Card. Cipriani: Communion on the tongue, kneeling, with paten

From a reader:

Dear Fr. Z,
This seems to be quite significant news: This is the first time, as far as I know, that our bishop, His Eminence Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima, Perú, publicly in a homily (last Sunday’s one, at the Cathedral), strongly recommends the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, and with the Communion plate. This is the link.

And here is my [the writer’s] translation [with Fr. Z’s emphases]:
Let us recover that love to the Eucharist, by receiving Jesus with a clean body and soul, in God’s grace. Let us use that small Communion plate, so that if a small particle from the Host falls, it does not touch the floor. There must be an education, which must be taught from the childhood to the elder ones.

We receive Holy Communion on the tongue. In that way we avoid using our dirty hands in contact with the Body of Christ. In this archdiocese there is still permission to receive It in the hand. I say “there is still” because more and more frequently I ask priests and religious to manifest that visible respect to the Body of Christ, and to not just hand It as if one was distributing some papers.
Also, the correct way of receiving Jesus at the Eucharist requires a personal preparation to be in a state of grace. And to show a visible sign of respect, which may be bowing the head or, much more recommendable, receive the Holy Eucharist kneeling”.

Cardinal Cipriani wants


  • a communion plate or paten to be used
  • reception on the tongue
  • kneeling

WDTPRS kudos to Card. Cipriani!

How do you say that best in Spanish… something like… "¡felicidades!", perhaps?  Maybe… "¡Buen trabajo!"

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. La Sandia says:

    Cardinal Cipriani is a real apostle (the only member of Opus Dei with the rank of cardinal, I believe). Most people in Peru that I have seen take communion on the tongue, although many parishes (though not all) tend to be very into the “charismatic” style of worship. Maybe the good cardinal can tackle that next?

  2. Random Friar says:

    I think in Lima, at least, the word “¡Bacán!” would work as well.

  3. Mitchell NY says:

    Que chevere !!!!! o Maravilloso y al final Gracias a Dios !! I hope more Bishops follow the lead of this Bishop. I also hope the good people of Lima follow his advice and rethink their postions.

  4. mibethda says:

    Not the only member of Opus Dei of cardinalatial rank – though recently retired from his position as president of the dicastery for interpretation of legislative texts, I believe that Julian Cardinal Herranz is also a member of Opus Dei.

  5. woodyjones says:

    Yes, Cardinal Herranz is also a member of Opus Dei. I think he is retired now, though. Cardinal Cipriani was a Peruvian national team basketball player in his day, and when he came up here to the US for the archiepiscopal consecration of Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio (also of the Work), the word was that Cardinal Cipriani’s happiest moments were spent shooting hoops with the Spurs. Not to diss Archbishop Gomez at all, I might add, whom I knew when he was just “Father Jose”.

  6. TJM says:

    Glorious news! Brick by brick. Communion on the tongue highlights in a powerful way
    the sacredness of the moment. Tom

  7. gloriainexcelsis says:

    que felicidad. que Dios el Cardenal bendiga!

  8. Hidden One says:

    Habemus vere cardinalem.

  9. 4mercy says:

    Beautiful!! The Cardinal obviously loves Jesus and wants to see Him loved!! Praise God for such shepherds!! Let’s pray his courage inspires the Vatican to BAN communion in the Hand outright.

    Thank you Fr. Z for your postings on St. Augustine- they were great!

  10. maynardus says:

    ladrillo a ladrillo…

  11. dimsum says:

    This is great news indeed. I am proud of the good cardinal. Lima is where I was born and where my faith was nourished as a child.

    St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima pray for us!

    P.S. Father Z, Lima has a magnificent cathedral…..and is a city where you can enjoy great Chinese cuisine (in Peru Chinese restuarants are called “chifas”)

  12. ssoldie says:


  13. Navarricano says:

    “How do you say that best in Spanish… something like… “¡felicidades!”, perhaps? Maybe… “¡Buen trabajo!”

    ¡Buen trabajo! is fine; it means “good work” ¡Bien hecho¡ is “well done”, and that’s also correct.

    ¡Felicidades! is more like “many happy returns” or something similar that one would say on a birthday or for the birth of a child, and ¡Enhorabuena! is “Congratulations”.

    So … I’d probably go with an enthusiastic ¡Así se hace! ¡Bien hecho! (That’s the way! Well done!)


  14. Sandia>>Cardinal Cipriani is a real apostle …. tend to be very into the “charismatic” style of worship. Maybe the good cardinal can tackle that next?<<<

    Hey Sandia! Congratulations on the good news! My position on LifeTeen/Charismatic worship has been shaken up lately, as kneeling is getting help from unexpected places, i.e. the President of LifeTeen, Randy Raus, has been echoing the papal master of ceremonies sentiments about kneeling Communion

    If banging a tamborine in somebody’s years can make them kneel for Jesus, then well…I’m for it!

    K. C.

  15. Great. Let’s return to capital-T Tradition, rather than this indult nonsense based on the 60’s disobedience of select prelates which spread like rotten apples do.

  16. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I do believe the candle behind His Eminence is beeswax.

  17. irishgirl says:

    I may be using both Italian and Spanish, but here goes….

    Bravissimo, Senor Cardinal!

    Oh, that’s funny about the Cardinal shooting hoops, woodyjones!

  18. Anchorite says:

    I usually attend the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass, but last Sunday, due to a comlicated schedule, my son and I attended the Ordinary Form in a church we used to go before moving out of that area. The celebrant priest, right before distributing communion, took a second, and announced: ” We are still hearing the reports about swine flu, so I suggest everyone getting their communion in hand, and not on the tongue. Thank you”.

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