As Masses open up, priests told to DROP Hosts onto hands, Communion on the tongue is banned

As public Masses start up again, people are sending notes with indications from different dioceses about distribution of Holy Communion.

Under the excuse of being “realistic” and so forth, chanceries are writing for their bishops – I prefer to believe that the bishops themselves are not so awful – that Communion in the hand is obligatory and that people do not have a right to receive on the tongue.

Sed contraRedemptionis Sacramentum says “Quamvis omnis fidelis ius semper habeat pro libitu suo sacram Communionem ore accipendi,…”

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

NB: “Always” and “right”.

Moreover, if Communion in the hand isn’t bad enough… and it is an abomination… now priests are being told that they are to drop the Host onto people’s hands.

They are to DROP the Host.


One of the sad and ironic advantages to this period of closure of Masses is that there have been millions fewer sacrilegious Communions received each Sunday by un-confessed and tepid or rebellious Catholics.   Millions of “Body” blows that the Church didn’t have to absorb.  Now priests are being told to drop Hosts onto palms.

Recently, Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, answered a questions about reception of Communion.  HERE

There is already a rule in the Church and this must be respected: the faithful are free to receive Communion in the mouth or hand. […]  The devil strongly attacks the Eucharist because it is the heart of the life of the Church. But I believe, as I have already written in my books, that the heart of the problem is the crisis of faith in the priesthood. If priests are aware of what the Mass is and what the Eucharist is, certain ways of celebrating or certain hypotheses about Communion would not even come to mind. Jesus cannot be treated like this.

Certain things would not even enter into their minds.

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  1. ArthurH says:

    Im comment to this above:

    “If priests are aware of what the Mass is and what the Eucharist is, certain ways of celebrating or certain hypotheses about Communion would not even come to mind. Jesus cannot be treated like this.

    Certain things would not even enter into their minds.”

    ….. A very loud and sincere Amen, Father..

  2. Kate says:

    A priest I know announced that he counted how many he actually touched when distributing Holy Communion last weekend. The count – On the tongue: 0 vs. In the hand: 10

  3. JustaSinner says:

    What’s next, T-Shirt Canon and Host? Just load and let the Lord fly. I am trying not to be upset by all of this, hence the gallows humour.

  4. Hidden One says:

    In the word of General McAuliffe, “Nuts!”

  5. Kent Wendler says:

    Here in the Diocese of ____ there has been, as far as I know, no indication of public Masses resuming, let alone with “special instructions” for Communion. If, when the time comes we receive direction to commit such a profanation (and I believe that is what it is) as having the Host dropped in our open palms, would one be out of line to insist on receiving on the tongue, with palms pressed together? Even to the point of refusing to move?

  6. JMody says:

    What kind of twisted mind would NOT then say it’s okay to DROP the Host into the mouth of a communicant? As God is Reason, what else can we possibly assume about such an incoherent, illogical set of suggestions?

    And it doesn’t stop with this, either. It is safe for me to go to a crowded grocer, but not safe to enter a church? What if I bring a can of soup, box of detergent, and a roll of toilet paper? Am I now protected? I can have a normal exchange with a clerk at the grocer’s, or at my doctor’s office, but not with my priest? I must wear a mask while walking in public, but not while running when I breathe more often and more forcefully? What if I run on a beach, with a can of food? At this rate, bananas will soon be required in ears.

  7. einkleinerknabe says:

    The guidelines from the Diocese of _____ are nonsensical:
    “Although the faithful are entitled to receive Holy Communion either on the tongue or in
    the hands, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, the extraordinary
    measure will be taken of only receiving Holy Communion in the hand. For this to have
    its intended effect, however, the faithful must practice good hand hygiene”

    In other words, you are entitled to receive on the tongue or in the hand — as long as you receive in the hand.

  8. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I wouldn’t think of following such a directive. In fact, I have yet to meet a priest during the past flu epidemics, who got in trouble for giving holy Communion on the tongue, even though they were told not to do this.

    Bishops right now have parishes with no money. Parishes have laid off or furloughed employees. They can’t make payroll or cover repairs or improvement projects. That means that bishops are sometimes getting money from the parishes–and sometimes, not. Bishops are also having to slash budgets across boards and all the fund raising campaigns are dead or tanked. Bishops and clergy in various dioceses are not taking a full paycheck, in order not to burden the parish.

    So, what bishop has the time, energy, and mental wherewithal to go after priest for giving holy Communion on the tongue, or for not “dropping” the Host in the hand?

    Priests who have even a little, teeny, bit of common sense, in any event, would be stupid to answer a phone call or a letter from the chancery at this time, if he suspects it is to reprimand him. After all, some don’t have a working secretary right now.

    And for the idiot priest who needs to respond or die on this hill, it is much easier to simply say to the chancery bureaucrat, “What letter? Was there a directive? NO! Say it isn’t so. Oh well, with all the suffering of our people during the pandemic, I haven’t had a way to respond to messages!”

