Nervous Wreck when Receiving the Eucharist

Okay, I know I might be being silly but here goes it.

I’m a whole two weeks old in the faith, and I’m like, having a nervous breakdown every time I go up to receive. The first two times (first Eucharist on Easter Vigil and then again on Sunday morning) were perfect. I think I was floating too much to be nervous.

I’ve chosen to receive on the tongue rather than the hand. Last Sunday I was sure I practically bit Father’s finger off. This past Sunday I think I slobbered all over him AND I forgot to say Amen. I love the Eucharist. I love finally being able to receive. It is the best, most sacred, and my favorite part of mass, and I’m letting a little clumsiness on my part stress me out.

Anyone have any good ideas for receiving on the tongue and not slobbering, biting, dropping, etc? I wonder why those first two times were absolutely perfect and now I can’t get it right. Should I stick my tongue out a lot?

Lol…good grief. I sound pretty neurotic don’t I? Anybody have similar experiences or advice?

:doh2:

Curious

This all should have been handled in RCIA prior to your entry to the Church; I am sorry that whoever was helping in the preparation did not do so. We have a retreat on Holy Saturday morning and early afternoon, and in the afternoon we have a walk-through of the whole ceremony, including reception of Communion.

Slobber - very simple - swallow before you sticky your tongue out. Say “Amen”; swallow, and then stick your tongue out. Don’t worry about time - it takes perhaps all of one or two seconds to swallow.

Stick your tongue out far enough that whoever is distributing Communion can get the Host onto your tongue sufficiently that it is not going to fall off.

When you stick your tongue out, open your mouth wide enough so that when you draw your tongue back in, you do not dislocate the Host and cause it to flip off your tongue by clipping your upper teeth as your draw it back in.

Not to make too much of a point, but let your tongue relax as you stick it out - in other words, don’t try to stick it straight out; it should naturally curve over your bottom lip. It is not pointing straight down and no, the Host will not fall off if you get it out far enough; there is enough saliva that the Host will stick to your tongue.

QED reception 101.

You’re right, we didn’t have much preparation about how to receive. We did get a 2 second reminder before Easter Vigil started - remember to bow first, remember to say Amen, here’s how you hold your hands, here’s how you hold the cup. When I said to her, “I’m not receiving on my hands,” she just looked at me in surprise and said, “oh.”

Thank you so much for the instruction…I’m going to read it about a hundred times before this coming weekend. It’s funny, it seemed so perfect and natural those first couple of times. I didn’t have to stick my tongue out that far and it just flowed very well. I feel a little goofy sticking my tongue very far out at the priest, y know?

Anyway, thanks again.

Welcome to the Church!

Since you did not spend your childhood in the Church, you didn’t have the chance to do what many of us did as children - practice with Necco wafers! You know those funny tasting little round flat candies in a roll… Why not get yourself a roll and practice in front of the mirror until you feel comfortable doing it? See how far you need to stick your tongue out, and what that feels like while you’re doing it. See how fast you can snap your tongue back in your mouth without flipping the candy off - anything to reduce your nervousness.

Or if they don’t sell Necco wafers where you live, try a small cracker, just to get the hang of things.

Betsy

omg…what a great idea betsy. why didn’t I think of that one? I’ll get something like that. I’ve already been neurotically looking in the mirror and sticking my tongue wondering if I look riduculous or am sticking my tongue out too far or whatever. Necco wafers…never heard of em. But if I can’t find them, I’ll find something small and flat. Thanks to you both for your replies.

Curious

I hope I won’t get needlessly attacked for reminding you that you DO have the option of receiving in the hand as well, and that you won’t go to Hell or be receiving any less worthily for not receiving on the tongue.

Just remember to check your hands for crumbs after you receive.

I know Lily, and I’ve considered it. I’ve thought, “Well, if this tongue receiving business is going to get me so stressed out that I can’t concentrate on Jesus then why not just receive on the hand?” I might, though I’d rather not, and the the mere thought of dropping the Host just might give me stroke, even though I know there are certain measures that are taken if/when that happens. :wink:

and just curious, what if there ARE crumbs on your hands afterwards?

Ever curious,

Curious

I’ve known some people to lick their hand - certainly wouldn’t advise it! My own method is to discreetly put the tip of one finger into the mouth to moisten it, then use that tip of the finger to lift the crumbs off the opposite hand and into the mouth.

Pieces of crackers work for practice wafers, too. :slight_smile:

My husband and I practiced giving and receiving. He joined the church this Easter Vigil and was nervous about receiving Holy Communion and at the same time I became an EMHC so it was perfect timing for some good ol’ practice!

Now that I’m a EMHC I also distribute to hospital patients. I can assure you that all you need to do is show your tongue and the priest or EMHC will do the rest.

I’ve administered Holy Communion to very sick, elderly patients who’ve had strokes that affected their facial muscles and I’ll tell you from the bottom of my heart that if you are sincere in wanting Our Lord, and your tongue is extended, **there’s no “wrong”. ** In fact, in the hosptial I prefer administering on the tongue so there’s no possibility of the patient accidently dropping the host.

I’ll also say from experience that after receiving 50 or so Communions, you’ll wonder why you were ever nervous. :slight_smile:

[SIGN]WELCOME HOME!!! [/SIGN]

When I came back to the Church, I received in the hand, but as I got to know more about my faith, I felt the calling to receive on the tongue. It felt awkward the first several times, but I’m betting you’re going to find that you are more excited to receive Jesus in the Eucharist than nervous.

