ASK FATHER: Communion in the hand at the Traditional Latin Mass

From a reader…


Father, is allowing Communion in the Hand at the TLM/EF Mass something that is at the discretion of the local ordinary?
I don’t know if some of our parish’s “extra” priests are confused, but even though my goal is not people watching, I’ve noticed Hosts being placed into the hand of people beside me at the rail, recently, at our EF Mass – which was recently re-allowed to have the distribution of Holy Communion *during* Mass.

I’m not sure if I need to raise awareness to someone or not, but the “just be grateful that ____” argument for “dealing” with things “during Covid” is getting old.

I suspect that virtually all priests who celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass know full well that Communion on the hand is not allowed.

Although there was, if memory serves, a note to a bishop from the Congregation for Divine Worship saying that Communion could be given on the hand at a TLM, I note that that Congregation does NOT have competence in matters of the TLM.  That should be handled by the section in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which was formerly the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.

However, these days, bishops tend to do whatever the heck they want to do and there really isn’t anything that can be done about it.

The lay faithful or priests might have the law or facts or commonsense on their side, but it really doesn’t make a difference if a bishop wants to impose his will, lawfully or not.  Priests are under a lot of pressure and, contrary to popular opinion, don’t have much power. Priests are accountable to bishops but, in effect, bishops aren’t accountable to anyone except in the most extreme situations. There is little that a parish priest can do if a bishop decides to listen to the few complainers rather than the priest and the majority.   It seems to happen quite often that a priest will undertake something in a parish, such as celebrate ad orientem or put in a Communion rail, or start some Gregorian chant, or use a biretta.  The changes will be well received by 99% of the faithful.  However, a couple of nasty Karens will gripe to the bishop and the bishop will back them and not the priest and the 99%.  Consequently, Father is forced by “downtown” to walk his changes back, thus undermining his role in the parish for the future.  This is not rare.

So, dear reader, if you are seeing Communion in the hand at your TLM, try not to think badly of the priest.  It is possible that the bishop dropped the hammer on him and he is in a jam.  Try to remember that about the only thing that Father has a right to is Christian burial.   Also, try not to think badly of people who choose to receive Communion in the hand at a TLM.  There have been months of COVID brainwashing by now and people are getting worn out.

Yes, it is all “getting old”.

I recommend prayers for those who are under pressure, such as your parish priest.

I recommend acts of reparation.

I recommend that we all GO TO CONFESSION.

Let’s pray that God will remove this scourge through a great miracle, the sudden, complete and lasting elimination of all ill effects, spiritual and physical, from the Wuhan Devil, this cursed virus.

Let’s ask St. Joseph, in this year dedicated to him, to be a true protector of the Church.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. monstrance says:

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    And usually, the liberal wing of the local parish, the PTA of the neighborhood school, etc – pick your group – does most of the squeaking. And of course, there are receptive ears holding the grease gun.
    The modernist bishops – and they are legion – can be cruel taskmasters.

  2. When a priest insists on giving Communion in the hand, here is how we were taught to receive. Cup your hands like we have been shown but instead of using the hand underneath to take Jesus from the other hand and place him in your mouth, just bring both hands that are still together to your mouth and receive Him. After you receive Him so as no particles, which is Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, remain in your hand or fall or are wiped away, do the lollipop. Lick your palm.

    We are responsible for the Body and Blood of Our Lord. And if you are worried about your palm being too unsanitary to lick, just think how Jesus feels being left on that palm. Also consider cleansing your hands with soap and water and wear a nice pair of clean gloves during Mass and remove the one from your hand where Jesus will be placed right before you receive.

  3. Joannes_Picus says:

    It is strictly forbidden now in the whole country (Luxembourg) to receive communion on the tongue. So, after asking Fr Morselli (Italian priest of the Tradition with whom Bishop Schneider has agreed), we have adopted the following procedure:
    A servant stands beyond the priest with a bowl containing blessed purificatories. The faithful takes one by himsfelf, kneels down before the priest, makes a cross with his right hand on top, holding the purificatory where the priest puts the Holy host. Then, without touching it, he puts it in his mouth and puts back the used purificatory (folding it, in order to be sure that no parcels is lost) in another bowl held by a second servant.
    Et voilà!

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