now it is far more natural for me, and I see more and more priests and even EMs who seem comfortable with the practice.

  36. Nick says:

    Collegeville reject:

    I still think a leather glove is closer to the human hand. The texture of the velvet would “scrub” particles off. If we’re going to go through the effort of taking a picture, we may as well keep it as close to reality as possible.

    Meanwhile, as I’m reading the comments, it sounds like many priests are honoring the laity’s right to receive on the tongue, but not w/out significant psychological pressure to do otherwise (grimacing, complaining, etc). I wish there were a solution.

  37. Jacques says:

    The loss and spreading on the ground and elsewhere of particles and microparticles of the hosts, although scandalous in themselves are far to be the worst of this bad practice that was implemented in the years after the council: Sad to say, we must be convinced that it has much helped the modern wizards, witches & satanists of all kinds to get hosts very easily for their diabolical desecrating ceremonies. I know of a parish priest that for this very reason gives communion with very thin hosts that are very difficult to keep unwet between your foreteeth inside your mouth (like a desecrator on youtube recently made the demonstration). This same priest asks his deacons to watch carefully that the communicants really swallow the host.
    Besides he makes use of a paten to reduce the possible dissemination of particles

  38. Thomas Burk says:

    I will not receive in the hand. Every single time I have received on the tongue from an unnecessary minister, it has been botched. For these many years now, I refuse to receive from the laity. I just get in the line where there is a priest. Once in a while an usher will try to “herd” me, but I refuse to be herded.

  39. C.L. says:

    C.L.: Trying to receive the old-fashioned way in many (perhaps most?) Australian dioceses will result in the receiver being looked at as though he or she has two heads.

    So what?

    So, Chris, most people end up not wanting a grouchy priest or a lay-person fumbling about their mouths with the Sacred Host doing something they don’t want to do (and have little experience doing). Nor do they want their fellows to see them as ‘holier-than-thou’. The upshot is that reception on the tongue is now considered eccentric, even sanctimonious. Now sure, you can say “so what?” but a tiny minority’s preference for the more solemn form of reception won’t reform customs via some kind of educative osmosis. There has to be hierarchy-directed encouragement and catechesis if we’re to effect a change. That’s what interests me: not me vis-a-vis them but reform for the benefit of future generations.

  40. JaneC says:

    When I am in my own current parish, I always receive on the tongue; our extraordinary ministers are well-trained to give the Eucharist to people receiving on the tongue.

    When I am not at home, I try to make judgment calls based on what the people in front of me do, whether I am receiving from a priest, if there is a paten, and how competent an EM looks. On at least three occasions, an extraordinary minister has dropped the Body of the Lord on the floor when I have tried to receive on the tongue–better for me to receive in the hand and carefully inspect my hands afterward than to allow Christ to fall to the floor, I think.

  41. Jim says:

    I am a pre-Vatican II convert. I started attending a Ukranian Greek Catholic parish a few years ago because the liturgy in my old parish was so irreverently celebrated. In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches, the communicant always receives the Eucharist in the mouth with a spoon, standing. Before becoming an Eastern Catholic I always received on the tongue because I thought receiving in the hand was irreverent. When I was in Mexico a year ago I attended a parish in Guanajuato where the priest placed intincted hosts on the tongues of communicants. I have never seen this done before. Is that considered licit?

    There is virtually no “quality control” in the Roman church, particularly in Northern California where I reside. I have a hard time enduring happy clappy music, banal sermons, and lax liturgies. There is much more of a sense of awe and mystery in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches, AND a deep spiritual tradition going back to the early fathers. We have lost this sense of tradition in the West.

  42. thomas tucker says:

    I don’t know what to make of this glove picture- you would have to handle the Host most roughly to
    end up with all those particles stuck to the glove. I receive in the hand almost all the time and have never
    seen a stray particle. If there are stray particles form receiving in the hand, then they msut be all over
    the altar as well, and dropping to the carpet around the altar. Our Lord deigned to take physicial form for
    our benefit (and goes into our mouths, for Pete\’s sake) so I doubt that He minds people touching Him,
    or receiving in the hand.
    What is important is to do so reverently.

  43. Ben Trovato says:

    I’m with Thomas Burke (and others ) on this: only from a priest or deacon (or a bishop if I must…!), always on the tongue, and I always kneel.

    Yes, people look at me strangely, may speculate, try to usher me etc etc That is their problem. I find the whole business of standing out sufficiently embarrassing to be sure that I’m not doing ti for the wrong reasons!

  44. Baron Korf says:

    I prefer the tongue. Beyond the practicality of it there is a lot of meaning to it that I like. I am kinda tall so I try to recieve from either the pastor or one of the deacons at my church since they are taller than me. Because of the way people line up, there isn’t much room to kneel and if my bad knee locks I’d need something to push off of to get back up. Hopefully that won’t be in issue much longer because I’ve heard a rumor from a little birdy that we might be getting altar rails eventually.

  45. Geoffrey says:

    I made my First Holy Communion back in the 80s and we were all taught to receive in the hand, except for two students who had “special instructions from home”, i.e. to receive on the tongue. So I received in this manner my entire life. When I became an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist I began having different thoughts about the Liturgy and how to receive the Eucharist, and I soon began receiving on the tongue… and I never looked back!

  46. Chris says:

    C.L.:

    Try leading by example. You’re not exactly Joan of Arc by receiving on the tongue.

    People died for this Mass. I think we can handle the harsh looks of morons.

  47. Girgadis says:

    I would like to clarify something here. Many, not all Extraordinary Ministers, were asked to take on this ministry. I notice a lot of disparaging remarks toward these folks and it’s important to remember that there aren’t enough priests in some parishes to make monthly Communion calls to all the sick and shut-ins. What’s more, there is training that EXM’s are required to complete before they can begin assisting at Mass. I’m not sure I understand why a brand new priest would be any more adept at putting the Host on the tongue. I personally do not think that EM’s should “assist” at Mass but they fulfill a very vital role outside of Mass.

    Please also consider that not every female altar server has designs on entering the priesthood or scaring the boys away. Many serve simply because they were asked when not enough boys were willing to volunteer their time to do so. We can have the chicken and the egg discussion about whether the girls scared the boys off in the first place, etc. but in some parishes, that’s simply not the case.

  48. FSB says:

    When I first came into the Church and didn’t know any better, I always received on the hand because that was what everyone else in my parish did. Four years after my conversion, I only receive on the tongue now and I will switch communion lines if necessary in order to receive from the priest.

    This was before my time, but here at my seminary I heard that in the hand vs. on the tongue was once a cause of bitter disputes. The more liberal faculty thought it was proof positive that you were a radical nutcase. This is definitely not the case today. Many seminarians still receive in the hand, but more and more of us receive on the tongue.

  49. Mark says:

    As someone entirely against communion in the hand, even I must say this is a weak argument. Modern sealed hosts dont really crumb, especially if they arent broken, and none of those particles are definitively of the host, like someone said…they look like lint. And remember what Aquinas said: “But if the change be so great that the substance of the bread or wine would have been corrupted, then Christ’s body and blood do not remain under this sacrament; and this either on the part of the qualities, as when the color, savor, and other qualities of the bread and wine are so altered as to be incompatible with the nature of bread or of wine; or else on the part of the quantity, as, for instance, if the bread be reduced to fine particles, or the wine divided into such tiny drops that the species of bread or wine no longer remain.”

    A fine particle no longer recognizable to the senses as bread is not the eucharist any longer. Maybe it was more obvious to whoever was present in person when those pictures were taken, but I honestly couldnt say whether those alleged particles are dust, or lint, or tiny crumbs. And if they are that small, the accidents are corrupted to the point that there is no Real Presence anymore.

    Christ is present in each particle of the eucharist, but only inasmuch as they remain part of something accidentally bread. The Summa says that division into a tiny quantity renders them no longer such, and that the real presence then ceases. So I think the worry about “tiny particles” is unfounded. It is only crumbs that are unambiguously recognizable as bread that we need to worry about, and modern sealed hosts are made in such a way as to no crumb.

    Nevertheless, the practice is obviously bad for a million other reasons.

  50. Paul Haley says:

    Since leaving the Novus Ordo some 20 years ago I have only received on the tongue Even in the Novus Ordo I would receive on the tongue if it were possible but, alas, it was not. Seems to me that if we believe that each and every particle contains the Body and Blood of Our Lord, then the only way to show proper reverence is on the tongue.

  51. Woody Jones says:

    Sorry if this repeats thoughts already expressed, but there seem to be at least two aspects to the communion in the hand problem. The first is the presence of Particles, as Father notes. To address this at least in part, I have seen Miles Jesu have a server with a purification bowl stand next to the minister distributing Communion, so that those receiving in the hand can purify the hand immediately. It does make the point, even if it looks a little strange at first.

    The second, and to me just as serious, however, is that the custom of receiving in the hand symbolized giving oneself Communion, instead of receiving it from Christ through His minister. It seems to slide easily into a neo-Protestant priesthood of believers kind of attitude. Coupled with receiving standing, which symbolizes a kind of near equality with the Other (get it–we kneel to our superiors, whether earthly king or [aspirationally, anyway] Christ the King, but we stand when dealing with our equals), it promotes a very deformed way of thinking that the Faith and the Church are democracies. Sure, I know that the democratic model for the Church is sometimes preached and taught against, but the effect of such teaching is destroyed by the actual practice, which is much more powerful and much more “democratic.”

    Adveniat Regnum Tuum!

  52. I always receive in the hand, and I also always check for particles.

    Also, I’d question the objectivity of the pictures, which seems to be designed to steer one towards a certain conclusion. Judging by the white particles, whatever the person did to the host, it does not look like a normal reception of the host.

    As for comments regarding, the careless, abusus non tollit usum. Clearly the proper response is the proper education of the faithful.

    So long as the permission exists, I will use it. If I am in a place where permission is not granted, or if the Holy Father revokes permission, I will obey

  53. MargaretMN says:

    I receive in the hand but I readily acknowledge that it\’s for a silly reason. When I was young, it was the practice to receive on the tongue. Shortly after my first communion I was receiving in a line with our grouchy parish priest. Out loud he chastised me for not sticking my tongue out far enough. I was mortified and soon after when the opportunity to have communion in the hand I jumped at it and never looked back. It\’s still the practice where I come from but the parish I attend now is much more traditional and it\’s more common to receive on the tongue. I will probably switch back in time for Easter. Mostly because I end up not receiving under both species, (the communal cup has always grossed me out than a little and I haven\’t partaken of that since my student days) and my current parish does intincture.

    I don\’t think that I get a lot of stray particles. I have always been very careful and sweep my palm with my thumb. It\’s hardly ever a problem with traditionally made hosts, usually it\’s the homemade \”cookie\” type hosts that some parishes use. Those are really a problem and they seem to be going out of style for that reason.

  54. Clara says:

    A note concerning those who are nervous about receiving on the tongue. When I was catechized (as an adult, by a deacon in the FSSP) I was not only told to receive on the tongue, but was actually “trained” in how to do this. Yup, that’s right; my catechist actually had me tip my head back and open my mouth as if I were about to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Then he made comments about things to do and not to do, e.g. open your mouth good and wide, tip your head back a bit so that there’s no danger of the Host falling, and close your eyes just before the priest places the Host on your tongue, because when people follow the Host with their eyes, they tend to move their heads a bit and that makes everything more difficult. We actually “practiced” this a couple of weeks in a row, and while it made me feel a little silly at the time, the lesson achieved its desired effect. When it came to actually receiving for the first time, I was not fretting about any of these “mechanics”, nor have I ever worried about them since.

    Kudos to my catechist for not feeling that down-to-earth matters like this were beneath his notice. I’m certain he saved me some needless anxiety.

  55. RichR says:

    After I learned what the Host actually was in college (Thanks, 80’s CCD, for nothing), I stopped receiving in the Hand.

  56. Erin says:

    On the tongue the 95% of the time when I can receive from a priest; in the hand when I can’t avoid receiving from an EMHC.

    I guess I figure if the EMHC touched it I may as well too. Plus EMHCs usually react badly if you try to receive on the tongue. I usually receive on the tongue from a deacon, though.

  57. Ingrid says:

    Until about one-and-a-half year ago I always received on the hand, I didn’t know anything else. Until I got some friends who did receive on the tongue, and after a few months I decided to make the step to receive Our Lord kneeled on the tongue..I was really nervous that time, but glad I did it. In almost every parish where I attend Mass (except – off course – during a TLM, and in the Mass we had during a retrait with friends), there are just a few people receiving on the tongue, and yes, people can give quite nasty looks, but I try not to care. I don’t make a choice between receiving from a priest and a layman – even though I do prefer a priest – it is about my attitude and reverence ;)

    Since I’m still a reader in one parish I also have to distribute Communion (that are two tasks combined here), during which I now try to avoid “losing” any particles. Still it doesn’t really make me feel comfortable *-)

  58. AAJD says:

    As an Eastern Catholic, I cannot tell you how many times I have been horrified at the mistreatment of the Eucharist I have seen in RC Masses in the OF: people in line chewing gum; people being chased by the priest down the aisle after they take Our Lord and put him in their pocket (I wish I were making that up); and, worst of all, lay people (‘eucharistic ministers’) man-handling the Eucharist because everyone is so desperately busy and absolutely must not spend another 5 minutes in church. One church I’ve frequented has these EMs take the Euchrarist up to the choir loft in uncovered ciboria and chalices while the women (it’s always women) carrying these open vessels (blithely unconcerned about the danger of spilling) smile, wave, and chat with friends in the pews on the way past–and all this in “conservative” parish supposedly under the close watch of the bishop. These ‘extraordinary ministers’ are a pestilence and I have yet to see them anywhere used according to the strict conditions of canons. They are an abuse, analogous, it seems, to ‘general confession’–both predicated on an impatience and indecent haste.

  59. Erin says:

    I think a lot of people are being unfair to EMHCs. Most of them are motivated out of a sincere desire to bring Christ to people, and when used correctly (as in, for extraordinary reasons) are an essential part of the Church’s ministry. Yes, often they are employed when there’s no extraordinary situation afoot, but that’s not their fault, but the fault of the priests and bishops who asked them to serve. And for every sloppy EMHC I’ve seen, I’ve seen 20 good ones; I’ve also seen plenty of sloppy priests.

    Accusing someone of disrespect toward the Holy Eucharist is a very serious accusation, and it seems like many traditional Catholics make it very lightly.

  60. doctordrew says:

    I follow what was written above. If I receive from the priest, I receive on the tongue. If I receive from the myriad of Extraneous Ministers at our church ( the head of the Parish Council boasted we have over 100!) I receive in the hand. Do the number of unconsecrated hands matter? Once touched by one, always lessened.

    I still have a hard time reconciling this – it would be so easy if we just got rid of the EMHC entirely.

    As an aside I am always horrifed by those who rub their fingers quickly like they just ate a crumbly cookie after receiving. All that goes right onto the floor.

  61. Origen Adamantius says:

    The gloves undermine any argument. How did particles get in the groove of every finger and smeared along the length of the thumb?? The clumsiness of this attempt at hysteria damages the arguments drawn from it.

  62. Susan Peterson says:

    I was first taught to receive as an Anglican; they kneel at the altar rail. Now I see Anglican’s mostly intincting the host themselves. But when I was taught, the host was put on the palm and then lifted directly to the mouth. Anglicans also receive from the cup, from a second priest, a deacon, or occasionally a lay person who will be wearing a choir robe. I assure you that this can be done quite devoutly. The losing of particles would be minimized by not picking up the host with the fingers and by directly bringing it the short distance to the mouth in cupped hands.

    When I became a Catholic, I was really quite upset by the cafeteria line method of receiving communion. I carefully followed the instructions I was given, to receive the host on the palm, take one step aside and consume the host. But it always seemed a hurried affair compared to the reverence of kneeling at the altar rail and waiting for the priest.

    When I used to attend the Novus Ordo regularly, I was an EMHC (just called EM’s in this diocese). When we were trained we were told to give people communion in the hand or on the tongue, whichever they preferred, and were given some hints about how to put the host on the tongue. There were a few, a very few, people who communed that way and I never had any difficulty or dropped a host. My problem was with the people who come up and reach out their hands to take the host. When it was a young mother carrying a child and having only one hand free, I sometimes gestured for them to open their mouthes and most complied, showing that they were only dealing with a practical problem and were glad for a solution. But some young people had no idea that they were not supposed to grab the host. I would say, “No, please cup your hands.” Other EM’s told me not to do this, it holds up the line. I also was told when I was trained in one parish not to let people take the host back to the pew with them. But in another parish, trying to speak to people who did this led to all kind of upsets. One woman had new dentures and felt she couldn’t open her mouth up in front of the church. Another said she had a swallowing problem and was going back to the pew where she broke up the host and ate it bit by bit. I told her to ask the priest or other minister to give her only a tiny piece. I pointed out that she could hardly avoid creating crumbs, and how could she know she was consuming every crumb. She looked at me as if I were slightly insane. And then there was a boy of 12 or 14 who took the host back to his seat and sat there with it for a while before he consumed it. I was watching him to make sure he did it. Afterwards I went up to him and explained that one should consume the host as soon as it was given to him. His father got upset with me and said, “We should just be glad the young people are willing to come to church, we shouldn’t be picking at them about every little thing.” Altogether the whole thing became very unpleasant. What I thought was just normal concern for the Blessed Sacrament, and doing what I had been told to do when I was trained, seemed to be regarded as a sign of nuttiness or self importance or both.

    Soon thereafter I began attending an Eastern rite parish, and I was completely relieved that there is no need for “EMHC’s” there; the priest administers communion which is under the form of a bit of leavened bread soaked in wine on a golden spoon. The priest can put this into your mouth without ever touching your mouth. It is done standing, but not in a hurried way.

    If I don’t go there, I attend the EF where of course we kneel and receive on the tongue. Or sometimes I go to the Anglican Use, where the priest has a small chalice and intincts each host and puts it on the tongue of a kneeling recipient
    which in my opinion is the way western rites should handle communion in both kinds if that is desired. Some Anglican use parishes do have the people drink from the cup, but in that case the minister does not let go of the chalice but tips it to the mouth of the kneeling recipient. It can be done reverently. One mustn’t be in a hurry.

    There are situations in which I still attend a NO daily mass, with people I have known for years. I cannot bring myself to ask for communion on the tongue in that situation, as it feels as if it would be taken as a criticism of the other people there, who I know are all very devout within the framework of what they have been taught in this diocese, some much more so than I. It would take making a spectacle of myself to receive on the tongue in that situation. I receive in the hand as devoutly as I can, and I always check for particles; occasionally I do find one and consume it.

    As long as there is no obvious irreverence we shouldn’t judge how other people receive. I think the majority of people are only doing what they were taught and are as reverent as they know how to be.

    I do think the situation has improved from the horrors I used to experience back in the late 70’s early 80’s, with homemade communion bread of all sorts of recipes, which crumbled all over the place. I remember one old nun who took each child’s hand as they came to receive the cup, and held it over the chalice and brushed all the visible crumbs into the chalice. With the adults, she looked at their hands and glared at them until they looked at their hands also and consumed the crumbs, before she would hand them the chalice. But still the floor was littered with crumbs. I haven’t seen anything like that for years now, thank God.

    Susan Peterson

  63. Gio says:

    Father Z, I am often in a dilemma. I always choose to recieve holy communion in the tongue from a priest or at least a deacon. But oftentimes I find myself queing up in line with an EMHC at the other end distributing holy communion. I always believe that my unconsecrated hands are not worthy to touch the body of Our Lord. But then I also nelieve that the EMHC’s unconsecrated hands are as much as unworthy as mine. I don’t know whether I should recive with my hands or my tongue. I sometimes entertain the thought that I recieve with my hands because there’s nothing that makes his hands more special than mine, therefore it would be better to handle it myself reverently than leave it to a potentially irreverent and poorly trained EMHC. Any suggestions form other readers?

  64. Erin says:

    By the way, I almost always receive the Precious Blood from an EMHC – it’s very rare that a priest distributes it at my parish. To me this is no problem since no one is actually touching the Precious Blood, but only the chalice. Does anyone else have an opinion on receiving the Precious Blood?

  65. moon1234 says:

    Receiving in the han is NOT the norm in the latin church. It is an indult. Why risk desecrating our Lord when another more appropriate method is available and recommended?

    Receiving in the hand is an innovation from the 60’s that even the Vatican does not oficially recommend.

  66. Chris says:

    It never ceases to amaze me what modern Catholics will do if it is simply “permited.” Do you not see the holy father only give our Lord to people kneeling and on the tongue?

    Why is it that so many are willing to do whatever they can get away with until they are officially told not to?

  67. a different Julie says:

    Gio,

    Find the queue with the priest at the other end of it? Either figure it out in advance and position yourself accordingly to assist Mass, or turn around, walk to the back of the church and join the queue at the very back if it is necessary to cross the church (this is easier than walking through the middle).

    That is what I do when I visit my parents – and I am not only the only woman in a mantilla, but usually the only woman in a *skirt*. And the only person who kneels to receive Holy Communion in a congregation of around 500.

  68. Genna says:

    I can’t vote. I receive the Host only, always on the tongue. Except on occasions like today when the priest will keep laying his hand on non-communicants’ heads in blessing. Then I don’t communicate, but instead go to Mass on Monday to receive.

  69. Indiana Bob says:

    I used to receive on the tongue. Then I had an image where I saw bugs crawling all over my hands. This image was given to me at mass. After that only on the tongue.

    Indiana

  70. Concerned Catholic says:

    This is a little ridiculous. As Catholics, we don’t believe that *every* particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. We believe that the duly consecrated host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. Let’s not get carried away, here. Of course, we ought to show due reverence to the greatest symbol of our faith … yes, I said symbol (read your Catechism). [You are skating on the edge.]

  71. minutz3 says:

    Just one thought Father: isn’t it so, I believe I’ve been told, that those small pieces of Jesus Christ’s body are being picked up to Heaven by Angels?

    For the record I have received the Eucharist on the tongue as long as I can remember (have only been a Catholic for one year (soon) though…)

  72. I receive on the tongue at the TLM and in the hand at Novus Ordo masses. In my town, I’d
    be afraid of the priest or extraordinary minister not giving me the Sacrament at all if
    I didn’t put out my hand.

    If the Eucharist is in the form of crumbly bread, I lick my palm in case of tiny crumbs.

  73. Joe says:

    I used to recieve on the hand. Then, as I became a “traditionalist,” I started to recieve on the tounge.
    Actually, I was at summer camp for Boy Scouts and they had a Mass in the chapel. All the boys received on the tounge. I felt compelled to do it. I did ever since.
    My mother wasn’t happy, she thought I would give the priest germs or vice versa. My mother told the older, traditional priest in residence, who my family was good friends with, (she basically “told on me”), because she didn’t like me doing it. She is and was a liberal. How sad. Anyway, the priest said that’s how we have been doing it for centuries and “he can do it however he wants to.” She shut up since a priest told her I could do it and never mentioned it again.

  74. Brendan says:

    When going to the OF, I receive kneeling, on the tongue, from an ordained minister. This morning, the line I was in only had EMHC’s so I had to jump in the next line over, then go back to the narthex and across, re-entering the nave to go back to my pew. What a hassle, but definitely worth it. My family thinks I’m crazy, but I refuse to receive any other way.

