New rules at Mass regarding receiving communion on the hand


#1

I hope I’m posting in the right section.

I mean no offense truly. But I take the Eucharist very seriously. I truly believe that it is the Body of Blood of Jesus. So I was offended the the decision of the Bishops in Canada to restrict receiving communion to the hand during this swine flu. I feel its rejecting our very belief. People in Jesus time ran up just to touch a piece of his clothing to be healed, before the receiving of Communion we say “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I will be healed.” Yet were afraid of receiving Jesus under both species for fear that people may catch the swine flu. Why do we believe that the same Jesus that healed so many could cause us sickness.


#2

There are an awful lot of us out here who believe as you do. This concern was not uncommon when the AIDS epidemic first broke. If anyone was going to slap a cease and desist order on receiving any forms of the Eucharist, that should have been the time to slam the door shut, most especially consuming the Precious Blood. But there were many of us who believed so strongly that the Blood of Christ has healing powers far beyond the ugliness of AIDS or any other disease, that nothing would have prevented our Consuming our Lord Jesus Christ in all forms.


#3

[quote="kelly0032003, post:1, topic:178649"]
Yet were afraid of receiving Jesus under both species for fear that people may catch the swine flu. Why do we believe that the same Jesus that healed so many could cause us sickness.

[/quote]

Why do so many believe that agents of contagion can discern the Real Presence when human senses cannot?

tee


#4

You may continue to receive on the tongue if you feel very strongly about this - I have continued to do so, and I see that many others have too. The norm is to receive Holy Communion on the tongue - the option to receive on the hand is a matter decided by individual bishop's conferences. No priest or bishop has the right to refuse you Holy Communion on the tongue, this is affirmed in the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

As long as you wish to receive on the tongue for a spiritual and reverential reason (as you seem to), and not as an act of defiance of your bishop's directives, you may continue to receive on the tongue. There are a number of threads already here on CAF regarding H1N1 - it might be worth your while looking through some of these. I am actually more and more coming to the conclusion that receiving on the tongue while kneeling would actually be at least as effective, perhaps even more so, as reveiving on the hand may be in minimising the spread of the virus.


#5

This is nothing new, back a few hundred years ago you did not get them both separate from each other. The priest would hold the blood and take the body and dip it into the blood then place it on the recipients tongue. You didnt put your lips on anything.:shrug:


#6

Also, remember that you are not missing out on anything by receiving the Sacred Host alone - you receive Christ as entirely as you would if you were to receive from the chalice also or the chalice alone: Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity.

I have to agree with tee_eff_em regarding the possibility of illness-causing viruses being transmitted through the Host and the Chalice. Unfortunately, the physical properties of the bread remain after the Consecration - the “accidents”. Our faith tells us, and our souls know, that it is truly the Body of Christ - but even a consecrated Host, if left long enough, will fall prey to micro-organisms, and when it no longer appears as bread, it is no longer the Body of Christ. We know that this would happen, so why is it so hard to believe that there could be a virus on the Sacred Host when it is administered to the Faithful?


#7

You're not the only person who has worried about people getting swine flu.

Pennsylvania bishops decided to not offer the Precious Blood, nor can we shake hands at sign of peace. We are still able to take the Host on the tongue, but it feels odd to change things around for a political ploy-that being swine flu.


#8

its not a political ploy to be considerate, nor is this new.:confused:


#9

[quote="DihydrogenOxide, post:7, topic:178649"]
Pennsylvania bishops decided to not offer the Precious Blood, nor can we shake hands at sign of peace.

[/quote]

I am unaware of any such unilateral provisions across the commonwealth?

tee


#10

Although I tend to disagree with the decision of Bishop Henry, remember, we don’t know the background to all this. I’ve read about people sending him horrible letters saying he will go to Hell for this etc. Maybe he really was advised by the medical officer of health to stop communion on the tongue. Maybe there was behind the scenes drama we don’t know about.
Bishop Henry is one of the good ones, who is fighting the good fight up here against the culture of death. He’s universally despised by the media up here for his positions on same sex marriage, abortion, and immigration. Let’s all say a prayer for him, because he really is a good man, as much as I disagree with his decision about the FSSP.


#11

I appreciate the reverance that the posters are expressing about receiving the Eucharist, the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself! We should be reverant when we receive Him, I agree.

When I was a child, many years ago, the Eucharist was presented to us in one form only, the Bread. We were taught by the good sisters just what that bread was and were told to let it melt even if it got stuck to the roof of our mouth and we were never to touch it with our hands for the priest's hands were specially blessed to touch it.

That being said, I have to say in my opinion, it matters not how we receive the Eucharist, just that we do. I notice that in most churches the entire congregation gets up and receives while the confession lines remain short or even non existant. Perhaps instead of worrying about touching the host, our tongue is no cleaner then our hands to be honest about it when you compare who we are to who He is, we should consider the state of our soul more. I am not judging anyone here, just pointing out that the outward reverence for the Sacrament of LIfe should express the inward reverence we feel and should match the status of our souls.

