7 rules for receiving communion in the hand
In the case of communion under both kinds by way of intinction, it is never permitted to place on the hand of the communicant the host that has been dipped in the Lords blood. Ive updated the post. In North Africa (including Egypt) the practice is mentioned by Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, and John Climacus. The sad fact that in recent years hosts consecrated by a Pope have been offered for sale on the Internet further motivates this precautionary measure. To signify, seal, and apply to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. Space doesn't allow all the details, but the propaganda in the 1970s that was used to sell Communion in the hand to a trusting, vulnerable people was a campaign of calculated half-truths that didn't tell the whole story. (Original Latin text here, see pp. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. The faithful should consume the host before returning to their place; the ministers part will be brought out by use of the usual formulary, The body of Christ, to which the communicant replies: Amen. The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? These considerations can perhaps help balance our perspective (whether in favor or against the practice of communion in the hand), and alert us to the fact that reverence is a complex phenomenon that, of course, does involve postures of the body, but most importantly, the attitude of the heart. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholics want to know if it is allowed for their bishops and priests to require Communion be received only on in the hand instead of on the tongue. Phillip Schaff and Henry Wace in NPNF Second Series, 14 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1900). Please remember that there is no "right" way to receive. 6, trans. The large numbers of faithful and the general hustle and bustle at the moment of communion make it quite easy for a host to fall to the ground. It is not clear as to how widespread it was or if it was a regular practice. The Council of Saragossa (380): Excommunicated anyone who dared continue . On November 14, 1996, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the following guidelines on the reception of Communion. Blog Staff and Editorial Advisory Committee, http://www.kathpedia.com/index.php?title=Handkommunion, http://www.cultodivino.va/content/cultodivino/it/rivista-notitiae/indici-annate.html, From the Wires: U.S. Catholic Priests Are Increasingly Conservative as Faithful Grow More Liberal, Yale Organ Week: Now Accepting Applications, The North American Academy of Liturgy, 2023, New Open-Access, Ecumenical Journal Powered by the University of Vienna, Is the Eucharistic Revival a Liturgical Revival (Part 2), What Did Jesus Know? For Catholics: As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 2 October 1971 I happen to accept the role of darkness within the Church, but it strikes me as being perpetrated all too often by those who style themselves the most faithful or loyal to God. There are particles, and there are particles. What if we were passionate about all that? Catholics use birth control, get divorced and fornicate at the same rate as society in general, with the sin of using birth control rarely confessed. From this brief historical survey, however, we know that this need not be the case, and we can look to the Fathers for a pious example as we seek to foster reverence towards the Eucharist in the liturgy today. Finally, ensuring the application of liturgical law is above all the responsibility of the bishop and only indirectly the religious superior. Whatever one thinks about the practice today and its reemergence after Vatican II, it is important that our conversation be grounded in an accurate picture of the history of this practice. In order to be properly disposed to . This norm is supported by an Instruction by the Holy See regarding the Eucharist: "In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that 'sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them'(Code of Canon Law, can. The guidelines, which are to be included in missalettes and other participation aids published in the United States, seek to remind all those who may attend Catholic liturgies of the present discipline of the Church with regard to the sharing of Eucharistic Communion. Fire consumed the offering Whatever procedure is adopted, care must be taken not to allow particles of the eucharistic bread to fall or be scattered. There is also evidence that this was a contested subject (i.e., about what sins prevent someone from receiving), as it would continue to be throughout the history of the Church. 48 (Sept/Oct), pg 361. The Pope grants that throughout the territory of your conference, each bishop may, according to his prudent judgment and conscience, authorize in his diocese the introduction of the new rite for giving communion. On the other hand, this mode of communion is not anywhere associated with lay involvement or accessibility, nor is it thought to de-emphasize the role of the priest. http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2014/03/truth-about-communion-in-hand-while.html#.Wpa2wdIUnGg. In 1980 St. John Paul II wrote in the apostolic letterDominicae Cenae: In some countries, the practice of receiving Communion in the hand has been introduced. The Eucharist may not be received while a person has mortal sin in their soul. On the part of both the minister and the recipient, whenever the host is placed in the hand of a communicant there must be careful concern and caution, especially about particles that might fall from the hosts. It describes one of the purposes of the opening song of the Mass as to "foster the unity of those who have been gathered" (no. 160). Jamaica, 12 March 1970 I honestly get sick of it too. Im not aware of that limitation and would like to see proper documentation.  