Communion in the Hand

I’m being received into the Catholic Church shortly, but I’m having very grave difficulties with ‘communion in the hand’.

Edited by moderator

From the errors in your post concerning what is or is not a liturgical abuse I strongly suggest you no longer seek advice or counsel from the SSPX. I also strongly suggest you have a long talk with your instructor (I am assuming he is not SSPX) about your concerns and also see if you can have a similar talk with a Father from the FSSP. If you really want to know what is or isn’t allowed find a Dominican or a Francsican brother who has time to talk with you. You can also go to Holy Adoration and seek His advice. I don’t wish to besmirch the SSPX, but they are not a group you, as a newcomer, should be going to for instruction on Church teaching.

There is only one Mass in the Latin Church. We generally recognize two forms: the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) and the Extraordinary Form (the Tridentine Mass that I am familiar with.

I, too, have to assist at an O.F. Mass where the priest has challenged me to receive standing as a matter of obedience to the local practice. I, along with a number of other parishioners, always receive our Lord on the tongue from the priest. The priest cannot deny you Communion on the tongue.

Stick your tongue out. That is the correct way to do it - our blessed Lord’s body is too sacred to touch our unconsecrated hands (unless absolutely necessary).

Otherwise, perhaps look for an Eastern Catholic church nearby? Though things may be different in the states, I attend Maronite mass in Australia, and almost everyone receives the Eucharist on the tongue.

Receive on the tongue. :slight_smile:

I second the Reginator: steer clear of the sspx. In my experience they tend to proselytize. Some Catholic priests whom I greatly admire credit the sspx with not allowing the Latin Mass to die out, but they too advise us to attend a parish in full communion with Rome I too am hours from a Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Hang in there!

If the only thing “going wrong” in your parish is receiving Communion on the hand (a permitted practice in the United States or in Canada), I think you’re in good shape. I can think of a few folks who post here who would like that situation.

There are certain things which are essential to salvation and for Mass to happen. Receiving our Lord on your hands ain’t one of them.

There is nothing wrong with the Ordinary Form of Mass, it is the Mass the Pope celebrates. There is nothing wrong with receiving on the hand, this is a practice which is permitted if an indult was granted,

Some members of the SSPX will tell you that receiving on the hand was a practice born from disobedience. Which puts them in a quagmire, as that’s exactly how the SSPX got into their situation in the first place.

You probably won’t listen to me though, seeing our according to the SSPX website the Pope and I sin every day due to going to the Ordinary Form.

Don’t receive on the hands. It may be tolerated in the US and Canada but His Holiness is gently guiding the faith back to the reverence times have taken us from. It’s only a matter of time, whether in his papacy or his eventual successors, that we’ll see receiving Communion in the hand as discouraged if not flat out not allowed (the exception being to one who might not be able to receive on the tongue physically). People who receive on the hands need to show the Lord more reverence than that. Who are you to touch Him with your unconsecrated hands? At least that’s what I always tell myself before Communion. I always receive on the tongue. I’d kneel too if I wasn’t afraid of being trampled by the fella behind me.

Deacons, consecrated religious, and the upstanding folks who take Christ Jesus to those who cannot make it to Mass all touch the Eucharist with their “unconsecrated hands”. That’s pretty good company to keep.

Because you can always tell the amount of reverence, respect, and love for the Lord that someone has based on their actions, right? A person could be a literal Saint, but that wouldn’t be good enough if they received the Eucharist with their hands I suppose.

You don’t have to like receiving Communion on the hand. You don’t have to do it. But it is an allowed practice in North America, and seems like such a small thing in the scheme of things. Why fight such a fierce internal and external battle over something which is permitted? Isn’t there other things which could be focused on?

Who are you to touch Him at all - with any part of your body? Your tongue is at least as impure and unclean and unconsecrated and therefore unworthy to touch Him as your hands or any other portion of your anatomy. Neither are any of our tongues.

