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