Communion on the tongue vs. in the hand

This has probably been discussed to death, I’m sure, but I am curious…

I know both are fully approved as ways to receive where I live (Canada). I was raised to receive in the hand, but somehow feel called to receive on the tongue and have often. How do you all feel about the method of reception…and why…in a way that respects all views?


I really hesitate to reply since these threads always turn contentious, but here it goes.

For me personally, I prefer to receive on the tongue because it is easier for me to remember that it is a gift I am freely given though I am not worthy of it. When receiving in the hand it makes me think of receiving from an equal. It changes the dynamic in my mind. It is also why I prefer kneeling since it is a gift given in suplication. I am a very big beleiver that our bodies and posture can impact how we perceive things.

If others want to stand and receive in the hand, that is their business, but for me personally it is easier to fully connect my utter dependant on the generosity of God when in a more subservient posture. If others don’t feel that way it doesn’t bother me either way as long as they don’t denounce me for how I feel.

Since becoming Catholic, I have received on the tongue. I feel it is more reverent. Also, I don’t need to worry about dropping the body of Jesus (I am quite clumsy) and/or a small piece may still be on my hand, etc.

Since both are allowed, it is then boiled down to personal preferences.

The problem may arise if the local parish allowed one method only. What are one going to do if it is not one’s preference? Would obeying the celebrant take precedent over one’s freedom of choice? It can get messy when it comes to that as can be seen in a thread on this a couple of months back.

I encourage you to follow that calling and receive the Eucharist on your tongue.

Communion in the hand is allowed in some places by a special permission known as an indult. The reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, especially while kneeling, has always been upheld by the Church’s Latin Rite. :slight_smile: In the Byzantine Rite, they receive Holy Communion on the tongue while standing.

I greatly prefer it in my hand. I just don’t feel right sticking my tongue out at the priest, nor do I really want him putting the host on my tongue if he’s had his fingers in the mouths of other people who are strangers to me. Some people come to church sick. And, our priest will give it either way, though he prefers to keep his fingers out of the mouths of others as well.

Receiving on the tongue just seems disrespectful to Christ to me, though I know many people feel the opposite.

I have always recived on the tongue/or into the mouth. :smiley: this is muc more reverent. Despite the fact that it is often hard for me and the priest, as I have troubles in openning my mouth wide enough ( have the same trouble with dentist). I dont’t feel my hand are worthy to touch the Lord. In the TLM the priest does not disunite his fingers that touched the Host until he washes them. I don’t see the reason why it should be different in the novux ordo.

When I was in gradeschool I was a server. At that time everyone knelt at the communion rail and received on the tongue. As a server I held the gold plated patten under the chin of the one receiving Communion. And I saw quite a few particles of the Blessed Sacrament on that patten from time to time. When Commnion was finished the priest would take the paten to the alter and then brush the particles of the Eucharist with his fingers into his chalice.

That is why I receive on the tongue, because of what I saw. If there were particles left on the paten after receiving on the tonque, now receiving in the hand would mean even more particles are left because there is more handling of the Eucharist.

By this, I’m not saying what is right or wrong, but just my observation as an alter server.

By the way, we had Holy Communion every 10 minutes in our parish during the week days. A priest would come out to the side altar, even while there was Mass being offered on the main altar, and give out Holy Communion. So people would come in a few minutes before and prepare themselves to receive and afterward would stay a few minutes to give thanksgiving. So many didn’t stay for the whole Mass to receive. It was a different time and era.

They would give Communion every ten minutes? All day long?

I am assuming servers were rotated, and I am sure there was a break now and then.

I always receive on the tongue and always will. I regard it as more respectful and am also mindful that this reduces the risk of dropping the host and avoids any particles remaining on the hand. I prefer to kneel to receive but don’t insist on it (at Ordinariate Masses we receive Communion “altar rail style” rather than lining up, so those times I kneel).

I receive in my hand. Jesus told us to “take and eat”.

In the US, people are free to choose and what I don’t understand is why there has to be debate about this.

Do what you feel most comfortable doing and leave everybody else alone. It is not “more reverent” to receive on the tongue and it does not make me*** not ***believe in the real presence to receive in the hand. (Both things I have heard on this forum).

Bottom line- it’s between me & God how I receive His son. So long as I am properly disposed, really what difference does it make?? :shrug:

I have been having the same calling and I have just started to receive on the tongue it’s been 3 masses and I don’t wanna go back. God bless

I usually receive on the hand. Although I do want to try to start receiving on the tongue. My irrational fear is that the Eucharist is going to drop when placed on my tongue. So I mainly receive in the hand and do tongue on certain situations. I want to switch to tongue though at some point.

As a new Catholic, I have a slightly irrational fear that if I receive the precious body on the tongue, it will fall out of my mouth and onto the ground. This really worries me.

Therefore, I have always received the precious body in the palm of my hand.

I understand that fear! I was born Catholic and I have that same fear.

As an EMHC, I can say that the Host falling out of the mouth has happened more often than falling out of the hand, in my experience. It usually happens if the communicant kind of scrapes with their teeth, or sometimes it’s when they haven’t opened their mouth wide enough.

I don’t understand the frequent references to crumbs and particles. In every church I’ve been to, the altar-breads have sealed edges. The only particles I have seen should have been sorted out in the sacristy.That is to say, the altar-breads come in plastic bags, and sometimes knocked about in the mail. The sacristans shouldn’t just tip them into the ciborium without picking out any fragments, but sometimes they are not careful enough, or are too rushed. I’ve never known a Host to shed particles all by Itself, so to speak.

Well…Pope Benedict XVI argued in his book, Spirit of the Liturgy, that reception on the tongue, kneeling was objectively more reverent.

I tend to think that he’s right. Receiving standing, in the hand seems to lend itself much more to abuses of the sacrament.
It’s also the case that not all countries are allowed to distribute in the hand. Whereas, all countries are required to distribute kneeling, on the tongue, if it is asked for.

He also said in the very same book that he had ‘no problem’ with Communion in the Hand, and had both given and received that way himself.

While it is true that not all countries are allowed CITH, you will find that the vast majority are allowed - see previous threads, or the various national Bishops Conferences…

As a matter of interest, can you name more than 5 countries where it is not allowed?

The norm for reception of the Eucharist is on the tongue. In the US and most places in the west, an indult has been granted to receive in the hand. I used to receive in the hand, but since I have had children I receive on the tongue. Usually because my hands are full and it feels disrespectful to juggle the host and the baby in order to receive. Since then, even if I am not carrying a baby I receive on the tongue, unless I have a cold sore or am getting over some nasty cold and still have that hacking cough that hangs on a while. Though I will maintain that the priest touching everyone’s hands is no cleaner than him touching everyone’s mouth.

One of the reasons that many people argue that reception on the tongue is objectively more reverent, is that it reduces the obvious instances of desecration or sacrilege. Just this past Sunday I happened to look up as some old lady picked the host out of the priest’s hands rather than letting him place in it in her hands. It is also more difficult to take the host home after it has been in your mouth. So reception on the tongue probably isn’t more reverent for most prepared individuals, but on the whole it is more reverent, because it helps prevent some of these common abuses. (It, of course, won’t change the disposition of the person actually receiving, but it might scare off people who haven’t been instructed in proper reception).

I know as first communicants were were able to practice reception both in the hands (making the throne) and on the tongue. As well as practice reception of the wine. I don’t know about RCIA, but they really should have everyone practice both, based on some of the fear expressed here. (BTW if you have normal saliva production, the host should stick to your tongue and it won’t fall off).

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