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  #1  
Old Sep 10, '08, 6:42 pm
TantumErgo90 TantumErgo90 is offline
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Default Communion in the Hand

I agree that communion in the hand is a bad practice. Some have said it has brought about a loss of faith among the faithful. How does on reconcile it to this quote from a theologian?
Quote:
The Church in her general discipline, however, is said to be infallible in this sense: that nothing can be found in her disciplinary laws which is against the faith or good morals, or which can tend [vergere] either to the detriment of the Church or to the harm of the faithful.
That the Church is infallible in her discipline follows from her very mission. The Church's mission is to preserve the integral faith and to lead people to salvation by teaching them to preserve whatever Christ commanded. But if she were able to prescribe or command or tolerate in her discipline something against faith or morals, or something which tended to the detriment of the Church or to the harm of the faithful, the Church would turn away from her divine mission, which would be impossible."
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  #2  
Old Sep 10, '08, 6:59 pm
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kyria kyria is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Well if the Church is infallible, how can then it be wrong to have Communion in the hand?

I take a slightly different take when people wonder why things have changed during the life of the Church. I believe it is because man himself has changed, not the Church. And as the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, there may have been a reason we went to Communion on the tongue, and a reason we went to Communion in the hand. Maybe the Holy Spirit has guided the Church in her changes due to the changes that have occured on earth.

Should the Church go back to on the tongue, then I can only assume it is due to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe the Church is erring in any shape or form or leaning away from her divine mission. I think she is going along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and so I go along with the Church.

I don't personally like the idea of Communion on the tongue as I think it is more unhygenice and not something Christ did with the Apostles, but I am not the Holy Spirit, so it is the Church that is being guided by the Holy Spirit.

If some people believe it has brought a loss of faith, then I would have to ask if some had much to begin with. Maybe people need to really ask themselves what is Faith and what is reverence, because I can take Communion in the hand and keep much Faith and reverence in my heart towards Christ.

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  #3  
Old Sep 10, '08, 9:41 pm
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Prodigal Son1 Prodigal Son1 is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Before he was Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a book, God is Near Us.

Below are a few excerpts from that book.

Quote:
"Well, first of all, I would like to say that both attitudes are possible, and I would like therefore, to ask all priests to exercise tolerance and to recognize the decision of each person; and I would further like to ask you to exercise the same tolerance and not to cast aspersions on anyone who may have opted for this or that way of doing it..."
Quote:
"But you will ask: is tolerance the proper answer here? Or is it not misplaced with respect to this most holy thing? Well, here again we know that until the nineth century Communion was received in the hand standing... the Church could not have possibly been celebrating the Eucharist unworthily for nine hundred years."
Quote:
Anyone who reflects on this will recognize that on this point it is quite wrong to argue about this or that form of behavior. We should be concerned only to argue in favor of what the Church's efforts were directed toward, both before and after the ninth century, that is a reverence in the heart, an inner submission before the mystery of God that puts himself into our hands. Thus we should not forget that not only our hands are impure but also our tongue and also our heart and that we often sin more with the tongue than with the hands. God takes an enormous risk--and at the same time this is an expression of his merciful goodness--in allowing not only our hand and our tongue but even our heart to come into contact with him.
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  #4  
Old Sep 10, '08, 10:13 pm
BrendanD BrendanD is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by TantumErgo90 View Post
I agree that communion in the hand is a bad practice. Some have said it has brought about a loss of faith among the faithful. How does on reconcile it to this quote from a theologian?
The quote is wrong.
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  #5  
Old Sep 10, '08, 10:26 pm
saint rafael saint rafael is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

The Holy Spirit did lead the Church and it was done through the organic development of the doctrine.

Communion in the Hand was part of the Church in the early centuries, but the Holy Spirit led the Churhmen to change this because the Church deepened in its understanding. Communion in the Hand is not sinful, however it was discarded for centuries because there was development in doctrine.

Pope Paul VI's decision to allow Communion in the Hand was a prudential decision that was in no way guided by the Holy Spirit. We can know this because Vatican I taught as infallible that while doctrine could be developed, there could never be contradiction over past doctrine.

