Since so many were eager to derail another thread I began with debate about Communion-in-the-hand (CITH) vs. Communion-on-the-tongue (COTT) I thought I would take a few minutes to dispel some of the myths many offer in defense of one or the other method.
Gotta be anointed hands only
Some truly believe that there is something wrong with non-anointed hands touching a Consecrated Host. That’s just silly. The Church makes no such claim. If it did, no deacon and no Eastern Catholic cleric would ever be allowed to distribute Communion in the Latin Rite – yet they do, with the Church’s blessing.
Somehow our hands or our tongues are more worthy to accept the Blessed Sacrament
No way. Neither is worthy. Holy Communion is a great gift to us through the Grace of God.
One method or the other is more historical and thus "better"
We also don’t know for certain which method was employed in the early church. Likely both in all actuality.
COTT has to be “better” because CITH is allowed only by indult
More silliness. Either it’s allowed by the Church in a given location or it’s not. Follow what the Church actually directs.
COTT is more secure – theft of Hosts
Not so. I clearly remember “sucking my tongue dry”, receiving COTT (the second time I ever received Communion), and then removing the Host to study once I was back in my pew – until my Dad noticed of course. The Host was in pristine shape when I removed Him from my mouth.
COTT is more secure – dropping of Hosts
Absolutely not. Quite the opposite in my personal experience which includes giving Holy Communion to tens of thousands of people. In addition the use of communion patens/plates (particularly those with long handles) are more apt to cause the dropping of Hosts, rather than the arresting of dropped Hosts – whether they are used with COTT or CITH.
CITH leaves tiny particles on one hands
Yet more siliness. I inspect my hands closely after receiving Holy Communion. I’ve seen such particles on 2-3 occasions. I simply licked my palm. No big deal.
There is no benefit to COTT over CITH
I believe there is in many cases. The sign value of COTT is often superior to that of CITH. Watch people closely when they receive CITH. Many receive the Host very reverently into their hands and then consume it as if it were a potato chip while pivoting on their heels. Not a good thing. This can be fixed with proper catechesis, but I have yet to see it in most places.
There are no ancillary benefits to CITH
I don’t think that’s true. I think a great many are ashamed about the condition of their mouths. Teeth or dentures that are in rough shape, coated tongues, severe halitosis, etc. If they did not have the option of CITH, they would either not receive or they would resort to the “coin slot method” leading to more dropped Hosts. Either situation provides strong support for allowing CITH – particularly when accompanied by strong catechesis.