We touch Him because He invites us, not because we are worthy. And He never said ‘take and eat - but only with your tongue and never your hands’

Yes you can tell. And of course not even a saint can touch it, you’re right. Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that “out of reverence for this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated.” Thus, he said the sacred vessels of the altar are consecrated for this holy purpose, but also, the priest’s hands are consecrated for touching this Sacrament. And St. Thomas said that it is therefore not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except to save it from desecration. (Summa, III, Q. 82. Art. 3)

I certainly do not think it is a small matter. We are talking about our Lord’s body here! What is more important than that?! There is a severe lack of reverence for His body and blood, and part of that is due to the rise of this practice.

Not to mention the practice has led to some of the gravest abuses, particularly the theft of hosts for either sale on the black market, or use in satanic rituals. Communion should be place directly on the tongue, and that way, no one can steal the body of our Lord.

Of course He invites us, but that doesn’t mean we can do what we want. It’s just that reception of Him on the tongue is the most respectful manner (especially when kneeling), and insures the most protection against the desecration of His body and blood.

Plus the whole point of the sacrament is that we eat Him - you can’t respond “but your tongue isn’t consecrated either!” when we say the hands are not consecrated. “You too!” is not an argument, especially in this case since the mouth is where the host ends up anyway.

Also again, in regards to “take and eat”:

Did not our Lord say of Holy Communion, “Take and eat”? Yes, but these words were addressed to the apostles and not to all Christians indiscriminately. Further, even if these words had been addressed to all the faithful, they are not verified in our standardized way of receiving Holy Communion. Literalism here would require that the priest or other minister merely hold the ciborium while the faithful “took” and ate. But this practice is forbidden. (It has been practiced here and there in violation of liturgical law.)

Funny - the Pharisees thought they could tell that Jesus’ disciples were lacking in holiness when they picked corn on the Sabbath and didn’t wash their hands. The Pharisee praying in the Temple thought he could tell that he was justified because he prayed, tithed and so on (in other words acted in the ‘reverent’ way) whereas the publican didn’t.

Dead wrong.

I think all of us, including the OP, should bring ourselves into submission with what Holy Mother Church teaches.

Your response is out of context bible references? Jesus explained himself in Mark 2:23-28, and for Luke 18:9-14… well, lets just have a look shall we?
The Publican humbled himself before our Lord. I’d say receiving communion on the tongue (and kneeling too), is very humble (though I realise my hypocrisy in saying this, haha).

Does the abuses and desecration to the bread of life caused by the allowance of this practice not bother you at all? People take it as an opportunity to steal the host. Satanists collect and desecrate them deliberately. Fragments are dropped on the floor and trod upon without a care in the world. And none of this bothers you?

Somewhat over-dramatic, I feel.

Where is the evidence? I don’t mean youtube.

What kind of parish allows fragments to drop on the floor? I have never seen fragments dropped, still less ‘trodden on without a care in the world’. Generally speaking, altar-breads are sealed round the edges so there are no fragments anyway.
In which parish have you seen this happen? In many years of being an EMHC, the (very few) incidents that I have witnessed of a host (not a fragment) dropping have been by people receiving COTT and not doing it correctly.

And are you claimimg that stealing the Host for Satanic rituals only happened since the introduction of CITH?

Desecration of the host bothers me. There is not one skerrick of evidence, however, that it is more common now than when COTT was obligatory. There were dropped hosts, dropped fragments, hosts spat out and desecrated and used in black Masses then as now. I know this because I am old enough to remember it.

By far the most desecration, of course, far more commonplace than Black Masses or even CITH, is reception of the Eucharist while one is in a state of mortal sin. And that certainly has been a constant ever since St Paul warned people to examine their consciences before approaching Hoky Communion.

Every fragment of the Host, no matter how minuscule, contains Jesus Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
How can we be sure that there are not particles of our Lord left on our hands after receiving? (This has been discussed on these forums in the past.)

