Tongue or Hand?

I personally like to receive communion on the tongue. I suppose that’s just always the way I’ve done it. But I’ve wondered as I see people receiving communion in hand, is there a reason why people prefer it?

I’ve heard some people cite hygienic reasons before. Is everyone in that school of thought?

My reason to receive in the hand is for me it seems more humble. I like to bow my head in communion line and as I receive. I do not like having to lift my eyes up in the presence of Christ.

I do, however receive on the tongue as a practical matter when carrying my child. I will always do what the Church orders on these type of disciplinary matters.

I don’t receive on the hand because I don’t feel that I’m worthy to be touching the Body of Christ. I just feel that the Priest or ordained minister are the only ones who should handle the Body of Christ, IMO. Just my :twocents:

“Truth needs no embellishment”

Communion in the hand started as an abuse by disobedient clergy and liberals who are bent on changing Church Teaching on the Eucharist.

When they came out with it they said it was an expression of the priesthood of the layity as opposed to the PREVIOUS teaching that taught (We all were before 1975) that only the consecrated hands of the priest may touch the Sacred Host.

Communion in the hand - Why?

*]Do you remember when Catholics always knelt for Holy Communion?
*]Do you remember when Catholics received Holy Communion on the tongue only?
*]Do you remember when only the priest administered Holy Communion?
*]Do you remember our priests and sisters teaching us it was sacrilegious for anyone but the priest to touch the Sacred Host?
*]Do you remember when tabernacles were always on the center of the altar as the primary focal point?
*]Why has kneeling for Holy Communion disappeared?
*]Why are tabernacles disappearing from the center of the Churches and placed on the side?
*]Why are people receiving Communion in the hand?
*]Why are there lay-ministers of the Eucharist?
*]Why were these things changed?
*]If things were changed for the sake of “modern times” and “modern men”, has it resulted in record crowds of “modern men” flocking into the Churches to pray and receive the Sacraments?
*]Do we have record turnouts in our seminaries, monasteries, and convents?
*]Has the introduction of these new things increased the amount of vocations in the Church?
*]Has the introduction of these new things increased the amount of converts coming into the Church?
*]Was there a “vocation crisis” before these essential and fundamental things were changed?
*]In the rubrics of the Old Rite of Mass, why was there such precaution taken against the desecration of the Sacred Species?
*]Why did the priest wash his fingers after administering Holy Communion?
*]Why did the priest scrape the corporal with the paten so as not to allow even the slightest minute particle to fall to the ground and be desecrated?
*]Why when Holy Communion was dropped, the Host was covered and left on the floor until after Mass, where the priestwould then remove it, and then carefully clean the area where the Sacred Host lay?
*]Why did these rubrics disappear?
*]Was there more faith in the Real Presence before the “renewal?”
*]Was there a deeper and greater understanding and appreciation of the Blessed Sacrament as really and truly being the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine?
*]Were the old rubrics simply “over scrupulous?”
*]Did the old rubrics and strict laws safeguarding reverence, dignity, and holiness, not express the Catholic Faith regarding the Blessed Sacrament properly?
*]Do we now understand and believe in it in a different manner, and this is therefore manifested by the actions of first the clergy, then the laity?
*]Are we afraid to adore the Sacred Host?
*]Are we ashamed to adore the Sacred Host?
*]Is it any coincidence that Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament began to fade away more and more with the introduction of Communion in the hand and lay ministers of the Eucharist?
*]Has Catholic teaching changed regarding TRANSUBSTANTIATION, that is, the changing of the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ during the Sacrifice of the Mass?
*]If the teaching has not changed, why has attitude, spirit, rubrics and practice changed?
*]Where did Communion in the hand come from since it is nowhere proposed or even mentioned in the documents of Vatican II?
*]Why did it still come about on a worldwide scale even after Pope Paul VI in his 1969 letter to the Bishops, “Memoriale Domini” stated “This method, ‘on the tongue’ must be retained?”
*]If it is supposed to be “optional”, why are the little children in most parochial schools taught no other way than receiving in the hand as “this is the way it is done?”
*]Why is there a new attitude of “anyone can handle it?”
*]Have we created a “vicious circle” or a “cause and effect” situation where radical changes are introduced, vocations drop as a result, and then more changes such as “lay ministers of the Eucharist” are introduced appealing to their need because of the “vocation crisis?”

I’ve given a bit of thought to this, although I haven’t looked at any teachings on the matter. I’ve wondered about the thinking on our unworthiness to touch the Body with our hands. Aren’t our mouths just as filthy (slander, gossip, gluttony and more…)? To my way of thinking, no matter which way we receive, none of the parts of our bodies are truly worthy. I’ve quit worrying about whether receiving on the tongue is more worthy than by hand and just do what I am moved to do at the time. When I’m at Mass where there is a communion rail, I receive by tongue. When I’m in places where reception by hand seems to be the norm, I do that. I think the most important issue is humbly receiving Christ within our bodies and focusing on the fact that, for about 20 minutes, He is physically the closest He can be to us because He’s within our bodies. That is such an awesome and humbling gift, don’t you think?

I receive in the hand. I bow reverently before receiving, then I look at Him and say “I love You”. Then I consume Him. He is so real and present in the Eucharist, and I love Him so much, that I appreciate this time to bond with Him.

