How are we now allowed to touch the Eucharist?

So I was on Facebook and someone posted a graphic text thing states how when a priest is ordained his hands are anointed with oil so they are fit to touch the Holy Eucharist. Then it went oh the the council of Trent says that the holy Eucharist can only be touched by a priests have.

If this is so then how are we allowed to touch it? I also don’t know the Council Of Trent. Does it talk about the priests hands?

I personally am not fond of the practice of communion in the hand but you’re better off speaking to a theologian or someone from FSSP or Someone knowledgeable in these matters than random people on a forum. Topics like this are subject to a giant triggerfest that is only going to open a can of worms amongst people here :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


That’s not true. At least, the “so that they are fit to touch the Eucharist” part.

In the earliest days of the Church, people took Eucharist home to their family members who were unable to attend the liturgy. Clearly, they were “touching the Eucharist.”

From the USCCB’s web site:

So, the anointing of hands isn’t so that priests can “touch the Eucharist”; it’s so that they might perform their ministry. (That includes ‘touching the Eucharist’, of course, but that’s not the intent of the anointing, per se.)


Not the place to get your theology, or any facts whatsoever it seems.

This is not accurate.

This was the discipline of the time. Now it is different.

It is not so, and we are allowed to touch it because the Church says so.


There was a reason for that discipline, at that time. Protestants were teaching that Communion is not fully Jesus’ Body and Blood, or some other watering down of the Catholic belief. The Church not only reaffirmed the Real Presence teaching, but the practice as well, by strengthening the discipline. This helped reduce ambiguity.

Every era thinks the current discipline is the permanent discipline. They likely thought the earlier discipline before Trent was the proper one, forever. They definitely think now that it couldn’t ever go back to only clergy handling the Eucharist.


Sadly according to the recent Pew study approx 70% of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence now either.


As has been said many times before, their methodology must be examined. How was the question worded (for instance, if something like ‘Do you believe that Jesus is physically present’ then not even the Pope would have said Yes.

And how were these Catholics identified? Were they Mass-goers, or were they self -identifying as Catholic because they were baptised and even made their FHC but haven’t been since?


A priest’s hands are anointed; however a deacon’s hands are not. Deacon’s are, and always have been, ordinary ministers of the Eucharist since they have received the sacrament of Holy Orders. So, given this, the anointing of the priests hands is really irrelevant in this context.

For what it’s worth, and meaning no disrespect to those who choose to receive communion on the tongue (as is of course their absolute right), I’ve always thought that receiving on the hand ties in nicely with the expression “work of human hands”. Besides this, in prayer man is a beggar before God and so, in the mass - the highest form of prayer- we are, in a sense “begging” for our daily bread and adopting the posture of a beggar seems to me to fit in nicely with this.

Again, I’m not saying that this way of receiving in in any way superior or preferable - it’s just my personal viewpoint is all.


Your logic is fine, your facts are flawed. Since a Deacon is a minister of Holy Communion, it follows that people can touch the Eucharist with more than their tongue. However, it’s only since the Second Vatican Council and what followed that the Deacon has been an ORDINARY Minister of Holy Communion. Before the Deacon was only an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.


Well it ends up touching our bodies anyway when we consume it so :woman_shrugging:

You are the voice of reason on that Pew study.
Sadly, we are going to be hearing the Pew result for the next 30 years like it’s a fact etched in stone.


This is precisely my thought. Our mouths are full of bacteria. Just as “dirty” as our hands.


Too right. I keep on plugging away but still it’s quoted ad nauseam. A bit infuriating, but perhaps those quoting it were not around when it was originally quoted on CAF and debunked. .


Fair enough. I hold the opinion that people know the most about the things they research. I don’t really care how good my parish priest’s sense of Church history is, I care what a priest teaches in regards to Church discipline.
I don’t mean to come off as knowing better than a priest or being disrespectful towards Father. I agree with his assessment either way. I’m just trying to improve on his otherwise sound statement by backing it up with facts.

Not to mention that we use our mouths (our speech) to sin, as also our hands.

You’re right in that the 1917 Code of Canon Law limited the “ordinary minister” to the priest alone, however historically the deacon’s role was to distribute the chalice and take communion to those absent.

It was concern about possible misuse of the Eucharist and, even stronger than this, the influence of growing respect for the Eucharist (which also resulted in a decline in frequency of reception) which led to reception on the tongue. Even then though, for a while after this deacons continued to receive in the hand.


How is it that it is wrong for the bishops to allow the laity to touch Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament because the hands of the laity aren’t anointed but OK for the laity to presume to criticize the way the bishops discipline?
How about we keep our hands off of decisions that aren’t our duty to make (since we’re not anointed to have opinions when it is our place to be obedient) and just fold our hands and train ourselves to pray for the bishops, instead?
The laity have been allowed to touch the Blessed Sacrament in some times of the past. It is clearly within the authority of the Church to allow it. How many of us criticizing the bishops in public but behind their backs have spiritual directors encouraging that?


“Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no life in you” How can we do that without the Eucharist making contact with our bodies in some manner? Father confects the Eucharist. His hands, through the authority of God via His Church, make it present. If we are in a state of grace, we are also fit to touch it. I mean, we eat and drink it, for good grief! Is there something accursed about our hands in particular? Evil does not come from the hands - it comes from the heart. As I said: state of grace = good to go.

Who made this supposed presentation or graphic? Frankly there are tons of hooey on the web. I say “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”


I respectfully disagree that communion in the hand (the Host) should be offered to the laity under normal circumstances. I do not second-guess the piety, orthodoxy, or sincerity of anyone who does so, I just disagree that it should be permitted by indult, as presently happens in the United States.

My disagreement is not so much with any supposed unworthiness of the hands — they are just a body part, and after all, we receive the Host on another body part, the tongue — as with the possibility of particles, which are also the Body of Christ, being subjected to inadvertent and unknown sacrilege (falling on the floor, raked onto one’s clothes, meeting other ends unbecoming to the Blessed Sacrament). I’ve discussed this at length in other forum threads and don’t intend to start another discussion here — I don’t mean that peevishly, I’m just stating the fact.

The Church, i.e. our religious superiors have said so. That’s why.

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