Further, I would not let any condition set by the bishops, who we are to obey, keep me from receiving Christ, in hand or mouth. Peace to all in this Advent season. Welcome Christ by taking advantage of the Sacrament of Pennance.


#12

[quote="mike52ad, post:11, topic:178649"]
I appreciate the reverance that the posters are expressing about receiving the Eucharist, the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself! We should be reverant when we receive Him, I agree.

When I was a child, many years ago, the Eucharist was presented to us in one form only, the Bread. We were taught by the good sisters just what that bread was and were told to let it melt even if it got stuck to the roof of our mouth and we were never to touch it with our hands for the priest's hands were specially blessed to touch it.

That being said, I have to say in my opinion, it matters not how we receive the Eucharist, just that we do. I notice that in most churches the entire congregation gets up and receives while the confession lines remain short or even non existant. Perhaps instead of worrying about touching the host, our tongue is no cleaner then our hands to be honest about it when you compare who we are to who He is, we should consider the state of our soul more. I am not judging anyone here, just pointing out that the outward reverence for the Sacrament of LIfe should express the inward reverence we feel and should match the status of our souls.

Further, I would not let any condition set by the bishops, who we are to obey, keep me from receiving Christ, in hand or mouth. Peace to all in this Advent season. Welcome Christ by taking advantage of the Sacrament of Pennance.

[/quote]

I don't want to run this thread off topic, as I know the OP didn't ask for a debate on which is the best way to receive Holy Communion. However, you are right, Mike, that first and foremost it is the cleanliness of our souls which is most important. The particular way in which we receive the Holy Eucharist should be an outer sign of our recognition of, and devotion to, the Real Presence of Christ. I have just finished reading a short book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider called Dominus Est - It is the Lord!. It is an excellent study of reception of Holy Communion in the Early Church, through the Reformation and to the present day. He notes how many Protestant reformers would not allow their followers to receive while kneeling because they denied the Real Presence - those reformers who did not question the Real Presence continued to have their followers adhere to the Church's practice of receiving the Sacred Host kneeling and on the tongue. There are many quotes from the current Holy Father - both as Pope and as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. An excellent and convincing read (he also includes a beautiful story involving his mother and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament during a time of persecution). I bought my copy at Southwell Books.


#13

[quote="NPC, post:6, topic:178649"]
Also, remember that you are not missing out on anything by receiving the Sacred Host alone - you receive Christ as entirely as you would if you were to receive from the chalice also or the chalice alone: Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity.

I have to agree with tee_eff_em regarding the possibility of illness-causing viruses being transmitted through the Host and the Chalice. Unfortunately, the physical properties of the bread remain after the Consecration - the "accidents". Our faith tells us, and our souls know, that it is truly the Body of Christ - but even a Host, if left long enough, will fall prey to micro-organisms, and when it no longer appears as bread, it is no longer the Body of Christ. We know that this would happen, so why is it so hard to believe that there could be a virus on the Sacred Host when it is administered to the Faithful?

[/quote]

I am confused now. Are you trying to say that a consecrated Host would ever become anything but the Body of Christ. Then why do we place it back into the tabernacle after Communion? Why Benediction unless it is truly the Lord?


#14

Yes. The True Presence ceases when the Sacred Host no longer has the appearence (accidents) of bread. The same goes for the Precious Blood - in fact the Precious Blood has to be consumed during the Mass or directly afterwards because the accidents would spoil quite quickly. Indeed priests are not supposed to consecrate any more wine or hosts than they need at the time - though of course the Body of Christ can be reserved in the tabernacle. However, I was not saying that if the Host were to “pick up” a bacterium from the side of the ciborium, for example, that it is no longer the body of Christ - no, it still retains the accidents of bread, so Christ is entirely present. However, if a Sacred Host was lost in the back of the tabernacle, for example, it is likely that after a period of time it would become corrupted by mould so that it no loner has the appearence of bread. It would still be disposed of in a reverential manner. In fact, hosts which cannot be consumed - and these really should be very few - should be dissolved in water, precisely so as the appearence of bread and hence the True Presence does not remain. The water is then poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy - a special sink whose pipes lead directly to the soil rather than the sewer.


#15

[quote="tee_eff_em, post:9, topic:178649"]
I am unaware of any such unilateral provisions across the commonwealth?

tee

[/quote]

Yeah, it's fairly new. Unless your priest hasn't been paying attention, the bishops collectively decided to do this a month or two ago, effective at the time of the announcement which was made at that time. I have been in different dioceses across the state and I can verify that it is the same in each.


#16

[quote="jamesdunnaway, post:8, topic:178649"]
its not a political ploy to be considerate, nor is this new.:confused:

[/quote]

No, not on the part of the bishops is it a political ploy, but swine flu is a political ploy red herring, similar to bird flu and west nile virus.


#17

Huh. Bishop Zubik must not be paying attention either, cf his statement of 2 months ago.

Nor have I found any such statement on the PA Catholic Conference site, but it is not as easy to navigate as it once was.

tee


#18

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