We welcome as our guest… Peter Kwasniewski and an article he recently posted at LifeSite about Communion in the hand.
Not long ago, surveys from the Pew Research center uncovered that a huge number of Catholics do not believe in the Church’s teaching about transubstantiation. This is so even among regular church goers. It seems to me that this could only be so among regular church goers, slightly more likely to have had a little catechesis of value, that the have seen with they own eyes for decades the lack reverence shown by priests and congregants for the Eucharist. Rather, they have not see much reverence shown for the Eucharist from priests or coreligionists. Hence, because lex orandi lex credendi, because they way we pray has a reciprocal relation with what we believe, they just don’t believe that under the appearance of bread and wine we have Christ whole and entire, Body Blood Soul and Divinity. They see hosts treated casually, handled by anyone and everyone, literally handled, and they conclude that the hosts must not be that important. They hear the suboptimal music, see the cheap vestments, watch the sloppy ministry at the altar, note the fact that everyone goes to communion without a single admonishment about confession, and they conclude that the Host isn’t much after all. Very many people have come to see Communion as, “they put the white thing in our hand and then we sing a song”. Communion is a sign of nonjudgmental affirmation a sign that you are in the club.
A major contributor to the diving numbers who believe the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist has to be distribution of Communion in the hand. The conga line style, and the gimme gesture to sticking hands out, the fact that hordes of the non-ordained themselves troop up to tabernacles and altars and take sacred vessel all diminish what should be, contrarily, built up and augmented with all possible decorum and gravity. You can’t blame people for not believing. They’ve not been handed down what to believe and how.
At LifeSite, there is a good piece by Peter Kwasnieski dated 26 November 2019: Debunking the myth that today’s Communion in the hand revives an ancient custom
That was one of the canards raised by the innovators, a false archeologizing legitimization of protestant style Communion. They said that in the ancient church that’s how it was done, hence, we should do it too. That ignores entirely the fact that, over centuries, as our understanding of the Eucharist grew, so did our rites surrounding the Eucharist. As we learned more and appreciated more and more God’s gift, we adjusted our practice. So, when we see a backsliding to Communion in the hand, we know that something is not right. Moreover, Communion in the hand was not, in the ancient, as advertised.
I am going to read this article by Kwasniewski. Some of you don’t have a lot of time to read. Some of you have a hard time reading. But you can listen. This information deserves wider distribution. And you can always go to the site and print the piece and hand it out.
As you listen, tune your ear for …. I’ll try to mark off the quotes so they are easier to identify.