How do you receive the Host?

Hi :slight_smile:

I don’t mean on the tongue or in the hand!!! there are way too many discussions about that…

but - when you receive the Host, - what are you supposed to do? what do YOU do? I see that many simply chew the Host, - but I’ve never felt entirely comfortable doing that… however, if you let it dissolve completely in your mouth, that would take several minutes and kind of lessens the whole experience of receiving Our Lord (imho!)

I think I found a solution… I let it dissolve a little so it’s softer, and then sort of fold it in half in my mouth and swallow it whole. That way, I’m not chewing it like ordinary food, but I’m also not sitting there for 5 minutes waiting for it to dissolve.

I found this way is both reverent, practical, and devotional!

thoughts? :slight_smile:

I use my hands :thumbsup:

But I chew

“Take, EAT, this is My Body…”

I reverently “chew” the host. It’ no better or worse than letting the host dissolve in one’s mouth.

I chew the host. Jesus said “take this all of you and eat it”. He did not say “take this all of you and slowly let it dissolve until I am all gooey and soft”.

I don’t really think how we consume the host is 1/1,000,000 as important as our understanding of what the host is and our desire to be united with Jesus in doing so.

P.S. - when I was getting ready for first communion a “few” years ago, sister told us we had to let the host dissolve because if we bit into it Jesus would bleed in our mouths.

Ok… but there are different ways to chew food. If you chew the Host slowly that’s fine… but sure not like how we eat potato chips? :eek:

I’ve actually heard Jimmy Akin on CAL talking about the Greek text and that Jesus actually uses words that translate to “gnash” and “chew”. Apparently the Greek is pretty graphic. But to answer your question, I chew. :slight_smile:

I stopped letting it rest on my tongue for a few minutes and I just chew it now because when I would just let it sit on my tongue, I’d accidentally swish my tongue up and it’d be stuck on the roof of my mouth, which is REALLY uncomfortable and then you can’t get it off without putting your finger in your mouth which looks really awkward. So, I just chew it as I walk away.

I’ve never really thought about it, but now I usually just let the Host dissolve … the experience of receiving is so amazing sometimes it dissolves before I really think about chewing/ I don’t feel like it. …
I don’t know … I can’t really explain it. I’m probably weird. :slight_smile:

I see most people actually chew it including the priest, though I have heard on here that you are not supposed to do that. So I do pretty much the same thing you do, I let the host get soft then sort of fold it with my tongue so I can swallow it. but sometimes when i let it get soft the pieces get stuck to the roof of my mouth and then im fishing it out with my tongue for a few minutes. lol.

I receive on the tongue and fold it in half with my tongue (by pressing it up against the roof of my mouth and my teeth). I don’t chew simply because I don’t want to get pieces of the Host caught between my teeth. Sometimes I do end up chewing, but I do so discreetly.

That’s true (there are a lot of things Jesus didn’t say), but “eating” does not necessarily imply “chewing”, nor vice-versa. One could chew on a toothpick but not eat it, or chew gum but not eat. One eats soup (perhaps that’s for another debate), but it doesn’t necessarily imply that one chews it; nor does eating a sweet mean that one must chew it - one can suck it and let it dissolve! Eating involves much more beyond what happens in the mouth - swallowing, subjecting the food to digestive processes, and, ultimately, deriving nutrients which can be used by the body - or, in the case of the Eucharist, food for the soul.

Precisely. Knowing and respecting what - or rather, WHOM - we are receiving, one could not but receive and consume in a reverent manner, whether they chew the Sacred Host or simply let it dissolve.

That was a common one in Ireland too…it must have had little kids terrified. When I received my first Holy Communion in 1991 our teacher recalled to us how when she was at school it was regarded as a sin to even let the Host touch your teeth! Now, I don’t believe that this is sinful - we’ve all heard of old-wives tales: well some of the nuns had their own…however, the idea of not chewing the Host stuck with me as I don’t chew it - not out of fear or because I think to do so would be irreverent, but just because I have always let it dissolve. I do the same as Monica usually:

I let it dissolve a little so it’s softer, and then sort of fold it in half in my mouth and swallow it whole.


So, if you don’t chew and swallow almost instantly, how do you avoid the dreaded backwash when sipping the Precious Blood?

I’ve got this thyroid condition so I chew fairly quickly so that by the time I get to the precious blood I have something that can be washed down easier.

I rarely receive from the Chalice, but when I do, I make sure to swallow the Host quickly (as opposed to my usual rate by which the Host is still in my mouth by the time I’m kneeling at my pew again). I just summon up a bit more saliva to soften the Host more quickly. And if necessary, I pause before receiving from the Chalice.

But I only receive from the Chalice a couple times a year.

Exactly! Jesus said to gnaw, so, I gnaw.

Back in the day when receiving on the tongue was the only choice I would let the host dissolve to the point where I could swallow it.

Of course that was back in the day when hosts were made in such a way that it seemed an (unconsecrated of course) host would practically dissolve if you just let it sit in the palm of your hand. So I’m exaggerating a little. :smiley:

But in any case, today’s hosts (or at least those used in my parish) tend to be made thicker and harder. I believe they are made from less finely ground flour. I think they may be whole wheat because they sometimes have brown flecks which I believe are the wheat bran? They take much, much longer to dissolve than the old fashioned all white kind. So I normally chew.

I wonder if parishes that offer both OF and EF masses sometimes use different hosts?

I chew the host reverently. The Priest is instructed to consume the host reverently. I would think the Church would want us to show ‘respect’ while we do this. So, in my opinion if you let it disolve or discreetly chew both would be fine.
BUT, when I witness some people chomping on the Eucharist like it is a potato chip or chewing gum, now that bothers me.

I chew. Actually, In chapter 6 of St. John’s Gospel, we have what we call the Bread of Life Discourse. In the original Greek, one of the words Jesus uses for eat is trogon, which means to chew or gnaw. So, I think chewing is perfectly fine.

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