Dispelling some CITH vs. COTT myths

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.

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Could we dispel with acronyms and give the Body of Christ the absolute reverence and respect we should.

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There is nothing irreverent or improper with my use of acronyms in this context. Nothing at all.


I think we should focus more on the disposition of the heart when receiving communion. What good does it do you to receive Holy Communion if you hate your neighbor?


We should focus on both…

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A symptom of the secular world sneaking into describing the greatest gift given to mankind. Reducing the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our participation in the Passion of Jesus Christ, in the Mass, to acronyms rather than taking the time to type out Communion in the hand or Communion on the tongue.

There is nothing inappropriate about using acronyms as I did.


The acronyms thing is like reading a federal goverment document.

Also, we have been over this topic on dozens of threads, and someone posting their personal opinion is highly unlikely to “dispel” any “myths” because the people on the other side of the argument are just as convinced their opinion is the right one.

Bottom line is that people can have a preference for one or the other method of reception for a wide variety of reasons, and both methods are permitted by the Church, and neither one is somehow holier.

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I don’t bristle, but I always have to fight off an urge to start singing R-C-I-A to the tune of the Village People’s “YMCA” :grinning:


My only question is why you’re fighting that urge.


Well, there’s our earworm for today. :wink:


As long as Mother Church allows either method to receive the Blessed Sacrament, even if one is “preferred”, this is a divisive argument that doesn’t need to take place.


I really do not see the point of these arguments. So far this thread is fine but this type of thread does tend to lead to people being uncharitable.

I see nothing wrong or disrespectful with using an abbreviation rather than typing out a whole phrase over and over again.

I see this matter as very simple. If you think a method of receiving Communion is wrong do not criticise or attempt to change the ways of someone who is doing what the Church authorises. Take it up with the Holy Father. He is the only one who can issue instructions about how we receive Communion.

I believe we should all look to our own consciences prior to criticising other people or their behaviour. Communion is permitted on the tongue and on the hand, kneeling or standing. Everyone has the right to receive according to their own conscience in any way that the Church allows.


What a scandal! A law code which is legislated by a universal legislator can be changed by the legislator himself! :roll_eyes:

I’m really not sure why we keep rehashing this. It never ends well.



I didn’t jump to conclusions, so I’d appreciate you’d not ascribing motives to me. I was being sarcastic.


Welp… it looks like the brawl that began in the thread this one originated from has found its way here. I’m going to once again finish my drink and slip out of the saloon. Forgive them,Father,they only joined 30 minutes ago and don’t realize what a privilege it is to have your wit and wisdom here.


What’s the point?
You point out the eagerness of people to derail and debate the issue, and then bring it up again.
And you use the word “vs.” when there is no vs. Both are acceptable.

So what’s the point of picking the scab? The issue has been beaten like an empty pinata at a birthday party.


As others have said, most of this is opinion and looking at the past thread, it appears it didn’t go too well. I guess, IMHO, maybe CAF should not allow debating this topic, since most of it is just opinion. Not sure, just a thought. Study your faith and obey the Church.

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