QUAERITUR: removing gloves before Communion in the hand

From a reader:

One question:  does any document specifically state one must remove gloves prior to receiving on the hand?  I have always taught this to be the case as I was taught, but presently cannot find a citation to rest the case with those who disagree. 

I don’t think there is a document that states that you must remove gum from your mouth before receiving either.

If you are wearing gloves, for the love of God, receive on the tongue!  Or take them off?

Is this hard?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. don Jeffry says:

    I do not put the Holy Eucharist onto dirty hands, a hand with part of a cast covering it, a hand with scribbles on it, a hand with car keys in it (it does happen), a purse handle draped over it and the like. don Jeffry

  2. Yes, Father Z., this is definitely a “no-brainer”.
    As an aside, ever since celebrating the EF, with the scraping of the corporal with the paten, I have been much more aware and careful about particles from the Sacred Host which can “fly” or drop upon the corporal, when celebrating the OF, and so I also scrape when celebrating this form (although I do not believe it is mandated).

  3. ssoldie says:

    Where o where has common sense gone, this is what has developed over the last 50 years and one of the reasons we have a major crisis in the Church. DAH.

  4. I don’t think there is a document that states that you must remove gum from your mouth before receiving either.

    I saw somebody chewing his cud in the Communion line once. I turned away: couldn’t bear to look.

    One of many reasons why I do not want to be an EMHC.

  5. By the way, might want to re-post the pictures of (unconsecrated) host particles on black gloves.

  6. What I hate are those huge hosts that are like 5 inches in diameter that the Priest breaks up scattering dust for miles…. but no one ever listens to me when I point the problem out…. In fact, I have something against those big hosts…. I wish the Priest was the only one who got those…. and that everyone else got the little round ones. But…. I guess that can’t be helped….

  7. lofstrr says:

    Seems like this would be covered by the instruction that communion can be given in the hand UNLESS there is a likelihood of profanation. I can’t remember the wording. It seems clear that the decision of what constitutes a likelihood of that happening rests with the priest and can be appealed to the bishop. It seems reasonable to conclude that it would be more likely since hosts are very lite and even thin gloves would make it more difficult to tell by touch that you had a good hold of the host. Do priests wear gloves when they elevate or fracture the host? It might also be harder to tell that you had a crumb (a crumb of Jesus? Ugh.) on your hand depending on the color of the gloves not to mention again not being able to feel it.

    In any event, I say, just say no to gloves. If you get push back after explaining why, and pointing out that priests never wear gloves when touching the host then offer to go seek the instruction of the Bishop on their behalf. Of course, then, the burden of the decision rests on him.

  8. momoften says:

    Gregory, know what you mean about the Priest breaking up the host scattering fragments. It wasn’t but a few weeks ago when a son was serving –the priest broke the host, and a fragment flew onto the altar. The priest didn’t see it and my son relayed the information to the priest after Mass to be properly taken care of……..I know there was another article in the Latin Magazine about the fragments of hosts…it was very well done and essentially came to the same conclusion Fr Z has……

  9. Emilio III says:

    Gregory, Our pastor likes these 5-3/4″ Hosts: http://www.garsonandsons.com/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=103 but the other priests prefer “standard size”. To be honest, the large ones break more cleanly than the standard size and the pastor is particularly careful with them, so I suspect that the risk of consecrated particles being misplaced is actually lower, but I still shudder when I see them.

  10. PeonyMoss says:

    Miss Manners says that if you ever eat with gloved hands, your hands will break out in great ugly warts

  11. Alice says:

    I had to laugh when I read this because I can see a lady or two of my acquaintance actually demanding to receive Holy Communion in a gloved hand so that they would be like women from previous centuries, before the rise feminism, who received, not in the bare hand, but in the “Lord’s napkin”. Yes, I’ve met a few people who are perfectly happy to be archaic, provided that they are not mistaken for traditional.

  12. Common sense? Directly on the Tongue por favor.

  13. dcs says:

    Wouldn’t gloves be like the modern-day version of the domenica (the veil women wore on their hands when receiving in the hand in the early Church)?

  14. Precentrix says:


    I was taught to remove gloves before receiving Holy Communion… on the tongue, in the Extraordinary form.

    Presumably because it is a moment of intimacy and, therefore, one might be expected to remove the dress gloves one is obviously wearing at Holy Mass.

  15. kat says:

    I am wondering if this question had nothing to do with receiving in the hand. I was taught never to go to Communion wearing gloves (and I was never taught to receive in the hand, nor have I ever assisted at Masses where I would receive in the hand.) I don’t know where the tradition came from…but we still require for our first Communicants that if the girls wear white gloves with their outfits, they must remove them before receiving Holy Communion. Perhaps it has something to do with some formality way back when women never left the house without gloves on, or something, and the manners back then. No clue! But it seems to be a long-standing tradition, at least in the churches I have attended.

  16. Sixupman says:

    I do not believe it!!!!!!

  17. Fleeb says:

    Latin Mass magazine had a great expose on this in its Fall 2009 issue and comes to the conclusion that communion on the tongue should be the norm, if only to reduce the profanation of the Host by people carrying fragments off.

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    The Latin Mass article by a “Father X” starts with reference to one “Father Z”:

    “In March 20009, two experiments involving unconsecrated hosts placed on black gloves were reported on the blog What Does the Prayer Really Say.”

  19. New Sister says:

    About the gum (yuck) – it is covered: a gum-chewer coming to receive would be breaking the Eucharistic fast and should be barred from receiving.

  20. jesusthroughmary says:

    Kat: “I am wondering if this question had nothing to do with receiving in the hand.”

    The question was: “does any document specifically state one must remove gloves prior to receiving on the hand?”

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