Monday, August 17, 2009

Receiving Jesus on the Tongue

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord" - 1 Corinthians 11:27,28

As I browse through the Catholic web forums, a topic that keeps coming up is the issue of "receiving Holy Communion on the tongue." Here in America, most parishes, or maybe all parishes, offer Communion in the hands or on the tongue. In my opinion, receiving Jesus on the tongue is the most reverend and the most logical way to receive. As an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, I have witnessed more than a few abuses when Communion is received in the hands. For example, trying to receive Jesus with gloves on, taking the Host in the hands and not consuming immediately, and the worse case, placing the Host in the pocket and running out of the Church. YES - it happened! At the present time in the USA, receiving in the hands is allowed. It would be good for the priest, every now and then, to remind the congregation how we are to receive Jesus - with the utmost respect. I am blessed to have such a "teaching" priest in my home parish.

Here is an interesting article out of, written by David Martin.

Pope Benedict to Catholics:
Kneel and Receive on the Tongue Only

Pope Benedict XVI does not want the faithful receiving Communion in their hand nor does he want them standing to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. According to Vatican liturgist, Monsignor Guido Marini, the pope is trying to set the stage for the whole church as to the proper norm for receiving Communion for which reason communicants at his papal Masses are now asked to kneel and receive on the tongue.

The Holy Father's reasoning is simple: "We Christians kneel before the Blessed Sacrament because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the One True God." (May 22, 2008)

According to the pope the entire Church should kneel in adoration before God in the Eucharist. "Kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today" (May 22, 2008)

The pope's action is in accord with the Church's 2000 year tradition and is being done in order to foster a renewed love and respect for the Eucharist which presently is being mocked and treated with contempt. The various trends and innovations of our time (guitar liturgy, altar girls, lay ministers, Communion in the hand) have worked together to destroy our regard for the Eucharist, thus advancing the spiritual death of the church. After all, the Eucharist is the very life and heartbeat of the Mystical Body around which the entire Church must revolve.

Kneeling also coincides with the Church's centuries old ordinance that only the consecrated hands of a priest touch the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. "To priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist." (Council of Trent) This teaching is beautifully expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica: "Because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament."

The rest of the article is HERE


John said...

Wow! It would be very interesting for me to begin to receive the Body of Christ on my tongue! After all I was taught to receive it in my hands! However, I do think that this does show our utmost respect and love for our Lord, and I would not have any difficulty changing! I think that it is very beautiful also! :)

Oh make sure to check out my blog! I left something for you there! I posted it this past Saturday! :)

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Here are a couple of posts I did on the very same topic. You might agree with me, or vehemently disagree. Either way, as long as they're thought provoking.