    I was actually fired from chaperoning youth group events because I received kneeling on the tongue.

  75. Random Thought says:

    This might be a little outside the normal, but I think it is something to consider: For those who labor with their hands or perpetually masturbate, reception on the hand is very important. It reminds them that their hands are sacred, that they have been created in the image of God, and it reminds them to do good things with their hands. Those who have a problem with masturbation, for example, are well reminded that they should not be doing such things, since it is with the same hands that they receive the body of the Lord.

    Let’s not unnecessarily or arbitrarily restrict our sacramental and liturgical imagery.

  76. thomas tucker says:

    chris: indult or not, it is allowed, not something that people “get away with.”

  77. Edward Martin says:

    I have been receiving on the tongue for a couple of years now.

    How about receiving on the hymnal?

    Believe it or not I was visiting a different parish and one individual walked up to receive Communion, hymnal in hand singing away. When he reached the priest he simply tipped his hymnal indicating, drop it here. Amazingly the priest complied and put the host on his hymnal. Needless to say I was astonished.

  78. Paul B. says:

    “As Catholics, we don’t believe that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.” (Concerned Catholic)

    Actually, we do. It’s why the priest used to keep his fingers together after having touched the consecrated host, so as to ensure that no particles fell off during the remainder of the Canon. It’s also why we (should) make careful use of corporals and purificators. As the Catechism states:

    “Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.” (CCC #1377)

  79. Laura Lowder says:

    ummm, excuse me? You mean that you believe, “Concerned” and “JustasCatholic,” that only parts of the Host are transubstantiated? And where do you get this “just a symbol” business? Want to provide paragraph numbers on that?

    ERIN – EMHC good intentions aside, the sad fact is that too many are not given any training, much less adequate training. My home parish and my original parish are exceptionally good; nevertheless I prefer to receive the Lord from a priest. In parishes where minimal observation indicates the EMHCs are not trained, if I can’t get into the priest’s line, I don’t even try to receive, but just make a spiritual communion instead.

    Yeah. It matters that much. Crap liturgy so badly distorts the theology that it’s damning to people’s souls. I don’t want to tacitly comply with something so vitally important.

  80. plisto says:

    I would never receive on the hand. I once did, ten years ago and felt horrible afterwards (the priest giving Holy Communion at that time was very fragile and old so I thought better not to receive on the tongue at that time; I think he dropped the Host just before I was in turn or something -and I went nervous)
    my older daughter will soon receive first Holy Communion, and I won’t allow her to receive otherwise, than on the tongue. I think that will cause slight problems in the parish (because all the kids are required to receive on the hand in their first Communion mass! How silly!!) but never mind.

  81. I used to receive in the hand, using the “Anglican method” of putting it directly into my mouth without picking it up with the fingers. In the early 1990s, I was a paid sacristan at a Jesuit parish in DC which shall remain nameless. It was there that I saw the Eucharist treated in such a shameful manner (the ciborium passed from one choir member to another, or simply left on a banister for people to self-serve), that I gave up the practice entirely. I now receive on the tongue, regardless of which set of books is used at Mass.

    If receiving while standing, I genuflect first. This has never provoked any grief from anyone, no matter where I have traveled. The exception has been my mother, who while very devout, believes that I call undue attention to myself at my old hometown parish by genuflecting.

    I don’t go to my old hometown parish anymore. She stopped complaining. Thanks, Mom.

  82. Chris says:

    One day, and I guarantee this, the deplorable indult will be taken away and Christ will be given once again the respect He deserves.

    And, when it is taken away, what will you all say? That you’re just changing with the times? Will you ever get out of this modernist mentality enough to see wrong in what you are doing?

  83. John Hudson says:

    I receive on the tongue, primarily because not to seems to render illogical the whole liturgical action by which, before consecration and after communion, the priest ritually washes his hands and then carefully cleans the sacred vessels to ensure that no particle remains. It seems to me completely nonsensical for the priest to ritually purify his own hands before handling the Host, and then to place that same Host into the un-purified hands of a communicant.

    Nor can I see any necessity for this intermediary step in which the Host goes from the hand of the priest to the hands of the communicant before going into the communicant’s mouth. When we receive communion, we receive Christ within is. It is the taking into our bodies that is the great sign of communion with Him. So which is the better symbol: to receive Christ our Saviour from the hand of Christ our High Priest (represented, in persona Christi, by the priest), or to receive Christ from our own hand?

    I think one should be concerned about fragments of the Host identifiable as such, regardless of how one receives, just as the priest expresses this concern in the careful handling of the Host and in the careful cleaning of the sacred vessels. That which is apparent to the sense as the bread or wine is, after consecration, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, and as such every effort should be made not to profane it. On the other hand, it seems scrupulosity to fret about the possibility of invisible particles if one has received, in whichever manner is approved in your rite and in your country, in good faith and with the proper disposition and preparation.

    I am more troubled by the making of liturgical actions nonsensical and, hence, undermining their significance. Really, why does the priest ritually purify his hands if it is permissible for hands that have not been ritually purified to touch the consecrated Host? And why does he carefully clean the sacred vessels to ensure that no particle of the Body or Blood remain unconsumed if such care is not taken to minimise the risk of fragments of distributed communion remain unconsumed on hands, clothing, etc.?

  84. Jane says:

    Concerned Catholic wrote: “As Catholics, we **don’t** believe that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.”

    Frankly, I have a hard time believing anyone truly Catholic and truly educated in the Faith would make the above comment. EVERY speck and particle is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. THAT is the teaching of the Church. Compare a crumbled Host to a broken mirror: the image is whole and entire in each shard of glass. Christ is whole and entire in each fragment. God is God, no?

    Additionally, I wonder why some people make the distinction of how they chose to receive based upon whether the minister is an ordinary or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. Again, God IS God, whether He is in the hand of the priest or layperson. Why do we diminish respect He ought to be shown based on the person who distributes Him? Suggestion: receive Our Lord according to the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Out of reverence for the Sacred Species, nothing touches It but the consecrated hands of the priest.” Follow the Summa’s rule of thumb: if your hands are not consecrated, you are not a priest, if you are not a priest, you ought not to touch the Sacred Species. (And if you follow St. Thomas’ sage rule, you’ll recognize the importance of only receiving Our Lord from the consecrate hands of a priest.)

    I don’t mean to be harsh with anyone, but fellow Catholics, this is serious stuff. Please, if you receive in the hand, reconsider; if you receive from anyone other than a priest, reconsider.

  85. thomas tucker says:

    chris- it is not disrespectful to receive in the hand. It is, however, disrespectful for you to
    look down on people who do. Think about it- Our Lord is going into your germ-laden mouth- is that
    disrespectful?
    As for if and when the Chruch takes away the indult- I will accept what the Church allows and shun what
    the Church disallows.
    As for you, if the Church made the indult mandatory for all to receive in the hand, what
    would you do?

  86. Simon Platt says:

    Erin asked:

    Does anyone else have an opinion on receiving the Precious Blood?

    About 20 years ago I nearly knocked the chalice out of the priest’s hand, through my clumsiness. Gave me quite a shock it did. Him too, I think. I’ve never attempted to receive from the chalice since.

  87. Noel says:

    Mark 1.13 pm is spot on here vis-a-vis particles and commonly altar breads are for the most part sealed.

  88. raymond says:

    …this subject is a hot topic, appropriately, in the diocese of Corpus Christi where Bishop Schneider’s, Dominus Est, has recently been reviewed in the diocesan newspaper. Some laity are circulating a petition requesting that the Ordinary, since the Holy Father chose the Feast of Corpus Christi on which to reintroduce kneeling Communion, follow the Pope’s humble example and reintroduce this practice for the entire diocese blessed with the that Blessed Name.

  89. Chris says:

    Thomas, say whatever you want, but you are wrong. And centuries of banned practice, the teaching of saints, popes and martyrs, and common sense prove those of us against reception in the hand correct.

    I don’t care if you’re offended by my black and white position on this. I’m not looking down on you — only on what you do.

    But when it comes to caring for Christ in Holy Communion, I will not parse my words to make you feel better. This practice is a great offense to our Lord, allowed or not, and I pray that it stops.

  90. Theodorus says:

    “This is a little ridiculous. As Catholics, we don’t believe that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. We believe that the duly consecrated host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. Let’s not get carried away, here.” –Comment by Concerned Catholic

    What you just said is not true at all. In fact, it is a matter of Church dogma that Christ exists “whole and entire” — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — in each and every particle of each of the consecrated elements, in each crumb and each drop.

  91. Chris says:

    Also, Thomas: As for you, if the Church made the indult mandatory for all to receive in the hand, what would you do?

    If that happened, I’d be in the next SSPX parish where it wouldn’t apply. I would never follow man, even if it’s a cardinal or pope, into sin or into something that would scandalize me or my family.

  92. Concerned Catholic says:

    Laura Lowder wrote: ummm, excuse me? You mean that you believe, “Concerned” and “JustasCatholic,” that only parts of the Host are transubstantiated? And where do you get this “just a symbol” business? Want to provide paragraph numbers on that?

    Oh, Lord. Give the little lady a little theology and look at the big mess she makes. Laura, you need to calm down, read what I actually wrote, and think about it.

    First of all, you’re putting words in my mouth. Nowhere did I write that I believe that “only parts of the Host are transubstantiated.” No. I believe, along with the Church, that the whole host is consecrated. The whole host itself is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

    Moreover, I never claimed that the Eucharist is “just a symbol.” Instead, I called the Eucharist the “greatest symbol” of our faith. That is far different than claiming that the Eucharist is “just a symbol.” The early Church — and much of subsequent theology — referred to the Eucharist as the “greatest symbol of faith.” Nonetheless, I will grant that it might have been better to use the word “sign.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses this word in defining the nature of a sacrament. If you want a paragraph number, then take a look at CCC 1131. [But, the point is the same whether one uses sign or symbol and there is no need to split hairs, here.]

  93. Mark says:

    Seriously, read the quote from Aquinas I gave. Christ is indeed present in each part of the Eucharist, like a soul in a body, not localizable or orientatable to any particular part. BUT, if a particle is so small as to no longer be recognizable as accidentally bread to the senses, the real presence ceases.

  94. Jacques says:

    Two things I wonder about:
    1/ Jesus just after His resurrection appears Mary-Magdalene in His mystic Body (the same that we eat in the Eucharist) and says her: “Noli Me tangere” : DON’T TOUCH ME. Nobody gave a satisfying explanation.
    2/ Why does the priest wash his fingers before the Consecration? Moreover, why does he wash them again after the communion, if not to carefully gather all the particles attached?
    Why then the Chuch DOESN’T REQUIRE the same from the EMHC, and from the communicants too (those who receive in the hand)?
    The indult is completely incoherent

  95. Mark says:

    Seriously, read the quote from Aquinas I gave. Christ is indeed present whole and entire in each part of the Eucharist, like a soul in a body, not localizable or orientatable to any particular part. BUT, if a particle is so small as to no longer be recognizable as accidentally bread to the senses, the real presence ceases.

  96. Geoffrey says:

    Thomas said: “As for you, if the Church made the indult mandatory for all to receive in the hand, what would you do?”

    Chris responded: “If that happened, I’d be in the next SSPX parish where it wouldn’t apply. I would never follow man, even if it’s a cardinal or pope, into sin or into something that would scandalize me or my family.”

    This is why I have trouble understanding the SSPX and why the excommunications were lifted so easily. A prayerbook published by the SSPX, “Christian Warfare” (p. 289) says that receiving Holy Communion in the hand is a sin that needs to be confessed in sacramental confession, and that is simply not true! Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is not a sin!

  97. Chris says:

    Father, I apologize if I am coming off angry today. But I’m sure you knew this was going to set off emotions.

    I really just don’t understand how “just as catholic” and “concerned catholic” can intellectualize their way into receiving in the hand and, I’m sorry but I truly feel this, insult our Lord by the way they speak of him so carelessly.

    This makes me think back at our Holy Father’s Angelus from last month. Sound like anyone we see on this post?

    “polemics that are born where faith degenerates into intellectualism and humility is substituted by the arrogance of being better than the other …”

    Get some of the real Faith back in your heart. Drop your books and pick up some Rosaries. And get some true humility. Once you do that, I bet you never receive in the hand again — whether the rules say you can or not.

  98. @ Chris

    You said:

    ” if the Church made the indult mandatory for all to receive in the hand, what would you do?

    If that happened, I’d be in the next SSPX parish where it wouldn’t apply. I would never follow man, even if it’s a cardinal or pope, into sin or into something that would scandalize me or my family.”

    So for the record, you put your own view of right or wrong over what the Church would mandate? The successor of Peter has the authority to bind and loose after all.

    Replace the concept of “mandatory for all to receive communion in the hand” with “mandatory for all to attend the Tridentine Mass.” Would you then accept the argument you use now?

    I think we have enough dissenting Catholics who claim they “do not follow man” on what they do not like. The end result is the person makes himself the arbiter of the Church teaching.

    Receiving on the tongue does not make one a “better” or “more faithful” Catholic.

  99. Geoffrey says:

    Jacques said: “Why then the Chuch DOESN’T REQUIRE the same from the EMHC, and from the communicants too (those who receive in the hand)?”

    The “Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite” does make mention that the EMHCs should wash their hands before and after, at the credence table or some other place. I am not sure if this can be found anywhere in an official document. Sadly, I have never seen this… yet.

  100. Concerned Catholic says:

    Paul B., et. al.,

    For a while I have believed that so-called “conservative” Catholics are just as wrong-headed and ignorant about the faith as their liberal counter-parts. Well, the present discussion confirms me in that opinion.

    It is not at all the authoritative and orthodox teaching of the Church that Christ is present in each speck and flake of the Eucharist.

    Referencing paragraph #1377 of the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, does not help the case that Paul B. seeks to establish. He adopts the language of the paragraph in order to argue a point that that paragraph does not address. In other words, he espouses a literalist and fundamentalist position in order to argue something that is not the authentic and authoritative teaching of the Church.

    The paragraph in question is aimed at persons (e.g., Protestants and others) who claim that Christ is present in just one of the sacred species and not the other or who make the claim that the host is not transubstantiated but con-substantiated. This last part might need some explaining for people like Paul B. who do not hold an orthodox faith.

    During the Reformation, Lutherans and others began to teach that the host itself is not trans-substantiated (that the whole host does not become Christ himself). Instead, these heretics taught that Christ is made present in the Eucharistic bread but that the bread itself does not change. This teaching was in flat contradiction to the teaching of the Church received from the Apostles.

    The Church believes and teaches that the whole host — that is, its substance — is trans-substantiated and becomes Christ’s real presence and that the accidents of the bread (or wine) remain alone. The Protestants, on the other hand, taught that the substance of the bread does not change and that its accidents remain as well, holding that Christ somehow becomes present in (or on top of, or besides, or in addition to) the bread/wine.

    So, Paul B.’s use of paragraph 1377 doesn’t help to establish whatever case he is hoping might exist out there. In fact, his position isn’t even the teaching of the Church.

  101. Ingrid: “Since I’m still a reader in one parish I also have to distribute Communion”

    No you don’t. Just quit.

    Erin: “Plus EMHCs usually react badly if you try to receive on the tongue”

    Why care?

  102. Luigi says:

    Chris: If that happened, I’d be in the next SSPX parish where it wouldn’t apply. I would never follow man, even if it’s a cardinal or pope, into sin or into something that would scandalize me or my family.

    You’re losing your grip here and not helping your cause. I posted earlier that I have never received in hand. I have no plans to do so either. The reason why this is the most fitting way to receive Christ in the Eucharist has been well made. So we’re on the same page largely.

    That said, you’re not making any headway with a statement like, “I would never follow man.” That’s what Protestants say about the Magisterium. Christ never said, “Thou shalt receive Communion on the tongue.” If you understand the Last Supper as the Passover seder you’d also realize that it is highly unlikely that Jesus administered the first Eucharist on the tongues of the Apostles.

    The point is, we aren’t compelled to receive on the tongue via Divine mandate, but because it is the most fitting way to reverently receive the Lord. Put your zeal – which in itself is commendable – into making that point and you may actually effect some good. But the “following man” and “sin” stuff is too easily dismissed as hyperbole.

  103. Concerned Catholic: “For a while I have believed that so-called “conservative” Catholics are just as wrong-headed and ignorant about the faith as their liberal counter-parts”

    This is both unjust and arrogant in equal measure. I have met many liberal Catholics who were extremely well-versed in the Catholic faith, likewise with conservative Catholics.

  104. Interesting discussion.

    Concerned Catholic and all who agree with said person’s views on the what is/is not consecrated: That is NOT the teaching of the Church. Read the Catechism and Thomas Aquinas. It doesn’t matter what you have heard from some bishop, priest or nun. Their theological opinions are just that, opinions, and they are not infallible. You have been misled or even lied to. The Church’s teaching on the Eucharist NEVER CHANGED.

    To anyone concerned about the passing on of germs via receiving on the tongue here is a thought: As I priest I see this as an issue when people are not kneeling at the rail. When you are kneeling at the rail you have had a moment to compose yourself, open your mouth, and extend your tongue so the priest can place the host on it without ever touching your lips or tongue. Of course you must also wait for the priest to move his hand away. This is receiving with decorum just like Sister taught us so long ago. When standing in a communion line this is impossible due to the continuous movement of the line.

    As far as whether you receive from an EMHC or a Priest or Deacon, this should not influence how one receives. Either way it is the same Lord and God. The Blessed Sacrament is to be shown respect… period. If you believe receiving on the tongue is the only proper way then you ought to do so at all times regardless of the minister. Otherwise you are being inconsistant and this can send a confusing and mixed message to the people you are setting an example for.

  105. Concerned Catholic says:

    Chris,

    I will pray for you. And, I will offer my communion (which I do receive in the hand) for your intentions.

    But, please, let us learn to celebrate our Catholic diversity. I respect your position and I am trying to understand your perspective. Yet, your opinion isn’t mine. The Church is a lot bigger than one particular movement or era or interpretation. Granted, at the same time, she isn’t so big as to allow or permit room for just about anything. For example, the Church doesn’t permit people to receive communion in the state of mortal sin (at least not under normal circumstances).

    So, while we differ on the question about the reception of communion on the hand, let us at least be comforted in the knowledge that we probably agree on a lot more — for instance, that it is of the utmost importance to receive communion with the right spiritual disposition (e.g., prior sacramental confession).

    At least for now, the Church does permit people to receive communion on the hand. As a matter of fact, this is how the Apostles, our Blessed Mother, and the earliest Christians received communion. It is true that this method of reception can be abused (but so can any other form of reception). But, let us not try to make the Church say something that she doesn’t or to impute motives or character flaws where we have little proof that they exist.

    Our Holy Father has called the Eucharist the sacrament of charity. Let’s try to practice some charity here as we talk about the Eucharist.

  106. I receive on the hand with the utmost reverence, and I pay particular attention to my hand to search for any particles. I also, as St. Augustine preached, present my hands as a throne to receive my King.

    I completely and totally appreciate those who receive on the tongue and respect that that is how they see the most reverent way. What I don’t get is why people refer to receiving on the tongue as the traditional way, when there is an even older tradition of receiving in the hand. Neither tongue nor hand is any more traditional than the other. The hand was how it was done in the early Church, and eventually it moved to the tongue. Now we have access to both traditions. That is true continuity.

  107. Concerned Catholic says:

    Dear Fr. Bailey,

    Actually, I have read the Catechism, studied theology, and I hold advanced graduate degrees in both philosophy and theology. Those degrees were awarded to me in the name of the present Pope and the Archbishop of Washington. My studies of philosophy and theology have — in large part, but not exclusively — been centered around the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    I do know that, while St. Thomas is a very important figure in our Church, he certainly isn’t a magisterial authority. What you have said about bishops ought to be applied to St. Thomas. Bishops (as bishops) hold greater authority than St. Thomas. They participate in the line of Apostolic Succession whereas St. Thomas did not. But, please, don’t get me wrong: St. Thomas is an important figure, nonetheless.

    In any event, could you show me where I went wrong? Is there a document of the Magisterium that proves your point?

    Quite frankly, there isn’t one.

  108. Jane says:

    Jacques wrote: “I wonder about:
    1/ Jesus just after His resurrection appears Mary-Magdalene in His mystic Body (the same that we eat in the Eucharist) and says her: “Noli Me tangere” : DON’T TOUCH ME. Nobody gave a satisfying explanation.”

    Jacques, I have wondered about that Scripture often. Also, contrast it with Our Lord telling St. Thomas to put his hands into the Sacred Wounds of His risen Body. Why so different from what Christ said to Mary Magdalene?

    St. Thomas, an apostle, was a priest and bishop. St. Mary Magdalene, though well beloved of her Master, was not. Could it be that the reason why St. Thomas was allowed to touch Christ is because his hands were consecrated? And following this reasoning, could it also be that St. Mary Magdalene was not permitted to touch Our Lord’s risen Body for the same explanation–her hands were not?

    Just a thought…

  109. Bruce says:

    “As a matter of fact, this is how the Apostles, our Blessed Mother, and the earliest Christians received communion”

    I have heard this about early Christians but not the Apostles and our Blessed Mother. Concerned Catholic could you please tell me where you read that the Apostles recieved the Eucharist in the hand?

  110. MenTaLguY says:

    Speaking personally, I started receiving on the tongue after one too many awkward experiences with having to recover visible particles from my hand. The glove might be a bit of hyperbole, but if you are receiving in the hand please be careful.

  111. Theodorus says:

    Concerned Catholic,

    If a consecrated host is broken into 10 particles, is Christ still present in each of the 10 particles?

  112. Chris says:

    Concerned, thanks for your civility. It’s appreciated.

    But I think you and the other david put a little too much faith in canon law.

    Just because the ’83 code doesn’t specifify Holy Communion on the tongue, and just because there was a papal indult doesn’t mean the former pontiff didn’t error. It’s not as if he was teaching infallibly.

    So, back to the question of if I would receive in the hand if the Church “mandated” it — no, I would not. On a much smaller scale, just as St. Bridget defied past popes who errored, I too would be wise enough to know it was error and reject it. I would never do something I know is disrespectful to Christ because someone told me I had to.

    And please don’t waste your time with the protestant accusations. It’s not like I’m saying a pope is an anti-pope because he doesn’t agree with the second confiteror or something. This is truly huge and the Church would have to be in crisis to mandate it.

  113. Bruce says:

    Concerned Catholic,

    I have just read paragraphs 1376-77 of the Catechism, mind you I do not have any advanced degrees, however it seems clear to me that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

  114. “So, back to the question of if I would receive in the hand if the Church ‘mandated’ it…”

    I’ll worry about it when it happens, which it won’t. Like I don’t have enough to worry about. Besides, there are easier questions to answer, like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    All of them.

  115. Theodorus says:

    “Yes, the same Jesus Christ is just as much in a particle of a host as in a whole host.” (Catechism of St. Pius X: The Blessed Eucharist: The Nature of This Sacrament — The Real Presence)

    “Jesus Christ is present whole and entire in the smallest portion of the Holy Eucharist under the form of either bread or wine; for His body in the Eucharist is in a glorified state, and as it partakes of the character of a spiritual substance, it requires no definite size or shape.” (Baltimore Catechism: Lesson 22–On the Holy Eucharist.)

    “If any one denieth that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent: On the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon III.)