    There are many creative ways to avoid conflicts with the diocese, or to assuage the egos at the chancery and convince them that they are being listened to, as if they are important.

    Far too many “persecution tales” of the clergy stem from wasting energy or worry, on these silly directives, and from allowing themselves to get on the defensive and get backed into a corner.

    If the bishop or his cronies wants to have a spat with a priest, he would be wise to continue saying niceties, giving assurances that “I will do everything to avoid this in the future,” thanking them for ALL that they do (which is nothing lol) and then hanging up the phone and continuing with business as usual in the parish which is entrusted to the care of the pastor, not the chancery cronies.

  9. If Archbishop Sheen can do this, then a priest can distribute Holy Communion on the tongue. Sheen was more likely to get leprosy than a priest is to catch this virus. Did he get leprosy? NO!

    On a trip to Africa to share the gospel with the poor, downtrodden, and diseased, Bishop Sheen found himself in a leper colony that hosted 500 people stricken with the terrible disease known for rotting human flesh to the point that a person’s own limbs lose all sensitivity. Bishop Sheen would never forget that day.

    He said, “I had with me 500 silver crucifixes about two inches high. I intended to give each leper a silver crucifix. The first one who came to me had his left arm eaten away by the disease. He held up the stump; there was a rosary around it.

    He put out his right hand. It was the most foul, fetid, noisome mass of corruption that I ever saw. I held the crucifix above it and dropped it. And it was swallowed up in that volcano of leprosy.

    And all of a sudden there were 501 lepers in that camp and I was the 501st. For I had taken that symbol of God’s identification with man and refused to identify myself with someone who was a thousand times better on the inside than I.

    Then it came over me the awful thing that I had done. I dug my fingers into his hand and pulled out the crucifix then pressed it to his hand and so on for all the other 500 lepers. From that time on I learned to love them by touch, by the incarnational principle.”

    On that day, Bishop Sheen simply followed the example set by Jesus; he touched a leper. Pushing past the fear, the stigma, and the risks, Bishop Sheen did something no one else was willing to do, except Jesus.

    Resource’s Origin:
    Through the Year with Fulton Sheen: Inspirational Selections for Each Day of the Year by Henry Dieterich. Servants Books, 1985, Pages 215-216.

  10. ABird says:

    What are your thoughts on bringing back Eucharistic Utensils? They could be made of antimicrobial silver and disinfected between each communicant. It seems to me that these would solve a lot of worries about viral spread while also ensuring a reverent communion.

  11. Lurker 59 says:

    Strong recommendation: When it comes time for the distribution of Communion, with the Mass being streamed to YouTube, have the camera focus on the Tabernacle or Crucifix in the parish so that the distribution is completely out of frame. Don’t create a permanent visual record of how the faithful receive and how you distribute. You know there are certain individuals out there that want to cause trouble and will be going through the YouTube videos parish by parish looking for violators of “directives”. Don’t provide for them ammo.

  12. SanSan says:

    The news in CA is that the Governor will not open churches until maybe Oct or Nov. And our Bishops are not fighting back. Suggestions for the faithful please.

  13. Antonin says:

    The USCCB are promoting guidelines for Bishops and in those guidelines there is a section reception of communion that reads

    ? Communion on the tongue vs. in the hand: We have carefully considered the question of Communion on the tongue vs. Communion in the hand. Given the Church’s existing guidance on this point (see Redemptionis Sacramentum, no. 92), and recognizing the differing judgments and sensibilities that are involved, we believe that, with the precautions listed here, it is possible to distribute on the tongue without unreasonable risk

    These are pastoral care recommendations and seem to argue differently than what some US Bishops are suggesting based on the post. Of course the Bishop has individual control and doesn’t have to support the recommendations of the USCCB but there they are at any rate

  14. DavidinWA says:

    To avoid most of these potential profanations and assuage the fears of those surrounding the virus, could we not have Mass without the public distribution of Holy Communion? If the distribution of Holy Communion is going to either prevent public Mass attendance altogether or lead to profanations, maybe that comes at a later time. My impression was that the primary purpose of the Mass was the worship of God and the offering of Christ’s sacrifice rather than the reception of the Eucharist. If we’re going to Mass primarily to receive Holy Communion are we not mis-oriented?

  15. MmeScherzo says:

    I can’t bring myself to take communion at all under such mandates. I’d feel damned if I did, and even more damned if I won’t. What’s a body to do?

  16. WVC says:

    Why not have the priest use those little grippy hand things like old folks use to get the toilet paper off the top shelf? That’ll minimize infection. Or, better yet, why not just toss the host at the faithful like a frisbee? That way every one can keep six feet apart. Once we get rid of reverence or respect for Christ, Our Lord, Redeemer of the World, then the sky’s the limit!

