In the Hand...

I saw on the news this past week that some if not many Catholic parishes offered the host in the hand, instead of on the tongue, due to the swine flu concerns. If your parish did so, what is your reaction or feeling about it? Just curious.


Those parishes are major hypocrites. When the Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples did not wash their hands before meals He said that we are not to worry what goes in our body for it shall be excelled but rather to worry about what comes out. Also it is the Holy Body of our Christ, how can that ever be dirty.

My church offers the Eucharist either way. It is up to you how you choose to receive it.
The church has offered the Eucharist both ways I think after Vatican II.

I have been receiving in the hand for so long it doesn’t make a difference to me.

Hi Jeanne,
Oddly enough, my experience as a Lutheran is the same. In my younger days (late sixties) I always recveived on the tongue. Over time it has become almost exclusively in the hand, though one can receive on the tongue.


Hi. I think that is the most sensible thing to do. :slight_smile:

Practicality and common sense should prevail as it always has been as regards to administering the Holy Communion.

God bless.

I agree. Do Catholic parishes, at least those that make the cup available to the laity, ever use intinction?


I kind of expected at least some responses such as yours. I know some strongly believe in receiving on the tongue - some Lutherans still do, as well.


I have never experienced nor even seen nor heard of communion by intinction in any Catholic Church.I believe that the Orthodox do so however.It’s really moot anyway as the Precious Blood and Flesh of our Lord each are the Body,Blood,Soul and Divinty of Jesus Christ.

Do the Lutheran’s offer communion by intinction,Jon?

Yes, I am familiar with the Catholic teaching.

In some Lutheran parishes they do, but it is not by any means the norm. Primarily the bread is received, then one can either receive the blood from a chalice, or small cups (I prefer the chalice).


I have seen intinction used in an Anglican-rite parish. I went to an byzantine liturgy and received the body mixed with the blood in a chalice, which was placed in my mouth by the priest via a little spoon sorry. (don’t know the technical terms:))

I have also seen the liturgical abuse of parishoners dipping the host in the wine themselves.

This Sunday, our priest asked everyone to receive in the hand and did not offer the precious blood to the congregation. I understand why.


“God has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman.” Pope John Paul II

My priest told me a story about an old priest in town who used to do intinction. (yes, Latin Rite) I think it’s pretty rare. So, all I have is hearsay, but I’ve at least heard of it happening.

Can it be done at the option of the priest I wonder?

We’ve recieve in the hand for decades.

I wish they would do away with the sign of peace. Shaking 12 hands and then receiving Communion in the hand is very unsanitary.

Someone recently told me that shaking hands is optional, that some sign of peace has to be given, but not necessarily a handshake. Does anyone know if this is true? If it’s true, what other sign is acceptable. I’ve always followed the crowd on this one. If it’s a handshake isn’t required, I’d like to become a leader and start a new trend. :wink:

Personally, I’m not too keen on communion-in-the-hand (along with other 20th century innovations, like versus populum altars and giving holy communion to children before confirming/chrismating them).

Having said that, I would add that given the current climate regarding communion-in-the-hand, I don’t see it as a big deal if some parishes are adopting it for health reasons. As someone else already said, practicality is important too.

(Incidentally, I have heard that historically the practice of giving the Eucharist to the laity in one species only – i.e. not giving them the cup – developed out of concern about spreading disease. It was someone on EWTN, I believe. I don’t know for certain if that’s correct.)

My Catholic parish always uses intinction, because it’s a Melkite parish.

I think you are right in saying that intinction is very rare in the Latin Rite.

Good question. My guess would be that he needs permission from his bishop, but I really don’t know.

At one time, intinction is how the Mass at EWTN did it. I have not been there to mass in a while, but I doubt it has changed.

At my parish, there were no changes. Personally, I prefer the tongue. I see too many people being too casual with their hands.

Hmmm. I’m not sure that is accurate (bold mine)

'In approaching, therefore, do not come up with your wrists apart or with your fingers spread, but make of your left hand a throne for the right, since you are about to receive into it a King. And having hallowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it the amen. Then, after cautiously sanctifying your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake, being careful lest you lose anything of it. For whatever you might lose is clearly a loss to you from one of your own members. Tell me: if someone gave you some grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, lest you might lose something of them and thereby suffer a loss? Will you not, therefore, be much more careful in keeping watch over what is more precious than gold and gems, so that not a particle of it may escape you?" —Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, a.d. 350

I prefer to receive on the tongue, but it is clearly not a new idea to receive in the hand.


The Lutheran congregation to which I belonged in Maryland has, for as long I know, used intinction to the tongue.

My parish priest told us that we were to receive in the hand, that we were not to shake hands with anyone, and that we should not hold hands during the Our Father. The Precious Blood was not offered. We still had Holy Water, though…I would think they would also suspend that.

Our Diocese has asked that the Precious Blood not be distributed to the laity during the Swine Flu outbreak. They have also asked that the laity refrain from receiving the host on the tongue. They have also asked that we refrain from shaking hands during the Sign of Peace.

We all have to admit, we have seen people who don’t cover their mouth when they sneeze, or cough, or maybe even fail to wash their hands after using the restroom. (kids are the worst for that) We have a rather large senior citizen population in our parish, so why add to the possibility of spreading an infection?

As far as intinction, the only time I have seen that at a Mass, is when I attend the Mass at the Federal prison I volunteer at. Obviously, the residents there aren’t allowed access to anything that may have an alcohol content to it. (you wouldn’t believe all of the red tape involved in celebrating Mass in a prison) I believe our Bishop had to provide a special dispensation for this to happen at the facility.

I’m sure all of the health relate precautions will be lifted as soon as this outbreak is more stable.

Same in our Diocese.

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