  116. Estelle says:

    On the tongue, kneeling, at the communion rail. My parish totally rocks.

  117. Paula says:

    I semi-guiltily confess that I receive in the hand. I tried receiving on the tongue a couple times (not kneeling, since there is no kneeler and my balance is none too steady), and I was too afraid the host would fall out of my mouth.

  118. Magdalene says:

    If the host is broken or part of a larger and broken host, the danger of particles is even greater.

    At a certain university campus parish they use brittle bread stuff that leaves many particles and crumbs. Complaints went to the archbishop after many complained to the pastor who refused to change this practice. The archbishop supposedly made them take the oil out of the recipe but the bread chunks continue. One person received a moldy piece out of the tabernacle–obviously corrupted and not the body of Christ. At what point do additions take the ‘bread’ from illicit to invalid?

    As I said, the archbishop is aware. I myself made him aware after getting the recipe and speaking to the pastor. I never go to “mass” there and I put that in quotations because I am not satisfied that the matter is valid. IF it is, then it is sacrilegous as crumbs are on hands, clothes, and the floor.

    When I go to receive my Lord, it is on the tongue. Just a little over a week ago, in order to go to the only, and once a month, Saturday morning Mass in this area, the priest criticized those who receive on the tongue. He also noted that some folks did not answer amen, and that they were in big error. Yet he himself changed words in the mass…

  119. Jillian says:

    I was taught to receive Holy Communion in the hand. When I returned to the Church (and consequently embraced the Latin Mass… in a “biformal” parish), I began receiving on the tongue. After reading Bishop Schneider’s “DOMINUS EST – It is the Lord!” I will only ever receive the Holy Eucharist on my tongue.

    It’s a very short read (maybe 40 pages), but very informative and reflective. I highly recommend that everyone read Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s “DOMINUS EST – It is the Lord!”

  120. Kathleen says:

    “Just as Much” and Michael Hallman:

    Yes, the early Church allowed reception in the hand, but hands were purified both
    before and after, and the Host went from the receiving hand right to the mouth,
    not touched by the second hand. But the practice was stopped because of abuse.
    That is what I remember reading, but someone else might clarify if I remember wrong.

    Regarding altar rails, where I attend EF there are none, but they do the next best
    thing, which is to put down cushions for kneeling, and of course the altar boy holds
    the paten.

  121. John says:

    I am an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. I got involved in that to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the homebound. As it turns out, I don’t do that anymore, but I am assisting as Mass on Sundays.

    After I have concluded, the particles (not THE particles, but actual particles of the particles) can be felt and seen on my fingers, particularly if I have any perspiration. The actual ministers purify themselves by following the liturgy. What do us EMHCs do? There’s no instruction. So I head back to the sacristy, lick my fingers as reverently as that can be done, and rinse in the sacrarium.

    The Precious Blood is no less an issue. After working that purifier carefully remove the germs of the previous recipient (I appreciate you ladies wearing lipstick – it makes my job a lot easier), I can feel the Precious Blood on my hands. I don’t lick the remains, I just simply rinse in the sacrarium.

    This is INSANITY. Communion in the hand and the ordinary use of EMHCs, better known by all, including my pastor, as “Eucharistic Ministers”, is a sign that either we don’t believe in the real presence of our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist, or we really aren’t making any attempt to grasp the majesty of God or the sublimity of His Incarnation. If the Church is disturbed that people make any of those errors, then they ought to pull back on these indults, lest these errors continue to grow.

  122. Joan Moore says:

    This is, indeed, an emotional subject. I used to receive on the hand for years – in my liberal days. I changed to receiving on the tongue about 10 years ago.

    there have been some comments about the priest purifying his hands before the consecration and questions as to why the EMHC’s do not do the same. The priests “washes” his hands after offering the bread and wine at the preparation of the gifts. This washing is not to purify his hands but to symbolize a cleansing from sin. And, it is surely not washing. The most thorough washing I have ever seen at Mass is merely an altar server pouring water over the priests hands that are held over a glass bowl. No soap, no rubbing of soapy hands together, followed by rinsing. It is not washing in the true sense.

    I have also seen EMCH’s go to the credence table after they approach the altar to dip their fingers in the bowl of water and dry them on a corporal or towel. What, exactly, will this do for their hands? I presume that they came to Mass clean. Dipping fingers in water is not cleansing them. It does nothing, even to clean hands.

    Just my 2 cents.

  123. Joseph Mary says:

    “This is a little ridiculous. As Catholics, we don’t believe that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. We believe that the duly consecrated host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. Let’s not get carried away, here. Of course, we ought to show due reverence to the greatest symbol of our faith … yes, I said symbol (read your Catechism).”

    WOW–this is TOTALLY off base and in error although this person claims to be an expert.

    YES, every particle is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity

  124. Jacque B says:

    I became Catholic on August 21, 2005, and was taught in RCIA that recieving in the hand was the norm. A little over a year ago I read 7 Secretets of the Euchrist, by Vinny Flinn, and it changed how I actually looked at the Eucharist; even then, I did not have the courage to start recieving on the tongue.

    While I was visiting my daughter in another city, I attended Mass at a very small church. There the priest had set up two kneelers at the altar. You could kneel and recieve or stand and recieve. I decided that day I would kneel and recieve on the tongue. I have never recieved in the hand since.

    Wish I could explain how it felt to kneel before my God and show Him that I truly believed! Although in my parish it is not allowed to kneel while recieving, I could never go back to recieving in the hand.

  125. “Of course, we ought to show due reverence to the greatest symbol of our faith … yes, I said symbol (read your Catechism).”

    I read my Catechism. Sacramentals are symbols. Sacraments are signs.

  126. Nick says:

    On the tongue, only by the priest or deacon even if it means changing lines…(I will have enough to account for, thank you very much)

    Never from the chalice — the amount of alcohol in altar wine is too minimal to kill germs —

    Some years ago to enlighten a tough old Irish Jesuit of the problems with in-the hand — we used a patten under the hands of the recipients — after communion he was shocked at the amount of particles that had fallen onto the patten — and this was a convent…

  127. Concerned Catholic,

    Quite frankly, there is, or rather are. Here are two:

    “If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Session XIII, CANON III).

    “Nor should it be forgotten that Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent: The Sacrament of the Eucharist: The Mystery of the Real Presence).

  128. @ Chris
    Such is not a matter of putting \”too much faith in canon law.\” It is a matter of recognizing the authority of the Holy Father, not only in ex cathedra matters, but also on other matters as well. Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 3 points out:

    9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

    Since reception in the hand or on the tongue is a disciplinary matter, the Pope would have such authority to bind Catholics to one form or another.

    Since the reception in the hand is an indult, I do recognize the authority of a Bishop to end the practice in his diocese. If I had lived in such a diocese, I would accept it as being within his authority to do so.

    I prefer to receive in the hand. I do not see it as \”democratization\” of the Church to do so. As a former pastor of mine had said \”One cannot give what one has not been given.\” Hence, self-communion was forbidden, and before an EEM could distribute the Eucharist, he had to receive it from the priest. Moreover, if another priest or a deacon was present, they would be used instead of the EEM, because \”Ordinary Ministers\” come before \”Extraordinary Ministers.\”

    Whether I receive on the hand or on the tongue, I receive from the Priest who was bestowed with the Sacrament which allows him to consecrate the Eucharist, and I receive knowing full well that without the priest, there could be no communion.

    Reception on the tongue or in the hand is a discipline, not a doctrine. In either type of reception, proper reverence needs to be shown. A reverent reception on the hand is much more worthy than an irreverent reception on the tongue.

    If I took offense with your previous comments, it is because you seem to imply that those who receive in the hand are not reverent, or are modernist. Neither is true.

  129. Cortney says:

    For the past several months at my parish, at NO Masses, a growing number of people wait until the cafeteria-style line is almost at the end, and then they kneel at the altar rail to receive on the tongue. Our priests finish the cafeteria line (many of whom are receiving on the tongue) then distribute Communion on the tongue to those kneeling. We also have the EF several times a week. It seems that little by little the pious habits of the EF–like receiving on the tongue and kneeling–are influencing how parishioners worship at the OF. As a convert, I’ve never received in the hand nor do I plan to.

  130. Merriweather says:

    “*To touch the sacred species, and to distribute them with their own hands, is a privilege of the ordained* … ” Pope John Paul II

    Enough with the novelties! Bring back the altar rails, bring back kneeling and receiving on the tongue.

  131. Alice says:

    I usually receive on the tongue, unless I know that the EMHC is not well trained, in which case, I will receive in the hand. Luckily, our EMHCs often receive on the tongue themselves.

  132. Geoffrey says:

    “Luckily, our EMHCs often receive on the tongue themselves.”

    I always think that is a very good sign! It shows they “get it”, and if we have to have EMHCs, let it be them!

  133. IngridAiram says:

    @Shane: if it was as easy as that I would already have quit. It’s quite a struggle for me to make the discission.

    @Jacque b: not allowed? that’s really sad :(

  134. @ Merriweather

    The actual quote of the Pope, from Dominicae Cenae was:

    To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained, one which indicates an active participation in the ministry of the Eucharist. It is obvious that the Church can grant this faculty to those who are neither priests nor deacons, as is the case with acolytes in the exercise of their ministry, especially if they are destined for future ordination, or with other lay people who are chosen for this to meet a just need, but always after an adequate preparation.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_24021980_dominicae-cenae_en.html

  135. Merriweather says:

    @The Other David

    “I think we have enough dissenting Catholics who claim they “do not follow man” on what they do not like. The end result is the person makes himself the arbiter of the Church teaching.”

    Obedience is a virtue of justice subordinate to the theological virtue of Faith.

    The liberals forced communion in the hand on the people for the same reason Luther did—the break down faith in the Real Presence. Why? Because it works!

  136. Merriweather says:

    @Concerned Catholic

    “Actually, I have read the Catechism, studied theology, and *I hold advanced graduate degrees in both philosophy and theology*. Those degrees were awarded to me in the name of the present Pope and the Archbishop of Washington. ‘

    All that Catholic skoolin and you don’t know that Our Lord is equally present in each particle. Color me shocked.

  137. TJ Murphy says:

    I usually receive in the hand. I remember when the practice was introduced when I was younger. We were told to make of our hands a throne to receive Jesus. I think of that image to this day when I receive. I also look to make sure I do not see any particles and offer up a prayer asking forgiveness if I indeed have any small particles left on my hands, that it is not through carelessness.

  138. mark says:

    The Roman Catechism put it this way:

    Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each . . . . the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread.
    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-I 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.\”
    http://www.catholic-pages.com/mass/inhand.asp

  139. Ruben says:

    In the early seventies at my Catholic grade school the nuns began one day to instruct us to start receiving communion in the hand. I was about 10 or so and I remember the first time in my life I saw a child take the host in hand. It just seemed so wrong. I had been instructed on how do the same and it spontaneously made me feel terribly uncomfortable. I was not given a choice at the time so I did what I was told out of obedience. I abandoned communion in the hand as soon as I learned I actually had a choice some time after that first experience. I do not believe communion in the hand can be good, and not good, at the same time. One day Christ will express to us what he thinks of it.

  140. Fr K says:

    In Australia it is becoming much more common to receive on the tongue: the majority of young people who are still practicing their faith, not many, I know,receive on the tongue. I am not speaking about school Masses where the majority of the participants are not regular Sunday Mass goers. Most people who receive Communion in the hand are over fifty or even sixty, most people who receive on the tongue are much younger. I recall asking a lady in her seventies about it and she was told that when it was introduced in the seventies people were told ‘this is they way we do it now,’ and I would say the majority of people of her generation assumed it was obligatory. Remember it came hard on the heels of massive changes in the liturgy and the default position of most Cathjlos was acceptance because the Church says this is the way we do it now.

    Likewise the majority of people who attend the EF are young people; I recall being amazed at the Christ the King Pilgrimage last year at Bendigo cathedral; there must have been at least 500 people there and the majority looked as if they were under thirty. This, by the way, perplexes and irritates priests and laity attached to the seventies liturgical expression; their default posiiton is, “why do they want to go to a ‘Latin’ Mass, they weren’t even born when we got rid of it.” [sic]

    An elderly nun once asked me if we taught our seminarians to receive on the tongue as she noticed they all received that way and I said ‘no we didn’t.’ Her reply was ‘they really shouldn’t you know, it’s wrong to receive that way.’

  141. Mark says:

    I wonder how that generation feels knowing we’re all just waiting for them to pass out of history…

  142. Elizabeth T. says:

    This debate reminded me of something Mother Teresa said. Fr. George Rutler was speaking with her, and asked her “Mother, what is the worst problem in the world today?”
    Mother Teresa responded “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”
    I used to receive in the hand, then one time had the misfortune of dropping Our Lord on the floor. I stood there, shocked, and finally after a moment, the priest picked the Host up, and tucked it along the side of the ciborium, and gave me another Host.
    Since then, I have always received Communion on the tongue. I have never had any trouble with the Host almost falling, even when EMHCs and some priests have been obviously “uncomfortable” with it.
    I don’t let that bother me. They’re grown up, they’ll recover ; )
    To anyone who feels self-conscious, or doesn’t want to “upset” anyone by receiving on the tongue: It is Our Lord you receive! He never said following Him would be easy (quite to the contrary, in fact!). So praise God and take heart! You get to experience some discomfort out of loving reverence for Him! And you set a beautiful, edifying example for those around you!

  143. Merriweather says:

    @Mark

    Answer: Bitter. It must be painful knowing that the “new springtime” was really a devastating winter, and that all your efforts to update the Church and maker Her “hip” fell flat.

    There is nothing more pathetic than an old hippie who didn’t get the memo: the sixties are over!

  144. mark says:

    I use to, like many others receive in the hand. On numerous occasions I noticed ‘fragments’ left on my hand, post receiving Our Lord.Cant help but wonder how many times I did not check, dropped Our Lord on the floor and myself and countless others stood on HIM. NEVER AGAIN will I receive My Lord on my hands.For those who worry or think about others incl. the priest, I say to you: “What will you say to Our Lord on judgment day?” I promise you that human respect means nothing!
    In our parish, very few genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament.Too many talk in a free-for-all before and after mass.Logically, very few kneel and pray before mass.Our dress code is poor at the best of times.Obviously, most receive on the hand.Truth is very few believe in the Real Presence.Christ is our buddy now.Further obviousness of poor catacethics all round.
    Personally, I hold my hands together just below my chin whilst approaching the priest or minister, say Amen and open my mouth to receive my Lord on my tongue. Some have flicked the consecrated host but that is immaterial to me.

  145. Father of Three says:

    Concerned Catholic,

    How is it that you hold advanced degrees in Theology and philosophy, yet you do not know one of the most basic teachings of Sacramental Theology? Exactly which institution awarded your degrees and would they be willing to give you a refund?

  146. o.h. says:

    I began receiving on the hand abruptly one Sunday when my first child, a toddler, had passed out on my shoulder and I realized it was tongue or nothing. I’d never been told how to receive on the tongue–in 1980’s RCIA it wasn’t even on the radar screen–and afterwards, the EEMC (a very good friend of mine) laughingly gave me a little tutorial on how to receive on the tongue properly.

    I received mostly on the hand from then, but always felt relieved when a sleeping child or wiggly baby “forced” me to receive on the tongue. Finally I gave up worrying what others might think of my choice and began receiving on the tongue exclusively.

    From there, head covering and the Latin Mass were just unavoidable….

  147. o.h. says:

    Correction: “I began receiving on the TONGUE abruptly…”

    Preview post is my friend.

  148. David Andew says:

    EMHC’s are regularly trained and re-trained in important matters like being certain to come up to the altar (and walk right past it) during the fraction and singing of the Agnus Dei so that they can get to the side tables with the bottles of hand sanitizer and then to their place behind the altar in time for the sacristan to count and make sure there are enough EMHC’s to have all the stations covered. In the event that there aren’t enough, the sacristan holds up high on one hand the number of fingers showing how many additional EMHC’s are needed.

    Then they all receive in hand and move to their stations so that the communion procession can begin immediately.

    Why can’t the kind and conscientious individual who trains them actually take a few minutes to train them on how to properly place a host on a communicant’s tongue without dragging their thumb or fingers over the tongue?

    Just wondering.

  149. raymond says:

    Dear Concerned Catholic, In 1580 St. Edmund Campion wrote with eloquence refuting the heresy of Calvin (and perhaps Balthasar recently) who claimed that Christ had to spiritually die in order to redeem mankind. Campion’s assertion regarding Christ’s Blood shows how radically different his view of the Sacrament must be from yours..”… That delicate and royal Blood, which ran in a flood from the lacerated and torn Body of the innocent Lamb, one little drop of which Blood, for the dignity of the Victim, might have redeemed a thousand worlds, availed the human race nothing, unless _the mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus_ (I Tim. ii. 5) had borne also _the second death_ (Apoc. xx. 6), the death of the soul, the death to grace, that accompaniment only of sin and damnable blasphemy!” One Drop, hence one Crumb could redeem a thousand worlds! If that is our Faith, shouldn’t we comport ourselves accordingly?

  150. Chris says:

    Funny, if you look at the poll, the overwhelming majority take Communion on the tongue. Yet, it’s those that are so proud of their receiving in the hand that are the loudest in these posts.

    Looks like a mirror image of what’s going on in parishes today. Traditionals keep silent when liberal extremists drive the Church into the ground.

  151. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    I once had a priest who, having consecrated too many Hosts, tried to pile several on top of each other and place them on my tongue, since I was the last person in line. Of course, sealed Hosts having no traction to each other the bottom one stuck to my tongue, the top one stuck to his finger, and disaster ensued for the rest.

    It’s quite poor when we have to spend our moments before Communion queue-hopping to get the priest or worrying whether he (or EMHC) will get it right. How can we approach the Lord in such a state of agitation? Luckily, the EMHCs at my parish are trained. The problem is when people are called up at short notice.

  152. dominic1962 says:

    Each particle of the Eucharist is not Christ, just the whole host is? Hmm…

    Simple answer (besides the very direct quote from the Tridentine Catechism) would be that there would be no point in having the priest hold his thumb and forefinger together after the Consecration, purify the vessels, use a corporal and fold it is such a way to contain any particles, etc. etc. if Christ was only present in the host as a whole?

    Lex orandi, lex credendi. I’ve said it before, but all these things either cut out of or de-emphasized in the NO acted as the first lines of defense or the immune system if you will for the “core” doctrine of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence. No one in their right mind removes the defenses of a fort or weakens their immune system because, strictly speaking, it isn’t necessary.

    Likewise with the Mass. When we treat the Eucharist like Protestants treat their “Lord’s Supper” bread, it doesn’t suprise me one bit that so few self-titled Catholics believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist or have screwy ideas about it.

  153. Laura Lowder says:

    \”Laura Lowder wrote: ummm, excuse me? You mean that you believe, “Concerned” and “JustasCatholic,” that only parts of the Host are transubstantiated? And where do you get this “just a symbol” business? Want to provide paragraph numbers on that?

    \”Oh, Lord. Give the little lady a little theology and look at the big mess she makes. Laura, you need to calm down, read what I actually wrote, and think about it\”

    Gracious! What a can of worms I have opened! It appears I have trod upon a raw nerve. I am truly sorry!

    You ssid, \”As Catholics, we don’t believe that every particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. We believe that the duly consecrated host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.\” – To me, these sentences are contradictory and mutually exclusive. The Host is the Real Presence; the crumbs somehow cease to be the Real Presence when they fall away from the Host?

    If every crumb of the Host is not the Body and Blood of Christ, then the Host is not, is it? But instead, what it appears to me to infer is that the Real Presence abandons the edges of the Host, that are about to fall off the main bit – I have a wild caricature image in my imagination of Christ somehow hudding in the center of the Host to avoid the inevitability of Himself being flaked off in the crumbs – which IS the conclusion of your position.

    Actually, sarcasm aside, what you propose seems to me to have more in common with consubstantiation.

  154. JohnE says:

    I think it can be done reverently either way, but I normally receive on the tongue. I think it emphasizes my helplessness and gratitude before God — like a child receiving medicine or food or a kiss from a parent. Receiving in the hand seems would seem to communicate a more self-sufficient attitude.

    I receive in the hand from from a particular priest who has made it known at one of his catechesis talks that he thinks those who receive on the tongue have an exaggerated sense of unworthiness, are lovers of piety, and are afraid to touch Jesus (never mind that if I couldn’t touch him with my hand I would be even more afraid to touch him with my tongue, a much more intimate touch).

  155. Xiang Go Zhang says:

    I many confused. What talking about everybody? Is ok for me put Jesus in bread on the hand? I think I have it in mouth many times but now some say it goes on the hand? And, is it to me ok to have Jesus in wine cup on hand, too? I put wine in my hand and it is ok?

    NOTE TO ALL:



    [It seems that



    Concerned Catholic

    Random Thought

    Just as Much a Catholic

    Xiang Go Zhang



    Are all the same person.



    I have therefore suspended that IP address.]

     

  156. Anthony says:

    The reality is that some hosts are not made well (in short they are prone to crumble). The thing that frustrates me is that many extraordinary ministers do not know how to properly distribute on the tongue.

  157. Laura Lowder says:

    Fr. Scott Bailey,
    You Redemptorists are worth your weight in gold, and I thank God for you. I’m glad you’re posting here!

  158. If I put a “close italics” tag here, I wonder if things will return to normal.

  159. Nah, didn’t work. I’m stumped.

  160. Anne Gomes says:

    Ok, y’all, I usually receive in the hand and prefer receiving in both kinds. Yes, every crumb and molecule is truly the precious body. I also look at my hands and fingers for crumbs and will lick them if there are any crumbs. Now, my question: When do we cross into scrupulosity? Jesus is God and quite capable of taking care of Himself as long as we are faithful and diligent and make every effort to be attentive, I believe He will take care of us and the precious gift of the Sacrament. The Eastern Church uses a bread like pita bread for communion and they get over this. Hope I don’t offend anyone. AnneG in NC

  161. Father of Three says:

    David Alexander,

    Did you try both forms (em) & (i)?

  162. Concerned Catholic says:

    Xiang Go Zhang,

    I believe I can help make things clearer. Today’s discussion is about whether it is alright to receive the Eucharist in the hand. Some people in the Church are very evil and they do not read their Bibles. They think that a priest has to put Jesus in your mouth and that you cannot hold Jesus in your hand.

    Xiang, these evil people forget about Christmas and how our Blessed Mother held Jesus in her hands when he was a baby. You must pray for them.

    You can receive Jesus however you would like. But, make sure that your heart and feelings are ready to meet Jesus. You should try to go to regular confession before you receive Jesus.

    But, in the end, it is a matter you can decide in your heart.

    I hope this helps. Good luck, Xiang!

    [NB: “Concerned Catholic” and “Xiang Go Zhang” are the same poster, same IP address. ]

  163. Father of Three says:

    Anne Gomes,

    Yes, the Eastern Church does use a leavened bread, but they do not receive in the hand. They receive both species via the use of a spoon, from which our Lord is droped into their open and up-turned mouths. All the while a large cloth is draped under their chins to catch any particles. They are very diligent in protecting every particle of our Lord. Still, you make a good point about scrupulosity. One must intend to commit serious sin. A serious sin can never be committed from true ignorance.

  164. Did you try both forms (em) & (i)?

    I’ll try the em… There, I did it.

