Eucharist in the Hand

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cmom:
Wrong.
The Church does not make mistakes.
This is not a Catholic belief, Scripture is the Word of God.

Mother Theresa said many times the worst offense to God was abortion.
“The Word of God” = Jesus the Christ

“The word of God” = the Bible.
 
I also think this issue has to do with reverence. Some postures, such as kneeling, are simply more reverent than others. I would say the same for communion on the tongue as opposed to the hand. The gestures we do shape our beliefs for better or worse. If we actually believe Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist and in each particle, it would follow that we would want to receive the Holy Eucharist as reverently as possible. We would also want to ensure, as much as possible, that no particles drop to the floor or are left in our hands.

I am not saying those who receive communion in the hand are internally less reverent. That is something only God knows and I do not.

And Shibboleth, if we don’t want to receive the residual body flakes of the priest, and so are glad he washes his hands, how can we then think it is okay for Christ Himself to receive our residual body flakes when we receive Him in our (often) unwashed hands?

I believe it is Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who said, “If you do not act the way you believe, you will eventually believe the way you act.”

Also, I think about children who are raised in the current liturgical atmosphere and perhaps are not as able to make a fine distinction between their outward actions and internal beliefs. Thus when they spend their young lives receiving Holy Communion standing and in the hand, it probably is not too much of a wonder that the younger generations have less of a belief in the Real Presence.
 
Brennan,

Well said. I agree with you 110%! I think back myself to the late 1970’s as to when communion in the hand in our area was allowed and what has come to be since then. Then I think also of the earlier 70’s and the reverence was different. My personal opinion is that receiving communion in the hand has now minimalized what we are truly receiving.

This has not been my belief the whole time. I began to read and pray about this a lot. It has been just in the past 5 or 6 months that I decided I would no longer receive on my hand. I cannot even put into words the graces I have received. In the end, we will see if trying to “rationalize” out the communion in the hand has been one of the forms of “the smoke of Satan” in the church.

Keep in mind to that those who receive the Eucharist from Pope John Paul II receive on their tongue.
 
Hi Gail,

I also really agree with what you said. It only makes sense that Satan hates confession, the Holy Eucharist, and the Mass. So naturally he will try to attack belief in the Real Presence however he can. The Church is indefectible, but that does not mean Satan will not have success in diluting belief in the Real Presence.

I believe he will also try to get as many abuses afflicted against the Holy Eucharist as possible, even if the abuses are not intended by members of the Church.

Thanks for writing and God bless you.
 
this is a good explaination of how the church’s hierarchy can make errors in judgement The Devastated Vineyard (1973), Dietrich von Hildebrand :

"At the basis of this attitude is a false idea of loyalty to the hierarchy. When the pope speaks ex cathedra on faith or morals, then unconditional acceptance and submission is required of every Catholic. But it is false to extend this loyalty to encyclicals in which new theses are proposed. This is not to deny that the magisterium of the Church extends much farther than the dogmas. If an encyclical deals with a question of faith or morals and is based on the tradition of the holy Church — that is, expresses something which the Church has always taught — then we should humbly accept its teaching. This is the case with the encyclical Humanae Vitae: although we do not have here the strict infallibility of a defined dogma, the content of the encyclical nevertheless belongs to that sphere of the Church’s magisterium which we must accept as true.

…when it is a question of practical ordinances such as concordats, or the suppression of the Jesuit order by Pope Clement XIV, or the introduction of the new missal, or the rearrangement of the Church calendar, or the new rubrics for the liturgy, then our obedience (as Vatican I declares), but by no means our agreement, is required… In the history of the Church there have been many unfortunate ordinances and practical decisions by popes, which have then been retracted by other popes. In such matters we may, while obeying an ordinance, with all due respect express opposition to it, pray for its elimination, and address many appeals to the pope".

.
 
I had never realized that the gospel indicates that Our Lord may have distributed Himself to the Apostles in the mouth. Regardless what the early christians had to do because of their circumstances, the gospel reference was for me a powerful indicator of what we should do. It is amazing that the changes since Vatican II have all been touted as necessary for reform when we look at what they have wrought. Don’t the surveys that show that 50-70 % of catholics cannot clearly state the doctrine of the Real Presence absolutely cry out for reform now? How can we say that our liturgical norms are alright when they lead to people without faith? The manner we distribute Communion in the United States should be changed because it is one factor, besides bad catechesis, which has led to lack of belief in the Real Presence.

Also, I was an altar boy until 1963. The host then was a very hard pressed wafer, not the more crumbly wafer we have now. It almost seemed what we would term the consistency of plastic. In making the pass from ciborium to the communicant’s mouth, even then particles would almost always be caught on the paten held under the communicant’s chin. Communion as practiced now is absolutely guaranteed to let the Eucharist fall to the ground and be lost, every day, in every church. Think about it. If we say this doesn’t matter, aren’t we saying that we are willing to desecrate the Host?
 
