Host dropped off my tongue

I am not kidding. I just started receiving on the tongue a few months ago. It is so awkward for me, but I love it anyway. One of our priests has great technique and the other one usually ends up bumping into my teeth or tongue somehow. It is humiliating, but I have persevered. This time, he practically fist bumped my face and the host barely touched my tongue before it slipped to the ground in front of me. :cry: The priest didn’t even seem to notice. I said “it fell”, then picked it up. I wasn’t thinking clearly, and for some reason I handed it back! Then received it on my hand. There is more humiliation and sorrow, but now…what do I do? I am tempted to give up this practice completely. But I think with this priest, I will only receive in the hand to spare us both. Any advice or comforting words? I am devastated.

It was an accident. There is no need to feel devastated because the Host fell. No sacrilege, no disrespect.

Or is it more that you feel so bad because you wanted to receive on the tongue and it isn’t working out how you hoped?

I think I am frustrated and sad because by trying to be more reverent, I somehow managed to show less reverence than ever. I sure never dropped the host when receiving in the hand. Trying to decide what to do next time.

**Reverence is an interior thing. **
Not a thing of hands vs tongue.
Perhaps stick you tongue out farther.

God bless you.

This is why we had altar rails… :frowning: its much easier that way. I think - just keep receiving on the tongue! It was an accident. Try to tilt your head a bit more, or kneel to receive, or try to go to the priest who seems to be more experienced in it.

There is absolutely no reason to feel devastated.

Clearly you were shocked by what happened and that shock affected your response.

I have been a priest for many years. I have seen the Host fall on numerous occasions…actually far more for those receiving on the tongue than those receiving in the hand. It can be because the person’s tongue is not moist enough for the Host to adhere. There are many other variables including the minister’s depth perception and the communicant’s placement of their tongue.

Both modes of receiving are approved and acceptable. You should not feel ANY pressure to receive on the tongue whatsoever.

It sounds to me as though you should indeed go back to receiving in the hand and to understand that one method of receiving is not more reverent or superior to the other.

I am a priest who has distributed the Eucharist for many years and in many circumstances…with communicants standing and kneeling…with communicants in a Communion procession and at an altar rail.

In point of fact, the altar rail does not obviate the Host falling to the floor. I have had communicants lean so far forward that the Host falls to the ground on my side of the rail or kneel so far back that the Host falls to the ground on their side of the rail.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving the Eucharist in the hand.

If the bishops have mandated that the normative posture is to receive Communion standing, that is the posture properly chosen…in obedience to one’s shepherd over and above one’s own personal preference. It is an occasion to practice self-denial, to choose humble obedience over the assertion of self-will.

Thank you, everyone! I appreciate all the responses. I still feel horrible today, but I know it’s not the end of the world. I hear you all on both methods being equal and one not being superior to the other. I think I will go back to receiving on the hand. I don’t think I could ever work up the nerve to risk this happening again. I want to be able to focus on Jesus in the Eucharist, not on sticking out my tongue exactly right. Apparently, it’s not as easy as it looks!

I agree with what others have said. You should not feel devastated. It happens. You should have just picked up the host and placed it in your mouth. If every time now you receive on the tongue you will feel nervous, the likelihood of the host falling is compounded, so do yourself a favor, continue to receive the host in your hand.

Someone had mentioned kneeling. In our church, we are forbidden to kneel to receive. To show reverence, people simple bow before their “turn” in line. Also, someone mentioned not taking the cup for hygiene reasons. I agree. I think the same goes for some priests who’s finger might accidentally touch another persons tongue, then yours. With that said, the priest who placed the host partially on your tongue therefore making it drop to the floor was probably too cautious of having his finger touch your tongue.

Stay with host in hand! Jesus didn’t (I would believe) feed bread in the mouths of his disciples.

Honestly, I would not see it as some sort of failure on your part…especially since you have done it successfully. Things can happen despite best effort and good will.

When I distribute Communion in the hospital, some patients have a very dry mouth and the Host simply cannot adhere to the tongue…sometimes the patient even needs a sip of water to be able to swallow the Host or fraction of the Host, if they can’t receive an entire Host. All that to say that there are issues beyond a communicant’s control.

There are also issues that involve the minister. One of my priest confreres, in earlier days with less sophisticated contact lenses, lost a contact lens at Mass. He had compromised depth perception as a result which impeded his ability to help distribute Holy Communion.

You did nothing wrong, it was just an accident. This is why the Church uses patens since mistakes happen. Perhaps you should open your mouth wider and stick your tongue out farther.

I’d recommend that you don’t receive Communion in the hand. This actually won’t prevent you from dropping the Host. At a parish I used to attend, Communion in the hand was very common yet it was the place where I saw the Host dropped the most often. My own brother, even though he is careful, still dropped the Host when he received in the hand. Mistakes can happen whether you receive on the hand or on the tongue. Besides, Communion on the tongue is much more reverent.

It was an accident. Do not worry! If it is not “obvious” and you do not have to go all over the place, simply go to Communion with the Priest/s who do not have difficulties with Communion on the tongue.

