First time Communion in the Hand - I was shaking

Our Msgr. issued a statement on Sunday that three things by the bishop Di Marzio are to be implemented until April 2010.

  1. Communion on The Tongue is discouraged
  2. Only the Host will be offered (no Precious Blood)
  3. No handshaking during Sign of Peace

I have never received in the Hand in my 63 years. I was so nervous and when the announcement was made I had tears in my eyes. I know I have to follow the Bishop and be obedient, but boy was I nervous, but I survived.

I go to St. Pat’s in NYC during the week and they haven’t made any such announcement so I will continue to receive on the Tongue.

Any one here had to take Communion in Hand for the first time in their adult life and felt nervous???

*Dear Marypar,
Handle with reverence, sincere praise, and glory! You will do well!!!:signofcross:
God Bless You,
Angel Face

Well Im only 22, but one time when I went to mass I had to have it put on my tongue, which is the opposite of what I had to do and it made me nervous.
I dont know if this makes you nervous because you feel like you are making Jesus angry by accepting it this way, but hopefully you will just overcome taking it in the hand, and still enjoy being able to have the Lord. Make sure you put left hand over right. :slight_smile:
What I would be more upset about is not being able to have the blood :frowning: I like having both of them :slight_smile:

Only the Host will be offered (no Precious Blood)

I don’t think that’s legal.

I would smile, keep my hands folded and stick my tounge out. You said it was discouraged but not prohibited. If you are from the old school as I am only the preist is to touch the host. Good luck.:thumbsup:

Could you elaborate? My parish does not offer the Precious Blood and I’ve always wondered why.

It might be startling the first time you are only offered the host but no chalice, but be assured that while it is a fuller symbol to receive under both species, the whole of Jesus is present under either. I’m probably not saying this well, but if you receive the host you are receiving all of Jesus. In the latin masses you would only receive the host anyhow. The novus ordo masses in English generally offer both species, but most bishops right now are having us forgo the wine. My bishop is also having us forgo the sign of peace so we decrease the chance of transmitting disease, however we can still receive the host on the tongue. God Bless!

How so? Marypar is talking about Precious Blood being offered to the Faithful. Is this what you mean Eucharisted? Certainly, wine must be consecrated with the bread, but to my knowledge the only ones who are obliged to consume the Precious Blood is the celebrant. If it is customary and safe to do so, the Precious Blood may be offered to the Faithful. If Bishop Di Marzio does not wish for the Precious Blood to be offered to the Faithful - presumably for concerns over influenza - it is important that the Faithful do not think that they are missing out in any way by receiving the Sacred Host alone- Christ is fully present under both species.

Marypar, I would say that while Communion on the tongue is discouraged, it is not prohibited- and until Rome says that it is prohibited, you have the right to receive the Sacred Host on the tongue if you so wish, if you feel that for you it is more reverential so to do, or if you feel more comfortable receiving our Lord that way. I would encourage you to read the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum - specifically the following in relation to the reception of the Holy Eucharist:

"[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”.[177] Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,[178] 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.[179]"

Yes. It is licit (i.e., “legal”) for the Bishop to declare that only His Body be offered.

Either species (Body or Blood) is complete in and of Itself.

This means that you can receive ONLY His Blood… or ONLY His Body. It’s only for the last couple of decades that we’ve been given our choice if both are provided at any given Mass.

We never had receiving His Body in our hands until after the Second Vatican Council. It freaked me out a bit. I was so afraid of dropping Him!

Think of it this way. You put one flat palm under the other flat palm. This forms a “table” from which we are called to actively reach out for Him… instead of opening our mouth as a baby receiving food from a spoon. That’s the psychological difference. Though… either way… we are passive to receive. We are NOT reaching out to take the Host from the priest or EMHC.

It doesn’t matter at all which hand is on top. If you’re right handed, put your flat left palm on top of your flat right palm.

This causes the Host to be put onto your flat left palm.

At which point, you use your right hand to pick up the Host and put it into your mouth.

If you’re still nervous about it, just approach with your mouth open… offering your tongue as the table… instead of your open palm.

Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you continue to receive Him on your tongue.

By the way… you can think of it this way. Remember how St. Thomas was so nervous to put his own hand INTO our Lord’s side where the wound from the spear was? Jesus gently and definitely encouraged St. Thomas to reach his hand into our Lord’s side.

Same thing with accepting His Body in our open palm… instead of in our open mouth.


Um. I do hope you mean that your bishop is having you forgo TOUCHING EACH OTHER AS the Sign of Peace?

and** not ** avoiding sharing a Sign of Peace, at all?