In East Syria (what we would now call the Middle East) we have evidence from Ephrem the Syrian and Narsai. Some of the online advocates of kneeling/tongue seem to focus only on adoration of the Real Presence and now a cardinal has said that those who receive standing in the hand most Catholics by far! Permission for administering Communion in the hand was granted by the Holy See to the United States on June 17, 1977 and has since become almost the universal norm in the Ordinary Form. This is the quote that is always used: " make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. What if our way of calling our fellow Christians to a higher way were based on loving example and not polemics? Bishops who have been permitted to introduce the new rite of communion are asked to send a report to the congregation, six months hence, on the outcome. The Holy Eucharist remits venial sins by disposing us to perform acts of love and contrition. What a Priest Might Do If He Wants to Avoid It. June 29, 2021 | 6. In defending his push to give Communion to grave sinners, McElroy reiterated his belief that conscience has the "privileged place" over doctrine in decision-making and suggested that it can . Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS) TOP The question has been asked for a long time since the Church has often allowed both methods of reception. It is simply reading too much into this practice, and it is not correct to support something one favors by denigrating another practice. Part 4. Monaco, 31 October 1969 What if our reception made us all more loving of one another, whatever our views on how to receive? This means that Jesus has no eyes but our eyes, no feet . Maybe this is part of a grand conspiracy by Satan to destroy the Church (ok, probably not that). Instead this option must increase in them a consciousness of the dignity of the members of Christs Mystical Body, into which they are incorporated by baptism and by the grace of the Eucharist. For real reception of the Blessed Eucharist it is required that the sacred species be received into the stomach. Timothy O'Malley on the meaning of Eucharistic coherence in the life of the Church. The option offered to the faithful of receiving the Eucharistic bread in their hand and putting it into their own mouth must not turn out to be the occasion for regarding it as ordinary bread or as just another religious article. The people administering the sacrament are asked to use hand sanitizer immediately before. Communion in the hand is legitimate only where permitted, and it remains in the realm of a permission. The problem is a lack of intentionality across the board, starting with the laity. If he is a religious priest, what actions can a legitimate superior take as regards the member who denies Communion in the hand? Copyright 2023 Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. Irondale, Alabama. Personally, I think that when a priest with the care of souls holds the view that Communion on the tongue is preferable to the alternative practice, then the best thing he can do is inform the faithful of the bishops permission. The faithful must be taught that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that therefore the worship of latria or adoration belonging to God is owed to Christ present in this sacrament. But "the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly." This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites.  Theodore of Mopsuestia, Catechetical Homilies 6. (or: Which Heresy Will You Give Up for Lent? The rite of communion in the hand must not be put into practice indiscriminately. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A priest who is not directly responsible for the care of souls should be even more respectful of local practice. The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. SACRED CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter En reponse a la demande, to presidents of those conferences of bishops petitioning the indult for communion in the hand, 29 May 1969: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 61 (1969) 546-547; Notitiae 5 (1969) 351-353. Does anyone have an explanation for why France, Germany, and the Low Countries were not quickly regularized once the opportunity was available? I quite deliberately eschewed entering the historical argument as it would have digressed from the main point of that article. However, when they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that the faithful make appropriate reverence, according to the norms established, before receiving the Sacrament. Councils establish principles (and rarely go into specific points) and then leave it to a commission to carry out the detailed work after the Council. ), Pray Tell: An open forum on faith in South Texas. So it is not just tiresome traditionalists who worry about particles. 5. On the one hand, I think this evidence precludes describing communion in the hand as intrinsically irreverent. For example, to say that Communion in the hand is a sign of spiritual maturity, or that Communion on the tongue reduces the lay faithful to infancy, is belied by centuries of lay saints who received in this manner. England and Wales, 6 March 1976 For example, although Communion in the hand is generally permitted at the Vatican, in recent years ministers administrating Communion at large at papal Masses have been enjoined to distribute Communion only on the tongue. It is not appropriate to reach out with the fingers and take the host from the person distributing. But one should not by his own judgment abstain from or return to communion, as he pleases. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 3). Fire came down and consumed the sacrifices of Elijah It is also difficult to ensure that the person who receives Communion effectively consumes the host. Over and over again the prayers of the liturgy and the norms of the General Instruction emphasize this fundamental concept of the unity of the baptized, stressing that when we come together to participate in the Eucharistic celebration we come, not as individuals, but as united members of Christ's Body. W.R., Goa, India. This blog is not associated with Pray Tell: An open forum on faith in South Texas. Father, as to the limitation on what regions might request this indult, Memoriale Domini stipulated that Where a contrary usage, that of placing holy communion on the hand, prevails, the Holy See  lays on those conferences the task of weighing carefully whatever special circumstances may exist there . The life of Christ, the Holy Spirit, animates each of us individually, and all of us corporately and guides us together in our efforts to become one in Christ. This is precisely why there are occasions when pastoral prudence can lead to suspend the permission. From a hygienic point of view, the hand carries a huge amount of bacteria.  Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Faith 10 and Hymns on Virginity 33.7. Communion received on the tongue and while kneeling. When permitted, the choice as to the form of reception falls upon the communicant and not upon the priest. James Shapiro, a literature prof at Columbia, says the situation is catastrophic: One reason was the way of the world. What is the proper way of receiving Communion in the hand? We should weigh very well the matters in which we appeal to conscience. Not only was Communion in the hand started in disobedience, it was perpetuated by deceit. The host will then be laid in the palm of the left hand and then taken by the right hand to the mouth. Do we accept an experience of the Real Presence only when the externals and the lingo of 1950 are seen and heard? When one receives from the chalice, the same proclamation is made by the person distributing Communion and the Communicant again responds, "Amen." In the light of the above, we can come to the heart of the matter as to whether a priest may invoke the question of conscience in order to refuse to distribute Communion in the hand. The history of the liturgy, however, makes clear that rather early on a . It is a matter of particular seriousness that in places where the new practice is lawfully permitted every one of the faithful has the option of receiving communion on the tongue and even when other persons are receiving communion in the hand. Whatever procedure is adopted, care must be taken not to allow particles of the Eucharistic bread to fall or be scattered. Scotland, 7 July 1977 My sense is that if theres something demonic in all this it is the Galatians moment in which many Catholics find themselves, especially those on the traditional side. I think youre right that, without an explicitly limiting clause, there is no canonically binding restriction to those countries, and that the subsequent granting of dispensation ultimately belied such restriction. His blood now flows through our veins. Many pathogens are transmitted through the hands. If Communion is received in the hand, the hands should first of all be clean. After stipulating the historical practice of Communion in the hand, Memoriale Domini: defends the development of discipline that led to Communion on the tongue But there is more to the story. New Zealand, 24 April 1974 The showing of tooth and claw by some traditional-leaning Catholics is a scandal that discourages neighbors, and puts a very ugly face on the Body for others to view.  Cyprian, On the Good of Patience 14, On the Lapsed 16 and 26,and Letter 55.9. 21. They should be grave and objective questions related to good and evil. But is the impression they give generally correct? Bolivia, October 15 1969 If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. Above all it is necessary to have the introduction of the rite preceded by an effective catechesis, so that the people will clearly understand the meaning of receiving in the hand and will practice it with the reverence owed to the sacrament. For example, there is ample evidence that the exchange of peace between the people was practiced well into the Middle Ages in several European countries. As with all historical practices, one must examine the context and circumstances which are usually not repeatable.. This article has been selected from the ZENIT Daily Dispatch Innovative Media, Inc. ZENIT International News Agency Via della Stazione di Ottavia, 95 00165 Rome, Italywww.zenit.org, To subscribe http://www.zenit.org/english/subscribe.html or email: email@example.com with SUBSCRIBE in the "subject" field, Provided Courtesy of: Eternal Word Television Network 5817 Old Leeds Road Irondale, AL 35210www.ewtn.com, HOME - EWTNews - FAITH - TELEVISION - RADIO - LIBRARY - MULTIMEDIAWHAT'S NEW - GENERAL - RELIGIOUS CATALOGUE - PILGRIMAGES - ESPAOL, EWTN | 5817 Old Leeds Rd. October 13, 2022. I am just wondering what the reason or reasons were for allowing reception of Communion in the hand to begin with? The Netherlands, 18 September 1969 Ireland, 4 September 1976 The liturgical renewal of St. Pius X which promoted the frequent reception of Communion were still quite young. 3. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. The debate was interrupted by lunch. Church Life Journal On this point, I will leave you with a beautiful exhortation from the Golden Tongue: Think of what you receive in your hand and never lift it to strike another and never disgrace with the sin of assault the hand that has been honored with so great a gift. This practice has been requested by individual episcopal conferences and has received approval from the Apostolic See. In an even more elevated tone, Ephrem the Syrian, in a stunning passage, invites the Christian communicant to feel awe at what is placed in his or her hand, since even the Seraph did not take the divine coal with his hand, nor did the prophet Isaiah eat it (see: Isa 6:6). As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes the whole of it. It was proved that belief in the Real Presence is abysmal. Uruguay,October 15 1969 Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. At the same time he has taken into account the reasons given to support your request and the outcome of the vote