I have been receiving Communion almost all my life (since almost seven) and except as an EMHC for a Priest who is unable to move his arms, have always Received on my tongue. Only once has the Host fallen to the floor. That Host simply fell from Father’s fingers! Father had told us that morning during a talk that he was having back pains that day, was very stiff during Mass, and because of that, I picked up the Host from the floor and received (I did not want Father to go through the process if I did not consume the Host).

What am finding is that Priests from outside the USA are more practiced at giving Communion on the tongue. There is a slight twist to the wrist/hand to give Communion on the tongue correctly - and it takes practice (with forms (unconsacrated hosts)).

By the way, I believe that in the U.S.A. the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has it that we may Receive standing or kneeling. It is up to the communicant.

Well, those are my :twocents: :curtsey:

Luz Maria

No. Please do not tell people this.
The Church has spoken. Both ways are equal. Reverence is an attitude and a personal action. A “method” cannot contain reverence in and of itself.
If people are dropping the host, they are simply not careful.
Almost everyone except for myself at my parish receive in the hand, and I’d say we have a dropped host maybe once a year.

It was an accident. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Do not worry! My suggestions are what I was taught as a little one: 1) open your mouth slightly more, 2) tilt your head back a little (depending on your height and the height of the Priest giving you Communion), 3) “dry” your tongue slightly and bring it out so that its tip is at the end of the lower lip. Hope that helps.

If it is not “obvious” and you do not have to go all over the place, you may simply want/wish to go to Communion with the Priest/s who do not have difficulties with Communion on the tongue. To receive on the hand or on the tongue is entirely up to you.

I have been receiving Communion almost all my life (since almost seven) and except as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) for a Priest who is unable to move his arms, I have always Received on my tongue [no, I did not want to be an EMHC, but my Pastor requested it of me because of the need for this Priest and at the Mass in Spanish]. Only once has the Host fallen to the floor. That Host simply fell from Father’s fingers! Father had told us that morning during a talk that he was having back pains that day, was very stiff during Mass that evening, and because of that, I picked up the Host from the floor and received (I did not want Father to go through the process if I did not consume the Host).

What am finding is that Priests from outside the USA are more practiced at giving Communion on the tongue. There is a slight twist to the wrist/hand to give Communion on the tongue correctly - and it takes practice (with forms (unconsacrated hosts)).

By the way, I believe that in the U.S.A. the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has it that we may Receive standing or kneeling. It is up to the communicant.

Well, those are my :twocents: :curtsey:

Luz Maria

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

*The General Instruction asks each country’s Conference of Bishops to determine the posture to be used for the reception of Communion and the act of reverence to be made by each person as he or she receives Communion. In the United States, the body of Bishops determined that Communion should be received standing, and that a bow is the act of reverence made by those receiving. These norms may require some adjustment on the part of those who have been used to other practices, however the significance of unity in posture and gesture as a symbol of our unity as members of the one body of Christ should be the governing factor in our own actions.

Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue, and the decision should be that of the individual receiving, not of the person distributing Communion.*

As the Holy See has said, if a person were to choose to kneel, in defiance of the directives of the Bishops, that alone is not a reason to deny them the Eucharist, which is determined and governed by norm of law.

The entire directive of the American Bishops may be found here and read to great benefit.

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/the-reception-of-holy-communion-at-mass.cfm

I have been giving Communion for ages and as far as I can remember, none had fallen down. btw, we give only the Body in our parish.

But accident do happen. Receiving on the tongue or hand will not make much difference here. Much of that can be avoided by being very careful, always remembering that it is the Body of Christ we are dealing with.

Communicants should be more relax, though that may not be easy for some.

Celebrants/EHMCs should make sure the host is well received either on the hand or on the tongue before letting go. If it is on the tongue, make sure much of the host is placed on the tongue proper. Some of our communicants are painfully shy of sticking their tongues out. Therefore EHMCs should place it carefully and not to be indifference or to rush on it. Sure there is a long line behind but surely everybody can wait in this case.

Anyway, to the OP, it is understandable to feel devastated and that’s good but remember it is just an accident. That kind of thing do happen. You did the right thing to hand it back to the priest. When I was young I would pick it up and eat it. Those days we were not wise up to infection then.

No.

Mmm, I don’t think so.

Rverence (definition): Deep respect for someone or something.

Black Masses are nothing new. Prior to vatican 2, if someone wanted to obtain a Host for a Black Mass, they received on the tongue jsut as everyone else did - they simply did not swallow the Host.

Your thinking is incorrect.

No offence intended, but I have never met a person who chose to kneel while receiving Holy Communion , “in defiance of the directives of the Bishops”. The ones I have met, all choose to kneel out of reverence for our Blessed Lord - truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. That is what their* actual intention* is.

Since it came up, and since neither method(on the tongue vs in the hand) is more reverent or better in any way, then why do some people prefer one way or another? What are people’s valid motivations for preferring to receive on the tongue? Would it just be however they were originally taught and most accustomed to? Would it be wrong to feel more reverent when receiving one way over the other? What could possibly motivate people to receive on the tongue since it is so much more humiliating (in a good way if that makes any sense), if we aren’t supposed to have an opinion on which way seems more reverent, alongside our interior dispositions, that is?

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