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