ASK FATHER: Communion in the hand being forced for daughter’s 1st Communion

1st communion girlFrom a reader…

Before it didn’t seem like it would be an issue but eldest daughter (9yo in 3rd grade at this school though most of the archdiocese does it in 2nd), is basically going to be forced to have communion in hand. At first, was told they would check, etc etc but came down that it won’t be optional.

I’m contemplating taking her to the FSSP instead. I believe it’s law that all Catholics have the option to receive, not the person
distributing, which seems to be backed up by the USCCB.

It doesn’t seem that the discipline of children should be any different. Even though a new experience, every Communion should be as reverently as possible.

You are within your rights to go to the FSSP chapel or church.  Make sure you work things out with the pastor or rector there.  Do this above board.  Don’t sneak.  It could be that, in the process, something might be worked out.

You are the primary educator and faith formation giver to your children.  Your wishes should carry great weight in this decision.  If you are not being respected, you can go elsewhere.

The Church’s law guarantees that Catholics may receive Communion on the tongue (Redemptionis Sacramentum 92).  Communion in the hand is the exception that requires special permission, not the other way around.  Permission is given in so widespread a way that some people think that it is the normal way.

Keep in mind that you live in the boundary of a parish.  You should support your parish even as you support an FSSP chapel which you frequent.  Your support can be proportional, of course.  If you go to the local parish rarely, your support might be much less than that which you give to the FSSP church.

Make sure that you help your child understand how joyful it is to receive Communion, as well as awesome.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to ASK FATHER: Communion in the hand being forced for daughter’s 1st Communion

  1. boredoftheworld says:

    I wouldn’t want to start a thunderstorm, but WHY is this still a thing we have to deal with? I’ve been at loggerheads with what has turned into the establishment for 16 years, since my oldest child was born, and we’re still fighting the same old battles with the same old people. I’m tired… I am bored of this world. Our children are at stake and what I’m seeing across the board doesn’t look like victory.

    I’ll be frank, I’m losing my 13 year old son because the Church won’t ACT LIKE THE CHURCH! Nobody has my back, that’s the problem. My wife and I can’t convince our child to take God and His Church seriously because he’s perceptive enough to realize that hardly anyone except his dopey parents takes it seriously.

    What we’re doing isn’t working… and it doesn’t get better after the First Communion fight is over. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m tired of gambling my children on a hierarchy that has better things to do than save my kids souls.

  2. Hidden One says:

    It seems very odd to me that a parent would even have to ask permission for a child to receive Communion on the tongue. Something more fundamental must be off for the question even to arise.

    At any rate, I have to wonder who “they” is… the school officials, the pastor, the priest offering the Mass, a bishop… has appropriate documentation been presented by the parent to “them” affirming the all-conquering right of the faithful who are to receive Communion to do so on the tongue? Is there real reason to believe that the actual individual who is to administer this child’s First Communion would refuse her attempt to receive on the tongue?

    Are people who approach to receive Communion on the tongue being denied at the local parish? If so, that matter is very serious and the procedures for lay recourse are well established and easily available on this blog and elsewhere. If not, then I think that direct appeal to the relevant clergy should be undertaken posthaste.

    As a final thought on the potential denial of Holy Communion to a properly prepared and rightly disposed child who seeks to receive in a licit manner, here is one from His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah:

    “Together, we [the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments] seek to make people understand that the liturgy is determined by God himself and not by men. … If eucharistic celebrations turn into human celebrations of ourselves and places where we apply our pastoral ideologies and partisan political preferences, which have nothing to do with spiritual worship that is to be celebrated as God wills, the danger is immense. For then God disappears.”*

    A child’s First Communion is, even more than most other times, not one when God should be made even to begin to disappear.

    *God or Nothing, pp. 273, 276.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    When I made my First Holy Communion as a child back in the 1980s, we were instructed to receive in the hand, by making a little “throne”, right hand under left, etc. I recall the instructor saying that two students were exempt from this, as they had “special instructions from home”, i.e., they were instructed by their parents to receive on the tongue. It would be nice if parish First Holy Communion programs would instruct children on their legitimate options.