It is simple. There was a reason why the Church had only Communion on the tongue for the last couple of centuries. This was the natural development it and it was impossible to go back because the Church grows organically and can never just say after 500 years that we were never serious. It was all a mistake.

The Church could never go back to Communion in the Hand because the Protestants had adopted Communion in the Hand on purpose to deny the real presence in the Eucharist. They believe it is only symbolic.

By allowing it, Pope Paul VI opened the door for people to loose faith. His decision has made it look like the Holy Spirit was not guiding the Church for the last 500 years. That the Church was wrong in allowing Communion only on the toungue. In effect, Pope Paul VI was saying that we were not serious the last 500 years. It was just a joke and worse, that the Protestants are right about Communion in the Hand.
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  #6  
Old Sep 10, '08, 10:33 pm
Writer Writer is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigal Son1 View Post
Before he was Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote a book, God is Near Us.

Below are a few excerpts from that book.
That is an awesome post. Thanks for sharing those quotes. I remember making a similar argument years ago: there is nothing more inherently pure about our tongues--in fact, I think the opposite is true...
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  #7  
Old Sep 10, '08, 10:35 pm
saint rafael saint rafael is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

To those who say that if Communion in the Hand is bad, was a mistake, then how could the Church be infallible?
There is no contradiction.
The Church is infallible because the Church never banned Communion on the tongue. Communion on the tongue is the norm today and has been the norm for about 800 years. Communion in the Hand was and still is, only a indult. An indult is soley the prudential decision of a Pope.

A Pope can err. Vatican I defined the the Holy Spirit only protects the Pope when he speaks Ex-Cathedra on faith and morals. It is a fact that Pope Paul VI never made an Ex-Cathedra statement and never used Papal Infallibility throughout his pontificate.
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  #8  
Old Sep 11, '08, 12:54 am
Sam Maloney Sam Maloney is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

I think receiving in the hand is a natural evolution of receiving standing.

It was easy to place the host on the tongue of a communicant when their mouth was no higher than the priest's elbow.

But to place the host on the tongue of someone who's mouth is higher than your shoulder, possibly higher than your head-- very tough.

So I see it as a two parter: I'd like to see a return to receiving kneeling, on the tongue. But till we can kneel again, I'm not going to worry too much about tongue vs. hand.

Better to receive mindfully in the hand than thoughtlessly-- or self righteously-- on the tongue.

Which is NOT to imply that all or most people who receive on the tongue are either thoughtless or self righteous, but it can happen [at least in theory].

What I'm saying is, reguardless of your [lawful] means of receiving, do so with awareness of Who you are receiving. Be fully in the moment with no straying thoughts, be humble, be filled with, and fed by, Christ.
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  #9  
Old Sep 11, '08, 1:19 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

I personally do not think that Holy Communion received in the hand is a bad thing. After all, that is most likely how the apostles received it at the Lord's Supper. Of course, I could be convinced otherwise.
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  #10  
Old Sep 11, '08, 9:25 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint rafael View Post
The Holy Spirit did lead the Church and it was done through the organic development of the doctrine.

Communion in the Hand was part of the Church in the early centuries, but the Holy Spirit led the Churhmen to change this because the Church deepened in its understanding. Communion in the Hand is not sinful, however it was discarded for centuries because there was development in doctrine.
Pope Paul VI's decision to allow Communion in the Hand was a prudential decision that was in no way guided by the Holy Spirit. We can know this because Vatican I taught as infallible that while doctrine could be developed, there could never be contradiction over past doctrine.

It is simple. There was a reason why the Church had only Communion on the tongue for the last couple of centuries. This was the natural development it and it was impossible to go back because the Church grows organically and can never just say after 500 years that we were never serious. It was all a mistake.

The Church could never go back to Communion in the Hand because the Protestants had adopted Communion in the Hand on purpose to deny the real presence in the Eucharist. They believe it is only symbolic.

By allowing it, Pope Paul VI opened the door for people to loose faith. His decision has made it look like the Holy Spirit was not guiding the Church for the last 500 years. That the Church was wrong in allowing Communion only on the toungue. In effect, Pope Paul VI was saying that we were not serious the last 500 years. It was just a joke and worse, that the Protestants are right about Communion in the Hand.

