Communion in the hand

I coordinate the RCIA in my parish. I love the Eucharist and strive to teach
reverence to the candidates and our new Catholics. I have read that the Holy
Father does not approve of communion in the hand and rarely gives the Eucharist
in this manner. Can you tell me why the practice of receiving communion in the hand is so widespread if the Holy Father does not approve of it? How did this change occur?
Please be as detailed as possible as I need your help on this. God Bless you !

The Holy Father does approve of Communion in the Hand. He said so in his latest book. Don’t be fooled by those who wish to push a personal agenda.

I’m sure a lot of other posters will fill you in with the details of the history. But here’s the thing, today its allowed and approved by the Church. Would you feel bad for buying liquor today if there was prohibition 40 years ago?

CITH started as an indult in Holland I believe. The Bishops there began to adopt it on their own, and after much review and thought, the Pope granted an indult to allow the practice to continue. The same happened in America. Thus, CITH is the exception, not the rule.

The Church does approve of it, but it also encourages COTT. Arguments can go both ways, so unless we hear something from the Pope on the issue, it’s fine to practice CITH.

You’re right about the indult and that CITH is okay in dioceses where the indult is given. Its not a universal indult.

COTT is still the norm and that anyone, anywhere in the Roman Catholic Church may receive Communion on the tongue.

To add:

If you are teaching RCIA and your diocese allows for CITH, then you must teach them both and tell them its up to them to choose which way to receive. To say that one is not encouraged but in fact is allowed is deceiving them, and is actually a sin on your part. The choice on how to receive falls on the person, if the Church has given a choice then the choice is theirs to make. No lay person may force their choice on others.

The indult runs now to almost the whole of the world where there is any sizeable Catholic population. The Holy See extended it to Poland in 2007.

I wonder where you heard that the Pope does not approve of communion in the hand? Also I am a little confused about what you wrote. Are you saying that the Pope himself when personally giving out communion prefers that people not take it in their hand, or are you saying that the Pope does not approve of communion in the hand as a practice in the Church worldwide?

If I remember right I heard on a ewtn program ( i think) that if you were going to recieve communion from the pope, it would be cott and kneeling that is the way he does it.

A recent example from His Holiness in Rome:
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/12/papal-midnight-mass-with-no-communion-in-the-hand/

That is correct. But in no way does he intend this to mean that he wants the entire RC Church to do the same thing. If he does, then he can just lift all the indults and that is done.

Well done Sue! I think this is great!! Whatever any poster says here, please take little time to do your own research into what the Church teaches:

Look at the post-Conciliar documents on the liturgy, ie, Instruction on the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion, Memoriale Domini, of 29 May, 1969, in Flannery 148 and go to bottom of p 140 starting ‘Thus the custom was established of the minister placing a particle of consecrated bread on the tongue of the communicant’ and go from there. You can also find this document on line here.

You can look at Sacramentum Caritatis too. The Pope hasn’t stated categorically that receiving on the tongue is now the norm, but as others have pointed out, that practise is certainly the case at Papal Masses and that gives us some indication, surely, of his feelings on the matter?

If you look at his book ‘God is Near Us’ bottom of p 69 onwards. Can’t remember where it was I saw about making an act of reverence before receiving HC but, hey, it stands to reason anyway!!!

You can also look at the Instruction Redemptoris Sacramentum, 90 “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”. Here’s the link
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html#ChapterV

I feel that none of the instructions in the teaching above were implemented, certainly not here in the UK. The result has been that since the change to receiving CITH, and standing, there has been an extraordinary break down in reverence. This seriously needs to be addressed!

If people show reverence in receiving Holy Communion, it is instructive to all present.

there are dozens of past threads on the liturgy forum to the extent that at one time it was a banned topic. If you are a catechist you are obligated to get instructions from your own pastor on how the candidates are to be instructed to receive. He would be the one to respectfully ask why and how the practice in your parish has developed.

start watching televised papal Masses on EWTN you will see this is not the invariable practice

In his latest book, Pope Benedict said that he did not have a problem in principle with CITH, and had indeed both received and give Communion that way himself.

He said the reasons why he imposed COTT on those receiving from him was to firstly, emphasise the holiness of the Gift to those observing (on tv, for example), and secondly, to avoid people keeping the Host the Pope gave them as some kind of souvenir.

Emphais mine.

Oh, my word, I’d completely forgotten! Wasn’t there a big snafu over a communicant to Ven. Pope John Paul II doing just that?

There was a horrible situation a few years ago when a young man put up a concecrated host and a souvenir program from a papal Mass, celebrated by JPII, on Ebay. Ebay refused to take action and the poster pretty much told outraged Catholics to buzz off. Thank God for a very holy priest (from Wisconsin I think) who was able to talk to the young man and get the host back with an apology.

Receiving COT would not preclude this.

No, this is certainly true, the Host has been secreted away for nefarious purposes before the reintroduction of CITH.

Seriously people…buy a postcard:rolleyes:

The primary reason for the Communion in hand was the large number of those who receive communion also the communion under both species. This requires communion process and walking continuously Unfortunately this also diminishes the reverence toward the Eucharist, but this is diminished any way by the fact that ‘saint and sinner gather to the table’, without confession.

The real term resolution would be to increase the Eucharistic fast back to 3 hours, and giving heavy catechesis about the dangers of receiving the Eucharist in the state of grave sin. Both is necessary, people should have an excuse why the skip communion, other than confess openly their sins.

Until practically everyone receives the communion the only viable method is the process, and at hand.

No, you are wrong. We don’t walk continuously when we receive communion in my parish. Also, CIH does not show less reverence for the Blessed Sacrament than COT. That is a blatant canard.

I find it odd how for COTT being the norm that most people choose to receive on the hand.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.