  4. jhayes says:

    The Church’s law guarantees that Catholics may receive Communion on the tongue (Redemptionis Sacramentum 92). Communion in the hand is the exception that requires special permission, not the other way around. Permission is given in so widespread a way that some people think that it is the normal way.

    RS 92 leaves it to the national Bishops Conference of each country to decide, subject to approval by Rome. For the US, the NCCB has givem permission for Communion in the hand, so that applies everywhere in the country.

    It is each person’s choice whether to kneel or to stand and whether to receive on the tongue or in the hand. Communion cannot be witheld simply because of the choices the individual makes. This is confirmed in the GIRM

    160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.

    It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).

    When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

  5. fr.julian says:

    I took over as Parish Priest in three parishes in the north of England four years ago. All the children in two of the schools had been instructed to receive in the hand. I explained to the children that there were two approved ways of receiving Holy Communion. However, that receiving on the tongue is better because it shows greater reverence. I gave the children the choice. Now all but two receive on the tongue at every Mass. The children had no trouble understanding that. The teachers and parents and even grandparents…now that’s another matter.

    [How deep the lies went during those decades. How much to answer for have those bishops, priests, religious and others!]

  6. Christophorus1208 says:

    I have been wondering about this in regards to passing on to my children the practice of receiving Communion while kneeling as well. It doesn’t seem to be taught that it is a legitimate option (in the USA anyway).

  7. tominrichmond says:

    I don’t believe anyone is obligated to give a damned dime to a parish that is obstinately disobeying Church law and worse, attempting to ensure that yet another generation of Catholics are trained to stick their hand out at Communion time, a revolutionary practice born in disobedience and now practically universal, at least in the US.

    Moreover, if the FSSP outfit is an extraterritorial parish, like their 2 parishes in the Richmond diocese, I don’t see an obligation to support any parish but the one a person attends. The FSSP parishes pay the cathedraticum and participate in the Diocesan appeals and such.

  8. TheDude05 says:

    I’m ready for the USCCB to elect the Extraordinary Ordinay to lead the conference, that ought to start the end of the shenanigans.

  9. Imrahil says:

    From the facts presented, it isn’t, of course, right what the parish does here.

    Also, it would be great if mandatory Communion on the tongue would be reintroduced, and as soon as possible. More appropriate (why the way down to the hand and then up to the mouth again, for starters?), more reverent, more hindering possibilities of sacrilege, and so on.

    That said, as (I think) our reverend host here is used to saying, one has to pick one’s battles. And if Communion in the hand is really a second best and not (as some hold, in exaggeriation or in wrongly applying to the present time statements from a time when the Church didn’t, as she does now, grudingly allow the practice) something wrong in itself – and that is the case – then it might, let’s face it, be advisable to just submit to superior force. And after all, the child can be told to lick his hand and the fingers that have taken the Holy of Holies into the mouth, afterwards.

  10. iamlucky13 says:

    I’m kind of torn on this. On the one hand, I’d hate for the child to see her first Communion as an occasion for adults to bicker, instead of a sacrament for everyone to celebrate. So perhaps complying with an illicit but not immoral instruction is worthwhile to avoid scandalizing the child, or seeking out the FSSP.

    On the other hand, why?!?

    The GIRM, Repemptionis Sacramentum, and Canon Law are all explicitly clear on this matter. Why would a parish so flagrantly defy an instruction the Church has given multiple times? This other part of me wants to be assured the matter is taken to the bishop (respectfully of course) and resolved.

  11. KateD says:

    FSSP are great….just go there. You will never have to worry about what your child is being taught…it’s just all the normal good stuff our church teaches and, besides, this is the future of the Catholic Church. The children catechized in the Novus Ordo seem to fall away, where as the retention in the traditional and Eastern Catholic Churches seems pretty solid…..from what I’m witnessing.

    When confronted with a similar situation, I was unaware of any alternatives such as you are blessed with, so we had to slog on through.

    At the time my husband and I only ever knew to receive in the hand while standing. We knew nothing else. But one day our daughter’s teacher came flying out of the back of the church, while I waited in the car. She charged over to the window and howled, “SHE CAN RECEIVE ON THE TONGUE BUT NOT ON HER KNEES!!!!” After putting my child through the ringer, and basically accusing her of grand standing, I thought the matter closed. Then several days later she reiterated her strong conviction. I had by this time confirmed that she was well within her rights….so I decided to be a mom, and supported her decision.

