From a priest reader:
Perhaps you or your readers could help me with a question regarding communion etiquette for priests in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. When a priest is in attendance at a mass and not concelebrating, should he self-communicate and take the host directly from the ciborium, or should he receive communion as would any layperson and have it placed on his tongue or in his hand? Thanks for any help you could give myself and my confreres in this regard.
Whether the form of Holy Mass is the Ordinary or the Extraordinary, the Novus Ordo or the TLM, the priest receives, he does not self-communicate.
A bishop, priest or deacon, when in choir-dress, should wear the proper stole when receiving Communion. Sometimes it may happen, and this would be pretty rare, that a priest might be in the congregation. He would receive in the normal manner and not self-communicate. But it is not the ideal that the priest should receive in the congregation with the laity. He should be, if possible, properly dressed in the sanctuary and receive there.
I couldn’t immediately remember the document for this, but it is Redemptionis Sacramentum 128.
Holy Mass and other liturgical celebrations, which are acts of Christ and of the people of God hierarchically constituted, are ordered in such a way that the sacred ministers and the lay faithful manifestly take part in them each according to his own condition. It is preferable therefore that “Priests who are present at a Eucharistic Celebration, unless excused for a good reason, should as a rule exercise the office proper to their Order and thus take part as concelebrants, wearing the sacred vestments. Otherwise, they wear their proper choir dress or a surplice over a cassock.” It is not fitting, except in rare and exceptional cases and with reasonable cause, for them to participate at Mass, as regards to externals, in the manner of the lay faithful.