  165. Oh, this is pointless.

  166. DeborahAnne says:

    Let it be known I am not scholarly, have no advanced degree, posess a rather shakey undergraduate degree, therefore I’m sure my intellect is dull. However, I do have one vital degree, that being 98.6 along with a pretty good pulse for someone getting on in years and who has this to say, as simplistic as it may be….

    I was taught by the good IHS Sisters and Priests from the Sacred Priesthood, yes, I said Sacred Priesthood because it is, and notice the grammatically incorrect ‘caps’ to show my respect and reverence.

    These pious people taught using the Cathechism and the teachings of the Church Fathers. Their mission was the formation of good Catholic youngsters. What a job they had!

    Yes, I was taught and believe every particle of the host is the blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, God and man.

    Therefore, I only receive from a priest, on the tongue while kneeling. For me, since age 7, there has been no more divine act of santifying grace in my life as receiving our Lord in this most reverent manner.

    And, since I’ve never been able to find anything on the abrogation of chapel veils, I wear one cheerfully with profound humility and submission to the Blessed Sacrament. For some reason, it helps me pray and I feel a little closer to Heaven.

    I have lived in the wilderness for 40 years now and have learned to live there using the defenses offered by God, my guardian angel, tradition and all that is sacred within the Roman Catholic Church. I have found no better shield for my soul. I have been ridiculed and felt much anguish over these many decades, but I know it is nothing in comparison to the isolation, persecution, and sometimes loneliness experienced by so many good priests.

    Just as the sisters of 50 years ago would say, after hours and hours of good, very detailed instruction on the proper way to receive the Most Holy Eucharist, ‘Do Not Chew Jesus,’ should we not be saying, Do Not Drop Jesus? So the debate continues…..let us pray.

    Deus Lux Mea

  167. Xiang Go Zhang says:

    This no help at all. I no know what you talk about. You make confusing. Little faith not evil only people who read book and book and book and heart not move can be evil. I no go church in barn like Christmas. Maria hold Jesus as baby. Priest through Church and with Pope give me Eucharist. I receive Jesus. I no take him. I no can make him. He given to me. This is sacrament.

  168. Father of Three says:

    David Alexander,

    Maybe some CSS is being derived from a DIV or SPAN tag. I’ve put closing tags in here. We’ll see.

  169. Nancy Reyes says:

    if there was an altar rail, I’d kneel and receive the Eucharist on my tongue.

    But here in the Philippines, in a crowded church, I receive in my hand. We have to walk up the aisle to the Eucharistic ministers and have to keep an eye on those coming and going, while I have to keep an eye on my elderly husband. At the same time, I’m taller than the EM. So receiving on the tongue is too awkward for me, although about half the people here do receive on the tongue.

  170. Paula says:

    “…how that generation feels knowing we’re all waiting for them to pass out of history”? Distressed at your lack of charity, actually. And I speak as someone who went from liberal Episcopalian to conservative Catholic. It’s never too late (this side of the final judgement) to change.

  171. nw says:

    Sorry if what I say has been said already, but there are too many comments to wade through. I believe that communion should be strictly on the tongue…but we shouldn’t use bad science, which is what this experiment as it is presented here amounts to, to prove our case.

    (1) The two pictures do not show the same level of detail on the glove. We have no idea what kind of particles were on the glove in the “before” picture, which is rather important since
    (2) the second picture shows particles that are clearly outside the area where the host was. Does simply lifting the host from the glove yield such a large number of particles in such a large area?
    (3) If yes, then what’s the point of this argument? The particles would be all over the place even with a paten…

  172. l. bernhard says:

    + I once new a bishop that said that if I am at a New Order Mass and the line is long, and there is only one priest, I should follow the “norm” and that it would be uncharitable to do otherwise. I heartily disagreed, but silently. Charity of neighbor is second to charity to God.

    That traditional hymn, “Let All Mortal Flesh” has got it right: “…Cherubim with sleepless eye, veil their faces to the Presence, and with ceaseless voice they cry, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!”

    And yet, we who are not angels, but mere sinful humans, more frequently than not behold the Body of Christ in a profane manner unfitting in a manner of reverence due to God.

  173. Alice says:

    Xiang Go Zhang, you are absolutely correct! You could have all the good intentions in the world, however your actions may still be wrong.

    In my prayer book (Handbook of Prayers – ed James Socias) it states (pg 72):

    ‘In some countries where the Holy See has confirmed the consultation of the Bishops’ Conference, Holy Communion may be taken in the hand. Every communicant, however, always has the right to receive Holy Communion in the mouth.’

    I have always felt extremely uncomfortable receiving communion on the hand when I attend the OF. It does not matter if, how or why particles of the Sacred Host are left behind, the point is that it is possible, and therefore, if you are able to prevent this from happening, you should!

    Fr Z’s picture is meant to illustrate the possibilities of what is likely to happen if you receive communion in the hand. It may be o.k in your country, but I don’t want to take the risk.

  174. Merriweather says:

    What a great idea.

    Everyone who receives in the hand should be required to lick their hands after communion, just to be sure.

    I can picture Sr. Mary-Birkenstock, L.P.N. teaching first communicants how to “reverently” lick their hands, in case there are crumbs.

    “OK children, no slobbering, be methodical and cover every inch, just like a cat.”

  175. Mark said: And remember what Aquinas said: “But if the change be so great that the substance of the bread or wine would have been corrupted, then Christ’s body and blood do not remain under this sacrament; and this either on the part of the qualities, as when the color, savor, and other qualities of the bread and wine are so altered as to be incompatible with the nature of bread or of wine; or else on the part of the quantity, as, for instance, if the bread be reduced to fine particles, or the wine divided into such tiny drops that the species of bread or wine no longer remain.” .” This is what I have also learned. According to what many of the bloggers have written, they seem to take issue with Aquinas and believe that even when the particles have been corrupted in quality or quanity, that the Presence remains. As an EM who takes Communion to the sick and shutins, I am careful of crumbs but actually have never seen any in my pyx or in my hand after giving Communion to my people.

  176. l. bernhard says:

    When someone receives Our Lord in Holy Communion, can they predict whether or not a particle is about to be lost? That is the real question — not at all the number of particles that on average might be lost, but that fact that A particle can likely be lost.

    People are more careful with their money than they are with our Lord. They don’t ask, “well, how much money of mine might be lost over time?” by any investment/venture, but they ask “how likely is it that I will lose money?”

    Our Lord is not something to gamble but Someone to whom we owe the greatest and all possible reverence. The humility of our Lord to take the form of bread should near if not completely bring us to tears each time we are to receive him. It should never be a matter of us humiliating him more to think first of even greater convenience to ourselves in the manner in which we receive him, but rather what manner would give him the greatest honor. This way of thinking is for our own sakes.

  177. oops! I seem to have made a mistake. Sorry Mark. Your quote didn’t come through at all.

    Here is Mark’s quote about Aquinas: And remember what Aquinas said: “But if the change be so great that the substance of the bread or wine would have been corrupted, then Christ’s body and blood do not remain under this sacrament; and this either on the part of the qualities, as when the color, savor, and other qualities of the bread and wine are so altered as to be incompatible with the nature of bread or of wine; or else on the part of the quantity, as, for instance, if the bread be reduced to fine particles, or the wine divided into such tiny drops that the species of bread or wine no longer remain.”

    My response:

    This is what I have also learned. According to what many of the bloggers have written, they seem to take issue with Aquinas and believe that even when the particles have been corrupted in quality or quanity, that the Presence remains.

    As an EM who takes Communion to the sick and shutins, I am careful of crumbs but actually have never seen any in my pyx or in my hand after giving Communion to my people.

  178. l. bernhard says:

    Merriweather said, “Everyone who receives in the hand should be required to lick their hands after communion, just to be sure.”

    Today I saw a little boy drop a holy card, and instead of kissing it, he gave it one, long lick.

    Getting back to the subject…

    There is also the issue of lack of reverence to our Lord just by the fact that by our hands touching the Lord there is a sort of profanation.

  179. thomas tucker says:

    Wow- 177 comments!
    chris- you certainly showed your true colors. In my hypothetical, you would rather join a schismatic group than change a
    Church custom/discipline at the order of the Pope, who holds the keys. I would do just the opposite. And if reception in the hand is outlawed in favor of reception up the nose while standing on my head, I’ll willingly do that too.
    I suppose it’s a good thing you weren’t around in the early Church when reception in the hand
    was the norm. And it’s a good thing that its only a hypothetical. I’ll pray that you aren’t put to the test.
    concerned Catholic- I agree with those who find it exceedingly odd that you have an advanced degree while remaining ignorant of basic sacramental theology. Each visible particle is the whole Christ, always has been, and always will be.

  180. faw says:

    I had an inspiration a number of years ago and I would suggest all priests who are similarly concerned do the same. The inspiration was this:

    Being troubled by what appeared to me Eucharistic indifference on the part of both the laity and the priests, especially my fellow priests, I decided it would be praiseworthy to offer some type of reparation. The following course of action came as an inspiration: I would purify my Paten very carefully into the Chalice and leave the Paten on the Corporal and proceed to distribute Holy Communion as usual. Meanwhile, I asked the holy angels who are gathered about to pick up any particles of the Blessed Sacrament that have fallen anywhere through neglect, willfulness, or indifference so I might consume the Particles and thereby offer reparation.

    Now very often but not every time when I return from distributing Holy Communion, there are visible Eucharistic Particles on my paten which I left perfectly purified. I am assuming these are from the Mass I am celebrating but could also come from other churches as well. This strengthened my faith because if the holy Angels are so concerned to bring the Eucharistic Particles to me so I might consume these Particles, then it reminds us just how precious is this Gift! So often I long to show the faithful the Particles on my Paten when I return but I do not since it seems inappropriate and could create a circus environment. It is enough the angels know they can bring Our Lord to me and I will welcome Him.

    I suggest other priests do the same. Your concern for His Eucharistic Presence will please the good Lord very much and it enables us to offer reparation.

  181. Former Altar Boy says:

    AAJD writes: “As an Eastern Catholic, I cannot tell you how many times I have been horrified at the mistreatment of the Eucharist I have seen in RC Masses in the OF…”
    Agree, one one of the primary reasons I fled the Novus Ordo and took refuge in a Maronite parish (knowing the Eastern Rites have a reputation for proper respect of the Holy Eucharist). As mentioned by others, the Maronite Rite uses the intinction method (without the baggage of “extraordinary ministers.”

    Geoffrey writes: “I made my First Holy Communion back in the 80s and we were all taught to receive in the hand,…
    This is actually one the primary reasons for the problem: poor catechesis. Children are not taught “how” to receive on the tongue or that this is the normal form in the Latin Rite.

    Here’s another reason for reception on the tongue. I have attended Novus Ordo Masses in Spanish-speaking people in Southern California. They post volunteer “guards” at each end of the altar rail to watch and insure the Sacred Host is actually consumed (or at least put in the mouth) because a number of people of Hispanic ancestry are still into witchcraft and carrythe Host to some “bruja” (witch) for unholy, if not satanic, rituals.

  182. momoften says:

    I have always received on the tongue. The Holy Eucharist is too precious of a gift for me to
    handle with my simple hands. I think society has gotten into a diner mentality in receiving the Eucharist. Grab, go and eat. Instead of what should be, kneel, receive, and pray. We have lost the sacredness, the reverence of the reception of our Blessed Lord. It is such an awesome gift he offers us, and yet we treat the reception of him rather boldly, and full of pride. If you really really believe in His Presence in the Eucharist…Jesus standing there before you, would you not stop and humbly kneel before him because He is your Father and you love him so?

  183. l. bernhard says:

    Woah! Hold the reigns there, cowboy!
    When was Communion on the tongue “outlawed”?

    The “norm” is not always a means of knowing what is best. Our Lord pointed that out whne he sent the demons out into the swine — that followed each other over a cliff.

    For instance, the “norm” in some dioceses is to not even have pews, and to hold our Lord hostage far away from the altar off to the side somewhere — sometimes in a room that’s even just used for storage. I don’t think that’s all too pleasing to God and the Blessed Mother.

    Yes, ever visible particle is the whole Christ — but to use the word “visible” might mean to one that it must be beholden to one and therefore if it is not viewed and perceived, then what? It is still the Body of Christ! We should always ‘error’ on the side of caution (not that it is at all an error to give God reverence that is due to Him).

    Regarding opening up the can of worms of how things we done in the years of the early Church — well, then let’s do away with the Extraordinary Ministers, and women well outside the sanctuary, and separate from the men — even outside the church if you really want to be authentic about this. (They can have a separate Mass time.)

  184. Girgadis says:

    An oblution cup should be provided on the credence table or some other location where the EM should immediately rinse their hand after distributing Holy Communion. They are not so much washing their hands as they are leaving any particles of the Body of Christ in water to dissolve. In the absence of an oblution cup, the Sacrarium should be used. What’s more, an EM who visits the sick should fill the pyx with clean water immediately after distributing the last Host and drink the water. Particles are not always visible but no one should assume there aren’t any.

    At our church, EM’s are no longer permitted to handle the patens or approach the altear with the ciborium. They wait at the altar for the priest to take both from them, at which point they are free to rinse their hand in the oblution cup. Far too often I see altar servers take the paten between Communicants and hold it to their albs. This is due to improper training and understanding. I occasionally glance at the paten while receiving and can often clearly see particles lying on it. I did gently remind one altar server of this one day but the others haven’t gotten the message.

  185. @Merriweather

    “The liberals forced communion in the hand on the people for the same reason Luther did—-the break down faith in the Real Presence. Why? Because it works!”

    As I said, Abusus non tollit usum. If abuse is justification for forbidding a practice, then I think Sede Vacantists and others would be a good justification for banning the Latin Mass.

    See how that works? You confuse the abuse to be condemned with the proper use which is acceptable. Nothing is wrong with the nature of the Latin Mass, but if abuse makes something bad, then one could make a very strong case against Traditionalism. It is the same argument that one uses against the reception in the hand.

    Fortunately for both of us, this is not how the Church judges the matter.

    Both reception in the hand and on the tongue are disciplines, not doctrines. You may not like the change of discipline, but you certainly have no right to categorize all Catholics who receive in the hand as you do.

    It would be false to say that those who receive in the hand are less faithful than those who receive on the tongue because of the existence of that practice.

  186. father Totton says:

    from my first Holy Communion through my 21st b-day, I received Holy Communion in the hand (no other option was given). After I began my course in the seminary, I was converted to receiving only on the tongue – much to the wonderment of my formators- a practice I still follow on the rare occasion when I receive Holy Communion at a Mass at which I am neither celebrant nor con-celebrant.

    A few weeks ago, a woman approached me at a wake and thanked me for a homily I had given last summer in which I encouraged the recovery of the Traditional practice. She said she received Holy Communion on the tongue that evening and has not gone back to the hand since. I thought that homily was a complete bomb – Until she told me her story It just goes to show…

  187. C.L. says:

    Try leading by example. You’re not exactly Joan of Arc by receiving on the tongue.

    People died for this Mass. I think we can handle the harsh looks of morons.

    Chris, I don’t consider my fellow Catholics morons and I won’t question the character or heroism of a generation which fought real wars for freedom (not phony rubrical ones) on the basis of how most of them receive communion. Nor have I personally expressed concern about what others think. I’m describing how most Australian Catholics have come to think over the past 35 years. Receiving in the hand is permissible and sanctioned by the successors of the apostles. The current successor of Peter has done nothing to do away with what most of us agree is a bad and irreverent practice. So Catholics receiving in the hand are doing the right thing just as much as their more traditionalistic fellows. The latter are not better Catholics. In certain circumstances – as, for example, when they denounce others as “morons” – the opposite might be the case. I repeat the point I made above: this cannot be changed by a small minority of traditionalists, however well intentioned. (And it is a small minority – even the claim made above that most young Australian Catholics still attending Mass now receive on the tongue is complete nonsense). Ultimately, it will take an intervention from Rome and years of patient catechesis to effect change. I really don’t understand what objection you have to these arguments.

    A final observation: it is a source of concern (if not despair) that Rome continues to look the other way on this subject. Yes yes, Cardinal Arinze and others have expressed preferences – as has the Holy Father. To some extent, though, it feels as though there are two classes of Catholics as regards liturgical and rubrical best practice. There are the prelates and faithful for whom high standards are the norm – owing to the milieux in which they live and work. And then there are most Catholics who have resignedly (now indifferently, in fact) come to accept the second-rate and the ritually casual. Like James at the Council of Jerusalem, local hierarchies seem to believe, invariably, that “instead of making things more difficult” they should keep things as dumbed and dressed down as possible – lest the faithful abandon the Mass altogether. This is the main reason why the Australian hierarchy deliberately misused the Third Rite of reconciliation: the bishops wanted to make things easier. Rome stepped in to put a halt to what they were doing and – on matters impinging on sacrality in worship – it should do so more often.

  188. l. bernhard says:

    Wait a minute, Girgadis, what you are saying is complicated — especially for the average EM. Besides, the whole idea (or at least the major argument I’ve always heard) for granting people permission to receive in their hands so they can give themselves Holy Communion has been CONVENIENCE. It has nothing to do with antiquarianism (which is a ironic name for it anyway), but merely a hidden and sometimes-not-so-hidden philosophy which desires to bring God down to our level, so to get around having to do the work of living for Him and Him alone. Do you really believe that the average EM would follow this procedure (even if it had been made known to him/her)? And since it has proven to not work even according to these rules, isn’t it time to make it more simple again and give it back to the priests?

  189. isabella says:

    1. >>>>>Some people in the Church are very evil and they do not read their Bibles. They think that a priest has to put Jesus in your mouth and that you cannot hold Jesus in your hand.
    Xiang, these evil people forget about Christmas and how our Blessed Mother held Jesus in her hands when he was a baby. You must pray for them. <<<<<
    This as a matter of fact is not true because I am one of those people who believe in receiving Jesus Christ our Lord in the mouth. I did not forget that Marry held Jesus in the her hand at Christmas she of course is his mother she has the authority to hold her son Jesus in her hand.

    Here is something you should have remembered when you wrote that comment is that was Mary sinless so she was actually worthy to hold Jesus her son. Fyi we on the other hand are sinful people so we are actually not worthy to receive in the hand.

    There does that clear things up for you?

    Btw I am a 12 year old so please excuse any grammar mistakes.

  190. paul says:

    I am confused by this post, Rome has permitted this practice. Why would Rome permit a practice that could be sacriligeous?

  191. @ C.L.
    who said:

    “Like James at the Council of Jerusalem, local hierarchies seem to believe, invariably, that “instead of making things more difficult” they should keep things as dumbed and dressed down as possible – lest the faithful abandon the Mass altogether.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    Heretical Apostles? O_o;;;

    One hopes you were speaking facetiously, because if St. James “dumbed things down,” then we need to find the nearest Synagogue, because the issue was whether a Gentile had to be a Jew in order to be a Christian.

    Of course once the teaching (also held by that “radical act alone” Peter who began the policy and that “liberal” Paul) of the Church and the Scripture is called “dumbed down”, it says something is fundamentally fouled up in the theology which states that.

    Still, If I am a liberal, modernist dumbed down Catholic, at least Peter and Paul, founders of the See of Rome are in the same boat.

    Sheesh, time for Father to lock this thread…

  192. Gloria says:

    After reading several things about Communion in the Hand, Martin Luther, etc., I can only refuse Communion in the Hand, always and everywhere. Luigi – I saw the good Bishop interviewed on EWTN, was profoundly touched & bought the little book, as did some of my friends. One of them took a copy to a local pastor as a gift and was told to get out. The hostility in some quarters is still horrendous. I agree with another comment that sometimes the reactions seem to be demonically inspired.

  193. l. bernhard says:

    Paul, I’m a lot older than 12, and I still have troubles with my grammar and my choice of words! (Maybe isabella can help me out!) :(

    “Profanation” probably wasn’t the right word — but rather, I was trying to make the point that isabella made more eloquently.

    I’ve always wondered something that perhaps, Paul, you and others who support and even prefer Holy Communion in the hand:
    Does it ever occur to you that your hands are not sacred, and yet our Lord, Whom you touch with your hands, is Most Sacred?

    Also, do you ever wonder if Holy Communion in the hand might have contributed to this sort of laxidazical attitude that is prevalent in most Catholics today towards all things sacred?

    And, last but not least, do you ever think of the possibility of particles being lost?

  194. Petrus says:

    I experienced several cases that little flakes fall aprat from the Host. I luckily noticed them on my palm that I cleaned out my palm with my tongue. There were even some cases that I saw the little flakes of the Eucharist fell onto the ground. I touched the little Body of Christ with my finger and took Him on my tongue. I eventually stop taking Eucharist by hand. I do not understand why nowadays the patten is not used any more in many Masses.

  195. Bruce says:

    Let’s try to practice some charity here as we talk about the Eucharist.

    Comment by Concerned Catholic

    Some people in the Church are very evil and they do not read their Bibles…these evil people forget about Christmas

    Comment by Concerned Catholic

    What happened to charity Concerned Catholic?

  196. isabella says:

    It is also bad for a church to let people receive on the hand because you never know what people might do for example:
    Go sneak Lord Jesus outside of the church to do sacrilegious things to Him.
    Like at the church I go to someone took Jesus on the hand and but whoever it was did not receive Him they just put Jesus in a candle holder and left Jesus there until someone found Him.

  197. paul says:

    just a response since I may have upset some people. My only point is Rome okayed this. If Rome feels this to be wrong, Rome will put a stop to it. I personally prefer Communion on the tongue- I don’t see the point of recieving on the tongue from a “eucharistic minister”. I feel the consecrated hands of the priest is the preferable way to recieve Communion. But again Rome okayed it- Rome has to decide whether to put a stop to this or not.

  198. l. bernhard says:

    I ask, in the utmost interest of charity, can we just discuss the matter ‘at hand’ and not get derailed?

    I was wondering if anyone who still supports receiving our Lord in our hands could answer my questions. (see a few posts above).

  199. ustalumnus says:

    Very Lame Photos. Has anyone looked at them closely? Not the same glove, plus the backgrounds do not even match up! In order to get that many crumbs off a host, they must have ground it up a bit.

    Nothing like stirring things up a bit. Stats must be slipping. [Actually the stats are pretty good!]

  200. Frank H. says:

    “I am confused by this post, Rome has permitted this practice. Why would Rome permit a practice that could be sacriligeous?
    Comment by paul”

    The practice was becoming disobediently widespread after Vatican II, and rather than cracking down, Paul VI legitimized it.

    Here is some history and commentary…

    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=31755

  201. mark says:

    faw
    Thanks for a lesson in faith and humility.

    Isabella
    GOD bless you my child.

  202. Frank H. says:

    ustalumnus, I believe the background is the same, it’s just that the second one was made brighter, probably to highlight the particles. Look closely, the lace pattern is the same.

  203. Timbot says:

    Will the day ever come when being a Latin-rite Catholic is anything other than a constant penance and near occasion for sins of wrath?
    I attend a Byzantine catholic church where the Latin rite is alternately an object of pity or derision. In my experience the majority of Byzcaths will actually attend Sunday at a Dox church rather than go to a Latin-rite church as the Latin rite has often been described to me as “spiritually impoverished and theologically vacuous”.