    I told my child that neither her teacher, nor I, nor even the priest himself had the right to deny her receiving Our Lord in the manner she saw fit, but in order to instill an attitude of obedience, I suggested that she seek the direction of the pastor who would be administering the sacrament.

    We set an appointment and met with him. After questioning her in order to ascertain her motives, he gave her a rosary and some sage advice. He told her to not discuss her intentions with anyone before hand and not to make a big thing about it afterwards. When it came time, she should simply drop to her knees and stick her tongue out….but that if she did that with the Sacred Body of Christ, she would need to do the same for the Precious Blood.

    It is our job as Catholic parents to not only raise brave future saints, but while they are still young and impressionable, to also be their advocates and protect them against those who would lead them astray (intentionally or no).

  12. Rosary Rose says:

    Perhaps if we quit saying “receiving communion” and instead say ,”receiving Christ”, people’s hearts would start to change and their eyes will be opened to the Gift God has given the Catholic Church in the Eucharist.

    I am not worthy to touch Christ. The Angel at Fatima prostrated itself before the Eucharist. The Angel is far greater than I. The Angel did not teach the three children to receive Christ standing up, with their hands making a little throne. (Those little thrones are covered in particles of our Savior who sacrificed Himself for us. Those tiny Particles are then walked upon or put anywhere the hands go). No, souls living in my house receive on the tongue or suffer a talk from Momma.

    I don’t even like when a family member trying to exit the pew and I’m still kneeling says, “You gonna take communion?” It sounds casual, lazy, unimportant. We don’t merely “take communion”. We receive Christ. If we are worthy.

    Keep fighting the good fight. Don’t give up hope. The enemy wants you to think you are alone. Not only do you have support in the Church Militant, but the Church Triumphant as well.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    boredoftheworld,

    Excuse my presumption, having only ever read this one comment of yours, but if your son happens to have taken any interest in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, or might be likely to, you might also introduce him to Tolkien’s advice to his 43 year-old son, Michael, in Letter 250 (1 November 1963) in the published selection of his Letters. And, if he is at all interested in history, you can draw his attention to saints (and not only to canonized saints, for that matter) who could boldly take things more seriously than those in authority sometimes seemed to be doing (St. Catherine of Siena, for example, or St. Thomas More). Perhaps Robert Bolt films like A Man for All Seasons and The Mission or (so I hear) John Ford’s The Fugitive (1947) or For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada (2012) would be good to watch and discuss together.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    For 10+ years we’ve never had a problem with a first communion parent/guardian pressuring a child to “desire” COTT. However if that were to happen I would be careful to put the child first, and not compound her/his distress by resisting. I don’t believe in being “more Catholic than the church,” or demanding anything the Church does not demand. COTT, like confession behind the screen, is a permitted; the latter being more defensible than the former. I might discourage COTT, but I would never prohibit it. I’m not into that kind of clericalism. [Aren’t you wonderful.] For First Communion we don’t prepare for or practice for COTT, so if the subject were to ever come up it would be from a family member, and probably a grandparent rather than a parent. Nine out of ten times when a child is engaging in extreme traditionalism there is a dominant traditionalist grandparent in the picture. Anyway, on any given Sunday out of 750 communions here there are maybe 5 to 10 COTT partipants. There is family that often visits from a church in our capital city staffed by a religious order which tends toward the nostalgic style, and when they are here visiting the grandparents it effectively doubles the COTT numbers for the weekend.

  15. Absit invidia says:

    Here is an example of pastoral councils, instructors, and even entire parishes not understanding the GIRM and its purpose. As Cardinal Arinze said, “we are not soldiers.” A communicant can receive on the tongue it is clear here:

    Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, n. 160 and 161:
    “160. . . . The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

    161. . . . The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.”

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20030317_ordinamento-messale_en.html

  16. robtbrown says:

    Frjim4321,

    Funny that you, who on more than one occasion claimed to be moderate, often resort to typically liberal digs at those who disagree with you. Words like “nostalgic” or “extreme traditionalism(t)” effortlessly appear.

