Eucharist on the tongue


Yesterday I received the Holy Eucharist for the first time in my life at the Easter Vigil. Before Mass, I asked how to posture myself so as to NOT receive the Eucharist in my hand, but on my tongue. I was surprised that the priest, did not even recognize what I was doing when it came time for Holy Communion. I felt somewhat embarrassed, yet surprised at the same time that this isn’t practiced anymore. Personally, I don’t feel worthy enough to hold Christ’s body in my hands.

This morning at Mass, the same thing happened…

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what did you do to try and correct it for the future? Comments and advice are greatly appreciated.

In Pax Christi


Pax vobiscum!

I always receive on the tongue. When I am at a parish without a Communion rail, I simply keep my hands folded at my waist so that they are not up at a level that people will usually receive in the hand. Since the priest, deacon, or EMHC should say “Body of Christ” while holding up the host (before giving it to you), you should be able to say “Amen” and hold your tongue out a little. That is what I do, and it seems to work well enough.

In Christ,


I fold my hands together in an attitude of prayer under my chin and open my mouth. This morning an EMHC tried to make me take Communion in the hand, but I shook my head “no” and she finally got the message. Easter blessings, Jay


That’s what I did this morning! What are the odds? haha.:rolleyes:

In Pax Christi


I’ve found having hands full of a sleeping baby conveys the message to our normally-likes-to-avoid-reception-on-the-tongue priest. :wink: Can you grab someone’s sleeping baby the next time you go to Mass?


Although our priest is really great about knowing how you want to receive, some of our EMHC are not.

I have seen some go with their hands behind them. They keep their hands in a prayerful position right up until they are next to receive, then their hands go behind them.

You might want to try that.


I was told off for trying to recieve on the tongue.


I can receive on the tongue in my parish, because usually only the priest and deacon are distributing, or at the Basilica which has recently announced that this is preferred way, and trained all the ministers. When I am someplace else where it looks like everyone receives in the hand I do that, because it is almost a sure thing the ministers do not know what to do, and there is more of a chance for an accident. The trouble with the Basilica is the floor is slanted since they have stadium style seating, which means you are at eye level with the minister, or a even taller which puts the minister in the wrong position to place the host on the tongue gracefully.


Don’t be intimidated by the know-nothings, Caesar. Communion on the tongue is the Law. Communion in the hand is an indult and is not compulsory.


Receiving on the tongue is the norm in the Church, receiving on the hand is an option available to the person receiving in the U.S. Standing is the norm in the U.S., one cannot be refused Holy Communion for kneeling however.


So outside of the US, the standards are different? If I went to Mass in Italy, for example, would everyone be expected to receive on the tongue, and kneel?

Also, I genuflected before receiving the Host. Am I to do the same when receiving the precious blood? Thanks again to all who replied.

In Pax Christi


It is not an American thing. I have been to Mass in many Asian countries and in all cases people can receive on the tongue or in the hand. The Church allows both and neither is more or less reverant than the other or it wouldn’t make sense to permit both.
I receive on the tongue while my daughter receives in the hand. The choice is up to the person receiving and not to the priest or EMHC.

Also immediately before receiving Communion the norm is to give a short bow and not to kneel (although you should not be refused Communion if you kneel).


I always receive on the tongue. I’ve gone up a few times and received from a Eucharistic Minister. He/she would be looking at my hands waiting on me to open them, finally they would look up at my face to see what the deal is and then they would “get it”. In those types of situtions I just have patience. :wink:

I’m like you, I can’t imagine holding the Eucharist in my hands, I just don’t feel worthy enough. Receiving on the tongue is that only option for me.


Again if you are in the US a “bow fo the Head” is the norm before receiving Holy Communion, under either form. A genuflection just might cause a trip, fall and an accident with the Blessed Sacrament.

Personally I wish that they would re-install the altar rail and have those who can kneel at it, do so. You can receive in the hand or tongue at the rail without difficulty and can stand in place if you cannot kneel.


