Dear brothers and sisters : Some thoughts on how reciving holy communion on the hand is unwittingly leading to much sacrilege, and explainations, recommendations- see what you think dear friends?


My dear friends

I have a vague memory of something that jogs me to raise this question. It’s very possible that communion on the hand is leaving sacred particles all over the floor in church but especially where people consume the host. The sacred particles that are microscopic are likely everywhere as they come off the hands. If there are extra particles and unnecessarily so as I think being stomped on or worse this is sacrilege, microscopic sacrilege but still sacrilege nonetheless. This is because communion on the tongue does not leave microscopic sacred particles from the host all over the place to be trodden underfoot or worse. They quickly dissolve when in contact with our saliva. So if we unnecessarily defile the sacred particles it is sacrilege. Given the enormous importance of making sure we aren’t profaning the Lorrds body and blood I think the church should employ a scientist to investigate this thoroughly. Perhaps one like a forensic scientist the police use at crime scenes. Let us not forget Mother Teresa was very saddened by communion on the hand. She knew something I think. We should investigate it as a church and if found true bring back the communion plate under the chin and communion on the tongue as the norm.

What do you think dear friends?

May God bless us all abundantly:thumbsup::slight_smile:



Not commenting on the rest of your post, but here’s a clarification of Mother Teresa’s comment from the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center:

Mother Teresa: On receiving Holy Communion in the Hand

Clarification about Mother Teresa’s alleged saying: “The thing that makes me the saddest …”

Regarding receiving Holy Communion, the Church states:
“Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, 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 faithful.

(From the CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENT - INSTRUCTION Redemptionis Sacramentum; On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist)

Mother Teresa would not have contradicted the Church. On the mode of receiving Holy Communion, she wrote to her sisters: “This is like the permission of the Bishops given some years ago for receiving Holy Communion in the hand. It is allowed, but not an order, … as M.C.s, we have chosen to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. If questioned about [it], do not enter into discussion – “let every spirit praise the Lord” – but let us pray that all be done for the greater glory of God and the good of the Church.”

You quoted “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.” This statement does not seem authentic to us. We have never heard Mother Teresa saying these words nor read them in her writings. One thing that Mother Teresa used to repeat very often was: “…The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself… the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”


Another thing, Jesus gave Holy Mother Church the power of binding and loosening–if Holy Mother Church says it’s okay to receive in the hand what right do the rest of us have to contradict Her? Jesus did not give the rest of us jurisdiction over the Church. Receive how you wish within the bounds of the Church with great reverence. It will be your reverence that others will see and be inspired to imitate. I have great admiration for my 9 year old son, he makes a very deep bow before receiving. I pray he never changes.

My 2 cents.


Please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding was that the Sacred Presence remained for as long as the Eucharist retained the appearance of bread and wine. This is why it is no longer our Lord once a host has been dissolved in water (which would occur, for example, if a host were to inadvertently fall from a communicant’s mouth onto the floor and the priest later sought to dispose of it properly). Therefore, if these particles are truly microscopic, that is, no longer under the appearance of bread, then there is no Lord present in them and no sacrilige.

I do agree with you that we ought to make every effort to show honor and respect to our Lord in the Eucharist. I try to be very reverent as I receive Him in the throne of my hands.

God bless.


I think it’s really important to remember that although the Church allows receiving Communion in the hand, it was always meant to be an indult,* not the norm*. It was never meant to be so widespread! But only as an option for those who really need/really want it. And if you go to Europe and other countries, it’s different, - people receive on the tongue!

I heard that someone once did an experiment (I guess with an unconsecrated host…)
a person held it wearing a black glove and they later analyzed the glove. They did find particles on it!!!

I’ve only received the Eucharist on the tongue since I became Catholic. But sadly the Bishop recently told everyone in my diocese to receive in the hand for a while because of the swine flu :frowning: I honestly don’t believe that we can get the flu from Communion… but it’s important to be obedient to the Bishop… so twice now, I’ve received in the hand.

Frankly, I don’t like it. I can’t wait for the flu to go away so I can receive on the tongue again. I feel so much more reverent doing so.

I’m not saying that I’M more reverent than my brothers and sisters who receive in the hand. no… I’m just saying that the traditional way inspires reverence.

Just my own personal opinion :slight_smile:

God bless.


Whereabouts in Europe do you mean?


My dear friends

Many missed my point. We have very easily and readily at our disposal one forensic scientist who can examine this question for the church and give evidence as to whether consecrated sacred particles are more abundantly being profaned by walking on them or going to the bathroom etc and unkowingly profaning them or shaking hands with someone who profanes them or scattering them around outside to be profaned. We should not even consider what we want- this is the whole problem with everyting today. We should simply consider what is best. I am simply saying the church should spend a few grand and get this investigated. If people are offended because of this I’m shocked. TThe sacred particles retain the real presence until broken down I’m sure. I’m sure they instantly break down in the mouth too, but not on our hands and ground etc. We should ask are we committing sacrilege unwittingly and not I like it how it is. This should not be how we think at all. God comes first and our opinions don’t matter. What God wants is what we should want. As time rolls by science can and has helped the church such as with Gallileo. Science can help us here. This is all I mean. I’m not judging anyone or pointing fingers. Just trying to discuss what is likely a very big problem. Think about it and not what you want. And the church changes all the time and in matters like this can be wrong. Communion on the hand is not a dogma.