    Many years ago it became apparent how many parish priests seem stuck in the middle and responded by adopting a “moderate” pose: Stay away from controversial topics and discourage even the slightest making of waves (or “a mess”, as the Pope says). There is something to be said for such a strategy, but I have to wonder whether it produces a laity that is more anesthetized than spiritual.

  17. Gerard Plourde says:

    “Make sure that you help your child understand how joyful it is to receive Communion, as well as awesome.”

    Fr. Z, I think this is the best one sentence description I’ve ever encountered of the interior disposition we should have in approaching this great Sacrament.

  18. hwriggles4 says:

    About 10-12 years ago, as I learned more about my faith (I’m a revert), two things I stopped doing over a period of time:

    One was receiving communion in the hand. It’s funny sometimes to see the look on an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion’s face when I surprise them by receiving on the tongue.

    The other thing was holding hands with the congregation during the Our Father. Years ago, I often said that I wouldn’t attend a parish where the congregation did not hold hands. Today, I find it more reverent to have my hands in prayer during the Our Father.

    When I received first communion in 1974 (gosh, that’s was in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, before Bishop Roger), we had our first confession a few weeks before, we walked up to communion with our hands in prayer, we wore white shirts and ties (the girls wore white dresses and veils), we kneeled at the altar rail, and the altar boy put a platen under our neck so we wouldn’t drop the host. We also received communion on the tongue.

    We moved away a few months later to Texas – talk about change – I got really confused, and my little brother’s had a really watered down first communion.

  19. robtbrown says:

    I am reminded of Matthew Arnold’s “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse”.

  20. frjim4321 says:

    [Aren’t you wonderful.]

    Thanks! But not as nice as a gold star!

    [Alas, no Gold Star for that comment. REPENT!]

  21. boredoftheworld says:

    frjim4321 am I misunderstanding you or are you saying COTT is “extreme traditionalism”? If so I’d like to introduce you to my kids, even the one we’re losing to the world would blow your mind.

    Venerator Sti Lot, thank you for your kind recommendations.

  22. Cath says:

    As a mom with seven children, this has only been an issue once for First Holy Communion. I have told all of their religious ed teachers they will receive on the tongue with no issues. I didn’t ask, I said this is how it will be. My daughter received in the hand because the priest tried to go to her hands without noticing her tongue, so she opened her hands. As this had not happened before, I did not prepare her to keep her hands folded. The parish I am at now tells the children of both options.

    frjim4321
    I do not in the least consider it “extreme traditionalism” to receive on the tongue. I received in the hand for short time, but something didn’t seem right, so I read a lot of the subject and came to the conclusion I would rather not have my hands touch the Eucharist. I find it difficult that you would try to discourage someone from receiving on the tongue- may I ask on what grounds?

  23. Athelstan says:

    Our host gives sound advice as always, though I think Tominrichmond has a point, too: If you conclude that the FSSP is the sound option; and they have a canonical non-territorial parish or quasi-parish in the diocese, paying a cathedraticum to the diocese; and you register officially there as a parishioner, I see no moral difficulty in tithing one’s full amount there, especially if there are persisting issues of real concern at the territorial parish.

  24. Michael_Thoma says:

    We “nostalgic extremely traditionalist” Malankara Syriac Catholics along with our Orthodox sister Churches receive on the tongue alone. No option for the hand, not has anyone asked for such an option. Must be the extreme traditional nostalgia. We – along with nearly every Eastern Christian, save for the Traditional Chaldean/Assyrian/Syro-Malabars – must be stuck in the year 30AD or something.. hey, why not show some solidarity with us and quit innovating? Fr. Jim won’t you show solidarity with the East? How about welcoming inculturation for our Syriac and Eastern refugees and immigrants? In fact, we don’t have EMHCs either. Won’t you show pastoral sensitivity and limit their use whenever our people might be attending?

  25. benedetta says:

    Excuse me frjim4321, but you have put out there several statements worth a second look — If you as a pastor “discourage” even if you refrain from outright “prohibition” (whatever that may look like where you are), then, take it from the other side of the reciprocal relationship when we are being Church, indeed, you certainly are engaging in Bad Clericalism. It sounds to me even as though you fancy yourself more than, in terms of Catholic, Church, Pople, than the rest of us, for unknown reasons.