  204. Steve K. says:

    I went back and looked, ustalumnus, and it certainly looks like the same glove and same background (lace) to me. Perhaps you should look again, using your eyes this time?

  205. Steve K. says:

    Timbot – I go to the EF every Sunday, so I am a very happy Latin rite Catholic.

    However, today I went to Mass at our local Byzantine Catholic Church. It was a very lovely Mass, as always there, and a lovely chapel. Today was a baptism, which was very nice in the Byzantine form. The liturgy is in English, however it seems like the rest of the rite is as it must have been in whichever Slavic language the Mass was in prior (the Missal had side by side text in some Slavic language, albeit printed in Roman letters), only the language changed. It seems to me that what the council fathers intended the OF to be, must have been like the current Byzantine rite as it relates to the older one. Unfortunately then the hippies happened.

  206. thomas tucker says:

    l bernhard- first, your mouth is no more sacred than your hands. Second, any lackadaisical attitude stems form interior ignorance and not outward liturgical practice. as Our Lord pointed out, it si the intentions of the heart that are paramount, not outward appearance.
    Third, particles can drop just as easily from a priest’s fingers as from my own.
    How sad, that we have such division within our own Rite.

  207. l. bernhard says:

    Timbot said, “Will the day ever come when being a Latin-rite Catholic is anything other than a constant penance and near occasion for sins of wrath?
    I attend a Byzantine catholic church where the Latin rite is alternately an object of pity or derision. In my experience the majority of Byzcaths will actually attend Sunday at a Dox church rather than go to a Latin-rite church as the Latin rite has often been described to me as “spiritually impoverished and theologically vacuous”.”

    OK. And these were theologians that said this? (Note: that was irony.) I’m sure those that have little to absolutely no understanding of the Latin Liturgical Rite (or even the Roman Catholic Rite on the whole) would have any real appreciation for it. Certainly, someone who would rather attend a mass that is completely not in communion with the Pope (i.e., Orthodox) would not be one who would have any basic knowledge by which to discern such matters.

  208. ustalumnus says:

    Sorry Steve, still very lame. He probably used an electric sander to generate all that dust.

    I. Bernhard stated” I was wondering if anyone who still supports receiving our Lord in our hands could answer my questions. (see a few posts above).”

    I will give it a shot… First of all, listen and follow your pastors and bishops, not from some web site, especially this one. This post and some of these comments border on scrupulosity. [I began the top entry with a question. You have answered in your way.]

  209. Steve K. says:

    “electric sander”

    Grow up, ustalumnus.

  210. TomW says:

    Quite a lot of feedback on this post.

    I refuse to receive in the hand. Unfortunately, when at my parishes NO mass, they don’t have alter boys holding patents. So sometimes I try to hold my hands in the neighborhood in case there’s a problem with the extraordinary minister.

  211. Keith B. says:

    Much depends on the quality of the Host itself. Several years ago, a priest from a nearby monastery was helping out at my parish one Sunday. He brought his own hosts that were in use at the monastery at the time and I was concerned because they were quite large and I wasn’t sure if they would fit in the average parishioners mouth. When I recieved the host (on the tongue) the Eucharistic minister was so used to administering into the hand that he missed my mouth! The host was so fragile that it crumbled into hundreds of particles all over the front of my sweater. To make matters worse, the whole wheat host was the same color as my sweater. I tried my best to avoid a sacriligious mess but God only knows how many pieces were unintentionally desecrated. The good news is, we never saw those hosts again.

  212. C.L. says:

    The Other David:

    I quoted a single phrase from the Council of Jerusalem and implied it was that specific kind of idea that actuates some bishops when it comes to such matters as the one under discussion. I wasn’t commenting on the subject matter of the Council of Jerusalem or impuging the orthodoxy of the Apostles – a wilfully absurd and tendentious interpretation of what I wrote.

    Sheesh, time for Father to lock this thread…

    The discussion is perfectly civilised and interesting.

  213. C.L. says:

    Readers might be interested in this article from Holiletic & Pastoral Review (1997):

    Communion in the Hand: Rethinking Communion in the Hand.

  214. l. bernhard says:

    Thomas, first of all, thank you for some dialogue and for playing nice (note to those who don’t play nice).

    1.) You wrote, “first, your mouth is no more sacred than your hands.”
    Yes, this is true, but then why add extra steps?
    I mean, usually when people travel air, for instance, they look for the direct flights when they can afford them. This way they also have a less chance of losing their luggage. (This isn’t the best example, I admit, but try hard to follow me.) Obviously, receiving our Lord is a much more important venture than anything else we can possibly do and everything else we do is somehow in preparation for either a holy death or the next time we are to be blessed to be able to receive Him.

    2.) You wrote, “Second, any lackadaisical attitude stems form interior ignorance and not outward liturgical practice. as Our Lord pointed out, it si the intentions of the heart that are paramount, not outward appearance.”
    I agree, I agree, I agree! But my question was that don’t you think that receiving in the hand might reinforce this attitude that is already prevalent? And yes, we cannot judge the interior life of another person as far as whether or not they are in grace, but there have always been certain, consistent habits of those who we know now as saints. There are certain objective practices that are demonstrations of higher reverence, and when the choice is apparent to one,e, one who is seeking holiness would choose always the act that is most reverent.

    Let’s just pretend, for, as they say, “sake of argument”, that Suzy is a Catholic who attends a church where people receive both in the hand and on the tongue. Suzy is an adult who is fairly knowledgable of the faith. Certainly, we do not know the interior life of Suzy, but objectively there is a higher standard here.

    3.) You wrote, “Third, particles can drop just as easily from a priest’s fingers as from my own.
    How sad, that we have such division within our own Rite.”
    Yes, this is why the priests are the only one’s who distribute Holy Communion and they use the paten below the chin of all communicants just for this reason. (BTW: Also, the hands of the priests are consecrated, a lay person’s hands simply are not.)

  215. Pamela says:

    About spreading germs:

    Priests/Deacons/EMHCs need to learn how to properly apply. Until we recently got a priest who does it well, I ALWAYS has someone touching my tongue/lip.

    The key is to delicately apply by holding on to the very end (from what I’ve observed)…BUT that does bring up the question about risk of the host falling. We of course wouldn’t have to worry about that if we had altar boys ready with the “plate” under the chins (sorry I don’t know what they are called).

  216. l. bernhard says:

    Clarification:

    You wrote, “You wrote, “Second, any lackadaisical attitude stems form interior ignorance and not outward liturgical practice. as Our Lord pointed out, it si the intentions of the heart that are paramount, not outward appearance.”

    Then I wrote:
    “I agree, I agree, I agree! But my question was that don’t you think that receiving in the hand might reinforce this attitude that is already prevalent? And yes, we cannot judge the interior life of another person as far as whether or not they are in grace, but there have always been certain, consistent habits of those who we know now as saints. There are certain objective practices that are demonstrations of higher reverence, and when the choice is apparent to one,e, one who is seeking holiness would choose always the act that is most reverent.”

    No, I meant to say that I agreed ONLY with the part “any lackadaisical attitude stems form interior ignorance” , but I DO NOT agree with “… and not outward liturgical practice”

    Liturgical practice DOES matter. How we pray determines what we believe!

  217. l. bernhard says:

    Ustalumnus said, “This post and some of these comments border on scrupulosity.”

    Wow. And you’d say that to St. Thomas Aquinas?

  218. ustalumnus says:

    “The new edition of the General Instruction asks the Conference of Bishops in each country to determine the posture to be used for the reception of Communion and the act of reverence to be made by each person as he or she receives Communion. The Conference of Bishops of the United States has determined that in this country Communion will be received standing and that a bow will be the act of reverence made by those receiving. These norms may require some adjustment on the part of those who have been used to other practices, however the significance of unity in posture and gesture as a symbol of our unity as members of the one body of Christ should be the governing factor in our own actions.

    Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue, and the decision should be that of the individual receiving, not of the person distributing Communion. If Communion is received in the hand, the hands should first of all be clean. If one is right handed the left hand should rest upon the right. The host will then be laid in the palm of the left hand and then taken by the right hand to the mouth. If one is left-handed this is reversed. It is not appropriate to reach out with the fingers and take the host from the person distributing.”

    -USCCB Committee on Divine Worship “The Reception of Holy Communion at Mass” http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/girm/bul5.shtml

    – Listen and follow your pastors and bishops.

  219. Isabella, your wisdom and faith are a true gift to all of us. Thank you for commenting and thank you for witnessing to the truth of Jesus Real Presence. God bless you.

    Some points to consider while praying over how you will receive Communion in the future: The norm for receiving Communion in the Roman Rite is on the tongue. An indult from the Holy See is required to allow reception in the hand. That means that receiving in the hand is not the norm, but is tolerated. Note the word “tolerated.” The indult can be revoked at any time by Holy See for any reason or no reason. In the US Communion in the hand was put into practice without an indult. Once it was well established the US bishops applied for the indult. The indult was given because the bishops told Pope Paul VI it was already the practice. The indult for Communion in the hand in the US was obtained dishonestly and disobediently. It seems clear that receiving in the hand is not acting with the mind of the Church, though it is allowed and is not sinful in and of itself. In the US and other countries it is the communicant’s choice and no one can be forced to receive either way. But remember, this is not the case everywhere. If you travel, there are places where you will not be allowed to receive in the hand and do not have that choice.

  220. Andrew says:

    I don’t like this question, because it asks how do you Latin Catholics generally receive communion.

    I am in the minority of Latin Catholics, who choose to receive it on the tongue, but regretfully the vast majority receive it on the hands contrary to the poll results.

    People here are indicating their personal preferences, as opposed to what happens in parish churches throughout the world.

  221. Tom says:

    Fr. John Echert of St. Paul discussed this at length on WALK radio last week. It needs to be brought to an end!

    http://voiceofcatholicradio.com/walk,090308,fr_echert,j_bagnoli,repeat_final,37_min.mp3

  222. l. bernhard says:

    Well, I listen to my pastor and he listens to two superiors (including the Bishop).

    Let’s just hope that everybody’s bishops and pastors are reading the Roman Catechism, which says,
    “Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each . . . . the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread.”

    Good article, btw, cl.

    Oh, and let’s hope that their bishops and priests aren’t purposely trying to undermine reverence to our Lord’s True Presence and by this way attempting to create a new faithless religion in the name of Catholicism, as some, unfortunately, are doing today.

  223. l. bernhard says:

    Ave Maria, Father Bailey!
    St. Alphonsus Ligouri, ora pro nobis!

    Andrew: Where I attend one can only receive on the tongue.

    ustalumnus: Let’s hope the bishops and priests are consulting the Roman Catechism, which reads,
    “Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each . . . . the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread.”

  224. Steve says:

    Have never received on the tongue.

    When I had the misfortune of going to the NO Mass before I was married, I always received kneeling and on the tongue from the priest. I refused to receive from a layman and would switch lines if there was a layman distributing Holy Communion to those in the line I was in.

    I then went to TLM (SSPX – only one available where I live)for about 5 years. Now that I’m married, my wife is reluctant to go to the SSPX chapel until the whole thing is cleared up so I’m back to the NO (ugh !!).

    Still only receive from the priest, kneeling and on the tongue. Remain kneeling during the sign of peace also so I don’t have to refuse anyone when they try to shake my hand. They get the picture when I don’t acknowledge them.

  225. Erin says:

    Scott O’Neill:

    I wrote: “Plus EMHCs usually react badly if you try to receive on the tongue”

    You wrote: “Why care?”

    My response:
    Because I’d rather receive on the hand then have an EMHC drop the Body of Christ on the floor. Receiving on the hand, like it or not, is permitted. Dropping the host on the floor is profane.

    As I mentioned, if it’s at all possible to receive from a priest or, if I can’t get in the priest line, a deacon, I do so. But sometimes there are extraordinary circumstances that merit EMHCs, and other times it’s just impossible to get in the priest line. Since EMHCs are permitted, I’ll receive from them before I’ll skip Communion. But since they are rarely competent in giving Communion on the tongue, I receive from them on the hand, which, like it or not, is also permitted.

  226. Mark says:

    It seems that communion on the hand is more hygenic; with communion on the host there is contact with saliva from one person to the next via the minister’s hands. Communion on the hand seems to avoid a route of infections from viruses and bacteria. Many people don’t receive in the mouth properly, snap at and lick the ministers fingers. That’s pretty gross.

  227. isabella says:

    Dear Mr. Tucker
    Yes of Course particles can fall just as easily from the priests fingers just as our own but that is why we have the Paten to Catch the particles of Jesus Christ our Lord when the priests is giving Jesus to the person who wants to receive Jesus.
    And if you are saying that our mouth is not more sacred then our hand then what is the point you of receiving Jesus
    Are going to put Jesus in you Mouth anyway.

  228. catholic college student says:

    I went through RCIA about two years ago and was strongly encouraged to receive on the tongue. I’ve only once received in the hand, and it was quite by accident. Fr. got distracted by a boy in the line next to us, who was not old enough to recieve, and he dropped the host before he reached my tongue. We had an altar boy with a paten, but I guess he wasn’t doing his job very well. Somehow I was able to reach out and catch the Host.

    It’s hard b/c most EMHC’s at my school are not comfortable giving on the tongue, so I usually try to receive from a priest or deacon. But at my home parish, all EMHC’s are fine with it and most people at my parish receive on the tongue as it is.

  229. Catherine says:

    After receiving my first holy Communion on the tongue back in the early 60s, I was quite disturbed in high school to be told that we would now have to receive in the hand. It never seemed the proper thing to do, and I was always most uncomfortable receiving My Lord in this manner, but I was also an obedient Catholic. I wanted to do what they told me was the right thing to do. How was I to know the levels of deception we were undergoing through the efforts of the modernists?

    After researching this and other issues over the past years I am convinced that I should have listened to my heart and my time-tested Catholic faith in matters regarding the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord.

    Of course, I now receive exclusively on the tongue, but my RCIA-trained convert husband receives in the hand. And on it goes….(sigh!).

  230. @C.L

    Sorry, but what St. James said was the view of the Magisterium, proposed by Peter and supported by Paul. it was not done because they were “dumbing down” the faith to keep members. It was because some were claiming that to be a Christian, one had to be circumcised and keep to the Jewish law.

    So does this make your position the equivalent of the “Judaizers” of Acts and the Epistles of Paul?

    At the very least your analogy is a poor one.

    As I see it, if the Pope says this is wrong, I will comply without regrets. If the bishop of a diocese I am in says it is not to be done, I will comply, respecting the authority of the Bishop.

    If someone on a forum calls it all sort of horrid things… well that has considerably less authority in my view.

  231. Merriweather says:

    @The Other David

    “See how that works? You confuse the abuse to be condemned with the proper use which is acceptable. Nothing is wrong with the nature of the Latin Mass, but if abuse makes something bad, then one could make a very strong case against Traditionalism. It is the same argument that one uses against the reception in the hand.”

    Your analogy is absurd.

    Sede vacantists are confused people who were rightfully scandalized by the actions of some of the last popes (Assisi I & II). It is not the Mass they celebrate that has led them in to error.

    Not the same thing with communion in the hand. Communion in the hand IS the abuse. It was given an indult under false pretenses. It is the direct cause of profanation. It leads to a break down in the belief in the Real Presence.

    Don’t you find it curious that it was one of the first reforms Luther introduced?

    Communion in the hand also robs the priesthood of what used to be its exclusive privilege: being able to touch Our Lord.

    It’s a protestant practice, it’s bad, and it needs to go.

  232. C.L. says:

    The Other David:

    Sorry, but I wasn’t analysing the Council of Jerusalem. I was referencing a phrase that very aptly describes the thinking of some bishops when it comes to matters like the one under discussion. The analogy is perfectly serviceable as neither James nor the bishops I’m talking about are guilty of “heresy”. I haven’t expressed an opinion on your own practice – which sounds about right. That’s why I have said more than once that if receiving on the hand is indeed bad practice, Rome will have to enforce that decision and not simply leave it to to national conferences. So far, Rome hasn’t done so.

  233. Joanne says:

    “Do you believe that each particle of a Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Jesus, God and man?”

    Yes.

    “Do you receive Communion in the hand?”

    I have been receiving exclusively on the tongue for about 3 or 4 years now, whether I assist in the EF or OF, receive from a priest or from a Eucharistic Minister. I receive from an EM at work only. I am a nurse and we are lucky enough to have some wonderful and devoted EMs who come to our floor. If I’m at Mass, I position myself in an area that I know will be covered by a priest at Communion time (and have switched lines on a few occasions to be able to receive from a priest). These tactics don’t always work, though, and at times when I’ve been in unfamiliar churches, I’ve received from EMs. As far as a preference for hand over tongue, I’ve gotten the sense from both certain priests as well as certain EMs (albeit a small minority of both) that they favor the former. I try to give the benefit of the doubt though, ie, I don’t assume those who seem to have a preference for the hand have ideological objections; I would just think it’s more awkward to place anything, and especially the Eucharist, in a person’s mouth than in his or her hand.

    Ditto girgadis re: EMs and female alter servers, and Erin re: the good intentions of EMs, however unfortunate (I believe) the use of EMs is at Mass.

  234. southbend says:

    Wait, what??

    Have I read this comment thread correctly? Did CONCERNED CATHOLIC respond at all to the citations given him? Did he really write the following: “Some people in the Church are very evil and they do not read their Bibles. They think that a priest has to put Jesus in your mouth and that you cannot hold Jesus in your hand.”??

    I was anxiously looking for Concerned Catholic’s reply to the quotes provided him, and I scrolled down through the comments, and that was all I could find.

  235. Merriweather says:

    Some of you might find this article from The Latin Mass, by Fr. James McLucas interesting. It’s called “The Emasculation of the Priesthood” and it deals directly with issues like communion in the hand.

    http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/artEmasculation.asp

    Excerpt:

    The mistake was the failure to take into account the obvious possibility that the unique sacramental / pastoral role of the priest is not a mere timebound whim of the Church, but is intrinsic to the nature of the priesthood, particularly a celibate one. From the time that priestly celibacy came to be understood as the norm, the unique administration of the sacred and, in particular, *the priest as sole steward of the Eucharist*, were supernatural responsibilities that grounded the celibate’s commitment.[5] The man who has sacrificed wife and family is discovering that the structure that guarded his self-identity as a spiritual spouse and father is in the process of being dismantled. The effects are simultaneously subtle and pronounced.

    … The need for a unique physical intimacy with another is constitutive of permanent monogamous relationships ordained by the Creator, Yet it is precisely that type of intimacy with another human being that the celibate sacrifices. *The celibate priest, however, was offered through his office an incomparable and unparalleled intimacy: he alone could touch God*.

  236. Merriweather says:

    @southbend

    I think “Concerned Catholic” is a woman and I doubt she’ll respond again…Fr. Bailey’s response to her was devastating. Miss Advanced degree in Theology didn’t know something six year olds learn in catechism.

  237. Trevor says:

    Someone beat me too it…

    I was pondering Communion in the hand the other day, and was thinking about running some sort of experiment with unconsecrated hosts to quantify how many particles drop in the hand on average.

    Perhaps I could still do it. I think this experiment can be improved. First by using varying amounts of force to distribute the host (since it varies among ministers of Holy Communion). Also quantifying the particles would be beneficial.

  238. Larry says:

    Concerned Catholic seems to be of the opinion that Christ is present only in the WHOLE Host and I guess the Full Cup. He cites #1377 of the CCC as his source. But that Par. clearly states that Christ’s presence is not affected by the breaking of the Bread. The fact is that Christ is therefore present in each piece of the host or paart thereof. The Church in Her theological understanding believes that Christ is present until the species is unrecognizable as the appearance of bread. Some have speculated that Christ is not present in particles to small to be seen. But the Church administers Holy Communion in the smallest particle form to those who have certain medical conditions and in the Eastern Rite to infants at Baptism. Clearly the Church does not believe that the “wholeness” of the Host in any affects Christ’s Real and Substantial Presence. Your advanced degrees must not include Sacramental Theology from an authentic Catholic Institution or you were asleep when they covered this topic. Oh and by teh way just exactly how do you think St. Thomas became a Catholic Priest? It was through the hands of a Bishop. Hence even though he did not attatin the fullnes of the Priesthood i.e. Bishop his priesthood is nonetheless one of Apostolic Succession. That is the only way a priest is validly ordained.

  239. Mark says:

    One day, I happened to serve at a Mass where a paten was in use and the same happened to the paten as happened to the glove. Before Communion was distributed, it was clean. Afterwards, I saw a few Sacred Particles. I was shocked and could not believe it. All those Sacred Particles falling on the floor. And this was only a daily Mass so there were less than 50 people receiving. I thought it surely must be a fluke. Since I do no serve Mass regulary I could not verify if it was common. I went to a different church where they do not use patens but they had large short rimmed dishes to hold the Holy Communion. I sat at the back of the Church so I would be last to receive. Before I received I looked at the dish and saw many Sacred Particles on the bottom (which could easily be transferred to a Sacred Host and then to the floor). Since then I have served at Mass more times. And at least half of the time there are some Sacred Particles on the paten after Communion. Furthermore, I asked a friend who is an altar server if he noticed any Saced Particles on the patens after Communuion and he said that he did.

    If you do not believe me or the picture you can always do research on your own. Just do what I did.

    Although I do not condone receiving the Body of Our Lord with improper attention I think it worthwhile to be informed about so important an issue. So do your best to follow these suggestions while still preparing to receive Our Lord with proper reverence.

    1. Look into whatever dish (sorry, I do not wish to be irreverant I just I do not know the proper name of the dish) that holds the Body of Our Lord before you receive Communion (preferably at the end of the line so the dish is close to being empty and therefore making it easier to see any Particles in the dish) and see if there are any.

    2. Go to a church where patens are used. Be the last or near last to recieve and look at the paten and see if their are any Saced Particles.

    3. Ask the priest or the server of the Mass if they notice any Sacred Particles on the paten after Communion.

    I have followed these steps and to my amazement many Sacred Particles were found. Since this happened I will not even receive on the tongue unless there is a paten or I can be reasonably certain that I can put my chin over the dish that the priest is holding.

  240. Sharon says:

    What was the magnification on the glove with the particles?

  241. southbend says:

    @Merriweather

    That may be so! I for one would hope that Concerned Catholic at least makes an effort at a response, though. . .

    But, in the event that s/he does not respond, and in consideration of the weighty citations against his or her position . . . I suppose we would have to consider his or her position on this point inaccurate and erroneous, at least until s/he attempts to clarify.

  242. Jack – if you find the study, let me know.

    During a discussion earlier in the day about licking envelopes after communion, it occurred to me that it’s possible to do this same experiment with a hand, and then spray the hand with dilute Lugol’s solution (or betadine). At the right concentration that should turn the particles blue while not totally discoloring the hand, which should be pretty easy to pick out. It’s also not a glove. In addition, with the sealed host, it would determine if the particles are wax or bread. Would anyone be interested in the results of this?

    (BTW I must say that I am ignorant of the sealed host bit. I saw a reference to wax, but don’t know much else about it. Using the sealed host argument alone would also indicate that parishes who make their own bread should not allow communion in the hand.)

    Also, regarding Aquinas’ argument, we can now discern that bread is bread using instruments he couldn’t imagine — heck perhaps even something as simple as a microscope (not sure, have to think about it, and it’s late) — even if it’s in fine particles. Much like the arguments we have to use about “science of the day” vis-a-vis vivification, I think we have a similar thing here.