When I came back to the Church, I received in the hand, but as I got to know more about my faith, I felt the calling to receive on the tongue. It felt awkward the first several times, but I’m betting you’re going to find that you are more excited to receive Jesus in the Eucharist than nervous.

Thanks for the welcome! I, too, feel that the thing for me to do is receive on the tongue. I’ve gotten some great advice. Why it didn’t occur to me to just practice, I’ll never know. Lol.

I am excited about receiving. More than excited, ecstatic. It’s so sacred, so important, that’s why I want to get it absolutely right, and while I know there will be times of human clumsiness (either the receiver OR the giver) I at least want it to be right MOST of the time.

Curious

Your nervousness shows that you have a good understanding of the Eucharist. I am so glad. If only more people cared as you do. I commend you for continuing to do everything you can to show the utmost respect for Our Lord. Your sticking to the regular form of receiving also says alot. Thank you!

Curious, nervous is a good thing because it’s a sign you believe in the Real Presence. :thumbsup:

Try this. Just look in the mirror up close in your bathroom and open your mouth wide enough to receive. The priest isn’t threading a needle, so open as wide as you can comfortably. You will see it in the mirror. Open and close your mouth several times, and make note of how you jaw and lips feel when you’ve opened wide enough.

Then extend your tongue far enough to allow the priest to place the Host on your tongue, not inside your mouth. Make sure your tongue is flat and not curled, especially curled upward. The mirror will tell you when it’s right, and again make note of how it “feels” to receive properly.

Also, make sure to look straight ahead or tilt your head slightly back. And don’t close your eyes. After you feel the Host touch your tongue give the priest time to release it. Probably a half a second.

If we do our part right, the priest won’t have to touch our lips or tongue. Take a quarter and place it on a table at a slight angle. As soon as the edge of the coin touches the table, release it :slight_smile: Same with the Host.

All of this may sound silly, but that’s the way I prepared to receive on the tongue. Mine wants to curl upwards naturally when I stick it out, and I actually have to be sure to push down a bit on my lower lip to keep it flat. And I’ve never felt a priest’s fingers touch my lips or tongue :slight_smile:

Welcome Home!
When I came in last year, I had a lot of the same fears. I did practice with my brother, who also came in last year. This really does help a lot! Also, if you are able to attend daily Mass, it helps with being nervous. Once you do it all the time throughout the week it really is not as nerve racking.

Also, thank you for being a supporter of receiving on the tongue! Hopefully it will return to that and kneeling before long so reverence can be brought back to the Eucharist and desecration of the Eucharistic body will end!
God Bless you friend!

thank you jp. :slight_smile:

I know there’s some conflict between the hand receiving and the tongue receiving and that’s about all I know is that the conflict exists. All I do know is I want to receive on the tongue and do it right.

That seems to be an unnecessarily negative comment. Benedict 16 has said that receiving in the hand reverently is just as acceptible as receiving on the tongue reverently. I have yet to see the Eucharist desecrated, and I have seen people receiving in the hand since it first started.

Receiving on the tongue is the norm, and receiving in the hand is by indult. In at least some of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, standing is the custom from ages ago. Kneeling was the norm in the Roman Rite for a long time, but standing is by no means a lack of reverence, as we stand to pray. You seem to be confusing custom with reverence; the two are not the same. One can be reverant or irreverant in any given posture or act; it is not the posture or the act which is irreverant, but the attitude of the individual.

Discreetly lick them off, of course! But it is very seldom an issue - the hosts are made of very sturdy stuff, and they hold together quite well.

But with receiving on the tongue, just make sure to stick your tongue all the way out, and keep your mouth open wide enough to bring it back in without causing an accident.

If you go to the Latin Mass, you can also receive kneeling, which is a lot easier, because you just tilt your head up high, open your mouth wide, and the priest just drops the Host into your mouth - no chance of an accident, there! :slight_smile:

Yikes! :eek: The way you describe this sounds like a major choking hazard! I’m sure it’s not, right? You don’t really mean that the priest “drops the Host into your mouth”, do you?

No, not at all. You catch it on your tongue; it doesn’t go all the way into your throat. (Your tongue does this automatically - your body is wired for self-preservation.)

You don’t really mean that the priest “drops the Host into your mouth”, do you?

It’s not from any great height, or anything, but yes - he drops it into your mouth carefully and gently, and you just catch it on your tongue and pull it in.

I didn’t mean to cause a dispute. That was not my intent, however I have known people to take in the hand and proceed to the trash can and toss the Eucharistic Body in. Thank God someone noticed and partook of it. This would be an abuse that could be solved by that being removed. Not to mention the man who has people mail the Eucharistic Body to him so he can desecrate it! catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13208
This wasn’t to upset you, it was an expression of concern

Kneeling was the norm in the Roman Rite for a long time, but standing is by no means a lack of reverence, as we stand to pray. You seem to be confusing custom with reverence; the two are not the same. One can be reverant or irreverant in any given posture or act; it is not the posture or the act which is irreverant, but the attitude of the individual.

I would agree, however, the idea of kneeling during reception of the Holy Eucharist may cause more people to question why they are kneeling. Did you know that a lot of “Catholics” do not believe in the Eucharistic body.
I suppose that could my own opinion, but it seems reasonable. I did not intend for anger to be aroused or anything of that nature. Sorry if it seemed offensive.

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