Communion on the tongue

I have decided that I would rather receive communion on the tongue rather than in the hand; I don’t like touching the host (it seems rude, even though the discipline has changed so that it is no longer considered a sin). Is there a “proper” way to do this? How do I hold my hands? What do I do with my tongue and face (I think that I accidentally made a “demon-face” the first time I tried :p)? I already figured out that I don’t open my mouth until after the priest says “receive” and I say “Amen”.

Keep your hands together in the prayer position. After you say “Amen” tilt your head back, roll your bottom lip over your bottom teeth (it makes sticking your tongue out easier) and then gently hold your tongue out far enough that the host can be placed on it. If you try to force it, your tongue will be uneasy.

Be forewarned, some EMHC’s are completely clueless about COTT and will try to give you a “blessing” or force it into your hands. If you find yourself having issues, I have found that kneeling makes it clear that you wish to receive on the tongue.

This is why I wish we could have the rails back…I’m not as young as I once was and getting up from my knees takes a bit longer than it used to…I’d love to receive on the tongue but am nervous to do so. And I would prefer to kneel while receiving.

I saw a women put her tongue out but the administor gestured quickly to her hands and she “reluctantly” complied.

The priest says what?

In the OF, the priest should only be saying “The Body of Christ.”

I missed that part of the OP’s post. Knowing myself if someone said that to me, I would respond something along the lines of, “Receive what?”.:mad: Why would I affirming my belief by saying “Amen” to someone telling me to “receive”? Things like this make me question whether or not some people actually believe in transubstantiation.

Tongues or hands, it does not matter.

I recieve on the tongue. I first told my priest my reasoning was out of respect and he acknowledged that it was ok. Yet the first Sunday I went to recieve our lord, he started to give me a blessing then said “whoops! Haha, sorry Pete. The body of Christ” and proceeded to place it on my tongue. Awkward! Hahaha


OP, if you are nervous go to the priest’s line. They are usually more adept and familiar at giving communion on the tongue. I concur with the others on this thread, I have been receiving on the tongue for 3 years now, because my hands have been full with a small child. Keep your hands in a prayer position and after you say Amen, tilt your head back, and stick your tongue out and wait patiently. Don’t move your head forward or back, and wait until the priest has withdrawn his hand before you pull the host into your mouth.

I prefer receiving on the tongue. This is my reasoning for it. We are all sinners. Who are we to receive the Lord with the very hands we sin with? I’m not saying it is wrong to receive with their hands, nor am I trying to sway anyone’s opinion or preference. Simply stating why I choose to receive on the tongue.

I’ve seen it done so many different ways, but generally you want to stick your tongue out a bit and rest it on your lower lip. If you don’t stick it out at all, the priest has to basically shove it into your mouth, which isn’t very sanitary. And if you stick it out too far, your risk the host falling off. Also, try not to lick the priest. :wink: If he can just rest it on the tip of your tongue, it should stick a bit, and you can pull it back in your mouth.

Keep your hands in a prayer posture, palms together. If you hold your hands out it can confuse the priest, so that he’s not sure if you want it in the hands or on the tongue.

It was many, many moons ago, and of course it was in the Usus Antiquior, but I recall Reverend Mother explaining how to do this: tilt the head backward a little and open the mouth about as wide as if taking a spoonful of cough syrup (not gaping wide as if in the dentist’s chair!) and extend the tongue downward just over the lips. When the priest has released the host onto your tongue, draw it back into your mouth. It worked the first time and has every time since. :slight_smile:

I’ve seen hands behind back and slightly open mouth with head slightly tilted back. I’ve never seen a priest misunderstand this. Actually, our priest mentioned to us that if you wish to receive COTT, try not to be ambiguous. He demonstrated this ambiguity by walking forward with his hands and mouth ready to receive. :smiley:

So, basically, as long as you’re clear, by your posture, that you are receiving on the tongue it should go (relatively) smoothly. I wish you well! :slight_smile:

If you can arrange to be holding a child… we… your hands are obviously occupied!

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This definitely helps. It makes it quite obvious that you cannot receive in the hand, although I must say that some people are still oblivious. I once approached for communion during one of those unfortunate flu seasons when our Bishop had made a misguided decision to restrict communion on the tongue until the “danger of infection” was gone. The EMHC was clearly uncertain what to do, as I could only receive on the tongue due to the baby in my hands. He gave me communion, but told me that he wasn’t supposed to do it that way. I felt sorry for him, as he was just trying to be obedient to the bishop.

don’t worry so much…if that is the way you would rather receive then do it. If your hands are holded in prayer and you are opening up your mouth…then as an EMHC I get the hint pretty quickly…just make sure to open it far enough…I don’t want to spoil it (the reverance) by touching your teeth or something. That is probably the biggest issue I have.

As if we never sin with our tongues: never lie, never gossip, never complain, never say words in anger, never curse or swear, never fritter away our time in idle and mindless chatter, never reveled in gluttony. As if our hands never bless ourselves or hold prayer books for the eyes to see, never caress or comfort or help or greet others with.

The tongue and the hand are merely appendages of the heart.

Sorry, I abbreviated. I should have been clearer. He says “Receive the Body of Christ”, or sometimes “[name], receive the body of Christ”. Sometimes he just says “The body of Christ”.

LOL! Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks, everyone, for the how-to advice. I used to be soooo scared of going up to receive in the hand - I would get in line, and in my head I would scream, "What am I doing here? I don’t know what to do and then there will be crumbs!" and I’d have to remind myself that I must know what I was doing because I’d done it lots of times before and there had never been a problem. So now that I’m no longer feeling frantic about that, I have this new way of receiving the Host to be frantic about…:smiley:

Relax! The great majority of the time, everything goes just as intended. And if something does go wrong, it’s not the end of the world. I have experienced a wide variety of Communion mishaps, and I’m still here :smiley:

As someone else said, if you are nervous go to the priest’s line. I have not yet met the priest who is squeamish about Communion on the tongue. Most deacons I’ve received from are also comfortable with it, but YMMV.

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