In this time of COVID-1984, where up is down and back is front and clocks are melting off the edges of tables, there are some in high places in the Church who are determined to ban Communion on the tongue. Determined. They come up with one thing after another.
I saw in one diocesan document the patent falsehood that Communion on the tongue results in frequent contact between fingers and the tongue.
I’ll admit that contact could happen if the priest doesn’t know what he’s doing and if the communicant doesn’t stay still. Moving targets are harder to hit. Holding the Host wrong makes it harder to place.
So, people, BE STILL.
So, Fathers, use your BRAIN.
I’ve also seen the excuse that people are breathing when they receive on the tongue. Yes, indeed. Breathing.
Apparently, breathing on the priest’s hand is lethal. For the priest, maybe? Hands don’t breathe back, so the next communicant isn’t in danger from that. And priests can use hand sanitizer.
But let’s try to take that breathing point seriously for a moment. We can eliminate this excuse in a simple way.
Hold your breath when you receive Communion on the tongue.
Since churches are re-opening, let’s review a few tips for receiving Communion on the tongue.
Here’s a spiffy old drawing from a good, old fashioned catechism. My notes in red.
A) Neither head back nor tongue out.
B) Hands in the way of the paten.
C) Head back. Tongue not out.
D) Tongue out. Good. Head down. Bad.
Allow me to add
E) STAY STILL.
F) HOLD YOUR BREATH.
pastoral overlords… er um… bishops and chancery types, are worried about you breathing on the priest’s hand, thus ushering in human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, then confound their expectations and, when receiving on the tongue…
HOLD YOUR BREATH.
Is this hard?
No, it is not.
And if you are from a culture where you are taught to take the Host with your teeth, okay… but a) do NOT bite the priest who may be surprised by what you are doing and b) think about not doing it that way.
G) DON’T BITE THE PRIEST.