I’m going to say right off that this is NOT about CitH vs CotT, so please don’t get into that debate. It also is not really about the use of EMHC vs only ordained.
I prefer (and, except for this instance, have always done so) to receive on the tongue for rather practical reasons. I have some physical infirmities affecting my right hand which, for the most part I am able to work around or otherwise compensate. My choice to receive on the tongue is the compensation that I feel works best for me. Due to this particular infirmity, I can be very clumsy. I drop things a lot, and the smaller the object, the more likely it is to be dropped, which is why I really feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea of receiving in my hand.
So, this particular Sunday, I approached an EMHC who is not one that I had received from before. (And let me add that I am not the only one in the congregation who receives on the tongue.) As I reached the point to receive, she was not looking at my face, and she held the Host kind of low. Now, my hands are folded, more or less in the classic “folded praying hands” position with fingers pointing up. This is very obviously not the CitH reception position. So you can well imagine my shock/chagrin/terror when I feel that she is forcing the Host into the space between my fingers. My mind goes from “Body of Christ” to a panicked fear that I would drop the Host and, again as this is not how I normally receive, I’m a little befuddled on the how to maneuver the Host to my mouth while thinking more about “don’t drop” than “Body of Christ”. I managed, but honestly, I was terrified and embarrassed and rather bewildered as to what I could do when I felt the Host being forced into my hands (I have normal sensation in my left hand).
Other than making sure I don’t end up in the line that particular person is at, what more can I do to receive in the manner that I feel more comfortable with (again, it’s my physical disability which is at the root of my preference, and although I have some surgical scars on my hand, it’s not immediately obvious that my hand does not work quite right … until I drop something or accidentally burn myself because I couldn’t feel the heat)? Any suggestions as to what I can do in the event of such a miscue would be very much appreciated.