You could catch each other in the eye… nod and say “Peace of Christ be with you”… and not ever have to touch each other.


Our Bishop made the same announcement, so I’ve had to receive the Eucharist in my hand several times now… I never have before, but I only became Catholic last April. I want to ask one of my priests if this is still going on, - so that I’d know if I can receive on the tongue again… I kind of miss that :frowning:

Oh my gosh! You go to St. Pat’s? You are so blessed :slight_smile: It’s beautiful there!

Even though it’s discouraged, it is against the rules to not allow it. So keep on doing what you’re doing, God would never want you to feel that sort of intense anxiety at mass.

Not legal to receive the Precious Body only? That’s been done for centuries … I think you know that.
I’m I misunderstanding something??

Only the priest is required to consume both the Precious Body AND the Precious Blood. Christ parktook of both and the priest, being in persona Christi must partake of both. The laity, however, are not required to consume both, and as it has been pointed out, we received Christ whole and entire in just one species.

Next time you’re at Mass… be sure to observe Father as he conducts the Consecration.

At one point (I forget off-hand whether it’s before… or if it’s after… he’s spoken the Prayer of Consecration – This is My Body – This is My Blood), he breaks off a little, teeny piece of the Host… and drops it into the full chalice.

THAT is the expression of His having risen from the dead. This is because the Body and Soul … which parted from each other when the body died… are re-joined in that action of His resurrection.

Just thought you’d like to know that. :rolleyes::o:p

It would be completely licit for the priest to avoid sharing the Sign of Peace all together, if he so chose. It is optional. Most priests are asking for a nod of the head or a wave instead, no hand touching.

Just so you know…it is NOT necessary to receive communion at every Mass that you attend.

In fact, the Church requires that communion be received only ONCE per year.

I found the swine flu precautions on the Diocese of Brooklyn website which Bishop DiMarzio has the following:

On Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio instructed pastors of the Diocese of Brooklyn to only offer the consecrated Bread during the time of the people’s Holy Communion. The Bishop indicated that this is a “…temporary measure that is meant to prevent possible exposure to H1N1 virus.” At the same time, the Bishop also instructed pastors to encourage communicants to receive the Blessed Sacrament in the hand and ensure that Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are careful to observe sanitary precautions. The restriction will be lifted after the influenza season is concluded.

“My hope is that these precautions will help to raise awareness of the concrete steps we can take together to ensure the safety and well being of our parishioners” DiMarzio continued. Pastors were also instructed to ask those parishioners who feel unwell to refrain from shaking hands or offering a “kiss of peace” during the exchange of peace. 

It says “encourage Communion in the Hand” - does that mean I may receive on the Tongue and not feel I am being disobedient? I may just receive in the Hand at my Parish but continue on the Tongue at St. Pat’s. I hope St., Pat’s doesn’t have the same directives.

Thank you all and I always look forward to responses to all my questions on this forum.


Firstly, those who are unwell or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should not really be at Mass (or out and about anywhere for that matter). Avoiding contact with others while symptoms persist (or while one is still ‘contagious’) is the single most effective way of preventing the rapid spread of influenza, followed closely, as always, with frequent and proper handwashing. A person attending Mass who has flu may well be discouraged from shaking hands at the sign of peace, but at that stage - 30 or 40 minutes into the Mass - that person by merely sneezing once could potentially have infected hundreds of people. The most apt advice is, it seems to me, if one is feeling unwell or displaying flu-like symptoms, they should stay at home, rest, and if necessary seek the advice of their general practicioner.

As has been said earlier by myself and others, you are not being in the least disobedient by continuing to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. If you feel that the bishop has a valid point - and I’m not saying he doesn’t - then perhaps you should consider receiving Christ into your hands. On the other hand, if the communicant presents themselves correctly for receiving on the tongue - i.e. tongue stuck out as far as it will go - their is no reason why the minister’s finger should touch your tongue. I don’t see it as being any more of a risk than that of the minister’s hand touching the hand of the aforementioned infected person who had perhaps sneezed into their hand before the sign of peace. I personally don’t see myself as being at high risk of serious infection since I am in good general health, and as one who receives on the tongue, I think I will continue to do so (my diocese has not made any recommendations to the contrary thus far) - I stopped receiving in the hand this time two years ago when I realised that I had lost tiny particles of the Sacred Host (which had been stuck to my hand), so on a personal level my respect for Christ in the Eucharist takes precedence - even over a few germs.

Just an update:
Many received on the tongue at St. patrick’s in NYC this morning, as I did also.

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