We just moved and are new parishioners to our church. Today, the Eucharistic Minister denied my children reception of the Holy Eucharist on the tongue (I attended a later Mass). The EM told them he only offers the communion in the hand and made them receive in the hand. My children have always and everywhere received on the tongue.
What is my recourse as I’m quite livid they would EVER be denied the Holy Eucharist? I’m going to address it first thing Monday morning, but need to know if I should speak to the parish secretary, the pastor, and/or the director of EMs. And at what point, if any, do I contact our Diocese.
I don’t know how large your parish is, but I would very kindly ask the priest about reception on the tongue and if the EMHCs are trained in how to do this. I would not accuse the specific EMHC of anything, just say there was confusion when your children (how old are they?) went to receive and they got the impression that on the tongue was not permitted, and how you or they should handle this in the future. At our parish, the priests have email addresses printed in the bulletin, and yes, they respond to them.
Especially since you are new to the parish, I would work very hard to be cooperative and assuming everything is a mistake or confusion, and speak and act in a spirit of cooperation. If you give the appearance of spoiling for a fight, it probably will not matter much how valid your concerns are. (Keep in mind that they did, after all, receive - just not in the way they prefer, and your OP later speaks of them being “denied,” which is a huge exaggeration. That’s the kind of thing you want to avoid when talking about this if you want to be heard and respected.
**I’m quite livid they would EVER be denied the Holy Eucharist? **
People like you make me scratch my head. You didn’t say they were denied the Holy Eucharist but rather the Minister would not give it on the tongue. So they were not denied anything.
As for me, if the only way I could recieve the Eucharist was to lick it off the floor I would gladly do it, for it is the Body of Christ no matter how I recieve it or from who. It is always the Body of Christ and that is what we go to partake. It matters not how or from who you recieve it. It is no more Christ if you recieve it from an EMHC or a priest. It is still the Body of Christ if you recieve it kneeling or standing or sitting, on the tongue or in the hand. Partake and be thankful to the Lord.:twocents:
You should discuss this with your pastor, who is in charge of Communion. The communicant should always have the option of receiving on the tongue. Don’t act “livid” or you will risk being written off as a nut.
Pardon my dramatic post as it was fresh from receiving the news. I’ve already accepted that my son, who just finished the church’s altar server training, was told he would not be allowed to receive communion on the tongue while serving and much less receiving kneeling, which he has done up till now.
Just got me frustrated that my children are now second-guessing whether or not they are allowed to receive on the tongue. We’ve never encountered this issue before.
I’ve since been able to regain my composure, but must tactfully address this issue, as we don’t want to be anxious come communion time during every Mass.
But, when things like this happen again (and they are bound to) DO NOT contact the Diocese until first you have attempted to resolve it at the lowest level, starting with the specific minister.
Perhaps the EM had a reason for not being able to give on the tongue. Although probably not…in a worse case scenario, the EM was wrong.
However, if the children are not aware of the fact that it can be received either in the hand or on the tongue, and now they are, it is a good catechetical moment, as long as you didn’t show displeasure or outrage.
Sometimes stuff happens. The more important thing is your children were able to receive, rather than were prevented from receiving.
While some of us would strongly prefer to receive by hand or tongue, its a small inconvenience if we can’t have it our way, if we compare it to Christians in dangerous parts of the world who can’t find a Church any longer, and would just love to receive the Blessed Sacrament by any means!
I can completely understand the OP’s frustration, I would never feel comfortable receiving in the hand and the church gives you the right to receive on the tongue. My suggestion would be to join the priest’s line as a priest is more likely to follow the proper protocols.
They were most certainly denied their rights under Canon Law, which includes the right to receive on the tongue. You make it sound as if the family is denying the Real Presence, which they most certainly were not.
Tell the pastor what happened and make sure he addresses it with the EMHCs immediately. It would be helpful if you knew specifically who it was so you could tell the pastor, but I am sure your children had no idea who the person was. The pastor needs to ensure EMHC are properly trained both on how to give communion on the tongue and that they may NOT refuse communion to a communicant who wants to receive on the tongue.
If and when the pastor fails to address the situation and you find yourself or your family members denied again in the future.
He must be allowed to receive on the tongue. NO ONE can deny him that option. Yes, it’s time to speak to the pastor. And if the pastor is the one who said that-- well then maybe it is time to talk to the diocese.
As for kneeling, while that is your preference, I can understand that in a server role it may not be the best option given logistics of the sanctuary, serve albs or vesture, and their role during the distribution of communion, etc. You may need to roll with that one.
Without knowing the specific layout of arrangement of the parish in question, kneeling to receive while serving is quite possible and does not cause a problem with regard to vestments per se. It is normative in the Ordinariate and of course in the Tridentine.
I’d say please relax especially that you are new to the parish. Do not make an entry. It is good to start on the right footing.
Perhaps you would like to know more about the parish. Get yourself acquainted with the pastor. If you’re staying nearby, a visit or a dinner would be good. What I mean, come off as a pleasant guy instead of being livid about something you could not do anything at that point in time.
Sometimes we can do more to let people see our views by being nice and unthreatening.
Of course you or anybody else for that matter can receive in anyway you want it. I don’t see how it is a big deal for the EHMC unless he received instruction from the pastor. So maybe it js not the EHMC that is your problem, it could be higher than that. That’s why it’s good to find out first and see what it’s all about.
I would not fight this out if it’s the parish policy and burn the bridges. After all I am not denied Holy Communion.