  243. Tony from Oz says:

    I have never received communion in the hand. I was 21 when it was scandalously introduced here in Australia on the basis of a false assurance to Rome by the Australian Episcopal Conference that the practice was \’normative\’ (read, \’customary\’) in Australia at the time – i.e. August 1976.

    The practice was then, on the basis of this fib, approved by the Roman authority – which had earlier tried to suppress this abuse, but by then had decided to pursue the grossly imprudent policy of \’regularising an abuse\’ to contain the scandal – and the Aust Episcopal Conference then remitted the matter for the decision of each Australian Bishop; of whom all, save one, the late Bishop Bernard Stewart of Sandhurst, Victoria, all approved reception in the hand in line with the Roman indult to do so [but which indult had been given on the basis of a Big Fib in the first place!].

    Of course, unlike other abuses, communion in the hand could at least claim the usage of antiquity. But, it must be remembered, that Pius XII in Mediator Dei had condemned the justification of reviving old liturgical and disciplinary forms as constituting \’archaeologism\’! Yes, Mother Church can change it\’s disciplinary practices, but the context of reintroducing communion in the hand was set, not amidst an atmosphere of increasing eucharistic adoration, but in the midst of the pursuit of disobedient liturgical novelties. An entire Faithful who had been taught that only the consecrated hands of a priest could touch the Sacred Species were, overnight, effectively asked to accept the opposite. The results of such boorish disciplinary iconoclasm are now plain for all to see as evidenced by the appalling reduction in belief in the Real Presence amongst Catholics today compared with those before handling the eucharist and queued communion-on-the-run scenarios became the norm.

    This is NOT to suggest that those sincere persons posting here, who receive in the hand, lack belief in the Real Presence; but it does suggest that, overall, in terms of how a worship practice has resulted in loss of belief, this practice has had on balance devastating results for orthodox eucharistic belief. I would ask those good people to reflect on that fact, notwithstanding their legitimate option to receive in the hand in accordance with the special indult permitting them to do so (the norm being – as Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out, or was it one of the Cardinals? – communion on the tongue).

    By the way – for those of you who become fearful at receiving communion on the tongue – – I just don\’t get it. All you have to do – as the good Sr Mary Elizabeth taught me in Second Class – is to tilt your head, open wide your mouth and stick out your tongue over your bottom lip and rest it there until the priest placed the Host on it. Tongue is accessible and ready to retract , plus no problem of insertion of fingers into your actual oral cavity! I agree with an earlier poster that a modicum of practical advice/demos would serve to dispel needless neuroses in this matter.

  244. Petrus says:

    FYI: It is less likely for your tongue to touch the hand of priest, when you reverently kneel during the reception of the Eucharist. With the kneeling, the Body of Christ is received almost in ‘vertical angle’. Our Lord is received like He comes down from the Heaven. ;)

  245. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    Some good observations:
    “The Church in Her theological understanding believes that Christ is present until the species is unrecognizable as the appearance of bread.”

    Comment by Larry

    “Also, regarding Aquinas’ argument, we can now discern that bread is bread using instruments he couldn’t imagine — heck perhaps even something as simple as a microscope (not sure, have to think about it, and it’s late) — even if it’s in fine particles. Much like the arguments we have to use about “science of the day” vis-a-vis vivification, I think we have a similar thing here.”
    Comment by Michael Zappe

    The tricky word is particle. We might be reading too much into the word particle. Particle of bread: little part of bread. Flour is not bread, but this and water is the only constituent used to make valid matter for the Sacrament. What is the difference between bread and flour? Bread is an artifact of man. Artifacts are defined by their purpose. Bread is something that is able to be picked up and eaten. Notice that for example flour can be eaten, but can not be eaten so easily.
    Flour is not praticle for this purpose and is not bread. Neither are the remnants of bread that flake off and are unsuable for easy consumption. Those dots on the gloves are not usable to eat. They have ceased to be the species of bread. They are crumbs or dust from bread. This being said I submit myself to the teaching of the church. It seems to me that that while I have contradicted popular piety which is usually right, I have interpreted the teaching of the church, especialy of St. Thomas the right way.

    This being said reverence to God is shown by taking reasonable means to capture this dust and drink or wash it in a sacrarium, because it is still holy as being from our Lord (A first cLass relic of the divinity?) and who knows maybe I have missed some philosophicle point or maybe the church has spoken more plainly somewhere.

    It is humbling to think that such a fact can cause so many scruples, but the Holy Eucharist is the central mystery of our faith. I have said what I said so that the scrupulous do not loose their souls over crumbs which are no longer true bread and therefore not part little parts of bread, particles of bread. Yet at the same time let us treat the dust which cannot be seen against white linens with the respect prescribed by the church and not invent scrupulous or lax ways of dealing with them. And please scruplulous people do not bother the priests when they DO THE RED, when the follow the rubrics, do not chase them with a magnifying glass.

  246. Edward C. says:

    Dang, I was really looking forward to seeing Concerned Catholic’s acceptance of defeat after father’s well cited Council documents. Oh well I guess this evil Catholic will just have to keep believing that my priest with his consecrated hands ought to be the only one placing my Lord upon my tongue… oh well lol

  247. Once i started reading the Vatican II documents, I stopped receiving in the Hand (as I was taught Vatican II changed the practice), and I started reading real early Church history (not the liberal version, where it was just “fellowship” and not the Sacrifice on Calvary re-presented in an un-bloody manner)

    I later started to receive kneeling…

    Another thing, I never exactly understood the “throne” explanation…You know, to make your hands like a throne, but then you proceed to evict Him from the throne, I thought the King was supposed to reign forever.

    I teach my students if they’re going to receive in the hand, that their hands be clean, but I emphasize it’s better, and thinking with the Church to receive on the tongue. Receiving in the Hand isn’t sacrilegious, but I do not recommend the practice.

  248. carl says:

    Isabella,
    you’re charming. It’s so heartening to see the openness young persons have to our venerable tradition. I have a kid your age in my religious ed class, who is as open to receiving on the tongue as are you. I merely mentioned it one time, saying why it was good. To my knowledge, he hasn’t received in his hand since. Our young ones give us so much reason for hope.

  249. Dave N. says:

    See Cyril of Jerusalem’s (313-386) mystagogical catechesis for good instructions about reverent reception in the hand.

  250. teresa says:

    Dave:

    this argument is always used by modernists to prevent people from receiving the host on the tongue. My pastor, who got to know and I attended the TLM and Latin Mass in Novus Ordo some where else than his church, gave me the book of Cyril to read, before he got me baptized.

    And I received the host in the hand at the Eastern Night during the course of my baptism. Than he gave me also the consecrated wine to drink.

    But the next morning I was in a Benedictine Abbey which I visited very often. Most people there receive the host on their tongue.

    So I have been receiving the host on my tongue some weeks after my baptism. Despite Cyril.

    Cyril is a great Saint. But not the only Saint of the Church.

    And I also think we have to read this book you mentioned as a whole, not just piece mealed to argue against the Traditional and Teachings of our Mother Church.

  251. Peter says:

    Sorry if this has been said, but with 250+ comments I am not going to read them all.

    First, I favour communion on the tongue, not the hand.

    However, if arguments are going to be set out, they should be compelling and accurate.

    The quality of the ‘forensic’ evidence of the photos was not compelling – the second photo is a signal to noise ratio disaster which is impossible to interpret sensibly.

  252. Peter says:

    wrt priest’s fingers touching the tongue or not.

    If it is done properly and without haste, no, there shouldn’t be any contact.

    However, sad to say, my experience of quite a few priests from an ‘Ecclesia Dei’ institute is that they VERY frequently make contact. And in more than a few instances it seems to me that this happens because of HASTE. Their technique also seems imprecise. I have to wonder if there is actually any practical instruction of the young men before ordination on (important) minutiae like this? I thought they were about celebrating the liturgy?

  253. opey124 says:

    I am a firm believer in “on the tongue” only.
    There is a scientific way to conduct this experiment, without a glove and I do believe you will find that residue is left. There are so many variables and, at least at our parish, older hosts are more brittle from what I can determine. One of the reasons I started receiving on the tongue was because the host became fractured in my hand and after I went back to my seat I licked my hand to remove all the particles I could.

  254. M says:

    I always receive on the tongue, but find it a little awkward to say Amen and open my mouth in reddiness to receive without causing a ” delay” for the priest. At the TLM one has ones mouth open as the priest aproaches and you do not say “Amen”. It is an easier, smoother process. Does anyone else had a difficulty with this. At an Abbey where I regularly receive Communion at the Very reverent Novus Ordo, many of those who receive on the tongue do not say “Amen” and this seems to be taken as a signal to the priest that one will receive on the tongue. But is that right?

  255. Every Sunday when I perform the oblations, I always say to myself “Behold the condescension of God…that He should become a crumb on my finger!” Even though I receive in the hand as a deacon, I always try to take special care that no crumb is ever lost.

    To my mind, many clergy lose their faith because they are handling something that appears so banal, and yet is in fact divine. It is difficult to reconcile the two, and yet that is the Mystery of the Incarnation! It requires of us a constant renewal of our faith in the Mystery made present in our worship. To expose the laity to this challenge by allowing them to handle the Host seems to be a dangerous thing on many levels, and I have heard enough of the horror stories to see that this is not just mere speculation.

    One thought would be to restore the practice of intinction. This would ensure that no one would handle the Host. Another would be instead of having EMHE’s, restore the minor order of subdeacon to the Latin Church and authorize them to distribute communion if not enough priests and deacons are available.

    One of my favorite theologians, Fr. Henri de Lubac, coined the phrase, “The Eucharist makes the Church.” How we handle the Sacred Host has a great bearing on our identity as the Church. Perhaps more than a few crises of faith and ecclesiology would be resolved by adjusting our practice surrounding the care given to this great, supernatural Gift of Christ to the Church?

  256. JR says:

    I receive in the hand, and here’s why:

    1. Because I am quite capable of checking my hand for particles.
    2. Because as an EMHC I have had my fingers accidently licked more than a few times administering communion on the tongue. That saliva on my hands then surely transfers to other mouths (unhygenic) and onto the next host I touch. [The chance of this happening can be reduced by being more careful.]
    3. Becuase the host (normally gripped by the minister of communion between thumb and forefinger) has further to travel from the ciborium to the tongue than to the hand. Therefore there is greater chance of particles falling to the floor. [It all depends on what you do with the ciborium when distributing communion and if there is a Communion paten (as there ought to be).]

    – but mostly –

    4. Because Jesus touched sinners, [Ugh. He also thrashed them with a whip of cords.] he touched lepers. He reached out a hand to touch and to embrace all of us, including those who society deemed unclean and unworthy. He wasn’t precious with where his body went. Now, clearly we should respect the host and we shouldn’t walk away with it in our pockets while we go to the pub to be cosumed at a later date, but as long as we are fit toreceive Jesus, and as long as our hearts are truly open to the grace that he brings, I very much doubt that he gives a damn if a few particles fall to the floor. [Is that so?] Our Lord is much bigger than that. [And we end with insight into what Jesus thinks…. sigh]

    After all, many thousands of minute particles will come away from a host at many many times between consecration and consumption. Even when it’s sitting in the cirorium on the corporal, science tells us that a slight breeze will separate some particles. Therefore the area round every Church will have literally millions of particles. So what’s the answer? Respect and due dilligence, yes? An almost OCD-like level of paranoia… that’s not why Jesus came is it?

  257. jacques says:

    Jane,
    I pondered a lot about why Jesus required Mary-Magdalene “DON’T TOUCH ME” just after His Resurrection and why He
    allowed Thomas to place his fingers in the nail’s holes.
    In fact Thomas HAD BEEN MADE A PRIEST by Jesus Himself and therefore was allowed to touch Him like all priests are allowed to touch the Eucharist.
    This explanation is quite simple and must convince that even if an indult is granted, all the communicants
    have rather not to take the hosts in their hands but only for EXTRAORDINARY or urgent reasons.

  258. JR says:

    jacques,

    I feel that you are clutching at straws there and trying to apply a traditionalist mentality to a world which had no concept of it at all.

    Scripture schlars have grappled for years with why Jesus didn’t want Mary Magdalene to touch him. There has never really been a consensus, yet your idea has never been seriously advanced.

    In any case, Matthew 28 clearly has ‘the women’ falling before Jesus and clasping his feet (if I remember correctly). Luke’s Gospel has him eating fish too. Hardly a body to precious to touch anything.

  259. JR says:

    Father,

    As always, you make some good points in critiquing my post.

    My general point is that there is absolutely completely no way whatsoever to be 100% sure that no particles are gonna hit the floor and therefore that we have to draw a sensible line somewhere. My suggestion is simply that we draw the line at good loving intent. [Good intentions are also great paving stones, I hear. Together with intent, we must also take practical steps to reduce the risk of profanation. ]

    And, yes I believe that when Jesus said ‘I call you friends’ he gave us the right (nay, the duty) to grapple with what he thinks.

    In Christ,

  260. @ Merriweather

    No, it is not absurd. It is pointing out the absurdity of arguing that something needs to be ended because it can be abused.

    Any legitimate Catholic practice can be abused, and under the reasoning you, presented, therefore should be stopped. We could employ the reductio ad absurdum to pretty much any of the arguments against Communion in the Hand.

    Legitimate Magisterial authority has permitted the reception on the hand, so arguing that this should not be allowed is irrelevant. Disciplines can be changed on the authority of the Pope, or by his permission.

    You may prefer reception on the tongue, and that is none of my concern. Once you start labeling the reception in the hand as “Protestant” or “disobedient” however, you go too far.

    It all comes down to this: What the Successor of Peter has loosed, you have no authority to declare bound.

  261. Chris says:

    I keep hearing that people are receive our Lord in their hands for all of these small reasons, most of which have nothing to do with theology: I’m affraid of germs; I’m affraid of the mean people giving me looks; the EM can’t do it right; I have a phobia about walking and opening my mouth; etc. And it all leads to unconsecrated hands holding Christ.

    Why is the answer, then, not to either ban EMs or simply walk down the street to the local NO Mass that doesn’t use them or the TLM? Then you can go to Mass, have no fears and not feel falsely compelled to receive in the hand?

    It just seems that every consideration is taken into account — expect Christ …

  262. thomas tucker says:

    After reading through the additional comments, and sleeping on it overnight, I think that I will reverse
    my position to a great extent. Although I think one can receive in the hand reverently and with great faith
    in the Real Presence, and I do and presume that most people do, I think that it would encourage greater
    faith and reverence all around by returning to oral communion only. One thing that has struck me is the
    comment above about the priests’ reverence, and how the daily handling of the Eucharist can lead to a
    decrease in devotion. And that is one of the benefits of the TLM- the priest must take such care in handling
    the sacred species that it helps prevent over-familiarity with so great a Sacrament. And if that is true
    for the priest, how much more do we need to encourage that among the laity!
    So, Father, change my vote, and I will change my practice.
    God bless you all.

  263. John says:

    I don’t know what to think after reading all the comments on the debate between communion on the tongue or palm. I wish we would be so passionate about feeding the poor or passing on our Faith. I have had fleeting thoughts here and there throughout my life about the ‘communion crumbs’. but, even though we celebrate the Eucharist…the “real” body and blood of Christ, it seems to me that managing crumblings is not nearly as important a concern as recieving the sacrament with a pure and humble heart, whether by mouth or by hand. I watched a piece of communion bread fall to the floor once while the priest was trying to hand it to the receiever. The priest reached down and consumed the bread as if nothing happened. I learned a great deal about reverence for His holy presence without being fanatical and obnoxious.

  264. JR says:

    John,

    YES!!!!!!!

    There is more (and I mean everything more) to life with Christ than rules, chasibles, vestments and arguments about singing and this and that

    :)

  265. Inge says:

    I used to receive on the hand, because I learned it to do so. I was also taught to check my palm after receiving to check for particles. In my parish they are very careful and only distribute hosts that are intact.
    Nevertheless I receive on the tongue now, because I feel more comfortable and am able to show with my body language as well now what I believe: I am totally dependent of Christ to be fed, of everything. Without Him I cannot do anything. For me, kneeling and receiving on the tongue is an expression of that faith.

    Well, due to knee problems I cannot kneel on the bare floor and we don’t use our communion rails anymore, so I receive standing and on the tongue. :?

  266. Argent says:

    John said: …it seems to me that managing crumblings is not nearly as important a concern as recieving [sic] the sacrament with a pure and humble heart, whether by mouth or by hand.

    Why is it either/or?

    I wish we would be so passionate about feeding the poor or passing on our Faith.

    How do you know that the person receiving kneeling on the tongue is not also the person who is in the soup kitchen or visiting prisoners?

  267. Timbot says:

    John,

    Whats with the “real” in quotation marks? Is is not really and truly Christ?
    Why do you call our Lord “Communion Bread”? Should I refer to your children as “bags of animated meat”?
    You may be nominally Catholic, but you do not believe the most basic truths of the Faith. Sadly, you represent the majority of the Western Church in your thoroughly protestant, nominalist, and materialist, and didactic understanding of both sacramental and liturgical theology.
    The good part about ignorance of the faith though, it prevents being Catholic from being a penance.

  268. Ohio Annie says:

    Jacques, I think Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to touch him because he was not yet in his glorified body and touching him would have defiled her. His later appearances were as his glorified body. This is what I have read in numerous places. It makes sense to me.

    But of course the full truth is that it is reference to not touching the Sacred Species.

  269. Timbot says:

    “There is more (and I mean everything more) to life with Christ than rules, chasibles, vestments and arguments about singing and this and that”

    To quote the great Jesus Quintana “Laughable Man!”

    John 12
    3 Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

    6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. 7 Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always.

  270. JR says:

    Timbot,

    I wasn’t talking about the option for the poor. I wonder why you went straight to that!?

    Rather, I was talking about what’s of true value in how we have faith in Christ. So your scripture quote is a little off beat.

    In any case, I am meant to be at work :)

    take care…

  271. PriestOnTheMystery said:

    \”The tricky word is particle. We might be reading too much into the word particle. Particle of bread: little part of bread. Flour is not bread, but this and water is the only constituent used to make valid matter for the Sacrament. What is the difference between bread and flour? Bread is an artifact of man. Artifacts are defined by their purpose. Bread is something that is able to be picked up and eaten. Notice that for example flour can be eaten, but can not be eaten so easily.
    Flour is not praticle for this purpose and is not bread. Neither are the remnants of bread that flake off and are unsuable for easy consumption. Those dots on the gloves are not usable to eat. They have ceased to be the species of bread. They are crumbs or dust from bread. This being said I submit myself to the teaching of the church. It seems to me that that while I have contradicted popular piety which is usually right, I have interpreted the teaching of the church, especialy of St. Thomas the right way.

    This being said reverence to God is shown by taking reasonable means to capture this dust and drink or wash it in a sacrarium, because it is still holy as being from our Lord (A first cLass relic of the divinity?) and who knows maybe I have missed some philosophicle point or maybe the church has spoken more plainly somewhere.\”

    ***********

    Thank you so very much for speaking so eloquently on this issue. This is how I also understand the Real Presence and the reverence and care we take even with the tiniest of crumbs and dust.

  272. irishgirl says:

    I always receive on the tongue. The only time I was ‘forced’ to receive in the hand was when I went on three retreats-at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet (1976 young womens’ retreat) , at the Jesuits (private retreat in 1994 or 1995), and at a [liberal] Discalced Carmelite monastery (private retreat in 1995). At all three places, the ‘dish’ was passed around and I had to ‘self-communicate’-a real liturgical ‘no-no’. I didn’t want to make a scene, so I did like everyone else, though my heart ached.

    During the few times I was an EMHC, I always held the Host by the edge-I have short nails. And when I was a lector, sometimes I had to hold the paten for Communion when there weren’t enough servers. My eyes were cast down as I did that, because it broke my heart to see how casually people received Our Lord….no, I’m not judging, let me make that clear.

    I’m glad I go the TLM….

  273. Joanne says:

    “His holy presence”

    This would seem to imply that the writer DOES believe in the Real Presence, would it not? I agree that being Catholic is more than just about “being nice,” but there is also truth in what I think JR is getting at, ie, that charity, in every sense of the word, is part of being a devout and faithful Catholic too. Do some who assist in the EF Mass find this a “laughable” idea?

  274. John says:

    For Argent:
    I did not mean it had to be either/or, thank you for pointing out that I came across this way. I agree, it must be both. Agent said: “How do you know that the person receiving kneeling on the tongue is not also the person who is in the soup kitchen or visiting prisoners?” I wasn’t referring to the person receiving communion, rather to the bloggers here (myself included) when I made reference to wishing we were showing this passion to the poor or passing on our faith.

    For Timbot:
    I don’t know what is more disturbing, your piety or your insulting demeanor. Either way, I promise to pray for you. I believe you will have a much more profound experience when receiving the Eucharist or in Adoration when you are empty of your piety or your animosities toward me. I referred to it as “bread” specifically because that is what the Lord called it when he broke it for his disciples during that last supper, knowing he was leaving us with this sacrament until He comes again in full glory. I used “real” in quotation marks to emphasize that I believe in the real presence of Jesus – that it is really and truly the Christ. I entered this Blog, uninvited to be sure – but feeling welcome to contribute, because I seek a deeper dialogue with my fellow Catholics as my Faith grows. But, I will tread lightly here – for it seems the “faith of a child” is attacked, not nurtured. By the way, you may call my children whatever you wish, just know that they will pray for you as well.

  275. Some Patristic Commentary on Mary Magdeline from the Catena Aurea

    GREG The Evangelist does not add what she did upon recognizing Him, but we know from what our Lord said to her: Jesus says to her, Touch Me not. Mary then had tried to embrace His feet, but was not allowed. Why not? The reason follows: For I am not yet ascended to My Father.

    AUG. But if standing upon the earth, He is not touched, how shall He be touched sitting in heaven? And did He not before His ascension offer Himself to the touch of the disciples: Handle Me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones? Who can be so absurd as to suppose that He was willing that disciples should touch Him before He ascended to His Father, and unwilling that women should till after Nay, we read of women after the resurrection, and before He ascended to His Father, touching Him, one of whom was Mary Magdalene herself, according to Matthew. Either then Mary here is a type of the Gentile Church, which did not believe in Christ till after His ascension: or the meaning is that Jesus is to be believed in, i.e. spiritually touched, in no other way, but as being one with the Father. He ascends to the Father mystically, as it were, in the mind of him who has so far advanced as to acknowledge that He is equal to the Father. But how could Mary believe in Him otherwise than carnally, when she wept for Him as a man?

    AUG. Touch is as it were the end of knowledge and He was unwilling that a soul intent upon Him should have its end, in thinking Him only what He seemed to be.

    CHRYS. Mary wished to be as familiar with Christ now, as she was before His Passion; forgetting, in her joy, that His body was made much more holy by its resurrection. So, Touch Me not, He says, to remind her of this, and make her feel awe in talking with Him. For which reason too He no longer keeps company with His disciples, viz. that they might look upon Him with the greater awe. Again, by saying I have not yet ascended, He shows that He is hastening there. And He who was going to depart and live no more with men, ought not to be regarded with the same feeling that He was before: But go to My brethren, and say to them, I ascend to My Father, and you Father; and to My God, and your God.

