Even yesterday I had a conversation about the thorny issue of just what Summorum Pontificum (the 3rd anniversary of its release is tomorrow, blessed day) might have revived.
Take the situation of the distribution of Holy Communion.
In the old days before the conciliar reform of the liturgy it was unthinkable – unless you were a heretic or Protestant – that people would receive Communion in the hand. There was no need for specific decrees about such a normal practice as reception of Communion, which was always given on the tongue to people who knelt if they could.
Today, however, there is (sadly) legislation which permits Communion in the hand under some circumstances.
Summorum Pontificum did not revive the old decrees of the long-gone Sacred Congregation of Rites or automatically resurrect the practices of yore.
Or did it?
I have always held that priests need to respect the laws in force about Communion today, even in the celebration of Holy Mass in the older form. Of course they can also do all they might to discourage Communion in the hand and promote a more reverent manner of reception. At the same time, it is unlikely that many who go to the older Mass will want to receive Communion in the hand.
I received from a friend in England the following very interesting news. This is on kreutz.net.
The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" – remember them? – sent a response to a person making an inquiry about reception of Communion at the older, Extraordinary Form. Translation:
"Dear Mr. XXXX In reference to your letter of 15. June, this papal commission would like to point out that the celebration of Holy Mass in the extraordinary form envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Holy Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this form of the Holy Mass. With blessings,"
I note from the graphic that there was no Protocol.
There is a stamp on the letter rather than a signature.
This is a form letter.
It is therefore more than a curiosity, but it is a great deal less than the final word.
We are still left with questions about Communion during the Extraordinary Form.
If people insist on receiving in the hand, are they to be denied based on the argument that in 1962 there was no permission to receive in the hand?
And on an additional note, keep in mind this and this.