Dutch,

I must give you a round of applause for quoting Dietrich von Hildebrand, paritcularly “The Devastated Vineyard.” An excellent book, one which ought to be republished (but still should be available used).

Another excellent book by him which deals with some of the same issues is called “Charitable Anathema” and it is currently published by Roman Catholic Books. It has an essay on true obedience and another on the Latin Mass. Both essays are worth far more than the price of the book. Here is the link:


It can also be gotten at a discount from All Catholic Books here:

=

Also, good points Thomas. I seem to remember now that years ago, (before I left the Catholic faith for Protestantism, but have since returned,) there were wafers that resembled hard plastic. I truly pray for a reform in this area (and others).

God bless.
 
Is reverance a response, or is it just a feeling?

It seems much of this thread revolves around personal feelings and conjectures, not facts.

One of the greatest gifts to me, post Vatican II, was Communion in the hand. It was, and still is, absolutely awesome.

As for the Host falling on the floor if given in the hand, there was a reason that we carried the patten while serving during Communion before the option. I saw more than one Host fall; one I wasn’t able to catch hit the floor, and was covered by the priest with the cloth I had on my left arm(what was that called, a purificator?) until the area could be cleaned after Mass.

And the statistics show that 50%-70% don’t believe in the True Presence? Given that the studies were not necessarily well phrased, and that a large number of people are not well catechised, and that we have little information as to how the study was done, it fails to have a lot of meaning. I just recently saw a statement that perhaps 65% to 80% of those who identify themselves as Catholic are not regular attendants at Mass; but the implication is that 50%to 70% of those attending Mass don’t believe in the true presence.

And as to the statement that seems to link a fall-off in belief in the True Presence with Communion in the hand, that is called Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. Poor logic, backed by no facts.

My observation is that the vast majority of people receiving Communion do so in the hand leads me to believe that it is a non issue with anyone save the few who receive on the tongue. And they create a hugh hew and cry…
 
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cmom:
You think your mouth is more clean than your hands?
As a matter of fact, it probably is, unless you are ill, in which case it might not be a great idea to receive Communion anyway.
Do you think any part of you is worthy to receive Jesus?
No, of course not, but some parts are more worthy than others. St. Thomas wrote that out of reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament nothing touches It except that which has been consecrated. Our hands are not consecrated. And before you object that neither are our tongues, the traditional Baptism rite in fact includes a blessing of the tongue with salt in order to consecrate it and make it fit to receive the Sacrament.

I wouldn’t even touch one of the sacred vessels, let alone try to touch Our Lord.
 
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otm:
Is reverance a response, or is it just a feeling?

It seems much of this thread revolves around personal feelings and conjectures, not facts.

One of the greatest gifts to me, post Vatican II, was Communion in the hand. It was, and still is, absolutely awesome.
I concur. Personal feeling and reverence is a big thing these days. I think that is good. But many people seem to try and make it the maximum for everyone. They state statistics and facts ad nauseas to prove their point.

The Body and Blood of Christ has been received under both species for 2000 years. Most of the 2000 - Up to middle ages, it was recieved on in the hand. On the tongue or in the hand…if you don’t believe it is Christ’s Body and blood it doe’s not make a difference as to diseases.

Given the fact that disease is spread through germs, and the mouth is one of the most prolific germ incubators…I prefer the present norm. The body and Blood of Christ is present either way. Either way it can and is abused and has been from the beginning.

From the beginning, the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Christ retaining the earthly properties.

I personally don’t care to have the priest give me the Eucharist on the tongue anymore. His hands touch everyone. My hand may not be pure…who’s hand is? But at least I know who I am receiving and I am limiting receiving someone else’s germs along with Christ’s Real Presence…

For aesthetics, I think the tongue helps some to feel more connected. In reality, while they are getting warm fussy’s, I am getting their germs in a larger propotion than from my recieveing in the hand.IMOHO.
 
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Ham1:
You guys are missing the point on discipline as it relates to sacraments. Receiving on the tongue or in the hand is something that the Church is completely free to change at any time. Tomorrow they could dictate that we stand at a certain point in the Mass where we previously knelt. We should then stand because this is precisely what the Church is asking us to do. There is no inherent moral issue between standing or kneeling at a particular time. The rule dictated by the Church as to a certain action or gesture in the Mass is the rule precisely because the Church says so. There is only an obedience issue. If tomorrow the Church said communion in the hand only or tongue only we would be obliged to obey for it is the Church that decides on the rubrics of the Mass and it is we who ought to follow them.

For you to attempt to make a case that communion in the hand is illegitimate you have to use the same reasoning that others use to stand during the consecration.

So you don’t like communion on the hand. I don’t either so I receive on the tongue. But either is appropriate because at this time the Church says so.
Thank you for adding some sanity to an odius and frivolous debate.:clapping:
 
Did Jesus ever object to anyone touching Him in the Gospels? Didn’t he reach out and touch lepers?