    HILARY. Heretics, among their other impieties, misinterpret these words of our Lord’s, and say, that if His Father is their Father, His God their God, He cannot be God Himself. But though He remained in the form of God, He took upon Him the form of a servant; and Christ says this in the form of a servant to men. And we cannot doubt that in so far as He is man, the Father is His Father in the same sense in which He is of other men, and God His God in like manner. Indeed He begins with saying, Go to My brethren, But God can only have brethren according to the flesh; the Only-Begotten God, being Only-Begotten, is without brethren.

  276. What is the difference between bread and flour? Bread is an artifact of man.

    Keep in mind that this isn’t the only difference. There are many chemical transformations that occur (polymerization, cell lysis) when bread is made. Bread is substantially (at least in a chemical sense) different from flour.

  277. Mitchell NY says:

    My first Holy Communion was during the years when “in the hand” was being introduced..I was not given a choice but told it was to be done this way now..I was always uncomfortable with it from a young age…Focusing on how to fold my hands, etc. It just never felt right. Many, many years later I understood the difference and when I saw other people receiving on the tongue I did the same. I have not received in the hand since, even at a NO Mass. I attend a TLM so it is not of issue there.

  278. Catherine Alexander says:

    I think the key here is this: the photo was sent in BY A READER. Father, when you do this same test, maybe I’ll be less skeptical. But I do not believe a host would leave all those crumbs. I’ve seen a biscuit leave fewer crumbs than that.

  279. ALL: This is NOT about Mary Magdalene. Close the rabbit hole.

  280. Peter A Loughlin says:

    Perhaps a better question might have been “How would you PREFER to receive Communion ? THe system with all the extraordinary ministers encourages taking it in the hand, rather than appear to be out of line.

  281. Joanne,

    I think an ardent charity is what leads many of us who handle the Eucharist on a regular basis to be vigilant and diligent in the care we provide every particle, since every particle is in fact the sacrament whole and entire.

    It is not about being OCD – I live in Christ, not in fear!

    But great love is expressed even in small things, and that includes concern for every piece of Holy Communion.

    God bless!

  282. Karen Russell says:

    ” wonder how that generation feels knowing we’re all just waiting for them to pass out of history…
    Comment by Mark — 15 March 2009 @ 5:53 pm ”

    That remark makes this particular member of “that generation” very sad, because I see just as clearly as you the harm that has been done by the attitudes you deplore, and I too am praying for a return to sanity.

  283. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    Micheal Zappe: There are many chemical transformations that occur (polymerization, cell lysis) when bread is made. Bread is substantially (at least in a chemical sense) different from flour.

    Comment by Michael Zappe

    I know something occurs when you mix flour and water. I should have just left that part out or rephrased it. My point is that with flour you start with something that is unuseful to eat, but I most certainly is nourishing. Lumber is not very useful to sit on but can be formed into a chair which is useful.

    If we did say that it is enough for bread that you have the congealing of two of the smallest particles of flour then I would have to say the our Lord is present in dust flying around when the host is fractured and our Lord flakes off all over the place during mass — pardon me. Pope Gregory the Great had the fracturing of the Host moved toward the end of the mass well after the point which the church now says the host is the concecration. This exasperated the problem of pieces flying around.

    One point I did make before is that we do not want to subject the Sacrament to mockery so what bread is important. We should not advocate a false teaching, for the sake of praticality of explaining things to protestants, but it is helpful to have things right with regard to what is a particle of bread. Think of how protestants could come in and after a little searching find crumbs underfoot and mock our teaching. It is good to have this teaching right.

    Other possibilities come to mind. Think of poor priests and laity with scrupulosity. Also would not many lay people, extrdry. ministers of the Eucharist, priests and bishops be automatically excommunicated for desecration of the Eucharist and even perhaps the Pope because they disregard the visible flakes from the host. Bread is something that can be handled. Dust is not Bread.

  284. Karen Russell says:

    I came into the church shortly before the practice of communion in the hand was introduced, so I began by receiving on the tongue.

    When the change came, I went along for many years (I was young and although I had been given good grounding in the basics, I lacked the cultural background and deeper understanding.)

    Eventually I started to dig deeper into my faith. I also began to attend at a parish where a few people did receive on the tongue. It was a gradual process–for awhile I received on the tongue if I was in the priest’s line (and I became pretty good at seating myself in the section of the church which he ministered to), and in the hand if I had to receive from an EMHC or if I was in an unfamiliar church. And in time both the feeling of “rightness” for me and my confidence in receiving on the tongue reached a point where that is now the only way I receive. Period. In my parish, this is not a problem, but it did rattle the unknown EMHC who brought me communion when I was in hospital last summer.

    Unfortunately, the altar rails were removed from my home church years ago, and I am physically unable to kneel or get up again without support. So of necessity I continue to receive standing. But if a kneeling bench or altar rail were available, I would be down as fast as my creaky joints would let me.

  285. M, yes, that’s normally what happens with me when I’m at a NO, I don’t say Amen, but I’m kneeling ready to receive on the tongue

  286. Irish says:

    I receive on the tongue because my hands aren’t consecrated.

  287. PriestOnTheMystery —

    This makes sense, I just wanted to be clear, and exploring the repercussions science has for the way we teach it. (I’m still learning the details of the doctrine, forgive my ignorance.)

    I do have to say, though, my interest here is what the truth of the matter is, not whether Protestants will mock us — I’m quite sure that will go on until the return of our Lord. ;-) (If not them, there’s a long line behind them.)

    It’s just an interesting point to me, since one of my hobbies is jeweling, and we go to lengths to try and preserve the particles of silver and gold dust because of their aggregate value. Since the Eucharist is much more valuable than either of those things it doesn’t seem a bad idea at all to go to some reasonable lengths to prevent the smallest parts from being lost, even if they have been “de-substantiated”. (They have still touched the divine.)

  288. PriestOntheMystery,

    Unless I am misunderstanding what you are saying, the fact that particles of the Host break away from the Host does not in any way change their sacramental reality. The Church desires that we be vigilant and diligent when it comes to handling the Sacrament. If there are subparticles invisible to the human eye, we are certainly not responsible for these. Such is the condescension of God! That said, I know in the Byzantine tradition, the “fraction” occurs over a diskos which is placed on an antimension cloth. Both our priest and I clean the cloth to consume any particles that may have fallen…again, out of respect for the Mystery.

    In these matters, the scrupulous conscience can never be the measure of our responsibilities, for we can never do enough to satisfy a conscience ruled by fear.

    As to flour residue, I would agree with you that it is not consecrated. But I am not in the habit of checking whether I am simply looking at flour dust or actual particles. I consume it all, and I also make it a point to cleanse my hands and all instruments used, including the knife/spear we use.

  289. Collegeville reject says:

    Dear bloggers;
    I am the person who sent Father Z these pictures. As I said above, this was done by a very reverent priest and myself. I am sorry this caused so much squable. The priest who helped did take a video at the same time and if Fr. Z is interested I can obtain it from him. It was done in complete sincerity!!! We where only interested in what DOES happen when we recieve in the hand. I pray everyone will search thier conscience and if, in truth, you have noted particles, you will error on the side of caution to make sure that the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Load is always treated with the upmost respect. Again, my reason was not to cause conundrum, just concern.
    Kimberly

  290. Ed Francis says:

    Karen Russell – “I see just as clearly as you the harm that has been done by the attitudes you deplore”

    I’m right there with you. I receive on the tongue, kneel whenever that is achievable under the circumstances.

    Per Mark’s comment, I’m also taken aback by this business of “generations” that you respond to. Apparently, the view he expresses holds quite a following, almost a sect, one might say, though if so, they are indeed in schism and simply passing the time,

    “just waiting for them [us?] to pass out of history…”

    No real depth to the movement, just a general lack of insight into, for example, the fact that obediance is required of Catholics. That Church praxis changed under our feet, at the hands of clergy we were required to trust; many of did the best we could with that.

    And we’re still here, also just waiting, watching, doing the best we can, since we will not know the day or the hour of the Master’s return. That’s gonna be interesting.

  291. Girgadis says:

    One other thing about reception in the hand – there is just as much a risk, if not more, of the Sacred Host hitting the floor as with reception on the tongue. Why? Because some of our Catholics don’t know the proper way to hold out their hands. I can’t tell you how many times someone comes up for Communion with their hands slanted toward the floor. Rather than allow Jesus to slide off, the priest or EM has to “catch” Jesus and issue an admonishing look. This also necessitates having to touch the Sacred Host a second time to prevent a catastrophe. I agree with the person who noted than when we’re kneeling it is easier for the priest to place the Host correctly on the tongue and less chance of a mishap.

  292. Priest on the Mystery:

    I must disagree with you though I think I understand your point. The definitive teaching of the Church I cited above from the Council of Trent remains and cannot be changed. It seems you agree with that. You seem to have issue with the word particle and that what “flies around” at the fraction is not a particle but dust. This is not the mind of the Church as is clear by the rubrics of the pre-Pauline Missal which directs the priest to carefully scrape the corporal with the paten and to keep his forefinger and thumb together after the consecration. The sacristan was also to place each host individually into the ciborium, carefully being sure there were no loose pieces, before putting them out for consecration. They were never to be dumped in from bag or box as is the current practice. The Church expresses her belief not only in her definitive statements but in her practice. Until the rupture of tradition with the Pauline Missal (which I accept and use) this would never have been an issue. However a deliberate rupture was made– the Pauline Missal is neither an organic reform with what preceded it but something completely new made to appear like what preceded it. Very careful study will show this. It is clear that what “flies around” after the consecration are considered not dust, but particles, otherwise the rubrics in force for centuries (centuries before 1570) would not have required what they did.

    The question is, at what point can the particle no longer be received. The answer is that it can no longer be received when it cannot be perceived by the senses, in this case, when it is beyond the possibility of being seen. If it can be seen, it can be received, and therefore is a particle, and therefore is the Blessed Sacrament. This is why we must use all care in the distribution/reception of Holy Communion, whether in the hand or on the tongue or at the altar, which is, sadly not the case in the majority of churches (in my experience). If the particle is so small that we cannot see it, we cannot be responsible for it. As to whether Christ is present in such a small particle that cannot be seen, I defer to the Council of Trent, but it should not be of concern since we cannot engage with something so small on a human level.

    Your comment on excommunication for desecration of the Eucharist in these comments is neither germaine nor helpful. Such excommunication can only happen when the Eucharist is desecrated knowingly and willingly which would not be the case here. As is your comment on those who are scrupulous. Srcupulosity is a mental illness, a spiritual manifestation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is not properly treated by mitigating theology or doctrine to make things easier. That only adds to a deepening of the disorder and is extremely uncharitable and sinful.

    I know you are responding to what seem to be overzealous comments. But keep in mind that the past thirty years have seen an great number of sacreligious Communions and desecrations of the Eucharist by Cathoics that is without precedence. These run the gamut from receiving on filthy hands or in a state or mortal sin to making off the the Blessed Sacrament to publically desecrate HIM on Youtube. For many of us this is extremely painful and we spend a good deal of time working to promote reverence and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and make reparation for these sins. But, at the same time, I remind all who engaged in this work, if you do not reverence Christ present in your neighbor (“As often as you do this for the least of these, my brethren…”) it is of no merit or goodness.

  293. The Holy Father’s example, especialy since Corpus Christi of last year and the remarks offered by his Master of Ceremonies speak volumes. Whether the glove is accurate or not, it brings the point out of what really does happen. As a Priest as soon as I touch the host at the Consecration particles are left on my fingers. Even there I encourage Priests to go back to the old way and keep their fingers together – something which is not forbidden by the Novus Ordo, just not required. (Though John Paul II did this until his finger was wounded and he could not move it as before in the attempt on his life on May 13, 1981). However as Msgr. Marini explained it is still the universal law of the Church to receive on the tongue, and yes, kneeling. So the Holy Father is giving us all an example which I hope will mean some legislation is soon forthcoming that will do away with the indult (exception) to the universal law. As far as receiving form the Priest on the tongue and the Extraordianry Minister on the hand, that seems to me to be pride. “You are a lay person and so am I, so if yu can touch Him, so can I”. The extraordianry minister does this as a service to the Church. It is not because of who gives Communion that we worship and revenrence the Eucharist. It is because it is the Lord! Simply. Those arguments are devoid of any substance and need to ne rethought by those who offer them. I encourage everyone to receive o the tongue and, when possible. kneeling. You will be the better for it, I assure you! Let us get the Reform of the Reform really underway! God bless all!

  294. People who receive kneeling at the rail at Masses in the EF can be just as careless as those receiving standing in the hand. It’s not a cure-all. I have experienced as much irreverence by people at the rail as I have by people in the line. People receiving in the hand can be and often are very reverent while those receiving on the tongue can be very irreverent. The Host can fall to the floor as easily from an irreverent kneeling tongue receiver as from a standing hand receiver.

    Point: Be reverent, deliberate, and devout. Take your time. DON’T RUSH, however you choose to receive. Stand/kneel still and don’t be in a rush to move away. Whether you receive on the tongue or in the hand, this is the only control you have over protecting the Sacrament from falling to the floor or, preferably, to the paten or housling cloth.

    As for spreading germs: In 2000 years, it has NEVER been the case that disease has been spread either from receiving on the tongue or from the chalice. Studies have been done recently with scientific evidence. Do a web search. Be informed when making your decision. Think about it. And most importantly, PRAY about it.

  295. Marie says:

    I tried receiving on the tongue, but found that my worries about the host dropping or the priest/EMHC touching my tongue, whether or not such worries are well-founded, were distracting me from the sacrament, and so I receive in the hand unless I am at an Opus Dei mass where the priest is accustomed to distributing on the tongue.

  296. DP says:

    Fr. Héctor R.G. Pérez y Robles, STD: You stated above that reception on on the tongue and kneeling is still universal law of the Church. Could you please clarify that for us? In what document can that be found? Thank You!

  297. ssoldie says:

    Interesting, FR George Williams; ‘Missionaries of Charity’
    “Not very long ago I said Massand 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 (I don’t know why):” Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today? She more then anyone could name any number of candates: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 recieving Communion in the hand.”

    From Fr. Gerorbe William Rutler Good Friday, 1989, sermon at St. Agnes Church, New York City.

    Transcribed by Ron Mc Closkey from the “St.Agnes Cassettes” recording.

  298. ssoldie says:

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

  299. “You stated above that reception on on the tongue and kneeling is still universal law of the Church.”

    Obviously we are talking about universal law for the Latin Church here. Just to clarify…

  300. ssoldie says:

    Sorry about last post, didn’t print it right…………
    St. Catherine Review Communion-in-the-Hand: An Historical View
    from the May-June 1996 issue
    Now thats better, now go see if you can find it.
    http://www.aquinas-multimedia.com/catherine/hand.html

  301. DP, Father Perez is impercise. It is not a law in that it was never an issue of law, however it is the norm. We know this because an indult from the Holy See is required for Communion in the hand. An indult means a practice is tolerated and can be revoked at any time for any reason or no reason. There are two posts above, one which I wrote concerning the US and another by Tony from OZ concerning Australia, that might be of interest to you concerning how the indult was obtained in these two countries.

    Additional points:

    Sins of the tongue are almost always more vile and heinous than those of the hands so the arguement concerning sinning with hands in any way is of no merit to the discussion.

    Concerning worthiness: No one is worthy of Communion, not a priest or bishop or layperson. No one is worthy of touching the Blessed Sacrament, be he priest, bishop, or layperson, despite the ordained having anointed hands. Priests and bishops sin and lose the state of grace just like laypeople. And, that is not why a priests hands are anointed (which I’m sure Fr. Z. will say is for another topic).

    This is not about the person distributing the Sacrament or the one receiving the Sacrament. The only person to be considered in how one receives is the One who is received.

  302. David says:

    (JR:ABOVE)
    “– but mostly –
    4. Because Jesus touched sinners, he touched lepers. He reached out a hand to touch and to embrace all of us, including those who society deemed unclean and unworthy. ”

    Yeah HE TOUCHES US the communion rail illustrates this like a casim between us and Heaven that only he can overcome his mercy is mediated by a Priest. O my How un-protestant is this Theology just listen to what I am saying!
    But that as well has been destroyed now so conveniently. In so many places use habitual extraordinary ministers of communion (A grave contradiction in itself) they come up in every mass to do there “rightful sin.” You know who I’m talking about, because anyone can just touch our Lord right? Wrong! The Sacrament of Holy Communion consists in the eating of the Bread of Life. Rather, what is happening here is that each person who receives the Sacred Host in his hand, is then giving himself Holy Communion. To place the Sacred Host in the hand of a person is NOT to give Holy Communion. In fact Each person is becoming his own minister of Communion. By this means the ministry of priests (and deacons) is becoming disordered and dissolved.
    I know what is permitted by Bishops and it rips at my heart. Look at how far we have come from the rubrics of the TLM. How the priest with love reserved his COCERCRATED fingers for this purpose. How in principle have we failed!

    I have a feeling anyone who gets sooooo exited about communion in the hand is a complete blaspheming sociopath or is ignorant of basic Catholic Tradition or a basic catechesis in the light of tradition need for ones first communion. The ancient Mass has a relationship with it long covered up that of a naïve “us Lay people” and sanctuary “Ordained or Men set apart” separation aka SINFULLNESS and HEAVEN.

    To receive on the hand is only an “indult,” or concession that is in effect here and there. It does not exist in the greater part of the Church. For some time it was allowed in the Philippines, but then the bishops there changed their minds, and rescinded the permission. That’s right, O no! what about participation! LOL!
    Also a single bishop may forbid the practice. But, no bishop has the authority to forbid the traditional way of receiving Communion. Huh I wonder why?
    From the point of view of liturgical law, the two are very far from equal!
    Prefect of the Congregation of divine worship Cardinal Cañizares: “ No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.” ( http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2008/12/cardinal-caizares-on-holy-communion.html )

  303. David says:

    Sorry while cut and pasting I pasted (above) my rushed rough draft from word not my final copy.

    (JR:ABOVE)
    “– but mostly –
    4. Because Jesus touched sinners, he touched lepers. He reached out a hand to touch and to embrace all of us, including those who society deemed unclean and unworthy. ”

    Yeah HE TOUCHES US NOT WE FUMBLE HIM the communion rail alone with so many other disciplines illustrates this like a chasm between our sinfulness and Heaven. That only Christ can overcome in his mercy mediated by the Priest. O my How un-protestant this Theology is just listen to what I am saying!
    But true participation has been dissolved now so conveniently. In so many churches they use habitual extraordinary ministers of communion (A grave contradiction in itself). I certain You know who I’m talking about, because anyone can just touch our Lord right? Wrong! They come up in every mass to do there “rightful sin.”
    The Sacrament of Holy Communion consists in the eating of the Bread of Life. Rather, what is happening here is that each person who receives the Sacred Host in his hand, is then giving himself Holy Communion. To place the Sacred Host in the hand of a person is NOT to give Holy Communion. In fact Each person is becoming his own minister of Communion. By this means the ministry of priests (and deacons) is becoming disordered and dissolved.
    I know what is permitted by Bishops and it rips at my heart. Look at how far we have come from the rubrics of the TLM. How the priest with love reserved his COCERCRATED fingers for this purpose. How in principle have we failed!

    I have a feeling anyone who gets sooooo exited about communion in the hand is a complete blaspheming sociopath or is ignorant of basic Catholic Tradition or a basic catechesis in the light of tradition need for ones first communion. The ancient Mass has a relationship with it long covered up that of a naïve “us Lay people” and sanctuary “Ordained or Men set apart” separation aka SINFULLNESS and HEAVEN.

    To receive on the hand is only an “indult,” or concession that is in effect here and there. It does not exist in the greater part of the Church. For some time it was allowed in the Philippines, but then the bishops there changed their minds, and rescinded the permission. That’s right, O no! what about participation! LOL!
    Also a single bishop may forbid the practice. But, no bishop has the authority to forbid the traditional way of receiving Communion. Huh I wonder why?
    From the point of view of liturgical law, the two are very far from equal!
    Prefect of the Congregation of divine worship Cardinal Cañizares: “ No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.” ( http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2008/12/cardinal-caizares-on-holy-communion.html )

  304. Ellen says:

    I almost always recieve on the tongue, but it’s kind of hard sometimes. Father is shorter than I am and I have to stoop to recieve. If only I could kneel………

  305. ustalumnus says:

    l. bernhard stated: “Let’s hope the bishops and priests are consulting the Roman Catechism, which reads: Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself whole and entire to each . . . . the body of our Lord is contained whole and entire under the least particle of the bread.”

    Why go back 450+ years? The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.” #1377

  306. I don’t want to intrude, but while this is not an issue for me, I understand why those who prefer receiving on the tongue feel strongly about it, but I fail to understand why their opponents have such strong feelings. Likewise, kneeling isn’t an issue for me (our Canons prohibit kneeling on Sundays), but again, I certainly understand why those who kneel feel strongly, but don’t understand why those who do not also feel so strongly. After all, if you believe you should have the option, then shouldn’t you be more or less apathetic to which option another chooses?

  307. michael says:

    To the person who sent in the photos: please do not in any way be dismayed by the number of those who posted responses here; rather, you have started a discussion which is so very important. This thread has had a huge response exactly because it realy is so extremely important. God Bless you.

  308. Matt says:

    Rightwingprof,

    I agree, there is a false claim of \”freedom\” by the left when they really want to restrict the options to liberal ones.

    prefer receiving on the tongue feel strongly about it

    I don\’t believe that it\’s a matter of preference. In fact, if it was a matter of personal comfort, I\’d prefer not to have a priest stick his hands near my tongue… but that\’s not the point.

    (our Canons prohibit kneeling on Sundays)

    Can you elaborate? What canon\’s could you be referring to?

  309. Dominic says:

    Wow. I had to click on the link to the comments when I saw that there were over 300! Looks like we have really hit a raw nerve here. Or, more precisely, we are touching on one of the most visible aspects of the crisis in the Church, and the corollary question of what the faithful are supposed to do when the authorities in the Church abuse their power.

    As a priest who celebrates with the old missal every day (with hundreds of communions per week), I can say that with proper technique one can generally avoid touching the tongue. It did happen to me about a month ago – it had not happened for six months or a year before that. I apologized to the person after mass. It’s just such a rare thing for me that I am surprised that it comes up as an issue here.

  310. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    Fr. J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R., Fr. Deacon Daniel,

    Thank you for responding my comments.

    \”If the change be so great that the substance of the bread or wine would have been corrupted, then Christ\’s body and blood do not remain under this sacrament; and this … [happens] on the part of the quantity, as, for instance, if the bread be reduced to fine particles.\” (Summa Theologica, Tertia Pars Q. 77 a. 4 SC) In other words, too small a piece from bread is no longer bread.

    This statement seems to contradict other statements that TA makes elsewhere in his treatise on the Eucharist, and whihc Trent quotes almost vebatim. Is not a particle a particle whether it is fine or not and Christ is in each particle. The key is that one is a particle of actual bread and the other is particle which is not bread any more.

    A venerable philosophical principle if that a thing cannot be infinitely divided. If something is divided it eventually can no longer have the form of the thing. This by the way is in striking agreement with the Hyseburg principle. A man cannot be divided at all, water can be divided down to a single molecule. There is a point when a part of the bread is divided and cannot be bread anymore because it is too small. The accidents of bread go away the divine body of our Saviour goes away.