    Also as to the “nine out of ten times” allegation, may we see your numbers for timely verification. This to me is a very new calumnious twaddle not experienced previously. I would enjoy seeing the charted trend in trad grandparents inducing minors to engage in extreme traditionalism. I might even want to share and promote same, depending on what you’ve got there. There are probably a good number of grandparents out there who though they cannot dabble in your form of clericalism may still want to strongly discourage COTH and its effects, extreme 70s and its ruination of which we are all too painfully familiar.

  26. KateD says:

    FrJim4321-your assumption that there is a trad in the family of a child who seeks to recieve Communion on the tongue, is incorrect. My daughter had zero exposure to traditional Catholicism at the time of her First Holy Communion….she has led our family there.

    Frankly, I didn’t know where she got the idea…I thought maybe she’d seen it in some old movie or something? When I asked her, she said she wanted to be like the beautiful lady she sees all the time with the veil in church. I thought, ‘My gosh! She’s seeing Mary!!!’ But being a cynic I pressed….as it turns out it was a gal who waited till the end of Communion (to address a previous pastors objection to her kneeling as it might cause someone to trip).

    Her classmates started doing it, too, at school Masses….FrJim4321, ITS CONTAGEOUS!!! It has been spreading like wildfire through the parish!!! Old women and men are getting on their knees and sticking their tongues out at their priest! And now they have started using incense regularly and singing in Gregorian chant….it’s a slippery slope…this right worship thing.

    Young Catholics loathe going to the hand holding “teen” Masses…they seek an authentic relationship with God which is deeply reverential. The church owes it to them to feed them the spiritual food they so desperately crave.

  27. Potato2 says:

    Not all of us have access to the Fssp. What is to be done if the entire area is like this. Where I live there are begrudging priests that may allow a child to recieve on the tounge but they are often moved every two to six years.

  28. Hans says:

    When receiving in the hands was introduced in the ’70s, we were told in my Catholic grade school to “try it, and if you don’t like it, you can receive on the tongue”, that it wasn’t required. I did and didn’t and have never received in the hands since. In the early ’80s in a different city in a parish where the pastor had served in my home parish, he tried to insist that I receive in the hand, but I shook my head slightly and waited, ready. I’ve had a few similar problems since. Now as a deacon I stand at the altar and receive Jesus on my tongue, even from priests who opposed it, and from some who were surprised to learn that deacons aren’t supposed to self-communicate.

    I have noticed in the few years since my ordination that the number who receive on the tongue has increased significantly from a few to somewhere between a quarter to a third, depending on which Mass. I’ve even had a few parishioners thank me for making them feel safe to receive on the tongue. While those who so receive span all ages, most commonly they are high school to early middle aged. Others who don’t have expressed surprise the reception on the tongue is allowed (and even more that it is the ordinary way and not the permitted exception). And this in a fairly mixed parish, or it would be if the more conservative/traditional parishioners hadn’t fled, or in some cases even were chased out (one because she helped as a nurse to run a clinic for pregnant women that didn’t advocate abortion, so the parish also lost the free health screening she used to provide with other nurses after Masses on Sundays), by a previous administration.

    So I suggest to you, frjim4321, that the reason so many in your parish wRITHe has more to do with your wishes and (perhaps inadvertent?) intimidation, and those like you in the past, than the actual desires of your parishioners. Also, I could rehearse a list of abuses I’ve experienced among communicants in three years, and none of them have been by those who receive on the tongue.

  29. Maynardus says:

    As the father of five boys it is interesting to me how they “get it” and seem instinctively to prefer receiving on the tongue… in nearly any other encounter, they try to be “in-charge”, as such one would expect them to resist being given Communion in a manner which appears to be passive… alas they are too young for nostalgia, so perhaps it is simply rebellion contra the aging “pantsuit-sisterhood” remnant and their mentality… as for me: Ich bin ein nostalgischer! ;-)

  30. Thorfinn says:

    Logically, all children (adults, too, let’s not kid around) should be instructed how to properly receive in each circumstance: on the tongue, in the hand, under both species separately or after intinction, etc. Even if one method is strongly preferred there are times when another makes more sense — for example, if I approach an EMHC who seems unprepared to distribute on the tongue, I receive in the hand. Otherwise what are the odds the Body of Christ ends up on the floor? For those strongly committed to receiving in the hand, they should at least prepare children to receive after intinction or at a papal Mass (use example pictures of Pope Francis!) or at a TLM.