I am an EMHC at my parish. Please don’t throw stones at me, but I really would rather NOT place the Host on a tongue. I can not tell you how many times my fingers have been “licked” and how close the Host has come to falling out of the mouth of those receiving in this way. And Yes, I was trained in the proper way of placing the Host on the tongue.

Also, though he does it because some prefer Communion on the tongue, our priest prefers placing the Host in the hand and would Really rather NOT have anyone genuflect in Communion Line, this is dangerous to those around that person. I watched (I am the Sacrastin) those receiving one day and a lady genuflected, the person behind her had a cane which got tangled up in her leg. Thanks to the quick action of those around this man with the cane, he was literally held up until his balance returned.

I tell those in my parish, if my bishop says that we can Only receive on the tongue, then that will be the way I receive–no questions asked or arguments given, but as long as the Church gives me the option, I will continue to receive on my hand.


First of all… congratulatons. And welcome home.

Second of all… Mother Theresa would be so proud of you.!!


If you went to Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit, that would be expected… and welcomed:thumbsup:


I attended Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I remember vividly the day that we were told it was now “ok” to receive in the hand (sometime in the early 70’s). I was about 10 years old. I have to tell you my initial sense (which I am convinced was an actual grace) was that it was wrong, wrong, wrong. It was at the time not made clear that we had the option to continue to receive on the tongue and so it felt somewhat more like coercion. I have to tell you I began to feel rather badly every time I went to communion (we used to go to daily mass). I feel bad even now thinking about the sense of wrongness I experienced even at such a young age. I really believe that it was the beginning of the leavening of my belief in the Eucharist and subsequently a diminishment of my faith in later years (which I have recovered in recent years, thanks be to God).

As with so many other things in our worship, the exterior signs that we participate in are some of the vary actions that orient our internal dispositions. In our worship there is a principle at work, it is that grace is received according to the mode and disposition of the receiver. When our exterior actions are altered, at a certain degree it is possible to arrive at a danger point to where our interior disposition is so affected that the sense of the sacred is diminished and so accordingly the graces we receive diminish as well.

I have known people who upon witnessing the seemingly never ending irreverences committed at mass, have ceased going to mass regularly or altogether because the impression (at least in their minds) is that little or nothing sacred is at work at mass since the exterior signs in the form of due reverence by the congregation (and tragically sometimes the priest himself) are absent or lacking. Here lies a subtle and virtually imperceptible danger to the faith.

Our actions teach others, more or less, according to a correspondence to the value in which we hold something sacred. In the mass, where the miracle of miracles occurs, it should never be lost in our actions that it is God himself present in our midst.



I have never received the Eucharist in my hand as I had a nice grumpy old priest as I was that was very strict in offering Mass with reverence. I learned that the Eucharist was something to be respected, though I never really learned anything more in CCD as this was the 80’s, so I fell away.

Come back to the Church a few years ago and things have gone wacky. I never recieved in my hand so I still didn’t know how and I have never tried.

For me it would be pride which would incite me to have any less reverence for Christ’s Body, the less it is handled the better.
Just like it is ok to not genuflect if you cannot it is ok to recieve in the hand, but which is more respectful?
Of course on the tongue because there is less handling and you are truly receiving the Body of Jesus, not giving it to yourself.

It seems the less belief that it is truly Jesus the more emphasis there is on handling Him by everyone as a meal, as a universal priesthood, we are all the same kinda thinking.
Yes we are all part of the universal priesthood yet in humility we should acknowledge and show our reverence for that which is above us, or else it is just pride asserting ourselves.

Pride makes one want to assert a position to themselves, and many times little actions are used to reassure a person of either their position or intent.
Just like a kid being told not to touch something then sneaking a touch when no one is looking. It is a feeling of selfish joy which comes from asserting ones position.

I know many people have been taught and are comfortable with receiving in the hand, there is nothing wrong with it. When it is done and foisted upon others for an agenda it is wrong.
(the agenda is a minimization of the importance of the clergy and an assertion of power which is implied by trying to participate in all actions of the Priest, that is why liberals like words “full participation” so much)
You can make full participation mean anything.

God Bless

There is nothing wrong with innocent receiving in the hand.

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