I, too, have carefully evaluated the arguments for receiving on the tongue, and found none of them to be compelling. The most common argument is that we are not worthy to touch Him, but if we receive on the tongue, we are still touching Him.

Ours is not a God who stands at a distance and says “Do not touch me!” Ours is a God who embraces us, and loves it when we embrace Him in return. Receiving in the hand is my way of embracing Him.

Well just 2 days ago I switched to receiving the Eucharist on the Tongue in one of the most beautiful Churches in my Archdiocese. The High Altar along with the 2 side ones are all preserved and more than ready for a TLM to be celebrated. In fact the Rector has Ecclesia Dei documentation, but Bishop has not given the green light.

Now for the why did I switched. Well since my 1st Communion I have been receiving it on the hand (except for instances when Communion is via intinction). And had basically gotten very used to it. Yet its a rather lame excuse to give that ‘I’m too used to Communion on Hand, and so do not receive it on the Tongue’. Via the nudging of the Holy Spirit, I plucked up the courage to switch. :slight_smile:

[The look on the faces of EMHCs sometimes is abit hilarious when they know you want to receive the Eucharist on the Tongue. :stuck_out_tongue: Its also good reason why Traditionalist prefer the queue where the Priest is.]

As much as I dislike Communion in the hand, it does bear pointing out that it was a common practice at one point in the Church. You can read St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s writings on Communion where he explains how to properly receive–in the hand, making your hands as a throne, right hand under left, etc.


***“Approaching do not come with thy palms stretched flat nor with fingers separated. But making thy left hand a seat for thy right, and hollowing thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, responding Amen. And having with care hallowed thine eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, take it, vigilant lest thou drop any of it. For shouldst thou lose any of it, it is as though thou wast deprived of a member of thy own body.” “Then after Communion of the Body of Christ, approach the Chalice of His Blood, not extending thy hands, but bending low, and with adoration and reverence saying Amen, sanctify thyself by receiving also the Blood of Christ. And while thy lips are yet wet, touch them with thy hands, and sanctify thy eyes and thy forehead and thy other senses” ***

What do you want to know?

I just associate opening my mouth for someone too much with the far too many dental and medical examinations I’ve had in my life to find it anything other than really awkward.

:amen: I couldn’t agree with you more! As Jesus said in Matthew 15: 18-20, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” Or as James says in James 3: 8-10, “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.” (both verses from the NAB). I definitely need to pray more for God’s grace to overcome sins of the tongue than sins with my hands! And the sins of the tongue are the one’s I need to confess the most.

I’m also confused. What is the OP’s question?

Pax vobiscum!

What about any crumbs that might get on our hands when we recieve? The priest uses the same two fingers (or three in the old rite, I believe) to administer Communion. He then makes sure that any crumbs left on his fingers from touching the host go into the chalice before he cleans it, so that none of the Body of Christ falls to the ground or anywhere else. For those of you who recieve on the hand, what do you do to ensure that no part of the host falls? Remember, Christ is fully present in ALL of the host, so even if it is just a tiny little piece too small to really see, it is still Christ that is falling to the ground.

In Christ,

Of course all those who use this particular reference as justification for receiving in the hand overlook one important thing. During St. Cyrils lifetime, the Church was in no way as organized as it is now, and many regional variations in the Mass were not only common but almost the norm. Remember, the Canon Scripture had not yet been determined during his lifetime, and different churches used different texts for scripture and different formulas in the Mass.

What Cyril was describing in his treatsie on receiving Holy Communion was the practice in the Jerusalem Church, of which he was the Bishop and which was not the center of Christianity at that time. In fact it was pretty far down on the list behind, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome.

So while receiving in the hand may very well have ben the practice in Jerusalem and in other Churches as well, his letter in no way indicates that it was the practice of the whole Church of even of the majority of the individual churches.

I would guess that due to the recent number of posts concerning receiving on the tongue versus in the hand the post is designed to lure the unsuspecting and unknowing into a spirited debate on that subject . Then she would spring the trap by “proving” that reception in the hand was the norm in the early church by pointing out that her quotation is by St Cyril of Jerusalem, dating from about 350AD. This particular quote is often used for that purpose…

The description he is giving is for reception of Holy Communion at HIS church, Jerusalem, not for any other.

It is good to remember that at the time of this writing, the Church was no where near as organized as it is today and tremendous regional variations were evident. The canon of New Testament scripture had not as yet been determined and different Churches used different books in their liturgies. Some of the books used at the different Churchesdidn’t make it into the final approved canon, the Acts of Paul and Tecla, The Epistle of Barnabas and the Letters of Herod and Pilate for example. There was no standard Liturgy used throughout the various churches. So while this method may very well have been the practice of the Church in Jerusalem, it was not necesarily the practice anywhere else.

When you receive Communion in your hand, do you not then take the Host up with the other hand, then place Him on your tongue?

At the end of the day it really is not which side has stronger arguments than the other. Valid Magestrial authority has allowed both methods.

I receive on the tongue. Its not about being worthy or not to touch the Lord. As someone upthread pointed out it was common practice in the early Church.

Its about, I believe, humility. When I receive on the tongue I am allowing the Church to feed me. I am saying with that action that the Church is my Mother and the Church takes care of me. I admit my weakness and God’s greatness. I could go on. . .

I do think that there is a self-sufficency that comes within a certain age range. Actually placing myself in a postition of humility helps me remember not to hold onto my pride.

I’d say that is a valid point as well.

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