  31. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I agree with Thorfinn. Kids being prepared for First Communion should be prepared for both of the common ways of receiving Communion in the Latin Rite, as well as the more uncommon but permitted ways. They should be told of their freedom to receive under one or both species, or not to receive at all (if not properly disposed, or even just because). They should also be told why we don’t receive in Protestant services, etc., and why it’s polite not to try and receive in Eastern Catholic churches unless the priest knows you and knows that you’ve been to Confession.

    First Communion preparation is supposed to be _educational._ It is supposed to be about the fullness of the Catholic life in Christ. It is not supposed to be about keeping kids in the dark and only telling them an edited version of it all. Kids have very few choices about the important parts of their lives, but the Catholic Church does give them valid choices to make personally, and acknowledges that they are humans with the ability to reason, and with most of the same religious rights and responsibilities as adults. How dare we interfere with that?

  32. Ann Malley says:

    @FrJim4321

    “…Nine out of ten times when a child is engaging in extreme traditionalism there is a dominant traditionalist grandparent in the picture.”

    And nine times out of ten when a grown man, particularly a priest, is engaging in extreme disinformation and sheep-shaming it is precisely because, as you have indicated Father, you put the the child and/or the “person” first instead of the Person of Christ. That is you are putting human respect and fear of making a spectacle of “yourself” above what you are called to do.

    You are sadly demonstrating the behavior of a sheep and not a shepherd. Sadly, that is what has been lacking in this deconstruction of the reality of hierarchy. For while you may not want to acknowledge it for fear of looking as if you believe yourself to be more Catholic than the Church, you set the example for Catholics to go forth and not set the example of not having anything in their Faith more holy and of value than one selling heresy or atheism. You promote fear of expressing the truth.

    But, Father, you are in some sense not to blame. You are no doubt a victim of the mental abuse that is currently in vogue, the very same that pretends that to speak of Truth is to be an elitist who hates other people. Please, pray for release from this prison of fear and go forth and spread the Gospel, the full account, not the hamstrung version that St. Paul decries as anathema.

  33. Elizium23 says:

    I must be an “extreme traditionalist” because, much like hwriggles4, I began to receive COTT and stopped holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, after reverting to the faith and finding out what the Church is really like (WTCIRL).

    Thanks be to God for the Internet, without which I never would have connected with communities of like-minded Catholics, without which I would not have had access to so many Church documents that I could now read for myself and find out what the Catholic Church really taught and what she really prescribed for the Sacred Liturgy.

    With all due respect to Holy Church and the things in her largesse she has allowed, CITH is truly a frightening abuse. Our parish has made use of Communion-plates for some time now, and as an altar server who holds one during distribution of Holy Communion (I have consistently declined to be an EMHC because I disagree with the need for them, etc.) all the worst things happen when someone receives in the hand. There are “grabbers” who snatch the host with one hand. There are “surprises” when someone approaches with hands folded, and I maneuver the plate under their chin only to have them stick out their hands at the last second. Almost everyone was taught, as I was, to step aside with the host still in hand and then consume it over there. This is the stupidest thing to do, because it makes a Communion-plate completely useless. If they’re still manhandling the host over to the side there is nothing I can do to catch it when it falls. People receive in the hand when they obviously shouldn’t. I had a young lady last Saturday who was holding a big bunch of keys in her hands and barely had room for the host.

    When people receive COTT, I am sure there are issues which depend on the skill of the minister. But as a Communion-plate holder, once the critical moment has passed, my job is done and I can rest assured that the host will not drop. I also don’t have to wonder whether they consumed it or not. With CITH there have certainly been moments.

  34. ecs says:

    Receiving in the hand is a sacrilege. There is no need to teach children a sacrilege. Just because the Church permits something does not mean that it is good. We have 50 years proof of this.