Before communion I wash my hands. I think about what I’m about to do and I assure you I’m quite reverent about it. I know its serious and I am not the least bit cavilier or casual about it.

The idea of recieving on the tongue makes me uncomfortable but I assure you its a personal thing. I might get over it tomorrow and change my mind but I object to the idea that those of us who receive in the hand are somehow less reverent than those who receive on the tongue.

dream wanderer
 
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Marie:
I concur. Personal feeling and reverence is a big thing these days. I think that is good. But many people seem to try and make it the maximum for everyone. They state statistics and facts ad nauseas to prove their point.

The Body and Blood of Christ has been received under both species for 2000 years. Most of the 2000 - Up to middle ages, it was recieved on in the hand.
From the article “Rethinking Communion in the hand” by Jude A. Huntz in the March 1997 issue of “Homiletic and Pastoral Review” at:

http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/04-97/2/2.html

"We are not claiming that under no circumstances whatever did the faithful receive by their own hands. But, under what conditions did this happen? It does seem that from very early on it was usual for the priest to place the Sacred Host into the mouth of the communicant. However, during times of persecution, when priests were not readily available, and when the faithful took the Sacrament to their homes, they gave Communion to themselves, by their own hand. In other words, rather than be totally deprived of the Bread of Life, they could receive by their own hand, when not to do so would mean being deprived of that necessary spiritual nourishment. The same applied to monks who had gone out into the desert where they would not have the services of a priest, and would not want to give up the practice of daily Communion.

To summarize, the practice was that one could touch the Host when not to do so would mean being deprived of the Sacrament. But when a priest was available, one did not receive in one’s hand."

There is more at the above link.

God bless!
 
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Marie:
The Body and Blood of Christ has been received under both species for 2000 years.
Actually, around the XIIth-XIIIth century in the Western Church, the laity were no longer permitted to receive from the Chalice. This was made universal throughout the West around the time of the Council of Trent.
Most of the 2000 - Up to middle ages, it was recieved on in the hand.
Not so. On the tongue has been universal for over 1000 years.
Given the fact that disease is spread through germs, and the mouth is one of the most prolific germ incubators.
Yes, and you also have germs all over your hands. Really, I do not believe that receiving in the hand is any more sanitary than receiving on the tongue, in fact I think it quite likely that it is less sanitary.
 
Regarding disciplines - one source of confusion today seems to be the continual need to change and “update” the words and gestures of the Mass. Why, for instance, do we need to revise the Missal and the General Instruction of the Mass every five years. Invariably, the translations from Latin change - including things like deleting male pronouns. I once read somewhere that 26 words were added to the Roman Canon between 1571 and 1958. I think too much change leads to confusion and indifference. Enough said for now.
 
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Charlemagne:
I once read somewhere that 26 words were added to the Roman Canon between 1571 and 1958.
No one touched the Roman Canon from the time of St. Gregory I the Great to that of Bl. John XXIII, who inserted the name of St. Joseph after that of the Blessed Mother.
 
:eek: I have personally witnessed members of the congregation use the bathroom and then not wash and go out and receive Holy Eucharist in their hands. My husband and I have also seen people ‘palm’ the Eucharist…probably embarassed about not being in a proper state to receive and went forward anyway. On a scarier note, how do we know that those we have seen ‘palming’ the Eucharist don’t have some malicious intent??jkmcl
 
jkmcl said:
:eek: I have personally witnessed members of the congregation use the bathroom and then not wash and go out and receive Holy Eucharist in their hands. My husband and I have also seen people ‘palm’ the Eucharist…probably embarassed about not being in a proper state to receive and went forward anyway. On a scarier note, how do we know that those we have seen ‘palming’ the Eucharist don’t have some malicious intent??jkmcl

You don’t.

Get up and report the incident to an usher immediately.
 
The protestant(they don’t beleive in the real Presence of Christ in the host) practice of Communion in the hand made its sad way into the catholic Church FIRST in Holland (as the origin of many other heretical practices in the church always begin either in Holland or the catholic church in the USA). Pope Paul the VI was hesitant to tolerate it, but finally gave in to pressure. He allowed the US Bishops (the option) to put it here, but with caution, AND AS LONG AS COMMUNION IN THE NORMAL WAY(ON THE tONGUe) WOULD NOT BE DOWNPLAYES OR DENIED. However, many priests decided to take matters into their OWN hands, and Negate giving communion to ANYONE on the tongue, UNTIL RECENTLY when the VATICAN intervened do to the many complaints coming from catholics in the USA when their CANONICAL RIGHTS were VIOLATED by priests who DENIED them communion (in public) on the tongue. How dare they? By the way, we have another canonical right: THE OPTION TO KNEEL TO RECEIVE COMMUNION: SEE VATICAN DECREE. Thank you Holy See:clapping:
 
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