  1. It is more reverent to receive on the tongue: we are being more ‘submissive’ than when eating with our hands … it is more like how a baby feeds. We have a chance to be more child like. It is also so very different than everyday life which, to my mind, certainly helps to increase one’s awareness of the mystery involved.

  2. All of Jesus lands in our mouths. There is no chance for Him to be wiped on our pant legs or on the hymn book, etc.

Patrick, please go ahead and receive on your tongue. If you believe it is frowned upon at your parish talk with your priest first. He cannot deny you our Lord.

Dominus tecum, Reg.

Best Place for information is the Vatican website. Two documents I found there I found to be very helpful concerning Holy Communion, one is, Ecclesia de Eucharistia an encyclical letter by his Holyness John Paul II and the other instructions for Norms concerning Mass & Holy Communion,* Redemptionis Sacramentum* published by Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments & the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith both working together.

I copied parts from Redemptionis Sacramentum that  I find relivant to this thread.   


Ecclesia de Eucharistia, In this beautiful document Pope John Paul II states, inter alia, that the Holy Eucharist “stands at the center of the Church’s life” (no. 3), that “it unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation” (no. 8), and that it “is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history” (no. 9).

***Redemptionis Sacramentum ***

This is the origin of this Instruction which the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in close collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, now offers to the Latin Church.


  2. Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the
    tongue, at his choice,178 if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the
    hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has
    given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care
    should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of
    the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there
    is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the

The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”.[254] Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon,[255] to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christ’s faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete.

[155.] In addition to the ordinary ministers there is the formally instituted acolyte, who by virtue of his institution is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion even outside the celebration of Mass. If, moreover, reasons of real necessity prompt it, another lay member of Christ’s faithful may also be delegated by the diocesan Bishop, in accordance with the norm of law,[256] for one occasion or for a specified time, and an appropriate formula of blessing may be used for the occasion. This act of appointment, however, does not necessarily take a liturgical form, nor, if it does take a liturgical form, should it resemble sacred Ordination in any way. Finally, in special cases of an unforeseen nature, permission can be given for a single occasion by the Priest who presides at the celebration of the Eucharist.[257]

[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.

[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.[258]

[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

[159.] It is never allowed for the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to delegate anyone else to administer the Eucharist, as for example a parent or spouse or child of the sick person who is the communicant.

[160.] Let the diocesan Bishop give renewed consideration to the practice in recent years regarding this matter, and if circumstances call for it, let him correct it or define it more precisely. Where such extraordinary ministers are appointed in a widespread manner out of true necessity, the diocesan Bishop should issue special norms by which he determines the manner in which this function is to be carried out in accordance with the law, bearing in mind the tradition of the Church.

I stopped receiving communion on the hand few months ago once I noticed there were fragments left on my fingers which I used to touch the eucharist to put it inside my mouth. after all these years only recently I noticed about it, I used to checked my left hand palm only where the eucharist was placed. :slight_smile:

I still receive it on hand occasionally, especially when the EMHC is shorther than me :o

Short Answer: the faithful have the right to receive either in the hand or on the tongue. Therefore, you will be permitted to receive on the tongue.

Unfortunately, many EMHCs seem unaware of how to administer communion on the tongue. Simply have the thumb on top and press the Host down onto the top on the tongue. It will “stick” immediately and the small part of the index finger under the edge may be immediately withdrawn. Done properly there is no chance of tongue-finger contact.

Being in the state of Mortal sin is the real issue. and that again needs to be taught, and reeducated to the people in a big way.
A good comparison is the Ark of the Covenant was the true presence of God, and if you touched it in improper or unworthy way, you died. Reverence for the Ark was exact and precise, no exception, for it held the Ten Commandments and God.
People, Communion is of the exact same Presence of the Exact same God as the Ark was…
Communion Replaced the Ark.
understanding is ascribed to God and the angles. reason of comparison of the Ark to Communion is our best reasoning, that the New Covenant of God broght by Jesus was to bring God to All men as the chosen people through Communion…

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