Help


#1

Hi,
I am a Romanian catholic and I would like to bring to your attention some issues to which I am looking for an answer for some time.
First would be about the Holy Host. Here in Romania I have never seen people receiving the Host in hands. However I understand it is very common practice in western countries.
Can u help me get a clearer picture? How do you prefer to receive the Holy Eucharist? To me it is better to be received on the tongue. You avoid abuses and sacrileges on the Holy Host.
I read a post on Ask an appologist forum about a person that was taking the Host home. And I assume that this would be a good case. What if somebody takes the Host for black liturgies?
Can u tell me what is the reason that receiving the Host in hands was allowed by the Church?
I’ll come back with the second issue
Thanks in advance.


#2

Thats an interesting point about someone taking the Host home.

I presume the body of Our Lord has been abused by some people since the early days of the Church.

What does the Church say about the status of these stolen Hosts?

Can Our Lord revert them back to the original species?


#3

“In approaching therefore, come not with thy wrists extended, or thy fingers spread; but make thy left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hollowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest thou lose any portion thereof; for whatever thou losest, is evidently a loss to thee as it were from one of thine own members. For tell me, if any one gave thee grains of gold, wouldest thou not hold them with all carefulness, being on thy guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Wilt thou not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from thee of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 23:21).

“Wherefore, if any one wishes to be a participator of the immaculate Body in the time of the Synaxis, and to offer himself for the communion, let him draw near, arranging his hands in the form of a cross, and so let him receive the communion of grace. But such as, instead of their hands, make vessels of gold or other materials for the reception of the divine gift, and by these receive the immaculate communion, we by no means allow to come, as preferring inanimate and inferior matter to the image of God” (Quintsext Synod of Trullo, Canon CI).

“Let us draw near to [the Eucharist] with an ardent desire, and with our hands held in the form of the cross let us receive the body of the Crucified One: and let us apply our eyes and lips and brows and partake of the divine coal, in order that the fire of the longing, that is in us, with the additional heat derived from the coal may utterly consume our sins and illumine our hearts, and that we may be inflamed and deified by the participation in the divine fire” (St. John Damascus, De Fide Orthodoxa Book IV, ch. XIII).


#4

In the United States and other parts of the world there exists an indult (special permission) to receive the Host in your hands. Receiving on the tongue is still the norm, and it is permissible even in places where receiving in the hand is common.

Regarding abuses and sacrilege, it is perhaps easier for someone to remove the Host from the Church if it is received in the hand, but I have heard of people placing it in their mouths and then spitting it out, so the problem exists for both methods. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister to make sure that the host is consumed immediately by the communicant.


#5

My daughter and I are having this discussion now. She is seven years old and about to receive her First Communion. She wants to receive the Eucharist in the hand. I prefer the mouth. Looks like the early church leaned towards the mouth. Does the Didache state a preference?


#6

Does the Didache state a preference?

I’m not sure if the Didache has any specifics, but I can tell you that in the early Church, the celebration of the Eucharist was set up like a meal, where the priest would break bread physically and give it to everyone. They did not form lines or have communion rails or anything of that nature, so it is very likely that they did receive in the hand.


#7

** posted by Scalia**

My daughter and I are having this discussion now. She is seven years old and about to receive her First Communion. She wants to receive the Eucharist in the hand. I prefer the mouth. Looks like the early church leaned towards the mouth. Does the Didache state a preference?

Does she want to wear gloves? If she does, I was told just the other night that one must receive in the mouth because the Host may only contact skin because of a greater danger of some of the host adhering to the gloves. I have not confirmed anywhere if this is true, just passing it on.

Although I prefer the mouth, others have told me how they can actually feel the “after image” of the host in their hand.

God Bless and tell your dauther congratulations!


#8

I prefer receiving it in the mouth. One must be careful here in the US since so many people receive in the hand, we don’t have those little plates that they hold under your mouth during Communion to catch the host if it falls (if anybody knows that name, I would love to know it). And, just yesterday, I went up to receive Communion and the Eucharistic Minister tried to put it on my tongue, probably got scared that his finger would touch my tongue, and dropped the host. Luckily, I was quick enough to catch it before it hit the ground, but it was still kinda close, so be careful if you are receiving on the tongue.

As for people taking the host back to their seats, just over Easter, my cousin (who for some reason hasn’t had his First Communion even though his sister has and he is definitely of age) received a host and brought it back to his seat because he didn’t know what to do with it (I proceeded to take it an eat it because nobody else seemed to know that he couldn’t just hold on to it). So, that too is a danger of receiving in the hands.

Eamon


#9

[quote=Dr. Colossus]In the United States and other parts of the world there exists an indult (special permission) to receive the Host in your hands. Receiving on the tongue is still the norm, and it is permissible even in places where receiving in the hand is common.

Regarding abuses and sacrilege, it is perhaps easier for someone to remove the Host from the Church if it is received in the hand, but I have heard of people placing it in their mouths and then spitting it out, so the problem exists for both methods. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister to make sure that the host is consumed immediately by the communicant.
[/quote]

I guess you’re right. Whoever wishes to make a sacrilege can do it no matter if he receives it in hand or in the mouth.
I consider those who think receiving the Host in their hands is better they just look at the issue from the hygienic point of view. Could it be true?
Myself I consider it is safer as far as the sacrilege is concerned to receive the Holy Host in mouth.

My second issue refers to the so called Holy Fire
I don’t know if you are aware of it. In Romania orthodoxy is the major religious denomination. I hear a lot about this Holy Fire taken only by the orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem from the Holy Tomb on Good Friday of orthodox Easter . I also looked at pictures and films about this Holy Fire. It seems that it does not hurt the flesh. People just put their hands or face into this fire without being hurt.
The orthodox say that this is a real miracle. Do you know anything about it. What is the Church’s opinion? Is it recognized by our church?


#10

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