Receiving Eucharist on Tongue

I was taught to receive the Host in my hand. Lately, I’ve been interested in receiving on my tongue. Should I ask a priest for some instruction about the best way to do this? Or is there a video somewhere for some basic instruction? Thanks for any insight.


You can just stick your tongue slightly ever so slightly out with clasped hands standing or kneel like i do you follow same suit as receiving in hand no biting down and try to be careful not to let the host fall

A lot of priests have no issue some eucharistic ministers though have tapped my hand younger ones not the ones raised in pre vatican 2 church

  1. Make a Bow
  2. Keep your hands clasped together.

He will Say: The Body of Christ"
Respond “Amen”.

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Open your mouth
  3. Stick out your tongue

[wide enough so he doesn’t touch your tongue, and so he has a landing pad]

When you feel the host is on your tongue, it will not fall, do NOT chew on the Eucharist, let it melt enough and then swallow so no particles get between your teeth, etc
Make The Sign of the Cros

I found this article on it, which is a bit more than I would have said, but pretty good nonetheless. I did add one comment in there (bolded).

I hope you find these suggestions helpful if you choose to receive on the tongue.

  1. First, regardless of how you receive, approach the Sacrament with reverence and humility; in a state of grace and properly disposed. One should never be interiorly casual or ambivalent about receiving Our Lord. One’s interior disposition often manifests itself externally. If you are aware of having committed a mortal sin you have not confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, don’t receive. Instead, make an Act of Spiritual Communion.
  2. As with any reception of Holy Communion, after the priest or other minister has said, “The Body of Christ,” respond with “Amen.” NOTE: This is only for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. In the Extraordinary Form, or Traditional Latin Mass, you do not say “Amen”, as it is included in the prayers the priest says before administering the Sacrament.
  3. Then, with head straight or tilted slightly back, open your mouth wide and extend your tongue – the tongue need not protrude far out of the mouth, but it should block the view of the lower lip. The minister will place the Sacred Host on your tongue. Two things are very important here – open wide and extend the tongue. I have noticed that many people only slightly open the mouth and others do not extend the tongue; others do both. It is difficult and sometimes impossible for the minister to safely place the host on the tongue under these circumstances.
  4. Wait until the Sacred Host is safely placed on the tongue and only then return your tongue and close your mouth. It is not proper to use your teeth to receive and it is never a good idea to bite the minister’s fingers. So wait until the Sacred Host is safely on your tongue before moving.
  5. Speaking of moving, it is also impossible for the minister to “hit” a moving target. This is where standing is at a disadvantage over kneeling at a rail. First, it is more difficult to remain motionless while standing. But secondly, I have noticed a tendency for the communicant to move their head towards the Sacred Host as if “to help” the minister to distribute. This does not work. The minister needs a stationary target, so remain motionless, head straight or tilted slightly back, mouth wide open and tongue extended. For some people, it may help to close you eyes; for others, look above the minister and don’t watch the Sacred Host.
  6. On the part of the priest, deacon or extraordinary minister, it is a good idea to allow the communicant achieve this posture before attempting to place the Sacred Host on the tongue.

A lot of priests have no issue some eucharistic ministers though have tapped my hand younger ones not the ones raised in pre vatican 2 church

You have the right to choose to receive on the tongue and the behavior of the EMHCs was completely out of line.

All of this sounds fine. Except the bold.

Jesus said, “Take and eat.” Not, “Take and suck on.”

So, feel free to chew.

This may help (though I’m not sure I would hold my hands high.)

There’s this video to show how to do it both ways.

I didnt think so they were my age mid twenties they havent been exposed to receiving on the tongue much probably the next time they remembered the woman in the veil and didnt tap my hand:thumbsup:

The tongue needs to be extended more than “slightly.” It is very difficult to place the Host reverently on a tongue which is barely extended without almost prying open someone’s mouth. Back in the day we were taught to extend the tongue pretty far out.

Agreed. It is more sanitary and easier for the priest if you stick your tongue out a good way. He is able to place the Eucharist on your tongue without touching your tongue or mouth.

I would also suggest when you approach, not only to keep your hands clasped, but to lower them to your waist to make it clear to the priest you are receiving on the tongue.

Agreed. In John 6, He is more explicit. He uses the word for “gnaw” when speaking about eating His Flesh.

To me this is nitpicking. Take, receive, gnaw, eat, devour. Really? These are just English words and none of them are 100% accurate. Nor immutable, for that matter.

Either way, feel free to chew.

Or not.

Did I say you had to?

When someone invites you into their home and says, “feel free to help yourself to a drink.” Do you assume that you have to get a drink? Or do you realize that you are free to do either?

So, when I say, “feel free to chew,” do you assume that you have to chew? Or do you realize that you are free to do either?

My original comment was to RileyG, who stated, “do NOT chew on the Eucharist.” Which is wrong. There is no rule about chewing the Eucharist.

So, I am not sure what your point was???

Okay but there’s another thread for that.

I believe the “awkwardness” of receiving on the tongue is not so much the fault of the recipient, but of the EMHC, who quite honestly are not always trained properly. CITH is so much the way of the majority in our diocese, and COTT a rarity, although it seems to be changing. (PTL!)

I always receive COTT and I’ve had EMHC’s stick the host so far into my mouth with their hand that it almost could gag a person. This is terrible. When I was an EMHC we were trained not to try to put the host in the mouth, but rather to place it between our thumb and forefinger and with the thumb being the principle agent to lay it gently on the tongue. Works every single time with no contact of the fingers with the mouth. It also works when the tongue is not extended very far as long as the mouth is open. (Some people have shorter tongues believe it or not and extending the tongue hurts.) So much for the graphics! :stuck_out_tongue:

They were still out of line. However the responsibility may rest more on who ever trained them and did a poor job.

To chew or not to chew, that is the question. When I made my First Holy Communion in the 50’s, I was taught not to chew. The Hosts were quite thin. In recent decades, our present parish was using communion wafers that were thicker,more substantial than the previous thin ones from the past. And we all had learned over time that it was ok to chew. For a while I continued to swallow whole. It took slightly longer for them to "melt’ enough to swallow whole. Eventually I accepted the fact that chewing was ok and began to chew the Host in as respectful way as I could. But I never really felt completely comfortable about it, not wanting particles to get stuck in my teeth. I think one can chew respectfully but I see some people, one in particular comes to mind, who chews with his mouth open and it looks so disrespectful. We now have Communion wafers that are not quite so thick, but still slightly thicker that the thinnest ones that are used for the homebound. So I no longer chew. But I don’t know of any regulation saying that we should not chew.

This is true, and exactly what a Bishop explained recently. Apparently that is the best translation from the Greek. Confirmed by Greek scholar Fr. Richard Simon on Relevant Radio.

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