From a reader:
I tend not to be legalistic but when visiting that church the priest pressed my hand quite rudely and hissed “We do not take it in the hand here”. I wonder if I should send him a note. God bless you.
Brief, but I think we get the idea.
I strongly doubt that the priest hissed. What is this, Harry Potter?
However, the choice of the word “hissed” underscores how sensitive people are to liturgical moments. Communion is… should be… a vulnerable moment.
I loathe Communion in the hand. On the first full day of my pontificate as Pius the Tenth the Second, or maybe Clement XV, or perhaps John XXIII… I will abolish it by means of a Bull, which I shall also read from the central loggia of St. John Lateran… with full social media coverage and live internet streaming.
Priests should not deny people Holy Communion in the hand if they are in a place where the bishop has given permission for Communion in the hand.
It can happen that, in the course of distribution, the altar boy may be holding the paten in such a way that the priest doesn’t see the hands, the surprised tongue pops out, BAM, on we go. That happened to me at least once this morning, but it was pretty clear that this was just a mechanical thing, and not Father-denied-Communion, etc.
However, from the better readings of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae it seems that during celebrations of Holy Mass with the Extraordinary Form, communicants are not to receive in the hand, even where it is permitted. That said, I think that even in EF celebrations, priests should be very careful not to bruise the sensibilities of newcomers, who, by the time of Communion, probably think they are on another planet.
They are right. They are on another planet is some sense.
But let’s be careful and gentle with them.
And may we also review how PROPERLY to receive in the hand?
We do NOT receive one-handed.
We do NOT use pintcher fingers.
We do NOT cup hands next to each other.
We do NOT lick the Host up.
We do NOT swap the Host back and forth.
We do NOT rattle Jesus around in the hand before popping Him.
In the meantime… dear readers…
… please please please just STOP receiving Communion in the hand.
Please? You are making me sad.