God bless you dear friends:thumbsup::slight_smile:



Thank you for a great post dear Monica:thumbsup:

May the God of the Most Holy Eucharist bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:



Personally, I think the Church should go back to having a Communion railing and having everyone receive while kneeling (on the tongue of course). It is much more dignified and reverent.

PLUS it prevents 2 forms of sacriledge, one, it prevents folks from stealing the eucharist and selling them on Ebay, and two, it prevents these Mickey Mouse catholics, who dip the host like a oreo cookie into the wine. This latter is forbidden in our parish but every once in a while I still see some yahoo come in try a dunk of two.

This is the body of Christ for God’s sake, not some krimpet or doughnut for dunking in your tea or milk !!!


I understood your point. I was disputing the importance of it.

The Eucharist, by definition, is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine. The catechism says (CC1377):

[quote=]The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.

While it is true to say that "breaking the bread’ or dividing a host does not dimish the sacramental presence (which is largely your point, it seems), it does not follow that therefore microscopic particles that we cannot see and that in no way even resemble bread or a piece of bread are also the Lord. The particles you are referring to (assuming that they exist) have already been broken down to the extent that they can longer be seen by the naked eye. That is, they no longer have the appearance of bread. The species of bread no longer subsists.

Consider, for example, the situation I alluded to earlier in which a consecrated host is dissolved in a glass of water. Certainly, all of the molecules and particles that comprised the sacred host are still in that water; after all, they had no where else to go. Do we say then that they Lord is sacramentally present in that glass of water, because microscopic particles that cannot be seen are also in that water? If a person were to drink that glass of water, would that person have received the Eucharist? No, Christ is present only until the host ceases to look like bread or a bread fragment. This is my understanding of the Eucharistic presence and the reason why I do not feel that receiving in the hand is irreverent or sacriligious.

Perhaps it would help this conversation if you were to clarify what you mean by “broken down.” That is, how “broken down” does the Eucharist need to be in order to no longer be the Eucharist?



Maybe you should petition the Holy See for a Eucharistic vacuum.:cool:


The practice you speak of is called intinction (dipping the Eucharistic Host into the Precious Blood) and is permitted by the Catholic Church when it is the Eucharistic Minister who does the intinction and the communicant receives on the tongue. So you are correct in calling the “dunking” you’ve seen an abuse, but off mark in your estimation that receiving the Body and Blood similatenously is somehow akin to snack time.


Jesus was scourged, crowned with thorns and nailed to a cross. i think he can handle having a microscopic particle of himself stepped on.


My dear friend

The sacred particles remain the Most Holy Trinity until they are broken down to the lowest common denominator. Just because our eyes are inadequate to see the sacred particles does not mean it’s broken down. The sacred particles have the appearance of bread even though we cannot see it, if we look under a microscope and study them we will see they still have all the necessary ingredients and make up to be called bread. There is a very big problem with objective sacreilge going on here. It does need looking at by the church quickly, and resolution. God is not too pleased with being trod on and defiled in various ways I imagine. I think we should have a special vacuum even if we receive on the tongue and get all particles to avoid sacrilege at an objective level. It becomes subjective sin if we know though. We need to know.

God bless you dear friend and may He help us find ways to love and serve Him better:thumbsup::slight_smile:



Jesus was scourged, crowned with thorns and nailed to a cross because people stepped on Him and defiled Him under the appearane of bread and wine.

Think about it dear friend. Think about who God is a bit more.

God bless you :thumbsup::slight_smile:



Neat response, I really agree. In my parish, during morning Mass Monday through Friday (the service lasts about 35-40 minutes) we gather around the alter in the chapel and are given the Eucharist to hold while the priest says “We are not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and we shall be healed.” I try to hold Christ with the smallest amount of my thumb and index finger, and never take my eyes off Him. I think this is much more intimate, though I do struggle with the fact that I really am not worth to hold Him, so I do think it is best to receive Him on the tongue.


John, I think you are absolutely CORRECT. I’ve never been “on board” with Holy Communion, in the hand. :nope: Even from a young age… (when it first came into practice)… I had a deep, seated internal feeling… that I shouldn’t partake of Our Lord’s Precious Body, in this manner. And so, I never did. There has only been ONE time… when I placed my unworthy hand on the Precious Body of Our Lord; and that was, to bring Holy Communion to my poor mother.

I pray that our Holy Father the Pope… will lay down the law on this. That the faithful are to receive on their tongues, WITH a paten. And I would like to see Communion Rails re-installed in our Churches, too. I feel that (for those physically able) we should also receive the Precious Body of Our Lord on our knees.

Thank you for letting me add my :twocents:

God bless you, John.
MV :slight_smile:


You should also be careful not to let any of the microscopic particles get lodged in your teeth, too, because they might not dissolve completely, and get stuck to your toothbrush. :rolleyes:


I have found if you inhale a large amount of incense and hold it in your mouth for several minutes it flushes it out of the teeth.


:tiphat: You win! :wink:

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