From a reader…
I am a convert to the faith 27 years ago and was just recently ordained a permanent Deacon. I am curios as to why celebrating the mass ad orientum and reception on the tongue exclusively are preferable. I often find myself near tears when receiving the Eucharist and was just wondering why receiving in the hand should not be allowed.
There are some common misspellings that crop up frequently in this line of work. Occasionally, one sees reference to alter boys, which is alarming (at least to non-Jesuits). One hears stories of lectors proclaiming that a reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Filipinos. And frequently the liturgical phrase “ad orientem” is butchered.
BTW… the orientus (which in Latin would give us the accusative form orientum) is a genus of critter in the leafhopper family. Hence, offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass “ad orientum” would be offering it toward or in the presence of this irritating little bug. Something we might end up doing incidentally, if the church has not been thoroughly cleaned by the aspirants of the Blessed Imelda Lambertini Society
alter… no… altar guild section. But that’s something we should not intend to do.
Instead, we should offer the Holy Sacrifice facing – at least symbolically – the direction of the rising sun, the orient, or, in Latin, oriens (in the accusative form orientem).
As to the specifics of why worship ad orientem is preferable and why reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is preferable, there have already been many electrons spilled on this blog to cover the topic. You might do a little searching around in these webby pages.
Also, try reading Dominus Est, a wonderful little book on the Eucharist by Bp. Athanasius Schneider, and The Spirit of the Liturgy, by Pope Benedict XVI, aka Joseph Ratzinger.
Those highly useful and readable books will not fulfill your self-identification as “curios”, however.
US HERE – UK HERE