Receiving the Host on the tongue

My mother asked me why pre-Vatican II one could only receive the Blessed Host on the tongue then “all of a sudden it was okay” for the communicant to touch it and place it in his/her mouth. I explained to her that the issue isn’t dogma or doctrine and that is a discipline. Receiving the Host with our hands doesn’t negate the fact that we are still receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. She understood this and wants to know why all the way up until Vatican II it was prohibited to receive the Host with our hands. Was my answer correct? Can anyone add to my response? Thanks.

Instruction on the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion****Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship

For the exact same reason. It was a discipline of the Church. See how easy it is :thumbsup:

It is because Communion in the hand started as a liturgical abuse back in the 1960’s in order to mimick the practice done by Protestants.

When you look at how communion in the hand has now “become the norm” (even though it is currently an indult), I mean the history of it…how it was banned in the early Church and then reintroduced by Protestants to show their disbelief in the Real Presence and the Sacrament of Holy Orders…and how it started happening in the Catholic Church- as an abuse, and how the Church tried to stop it to no avail…

When you learn about where this practice has its roots…like “The Reform of the Liturgy” from Annibale Bugnini…then you can see why we “traditionalists” have a problem with it.

“The way we worship expresses our belief”. The Protestants demanded “Communion in the hand” in their “Lord’s supper” to express a belief- or rather a disbelief in the Real Presence and the Ministerial Priesthood/Sacrament of Holy Orders.

In 1977 I remember the nuns teaching us “It is sacreligious for anyone but the priest to touch the Sacred Host with their hands” - “The priest’s hands are consecrated for this very purpose, to touch the Sacred Host”.

At my parish lay people are STRICTLY FORBIDDEN to touch the Sacred Host. It is considered a GRAVE SACRELIDGE to do so. It is even considered sacreligious for anyone to even touch the Sacred Vessels such as the chalice or ciboria…even the Sacristan must wear gloves.


have to agree with many points in your post…

but that is just my humble opinion :slight_smile:

Ditto. :slight_smile:

As an RCIA Candidate who has stayed for a few Masses, I notice that the congregation does it both ways. Some accept it in the hand, and some in the mouth. Since receiving in the mouth seems to show more respect, that is the way I’ll do it next Easter Vigil. Thank you for the heads up:thumbsup:

Canada recieved an indult for Communion in hand. The norm for the majority of countries remained the tongue. An interesting paper is Justin Martyrs’ letter to Ceaser. He describes Communion in hand as a practise in the 2nd century

This is not the 2nd century and we have a couple thousand years of people receiving on the tongue under our belts.

I just don’t get the “the early church did it.” idea.
They had Holy Mass in caves. Should we do that too?

Get Real, Get Catholic.

I reckon if they started having Mass in the catacombs in Rome again that would be mind-blowing.

But the general point is well-made, of course :smiley:

Actually, if they started saying Mass in the catacombs, I would be saving my pennies to go!

Me too. We could go together. :smiley:

I am sure that we could get a “few” more folks to join this trip…
I am in and I have my handy dandy passportÖsterreich.JPG
ready (in case the catacombs or caves are overseas:D )

Group discount?
Where is that from?


Austria…that is the “old passport” we now have a newer passport from the EU:mad:

You are a woman of the World.


The Holy Father recently extended the indult for communion in the hand to Poland.

I just got a passport. Let’s plan the trip!!!:smiley:

No this is not the 2nd century but it describes a practice
of the church. Last year I went to Great Britain. It was incredible to visit 800-1000 year old churches. I wondered what it would have been like to attend mass in ,say,the 14th century.
From what I could find out the laity recieved confession and Communion at Christmas and Easter. The priest seemed to be behind a rood screen and the people looked up at the “Sacring” . The rest of the time they busied themselves with devotional prayers. I was not able to find out if Communion was tongue only. I know they recieved the precious blood as well before Trent.
st julie

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