    We are respectful to all the dust that flakes of the Most Holy Eucharist because it is very Holy by association. It does not follow because of the care which the rite perscribes that the flakes are God.

    Fr. J. Scott Bailey made a srong statement, that particles cannot be recieved when it is beyond the possibility of being seen. Imagine the possiblities. The rubrics do not perscribe that you have to bend to look at the paten or corporeal. Or Insist on flood lights on the altar and that the floodlights be focused on the altar, because they could be possibly seen. God bless you Father are have heard people teach what you have before.

    We must follow the rubrics of the church and we can have a clear conscience. Devotion to the Eucharist is not increased by extreme statements on the small particles which I believe are not bread. Our moderate actions to prevent too many small flakes from falling on the ground do demonstrate a respect for what seems to be formally our Lord, but has corrupted because the accidents of bread are lost.

    These pictures have really brought out some intresting issues. But I afraid the Blog world cannot handle it. The pictures beg the question about the limits of the accidents of bread adhering. St. Thomas indicates that there is a limit to the size that that accidents of bread actually adhere in matter before the species of bread corrupts.

    Thank you, Fr. J. Scott Bailey for actually quoting Trent and to every one else who actually quotes the sources as opposed to making assertions about what the church teaches without support.

  311. This by the way is in striking agreement with the Hyseburg principle.

    What is this principle you’re speaking of? I tried a quick Google search, and found nada — do you have a reference?

    A man cannot be divided at all, water can be divided down to a single molecule. There is a point when a part of the bread is divided and cannot be bread anymore because it is too small. The accidents of bread go away the divine body of our Saviour goes away.

    Well, then what is the accident of bread that goes away besides consumability? If you’re bringing molecules into the picture, bread is still bread down to a reasonably microscopic level. The blog world might not be able to handle the matter fully, but might give some interesting places to start.

  312. Lizzy says:

    I’m sure since the majority response is receiving Jesus on the tongue, the majority who voted are “antique Catholic” as I am called. The traditional, Roman Catholic that many laugh at berate or ignore.

  313. Peter says:

    Michael Zappe – I believe the reference is to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, see for example:

    http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08.htm

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/

  314. Peter – I was really hoping it wasn’t, and that there is an obscure philosopher/theologian named Hyseberg. You see, attempting to apply Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to this would be bad at best. The scale of h is on the order of 10^-34 J s , and it’s only about the relationship of uncertainty of position to momentum or time to energy, or, more generally any two quantities that are related through a transform in which one function has to lack compact support. Applying it to the accidents of bread would be stretching it more than a little bit.

    The individual molecules of bread are much too large to have much meaning using Heisenberg to define when bread is bread.

    And I would hate to have to be concerned with particles that small… ;-)

  315. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    \”What is this principle … ?\”

    Comment by Michael Zappe

    The Uncertainty Principle of quantum mechanics states that both the position and the momentum cannot simultaneously be known with infinite precision at the same time. The upshot is that really small things cannot be defined with perfect accuracy any more they loose definition, form. So if you divide an atom we start talking about electron clouds and regions and things. Why did I ever mention this! By the way it is the Heisenberg Principle … oh forget it … I would have to confirm that that is an acceptable name for the Prinplce.

    \”Well, then what is the accident of bread that goes away besides consumability? If you’re bringing molecules into the picture, bread is still bread down to a reasonably microscopic level.\”

    Comment by Michael Zappe

    Thank You Micheal Zappe.

    At least bread has structure beyond the molecules or mixture of molecules that make it up. A priest just told me that their are bubbles in unleaven bread becasue in the baking process something causes them. So bread has a structure. What if no bubbles are enclosed? Maybe its still bread, but I do not think so.

    Also if you cannot pick it up or it cannot stay together is it bread. Bread has a certain usuability requirement. Before it is really bread. A chair is not a chair if you cannot sit on it because it is missing a leg. I would think that size on top of structure matter. All these are aimed at not just making it possibly consumable but easily consumable. Bread is more that the molecule or molecules.

  316. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    \”I was really hoping it wasn’t…\”

    Well, you\’ll see my explanation or lack of it as far as you are concerned.

  317. The Uncertainty Principle of quantum mechanics states that both the position and the momentum cannot simultaneously be known with infinite precision at the same time. The upshot is that really small things cannot be defined with perfect accuracy any more they loose definition, form.

    Right, that is part of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it’s just not relevant to the argument because of the scale we’re talking about. An undetectable crumb is orders of magnitude too large for it to be relevant. I wouldn’t bring it into the argument because of this — if there’s any dependence on it in your argument, the dust from the fractioning would be the Body and Blood.

  318. I think “Concerned Catholic” is a woman and I doubt she’ll respond again…Fr. Bailey’s response to her was devastating. Miss Advanced degree in Theology didn’t know something six year olds learn in catechism.

    This is needlessly triumphalist. CC was dead wrong in her assertions but we are called to speak the truth in charity. To describe Fr Bailey’s rebuttal as ‘devestating’ makes countering falsehood sound like a football match.

  319. PriestOnTheMystery,

    We could keep at this, as you well know. There are some points I can think of in support of what you are saying that prudence dictates are best not posted. To be honest, I don’t get in a twist over the issue. I have my preferences as to how one should receive and that is kneeling on the tongue. The reason has nothing to do with danger of particles falling to the floor, who is distributing, who is receiving, germs, that it is the norm of the Roman Rite though there are indults in place, or even that there is less of a chance of desecration (which in reality is really not the case. The reason is WHO is received. I don’t think it is a point of difference that we receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in Its fullness. Given that, to kneel and receive on the tongue is, to me, a great expression of this truth.

    I also have a difficulty with the fact that the “Communion Procession” idea is a break with the continuity of tradition and is not an organic development. In fact, the Communion of the people being an integral part of the Mass is also a break with tradition. The OF Missal is the first time in the history of the Western Mass that such a rite has been present. Previously a truncated form of the rite for distribution of Communion was used (thus the oft discussed second Confeteor). And, it was not introduced with the OF Missal but only later as a justification was sought for its existance, as with much of the OF.

    FYI, I have only been ordained 10 years and it is only through continued reading and study on my own that I have come to my views. I am not a traditionalist. I accept the validity of the OF, always have and always will. But I believe it’s important to see it for what it is: a sundering with tradition. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or evil. But lets call it what it is and not pretend it’s somethin it isn’t which is what has been going on for the past 40 years. I bought most of what I was taught in the “school for ministry” I studied at and when I found it wasn’t where the people I sereved were at I started to read and study. I found that most of what I learned wasn’t Catholic but theological opinion, and not even good, solid, logical theological opinion at that. I have pretty much made a 180 degree turn and reject what was taught in the seminary as being in conformity with the mind of the Church, to whom I submit, for She alone is inerrant as guaranteed by Christ our Lord.

  320. Martin T says:

    As for spreading germs: In 2000 years, it has NEVER been the case that disease has been spread either from receiving on the tongue or from the chalice. Studies have been done recently with scientific evidence. Do a web search. Be informed when making your decision. Think about it. And most importantly, PRAY about it.

    I did search and could not find any scientific comments either way though the suggestion on the face of it seems unlikely. Colds are spread by small numbers of viral particles passed (ususally by shaking hands!) from person to person. A very small number touching the mucus membranes will cause a cold. Imagine now the priest accidently touching several peoples tounge. Worse yet imagine having to drink the last bit of wine after hundreds of people have sipped on it. If I were a priest I would call the most liberal “cupper” in the parish up front and invite him/her to do this each Sunday.

    The common cold is caused by numerous viruses (mainly rhinoviruses, coronaviruses and also certain echoviruses and coxsackieviruses) infecting the upper respiratory system. Several hundred cold causing viruses have been described, and a virus can mutate to survive, ensuring that any cure is still a long way off if not impossible. These are transmitted from person
    to person by droplets resulting from coughs or sneezes. The droplets are either inhaled directly, or, more commonly, transmitted from hand to hand via handshakes or objects such as door knobs, and then introduced to the nasal passages when the hand touches the nose, mouth or eyes.
    http://respiratory-lung.health-cares.net/cold-causes.php

  321. Kristin says:

    I receive only on the tongue now, but when I was prepared for First Communion (in 1983), I was only taught to receive in the hand. Sadly, too, this parish used a very crumbly type of bread (not a traditional host) to be consecrated. Therefore I’m sure after the transubstantiation, many crumbs of Holy Communion ended up all over the place. I wonder how many other parishes start with a crumbly-type bread (unleavened, but not a host) to be used in the consecration. I would think this would be forbidden.

  322. Ignatiangroupie says:

    I moved to receiving on the tongue some time ago, to me it just seemed more reverent. It threw on of the priests at my parish the first few times, but it isn’t really an issue I would say my parish is about 50/50 tongue/hand.

  323. Lyle says:

    I receive on the tongue of my left head. Kneeling. With eyes closed, to limit the Minister’s options. And I eschew the blood, partly for hygiene (I wonder if those who worry about hygiene with hosts and tongues are consistent and avoid the chalice altogether?) and partly because I think the universality of this practice supportsd the false idea that those who only receive the host are “missing out” on the precious blood.

    Not sure I care for the ingenoius line of argument that one should receive Communion from that part of the body most given to sin… even though for many that would still be the tongue.

    Seriously, though, I think the black glove business is obsessive. Microscopic particles break off when the Host is fractured and are blown away; is God disrespected? What about evaporation of the wine? No, in my view it’s deliberate (or negligent) human disrespect that’s the problem here.

  324. Joseph says:

    I am late to this party of a combox, but here goes.

    I recently read or heard on EWTN (perhaps Mike Aquilina and Scott Hahn) that in the early Church the laity DID receive on the hand but that the ladies had to receive with a cloth equivalent to a corporal between their hand and the Host. As I scan and filter through some of the arguments I have to ask some of the commentors, with such a regard for the primitive ways (much of which was condemned by HH Pius XII as antiqutism [forgive me the hour is late but that’s more or less the word]), how are you to regard the constant moving of a corporal in a fast moving reception line(I know, I know, that’s why we have patens but is not the reality in most parishes as you all know) for multiple ladies to receive off of? Is that hygenic and does Our Lord in the smallest of particles still visible as pieces of the Consecrated Host falling to and fro not terrify you???)

    In the scope of the blog entry by Fr. Z, I voted that I receive on the tongue (specifically, on my knees, altar rail or no, priest or EHMC).

    At a time when most of us are not willing to die carrying the Eucharist to a fellow Catholic not at liturgy (unlike our brethren in antiquity), I think all of this talk about hygiene and making thrones of our hands as rediculous. When the real persecutions return and we see as a parish community that the host is really Jesus Christ and deserves all of our love and attention, we’re ready for communion in the hand again. Let us petition the Holy Father to take this unnecessary practice in the form of an indult away from us post haste.

    Cheers,

    Joseph

  325. PriestOnTheMystery says:

    “that is part of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it’s just not relevant to the argument.”

    By Michael Zappe

    It is relevant as an example that as things get smaller they loose their ability to have certain definite accidents. The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle means that subatomic particles do not have a definitive future position (position + momentum). I think that it is a great example because the Newtonians would have never dreamt that a thing could get so small that its future position could not be known. It does not matter that accidents of bread loose their abililty to exist at a much larger size. Stars have to be at least 10^29kg to have the accidents necessary to exist. Everything small or large has a minimum size below which certain essential accidents (properties) cannot exist.
    Atoms must be 1 g.mol -1 for example. Fr. Z. are you writing this down?

  326. Concerned Catholic says:

    CONCERNED CATHOLIC RESPONDS:

    I apologize for having been absent as of late. This past week-end I began to prepare the local second and third graders for their First Communion this spring. Also, I came to find out that a significant number of the program participants are from so-called conservative families. So, I had to call an urgent meeting this morning with our Parish Director (Sr. Debbie) in order to begin to craft a strategic ultimate solution so that we can resolve this problem. That took some time. But, I am back now and set for some more dialogue.

    First of all, allow me to remark that I share the Church’s authentic and orthodox Eucharistic belief. After Mass, I remain in church and make a thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist. I have even encouraged my partner Linda to do the same. Throughout the week, I make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at our local parish. Along with Linda, I often wear the chapel veil during these visits (as well as at Mass) – even though this isn’t strictly necessary and might even look a little puzzling. But, I wear the veil in order to show reverence to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. And, I make sure that I genuflect whenever I cross in front of the Tabernacle. Again, I do this in order to show love and reverence for our Lord in the Eucharist. Whenever I have the blessed opportunity to preside at a communion service, I always stand behind the altar and elevate the host with the utmost care. And, whenever I distribute communion at our local women’s Mass, I always make sure to do so with the greatest care, too. Lastly, Linda and I always make sure we use the correct sacramental materials, as well.

    With that having been said, allow me to remark that I still hold to the position (whole and entire) that I outlined earlier. And, even while I have read the various responses to that position, I don’t believe I have been challenged or disproved. The quotations from the Council of Trent, its catechism, and some of its theologians address the dispute between trans-substantiation-ists and con-substantiation-ists. I do not believe that a single one of the counter-claims has made effective use of quotations pertaining to the specific question and theological problem I have identified.

    Of course, all are invited to back tread and read the comments I have posted. But, I have also decided to provide a kind of re-cap of the position I espouse. I argue that:

    Christ is present under the form of bread and wine so long as the accidents of each remain. If a part of the Eucharistic bread can be said to retain the accidents of unleavened wheat bread, then I admit that Christ is present there. However, if such cannot, then I do not admit His sacred presence. From a scientific and philosophical perspective, it seems altogether plausible to me that there can be some speck or flake of the bread that is so small that it does not retain the accidents of the sacred species. To such wise, I would argue that Christ is there not present. More to the point, I hold along with the Church that the normal and established sign of the Eucharist is the unleavened wheat bread. As such, I uphold the earlier claim I made: Christ is present in the host itself and as such; that He is present there under each of the parts of the sacred species (nota bene: substance, accident, and integral subject); and, that He himself – God and man entire – is present.

    I hope that clarifies some things.

  327. Nick says:

    “It never ceases to amaze me what modern Catholics will do if it is simply “permited.” Do you not see the holy father only give our Lord to people kneeling and on the tongue?”

    Yes, we also see the horde of priests around His Holiness giving out Holy Communion to standing communicants (there aren’t any other kneelers) and predominately in the hand. The new Papal practice of communing a select small group kneeling and only on the tongue seems more eccentric and nostalgic than educational. My question: before Vatican II was it the practice to commune all the people at Papal masses and how was it done then?

  328. Mary Ann, Singing Mum says:

    Whatever the Church allows has my respect, but perhaps in different degrees considering *how* things came to be allowed.

    And what the Church allows can change. From many recent Vatican (unofficial) statements, I believe the writing on the wall is clear, and that the time for various countries to have an indult or recognitio is closing.I receive on the tongue, partly, honestly, because I am a real clutz. For that reason alone I would never trust myself as an EMHC. I don’t have OCD, I just know myself.

    Now that I will be preparing our children for their First Holy Communion in the coming years, these discussions help me. I will insist that they recieve on the tongue, as it is the preferred method for the universal Church and for my family.

    This thread has also made me more grateful for the careful and loving attention that priests give to Our Lord present in the Host. It is not an easy job in any respect.

  329. boredoftheworld says:

    I hope that clarifies some things.

    Like butter.

    No wait, I don’t mean butter.

    What’s that thing that’s not like butter… oleo? No, that’s not it either.

    Irony!

    No, can’t be irony. Irony is when you get something you didn’t expect. Like when you’re hard at work in your alchemy lab and instead of turning lead into gold you turn lead into iron.

    So I’m looking for that thing that isn’t butter and isn’t irony but describes the most recent comments made by Concerned Catholic. Oh, that’s right:

    Drunken Stupor.

    See, you had me until you put an article in front of the word Eucharist and using the word parish gave the game completely away. But I’ll give you this much, you’ve reminded me to go watch William Shatner “sing” Rocket Man on youtube.

  330. Larry says:

    The reason there can be so many particles as in the example shown, not necessarily has to be that someone handles the host roughly. Even handling the host carefully and placing it on the hand carefully will sometimes leave particles.
    Not necessarily because they break off the host, but because pieces stick from other broken pieces in the ciborium. So each time you place a host down, on a hand, inside a ciborium or a tongue you can leave particles. This is why when the Priest cleans the ciborium he has to gather the particles together that remain. They are from the fractioning and are left over, they stick and move around.
    So naturally you will always drop fragments wherever you fraction and distribute the Body of our Lord.

    This is why care, reverence, and the necessary materials should always be used to respect our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

  331. Merriweather says:

    @Concerned Catholic

    Why can’t you just admit you were wrong?

    You originally stated “*As Catholics, we don’t believe that *every* particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ*.”

    The emphasis on *every* was added by *you*.

    When you were corrected, you bragged about your theology degree, and made a very snarky challenge to Fr. Bailey, asking him to provide you with a document that proves it and stated “Frankly, there aren’t any.”

    Fr. Bailey answered you (as well as others), with the following *dogmatic* statement:

    “If any one denieth that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each species, *and under every part of each species*, when separated; *let him be anathema*.” (Council of Trent: On the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon III.)

    Now, rather than do the right thing and admit you were wrong…you state that you don’t believe you have been disproved!? You don’t think a dogmatic definition from the Council of Trent doesn’t disproves you? Are you serious? Who conferred your theology degree, Dom Gueranger?

    The best part, is when you try to *backtrack* from your previous statement with:

    “If a part of the Eucharistic bread can be said to retain the accidents of unleavened wheat bread, then I admit that Christ is present there. However, if such cannot, then I do not admit His sacred presence.”

    Nice. Try.

    Did you think we wouldn’t notice? LOL

    Everyone can see that your *new* position, is not the same as your old one, that “As Catholics, we don’t believe that *every* particle of the host is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.”

    As they say in New York: what-evah!

  332. Merriweather says:

    A few other statements in Concerned Catholic’s response make me wonder.

    “So, I had to call an urgent meeting this morning with our Parish Director (Sr. Debbie) in order to begin to craft a strategic ultimate solution so that we can resolve this problem.”

    What problem required a “strategic response”? Did those parents want their children receiving on the tongue? Horrors! It is the norm. Communion in the hand is an indult. People have a *choice*.

    Also, maybe it’s because I live in NYC, but, this makes me wonder too:

    I have even encouraged *my partner Linda* to do the same. Throughout the week, I make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at our local parish. Along with Linda, I often wear the chapel veil during these visits (as well as at Mass) – even though this isn’t strictly necessary and might even look a little puzzling.

    The fact that there are women “presiding” over “communion services” fills me with horror. I’m going to take the “blue pill” now, because I was really better off not knowing that.

  333. Merriweather,
    You said “The fact that there are women “presiding” over “communion services” fills me with horror. I’m going to take the “blue pill” now, because I was really better off not knowing that.”

    I do not think that is what she meant by “My partner Linda”. Which that statement alone may speak volumes about where she is coming from when she puts forth such heretical statements. It is a crime she is instructing and perverting such young minds with obvious heresy.

  334. Paladin says:

    Lyle wrote:

    I receive on the tongue of my left head. Kneeling.

    Wow. Not only does Zaphod Beeeblebrox read this blog, but he’s Catholic! :)

  335. I had to chuckle at Concerned Catholic’s new comments above. Can’t you see s/he is pulling your leg? S/he must have used every ultra-liberal example s/he could, in order to upset the traditional and conservative folks on this blog.

    However, I wonder if s/he is even the same person who first posted. ????

  336. AM says:

    Concerned Catholic is playing you guys like a fisherman. You on the hook.

  337. southbend says:

    Folks, @Merriweather, and @Tridentine Catholic,

    Just to head this off at the pass, I think one must read the intro to CONCERNED CATHOLIC’S latest post as a joke. He (it would seem) was poking fun at the implication that he was a woman. So, he one upped it and indicated that he was not only a woman, but a veil-wearing lesbian married to another woman.

    Getting past that (it was a bit funny though, if you read it as a snarky rejoinder), Concerned Catholic in his latest post does seem to put forth a position compatible with Church teaching — that as long as the appearances of bread remain the Real Presence remains under those appearances. Was this a clarification of his original line of thought, or as Merriweather suggests, was it a revision?

  338. Collegeville reject says:

    To Michael;
    Thank you! I seriously needed to hear that. God Bless YOU.
    Kimberly

  339. Okay, folks… time to make your concluding points.

  340. Frank H says:

    Does this post set a record for the number of comments? 343…wow!

  341. supertradmom says:

    Have you ever heard of “Communion Police”? At a Catholic high school with which I was familiar, those in charge of the liturgies had to post “Communion Police” at the station nearest the Extraordinary Minister to make sure the students were not taking the Consecrated Hosts away somewhere else. To have the “Police” was common practice and they basically told students to put the Eucharist in their mouths. I attended a few of these, shocked at the lack of reverence on both the parts of the faculty who were the “police” and the students. Sad commentary on Communion in the hand….

  342. supertradmom says:

    P.S. Our family members receive on the tongue, both at the TLM and NO.

  343. Merriweather says:

    @southbend

    Concerned Catholic is definitely a woman. Why would a man be distributing Communion at the “Woman’s Mass”? Why would a man wear a veil?

    As for what she means by her “partner” Linda—I’m not going to go there.

    I know that this person is a typical leftie, who turns her nose up at “conservative Catholics”, however, it’s clear, that CC didn’t have a clue about doctrine, and when it was proven, she decided to react by mocking us.

    Doesn’t matter. It’s on her. If she spreads her poison now, she’ll be doing it with full knowledge.

  344. NOTE TO ALL: It seems that

    Concerned Catholic

    Random Thought

    Just as Much a Catholic

    Xiang Go Zhang

    Are all the same person. I have therefore suspended that IP address.

  345. I am glad someone else took the trouble to give “references” to the statements, etc. to which I alluded above. If I thought I had to write an encyclopaedia article (hundreds of which I did write for the Catholic Encyclopaedia of OSV – though I was not the final editor, so don’t blame me for anything), I might have thought twice. The things I spoke of are generally well known facts in their respective fields. On the other hand, I do not think I was imprecise… I also know that all of this dialogue has nothing to do with any of the other Rites of the Church, except the Latin Rite, though all the Rites have to deal with modernizing tendencies which can be very pernicious. Here, however, we deal with practices which have crept into the usage of the Latin Rite which are blamed on Vatican II but have nothing to do with Vatican II. If the Fathers there had heard of this they would have closed up shop and left in a hurry! My good friend, Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, Blessed John XXIII’s private secretary, has often told me of how different were the good Pope’s intentions for the Council and how he felt about what did go on contrary to his orders and expectations. (For one, remember his encyclical “Veterorum Sapientia” on Latin in the Church?). But God will prevail… Let charity also prevail. God bless all!

  346. RBrown says:

    My good friend, Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, Blessed John XXIII’s private secretary, has often told me of how different were the good Pope’s intentions for the Council and how he felt about what did go on contrary to his orders and expectations. (For one, remember his encyclical “Veterorum Sapientia” on Latin in the Church?). But God will prevail… Let charity also prevail. God bless all!
    Comment by Fr. Héctor R.G. Pérez y Robles, STD

    A few years ago I read an interview with Msgr Capovilla (in, I think, 30 Giori) in which he intimated that JXXIII wanted to vernacularize the liturgy.

    According to Iota Unum, the Germans protested after the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, and JXXIII backed down.