    Sadly, I know Catholics who claim to take their faith seriously who are speaking out against receiving the Host on the tongue. We live in an age where people seem unable to process knowledge. They have knowledge. It rattles around inside their brains, and if you ask them they can give the right answer. But they are unable to process, internalize, or understand how that knowledge should inform their behavior. It’s as if knowledge is completely compartmentalized from their “real life” which is primarily concerned with material things (health, science, wealth, possessions . . .etc.). It’s a version of Gnosticism where simply “knowing” the right answers is all that matters. Part of or a cause of the liturgical degradation of the past several decades?

  17. In my opinion, profanation of the Eucharist is a huge reason we have been allowed to suffer this deprivation of the Sacraments. The last thing we should be doing is doubling down on it.

  18. Danteewoo says:

    Time for priests to disobey their bishops. Long past the time for bishops to disobey the state. The first bishop to ignore all these rules and risk being arrested will be the first bishop that I respect.

    Bishops need to think outside their cocoon: They give every impression that they don’t take the Faith seriously, and then they expect their flock to? If this nonsense ever ends, they are going to see fewer Catholics in the pews.

  19. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Miss Anita Moore,

    I agree 1000%!

  20. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Sansan,

    You wrote:

    “ The news in CA is that the Governor will not open churches until maybe Oct or Nov. And our Bishops are not fighting back. Suggestions for the faithful please.”

    The governor, apparently, doesn’t understand the nature of authority. This is not, properly speaking, within his sphere of competence, even if he claims it is and no secular document can give him that authority. Religious freedom and even freedom of religious assemblage belongs in the realm of inalienable rights, granted by God. Clearly, the governor has a mistaken understanding of what constitutes the common good if he thinks keeping Catholic churches closed until October is for the common good. Oh, he may exercise power to keep people away, but this is not authority – it is a usurpation of authority. The bishops have a right and even a duty, I think, to resist him to his face. As for Protestants, since they have no actual Mass, their assembly is not geared towards a sacrifice, per se, so the necessity of coming together as a group is less essential, although it is useful and a comfort. They have ecclesial assemblies. We have a Church. The purpose of our assembly is of a higher order and purpose than a civil assembly, over which the governor does have authority. To obey the governor would be a form of what Aquinas calls indiscreet obedience.

    Of course, one could seek a federal injunction on First Amendment grounds, if the governor wants to play that game.

    The Chicken

  21. tho says:

    “Save The Liturgy Save The World” is the greatest phrase since the chaos of VII. Most of our leaders do not seem to realize that the traditional liturgy is the answer to a culture that has turned it’s back on religious feelings. The modern church tries not to be different, and thus embraces every nonsensical idea that they can get their hands on. The answer to many of our problems, lies with the love of a Mass that is centuries old, and it has nurtured some of the finest minds the world has ever seen, along with saints that are an example of how we should live.

  22. Semper Gumby says:

    More anarchy at the altar. Non possumus.

  23. SanSan says:

    Update: The Bishops in CA are looking for a May 31st opening of Masses. We’ll see what Gavin says! And there will be no dropping Jesus in my hand!

  24. mo7 says:

    Earlier in the year when Corona as was rampant, trads were going to Sunday and daily Mass. All receiving on the tongue. Shouldn’t we all be dead or dying? Can it be shown that trads disproportionally contracted the virus or did their priests? Did anyone even check?

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  26. Andrew Hollingsworth says:

    Would not the most sensible approach be to continue to encourage spiritual communion. There is no risk of spreading any virus through spiritual communion. It could be an opportunity for instruction about the state of grace necessary for reception of communion and many may feel that actual reception of the sacrament should follow on from the sacrament of reconciliation.

  27. JonPatrick says:

    Here in my home state where being able to get ones dog groomed is considered essential but religious services are not, we are now timidly allowed “drive-in” masses with cars at least a cars width apart ( no one told them viruses can’t go through a closed window) and no communion of course. No word on when real in-person masses will be allowed. At least some priests have arranged for drive by confessions for which we are truly grateful. Our governor seems to enjoy playing Mussolini so along with restaurant owners and barbers I don’t expect relief anytime soon.

  28. gdweber says:

    Could Antonin or anyone provide clarification of where it says the USCCB are promoting the guidelines he linked?

    While materials posted on could have been uploaded by almost anyone, the guidelines were, in fact, developed by The Thomistic Institute; their site provides links to this document and others:

    I read that “Some bishops learned about the document we wrote [about confession] and liked what they saw. We then started hearing from bishops, asking us if we had more guidance for other sacraments and to please let them know when that came along.” ( )

    I cannot find any confirmation of Antonin’s statement that the USCCB (not just individual bishops) is supporting the guidelines.

  29. gdweber says:

    With regard to where it says the USCCB are promoting the guidelines that Antonin linked, I have found an answer to my own question. It is so reported by Church Militant ( ), which cites National “Catholic” Reporter ( ) as their source. NCR refers to an April 30 memorandum obtained by them, from Archbishop Blair, head of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, but I have not been able to see the text of the memo.

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