If communion in the hand is mandated what should those who normally receive on the tongue do?

As churches open up again (praise God), it looks likely that communion in the hand will be mandated by some Bishops. LMS in England and Wales have already released a statement in response. And we have seen some Catholic influencers say they will subsequently REFUSE to receive our Lord, if that’s the only option.

My preference is to receive on the tongue. But if I am given no option, in these troubling times, then I will not let my preferred method trump whether I actually receive Our Lord at all. Particularly as we have been starved of the Eucharist for so long now.

Communion in the hand is a legitimate method of distributing/receiving the Eucharist- proven by the very history of our church. I was personally surprised at how common the practice was in the early church (which was also the heavily persecuted church, as ours today…). So with this in mind, I cannot see how it is ever justifiable not to receive communion in this way if it’s the only option available.

I have considered the common objections to this but they carry no weight, in the context of the above:

  • At Extraordinary form mass only communion on the tongue is allowed- yes, true. But a dispensation for the benefit of the faithful would be logical and straightforward
  • Bishops cannot mandate a form of reception- I do understand this appeal to the communicants right to preferred method of reception. But if clear instruction is given from Bishops, we cannot expect disobedience for our sake of preference
  • But communion in the hand is the cause of the current crisis in the church- we have already shown that the early church accepted this practice… so what of the plague of abuse and sins of the flesh in the priesthood- did that play even more of a part in the crises of the faith? We cannot see all ends… So statements like this are not prudent

The availability of the method in which we receive our Lord should never dictate whether we receive Him at all… And with faithful across the world now starving for the Eucharist, we mustn’t let this get in the way of Christ entering hearts.

Please share your views! God bless


I’m not a theologian by any means, so this is just a personal opinion. But the Church allows communion in the hand (and currently recommends it, or only offers this option). If it’s allowed, there’s no problem. I also don’t think God is waiting there to see if we receive in the hand to punish us. Not at all. As long as we respectfully receive, I see no problem doing so in the hand.

I’m not completely sure that communion in the hand is the cause of the crisis in the Church. These affirmations usually fall in the realm of private revelation, and as such, we’re not bound to believe them.


Amen, agree with you. But it’s amazing what is coming out in the so called (to use a hijacked term) traditional Catholic space on this topic…

Well, as much as I like tradition and respectful liturgy, I don’t share many of the so called ‘traditionalist’ opinions. Things must be easier than that. We need formal and solemn latin masses, yes. But also parochial guitar masses, since both are valid and bring different kind of people to God.


Walk in obedience to the bishop’s orders.



You can have that view. If other people think otherwise and do not receive, who am I to judge?



Do as we have always done. Obey But follow all the proper channels that have been set up by the Church itself to allow the laity to voice opinion.

Supposedly back in the day, all the bishops who asked for CITH did so because all their ‘flock’ was begging to go back to an ‘authentic Eucharist’. You’ll see this reasoning put first over and over. It wasn’t the bishops decided on a whim, it was all pastoral.

THEREFORE, if the people wish to have a reversal of an indult because it is necessary for their pastoral care that they receive a Eucharist with COTT, flood all the channels with letters, letters, letters, videos, videos, videos, and ask for COTT while being scrupulous in attendance as you may be, and obedient to the hilt.

Don’t you think that your local bishop and all the others on the train are going to listen if you can put together not just ‘lots’ of people (though it will help), but lots of ‘written’ and ‘video’ evidence that this isn’t just something wanted by ‘Crazy Al” or “Screwy Louise” the parish gadflies?

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The thing is the obedience actually goes in the other direction. In this matter, the priest or bishop is obligeded to obey the individual member of the faithful.

Obedience is the Virtue by which we conform our Wills to the one who has the authority. To whom did the Church give the authority to decide on the if Communion is to be received on the tongue or in the hand? To each individual member of the faithful. (Redemptionis Sacramentum)

Seeking the reception of communion on the tongue is not an act of disobedience, refusing to offer Communion to a member of the faithful is such a way IS an act of disobedience.

So if there is a lack of obedience, it would not be on the part of the individual member of the faithful.


Refuse to receive our Lord? How totally strange! Especially considering that the apostles at the Lord’s Supper probably didn’t receive on the tongue. Sometimes it seems we need to work on keeping our priorities straight -so we don’t descend into another form of legalism. In any case the Church knows better than we do; that’s what she’s here for.


Maybe they should be obedient? Why is this a question?


I have known people who refused to receive the Lord

If I can have a way to purify my hands afterwards (I have thought of rinsing them with holy water over the shrubs or mulch in the churchyard, or something similar), I will receive in the hand if I have to. Due care to spot and reverently consume all visible particles/fragments/crumbs/whatever-you-want-to-call-them, that is just a given. Or I may dig up that purificator I think I’ve got here somewhere, and use it as medieval women used houseling-cloths. Or if I can’t find that, purchase a dignified linen handkerchief. Purificators aren’t cheap anymore.

I’ve been over this in other threads (search on my screen name if you like) and am not going to re-invent the wheel. I’ve made up my mind what I will do, and I am at peace with it.

Well, many outside the Church don’t bother. And mortal sin should keep one distanced. But just because a Catholic doesn’t personally agree with the protocol of the Catholic Church?

Unless you have a morally good reason, based on your formation, to oppose the church you should do as instructed.


I do not judge their heart but the action of placing method of reception over reception itself is illogical, especially considering communion in the hand is completely licit…


I am no expert. But, the law ascribed to the faithfuls right to both forms of reception is legitimate, but i propose not relevant to the assumed context- I.e. a hypothetical mandating of one form of reception/distribution (obviously this can depend on how high up the instruction comse down from). There is a hierarchy in holy Mother Church which supersedes this. If we are instructed to receive in a particular way, the church has asserted prudent judgement, irrespective of our opinions on the science.

In any case, I think this misses the heart of the problem. Let’s assume a priest obeys his superior- is it wise for the faithful to place preference of reception over reception itself?

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It ought not to be a question but there has been a proliferation of views to the contrary in the traditional Catholic media space unfortunately

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That’s your view. You’re entitled to it.

I receive on the tongue for personal reasons which are related to OCD and scrupulosity. I won’t be receiving if I can’t receive that way.


Yes it’s licit (in the ordinary form), but if you had had it ingrained in your head that it was the height of impiety for unconsecrated hands to touch the Eucharist you might see it differently.

While it might seem logical to you, for some the mere thought of receiving in the hand might make them feel like they are profaning the sacrament to the point it physically sicken them.

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