Question (communion blunder)


well… I went to a Latin mass last weekend (normal diocesan not schismatic anything like that) it was my first time at that church ever. I am a convert to the church and sometimes have questions about things that others would know. I am familiar with how to take communion on the tongue, but I was a bit flustered at the time, I was unsure if you stick out your tongue the moment the priest approaches to pronounce the formula or when he extends his hand. I didn’t stick out my tongue far enough and his fingers bumped my teeth. then I crossed myself after standing up which should have probably been done kneeling because of the people crowded around I could have bumped. Now I am sure that has never happened to the priest ever before in his entire life :rolleyes: but it would have grossed me out if I were him. anyway this may be a paranoid question, but being a new face who suddenly showed up out of nowhere and slightly bungled communion is he likely to doubt weather or not I am actually Catholic or should be recieving? will I be likely to be denied next week if I go back? I could not stay to talk to the priest because he vanished behind a door and my ride home was antsy. is this something that happens more frequently than I think and I should just be more careful next time, or do I need to find a way to talk to someone? I guess I am just excited to have found out about this mass and my enthusiasm is making me fear something souring it. please let me know if I am being excessively worried or it is nothing? I hear stories of people being denied communion but under what circumstances does this happen? with anonymous confession how does he know the state of one’s soul? I have wondered about this for a long time.


Yeah, you don’t have to worry, that would never happen! It happens frequently enough that people goof up Communion. That’s why the altar server holds a golden plate (don’t know the name) underneath you, to catch the Precious Body if it should fall!

My priest himself has bumped his finger against me, and there’s some EHMC that has touched my tongue a few times! It’s weird! I try my best. I’ve probably received on the tongue less than one hundred times, but I don’t think I do that bad a job of it. Just try not to move.

Also, you can cross yourself if you want, but I do not believe it is prescribed, so you don’t have to if you’re worried about when to do it. Or you can. I see people do both. I don’t, although I used to.

Lots of Catholics don’t know how to receive on the tongue. Probably he just figures you’re… surprise!.. a Catholic who hasn’t received on the tongue, before! Actually, he might not even realize that much. You’re way overthinking this. Just relax! What would you do if you were the priest? He’s human too, you know!:thumbsup:


Hello rasbat,

No, a priest cannot deny Communion to a communicant, except in very grave circumstances that don’t apply to your case at all.

Basically, it would have to be someone who persistently commits some gravely sinful behavior in a public and notorious way.

As regards “blunders” in receiving Communion, I can tell you (as a priest myself) that what happened to you is quite common, especially in the U.S., where most people receive in the hand. The priest will probably not even remember, and even if he does, he will probably simply assume that you are new to the Extraordinary Form.

(As practical advice for communicants who are going to receive on the tongue: it is a good idea to stick out your tongue prominently. It makes it much easier for the priest to lay the host there.)

God bless!


Everyone has to have a first time doing something new. I’m quite sure many people in your situation have been a little clumsy or unsure when taking Communion this way.

Of course the priest won’t mind, it must happen frequently! Don’t worry about it, you will know the ropes for your second visit to Mass at this church.


No you will not be denied Communion next week; it happens so just forget about it. Stick your chin up a few more inches and tongue out slightly more next time. The priest should be able to almost just “drop” the Host onto your tongue.


Nothing to worry about, I have lost count of the number of times a priest has accidentally touched my mouth/teeth when giving communion.

Depending on what rite the parish is using there are different approaches. If it is the N.O. In Latin then you would wait until the priest has said ‘Corpus Christi’, answer ‘Amen’ and then receive. If mass is said according to EF the priest will present the Host to you with the words Corpus Domini… etc. while place the Host on your tongue, no response is made by the communicant, (personal judgement will inform when to put your tongue out - you do not wish to look like a dog after a run).

If kneeling for communion, rise from the altar rail when the priest is administering to the second person along from you. (This prevents the possibility of accidentally knocking the elements whilst they are administered to the person next to you).

Hope this helps.


Send the priest an email, telling him of your excitement about this new (old) experience. (old because of the Latin), and your new found love of being Catholic.
Mention some of the things you mentioned in this post, not so much in apology (you did absolutely nothing wrong) but as a question, asking him to perhaps reply to your email with pointers to help you feel more at home in the new setting.

Some priests answer emails, some don’t, but you may find a new friend and confidant.


I wouldn’t worry at all. Sometimes these things happen! Next time just stick your tongue out as far as you’re comfortable with, the priest will communicate you. You can bless yourself whenever you want after the priest has moved down the line. I say after because you don’t want to accidentally knock him or anything he or the server is holding. And don’t be in a rush to get up from the altar rails. No body is going to get communion any faster for kneeling down. The priest has to make his way down the entire queue after communicating you, just relax, take a couple of seconds to say hello to our sweet Jesus, and then get up and proceed away. :slight_smile:


I would think that it’s not a big deal. People make mistakes, especially when they’re new to Latin mass.

If it makes you feel any better, in my old parish I would receive a low-gluten host on the tongue after everyone else had gone up (so as not to disrupt the flow of communion). One time, the host stuck to the priest’s fingers and he had a really hard time getting it off onto my tongue…while it felt like the entire congregation was watching. So, I guess things happen and it’s fine :slight_smile:


My priest is a very large man, and has huge fingers. Every time I receive Communion, I taste them. I am no novice at receiving on the tongue either.


I guarantee you that the priest is just happy that you are there!


Oh, I’m sure he is. But I think he might be a wee bit happier if I received in the hand, which lately I have been doing, because I am tired of Father’s fingers on my tongue, and I am not going to break the line to go to another one. But that is not a deal breaker for me. I don’t have a real preference, and don’t feel any less reverent receiving in the hand. The important thing is that i receive Jesus.


How to receive on the tongue:

  1. When you open your mouth (which is usually just as the priest is giving Communion to the person before you), just before you do, swallow your spit. Failure to do so may result in the priest getting spit on his finger; it is not at all unknown that he could draw a string of spit as he pulls his hand back. (As an aside, when I was an altar boy in the 1950’s, we would talk with one another after Mass about how long a string was pulled; a foot long being about the longest. Grade school boys seemed to be fascinated by such occurrences…)

  2. Stick your tongue out as far as you can. Too many people don’t, and the Host can fall off the tongue as you are pulling the tongue back in your mouth, because the Host is only partially on the tongue.

  3. Open your mouth as wide as possible and keep it wide. Why? When you stick your tongue out, it is usually not flat, but rather pointing a bit down. That leaves the Host sitting at an angle, and that angle on the back side will catch on your teeth and flick the Host off your tongue if you do not have your mouth open wide enough when you draw your tongue back.

It is not difficult, but can feel awkward until you have received a number of times. That golden plate is called a paten, and is to catch the Host should it fall off, or be flicked off as you are receiving. However, depending on how fast the priest is moving along, the altar boy may have withdrawn the paten before you get the Host into your mouth, and that could result in the Host landing somewhere else - altar rail or floor.

The same routine works for the OF if you wish to receive on the tongue.

And hold your tongue still; no one wants a moving target.


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