As the form of receiving Communion is a discipline and not a doctrine I'm curious as to what doctrine you are referring that was developed that changed the way of receiving.
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  #11  
Old Sep 11, '08, 10:36 am
strugglingalong strugglingalong is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by TantumErgo90 View Post
I agree that communion in the hand is a bad practice. Some have said it has brought about a loss of faith among the faithful. How does on reconcile it to this quote from a theologian?
This quote from the theologian strikes me as ultramontane, that every decision of Pope or Church is right and good. That's not correct. The Church can err in her ordinary Magisterium. The Church can err in her disciplines. His argument seems to go as follows: the Church's mission is to lead all to Christ and she does so in faith and morals but disciplines pertain to faith and morals and if the disciplines were wrong then people would be led to do things contrary to her teaching on faith and morals. We have no such guarantee in the actions of the people of the Church, we only have infallible protection of teaching on faith and morals when the Extraordinary Magisterium is exercised. How those beliefs are actualized in disciplines can vary, can be good or bad.

The conclusion we'd have to draw based on this theologians arguments, to me, is that the entire Church, in whatever she says whether it be ordinary or extraordinary Magisterium or dogma or discipline, cannot err. We know that is not true.

Obviously this theologian is not infallible. Often we look at say, "Oh look a theologian said this so it must be right!" He could very well be wrong and I think he is...

Pax Christi tecum.
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  #12  
Old Sep 11, '08, 10:38 am
pray4peace pray4peace is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

This thread has caused me to think about some things:


When I was young girl (age 6), and during my instruction for receiving my first Communion, I was taught that only the priest could touch the Eucharist. We were told the consecrated Host is sacred. We were told no one could touch it , not even us.

As far as the apostles receiving in the hand, they were priests, ordained by Christ

If we still believe that only the priest should touch the sacred Host, then this brings up Eucharistic Ministers and should we have them?

I am not sure why this all changed, except perhaps for convenience to get everyone out of church quickly and/or shortage of priests? I do remember it taking a long time to receive at the rail with one priest giving communion to everyone.

I think it is sad we may have lost something precious here if this is the case.

I do think if people wish to receive on the tongue that a paten must be used. We should not risk that the precious body of Christ fall on the floor. I still reverently receive in the hand because our priest do not use a paten.

Please pray for unity
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  #13  
Old Sep 11, '08, 10:48 am
saint rafael saint rafael is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
As the form of receiving Communion is a discipline and not a doctrine I'm curious as to what doctrine you are referring that was developed that changed the way of receiving.
The doctrine that developed was the Eucharist. The Church grew in a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Eucharist. That is why the Church went from Communion in the Hand and the primitive liturgies to reserving the Eucharist for benediction and having Eucharistic processions.

The discipline of receiving always followed the development in the doctrine of the Eucharist itself.
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  #14  
Old Sep 11, '08, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

I think ,given the problems their hands causes Catholics , that when a Catholic is baptized they should chop their hands off also. That would keep him from receiving communion in the hand, holding hands during the our father and shaking one's hands or God forbid hugging somebody during the sign of peace.

I know this sounds harsh but when immortal souls are at risk sometimes harsh measures are necessary.
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  #15  
Old Sep 11, '08, 11:06 am
scylla scylla is offline
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Default Re: Communion in the Hand

Catholic teaching has not changed, but Catholics around the world have changed. There are very few who actually do believe in the Real Presence of Christ.

I would say a large amount of Priests\Bishops in the United States and most Catholics do not really believe in the Real Presence just by their attitude and actions.

Since most do not believe why is it necessary to kneel? Why pay respect? Since the Real Presence is denied then the Priesthood isn't so special and we all can handle the Eucharist without any distinction.

Once Catholics start to believe in the Real Presence again then communion in the hand will go away. It is the natural response to belief in the Presence of Christ to kneel to God. It is the natural response to unbelief to stand up and assert oneself as above all that traditional piety.

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