May I receive Communion in the hand at a Tridentine Mass?


#1

May I receive Communion in the hand at a Tridentine Latin Mass? I have been given conflicting answers by three different priests. One says that Communion in the hand is not permitted at a TLM. Another said that I may receive Communion in the hand -- but he prefers I receive on the tongue. Another says that he would only give Communion in the hand if I insist on it, even after his instructing me against it at the point of reception. I am confused.


#2

First of all, I can only recommend that you reconsider the practice of “shopping around” for priestly advice. Priests are our fathers in Christ, not “expert witnesses” whose opinion is importuned and then pitted against other “experts in the field.” It is more respectful of the authority of a priest not to ask him for his counsel in the first place if we are unwilling to accept and/or follow it.

As to the question, the universal norm for reception of Communion is Communion on the tongue. Communion in the hand is allowed by dispensation in areas where the bishops have asked for and the Vatican has granted permission. In the United States, Communion in the hand is allowed, and the choice of permissible options ordinarily belongs to the communicant. Nevertheless, communicants should demonstrate respect for the common practice of particular liturgies. If Communion in the hand is not common practice at a particular liturgy, the communicant should receive according to the prevailing permissible practice, especially when the practice followed is the universal norm for reception.

It is particularly objectionable for a communicant to insist on being granted Communion in the hand in those places where Communion in the hand is considered gravely scandalous to the consciences of the minister and other congregants. To insist on one’s own rights, even at the expense of upsetting fellow Catholics, just to make a point, is uncharitable. St. Paul said on a different matter:

Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died (Rom. 14:13-15).


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