taken on this matter. Shapiro picked up an abused-looking iPhone from his desk. Papua and New Guinea, 28 April 1976 They are also to be instructed not to omit after communion the sincere and appropriate thanksgiving that is in keeping with their individual capacities, state, and occupation. The [Seraph] did not hold it, and [Isaiah] did not eat it Holt Orders cannot sustain the Church, no matter how much traditionalists preach priests are of the utmost importance. Under the moral aspect will be considered, in reference to Holy Communion: necessity; subject; dispositions. From the historical point of view, we can say that there is strong evidence that the practice existed in early centuries in some areas of the Church. Fr. Others claim that in the context of the discourse St. Cyril was referring to the clergy and not to the faithful. In fact, each time we move forward together to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord, we join the countless ranks of all the baptized who have gone before us, our loved ones, the canonized and uncanonized saints down through the ages, who at their time in history formed a part of this mighty stream of believers. However, he should not refuse to administer Communion to those faithful desirous of availing themselves of a legitimate authorization. Please take responsibility for the lies, the bile, and the sinful stuff.  See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 7.9.4. Paul VI had a measure of it in 1974, and we hav emostly missed the wisdom of Evangelii Nuntiandi.  Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John 6.1 and 12.1. I do make the point that reverence, while important, is not the only or most important aspect of Communion. The usage of communion in the hand must be accompanied by relevant instruction or catechesis on Catholic teaching regarding Christs real and permanent presence under the eucharistic elements and the proper reverence toward this sacrament. So the authors claim that he is exactly Vatican II is doubtful. The US might have been little-touched by the scorched earth of world war, and perhaps our feel-good stance astride the planet delayed the decay somewhat. These guidelines replace the guidelines approved by the Administrative Committee of the NCCB in November 1986. If one is receiving in the hand the following is normative: upon approaching the minister of the Host extend the hands in the middle of the chest. God has come to live in us. Surveys from CARA and Pew reflect this, though I admittedly doubted them until I attended mass with a fellow Catholic at church that predominantly received on the tongue and my friend jeering remarked, why dont they receive in the hand like normal people? (Catholic Encyclopedia: Genuflexion) Since the question involves human attitudes, this mode of communion is bound up with the perceptiveness and preparation of the one receiving. Q: When the bishop in a diocese allows the faithful to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue, can a priest, who objects on the grounds of conscience, refuse to give the faithful holy Communion in the hand? enough bread and wine are made ready for the communication of the faithful at each Mass.45 As a general rule, Holy Communion is given from hosts . Im skeptical of the claim that collecting absentee ballots for bishops conference votes is unlawful. Biting, tearing, casting aspersions on the faith of other Catholics: this is a damnable situation in the Church. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem . The Council of Saragossa, 380, excommunicated anyone who dared continue to receive Holy Communion in the hand. A Journal of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, by Elizabeth Klein It is not clear as to how widespread it was or if it was a regular practice. All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another. This formula should not be altered, as it is a proclamation which calls for a response of faith on the part of the one who receives. The same Instruction contained a reminder that the laws of the Church and the writings of the Fathers give ample witness of a supreme reverence and utmost caution toward the Eucharist and that this must continue. I am a daily witness at the Basilique du Sacr-Cur de Montmartre (Paris).. For this reason, since the question of Communion in the hand is not a question of faith as such, and it has been approved by the legitimate authority, I do not believe that a priest can invoke conscience as a motive for refusing to apply a legitimate law. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the Priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, The Body of Christ. Care must also be taken that the communicants have clean hands and that their comportment is becoming and in keeping with the practices of the different peoples. The divine coal is a common image of the Eucharist in Syrian theology. Luxembourg, October 15 1969 Their attitude of reverence must measure up to what they are doing. I would like to remind people to indicate clearly how they wish to receive. Pakistan, 29 October 1976 Rather maddeningly, it is the Anglicans who in the West have retained the practice as described by St. Cyril, while contemporary Latin-rite Catholics tend to consume the Host as if it were a potato chip., From the historical point of view, we can say that there is strong evidence that the practice existed in early centuries in some areas of the Church. Henry Percival and ed. The congregation returned to this issue in the instructionImmensae Caritatis,January 29, 1973: AAS 65 (1973) 264-271; Notitiae 9 (1973) 157-164: Part 4. The liturgical assembly of the baptized that comes together for the celebration of the Eucharist is a witness to, a manifestation of, the pilgrim Church. 7. Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. With regard to the second, we have many early witnesses including Paul (see 1 Cor 11:27) and the Didache (seechapter 14). With your hand hollowed, receive the Body of Christ and answer Amen.