Are we obliged to receive communion in the hand sometimes?

Last Saturday the celebrant priest ordered (not suggested) that to everyone who wanted to receive at Mass, allegedly in order to avoid spreading the flu. He didn’t say it was our bishop’s decree, or even his superior’s; it seemed to be an order he just felt was right.

It was my first time doing that, and I certainly felt uneasy about it, even though I know it’s not a sinful act. I just did it so as not to disrespect his authorithy (he was just sitting, watching as the EMHC alone handed out the heavenly Bread).

Feelings aside, I do wonder if what he did was right and under what circumstances is something like this an abuse.

I hope you can comment on this.

Thank you

Redemptionis Sacramentum, 92

…each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue…

During the H1N1 (aka swine flue) outbreak a few years ago, a few bishops around the world did make decrees temporarily disallowing communion on the tongue. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was contacted by a parishioner in one such diocese and the Congregation issued a letter saying that such a decree was beyond the bishop’s authority. The temporary suspension of the right to communion on the tongue can only be authorized by the Vatican.

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