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Scott P. Richert

Swine Flu and Communion in the Hand

By May 2, 2009

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In the comments on "Reader Question: Mass, Communion, and the Swine Flu," and in e-mails I have received on the topic, readers have wondered whether a bishop can mandate reception of Communion in the hand, rather than on the tongue. At the time I wrote the original post, I had not seen reports of any diocese doing so; however, a number of dioceses now have declared that Communion is only to be distributed on the hand, not on the tongue, while others (like the Diocese of Dallas) have strongly encouraged the faithful to receive Communion on the hand.

There are at least two problems with this. First, as I noted in my earlier post, even encouraging Catholics to receive Communion on the hand rather than on the tongue seems an overreaction. Suspending the Sign of the Peace, in which the faithful shake hands, makes sense, because it's easy to see how the flu virus might be transmitted. The same is true of distributing the Precious Blood of Christ, since there is physical contact with the chalice.

But when Communion is distributed on the tongue, there is no physical contact—as long, of course, as everyone involved is doing things right. In almost 30 years of receiving Communion on the tongue almost exclusively, I do not remember ever having a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist touch my tongue or lips while giving me Communion.

In fact, observing others receive Communion in the hand, I frequently see the person distributing Communion actually touch the hand of the person receiving it. Since the person receiving it is supposed to cup his or her hands (to ensure that the Host doesn't fall), and the minister of the Eucharist is supposed to place the Host in the person's palm, it's actually hard not to have some physical contact without simply dropping the Host into the outstretched hands.

Moreover, when we stick out our tongue to receive Communion, we naturally hold our breath. Try it—you'll find that, in order to breathe during the first several seconds after sticking out your tongue, you'll have to think about breathing. It's simply a natural reaction—you stick out your tongue, and your body holds its breath for a short period of time. That minimizes the possibility of transmission of the virus through the air.

So mandating the reception of Communion on the hand seems at best an overreaction and, at worst, perhaps the less sanitary way to go.

The second problem with mandating Communion on the hand is that it is, by its nature, a denial of the right to receive Communion on the tongue. And that opens up a real can of worms.

Some quick background: In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, in both the Ordinary Form (the Novus Ordo Mass) and the Extraordinary Form (the Traditional Latin Mass), the normal method for distributing Communion is on the tongue. In fact, until 1969, when Pope Paul VI allowed the introduction of the practice of Communion in the hand in Memoriale Domini, Communion was only received on the tongue in the Latin Rite.

Under the regulations of Memoriale Domini, each bishops' conference can petition the Vatican to allow the faithful in their jurisdiction to receive Communion in the hand. Until such permission is granted, it is not lawful for the faithful to do so (or for bishops or priests to allow it). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops petitioned for this right in 1973; it was granted by Pope Paul VI for the United States in 1977.

Pope Paul VI left the decision whether to institute the practice of receiving Communion in the hand up to each bishop. A bishop could still choose to mandate that Communion could only be received on the tongue in his diocese. What he could not do, however, was to replace entirely the traditional practice of Communion on the tongue with the new practice of Communion on the hand. Pope Paul VI had made it clear in Memoriale Domini that Communion on the tongue had to remain an option, and in 1977, the Congregation for Divine Worship reiterated this point:

The practice must remain the option of the communicant. The priest or minister of Communion does not make the decision as to the manner of reception of Communion. It is the communicant’s personal choice.

Which brings us back to today, to public-health concerns over the swine flu, and to bishops who are "mandating" Communion in the hand. No matter what their intentions (and we should always assume the best of intentions), the bishops who have effectively banned Communion on the tongue have overstepped their authority.

That said, what should the layperson who wishes to receive Communion on the tongue do if he is in a diocese where the bishop has mistakenly mandated Communion in the hand? This is a tough question. The faithful are within their rights to demand to receive Communion on the tongue; however, it's likely that, in certain parishes, they may not be able to do so without disruption, and even after such disruption they may still be denied Communion on the tongue.

The best way to avoid a scene is to avoid the opportunity for one. If you have access to a Traditional Latin Mass or to an Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy, attend that instead. Communion in those rites will continue to be distributed on the tongue, according to their normal practices.

If you do not have access to a Traditional Latin Mass or a Divine Liturgy, then you have three options:

  1. You can receive Communion on the hand. I do not like the practice myself and have avoided it for 30 years, but the Church says that it is acceptable for Catholics in the United States, so you need have no scruples about receiving Communion in the hand if you choose to do so.

  2. You can approach the minister of the Eucharist as you always do, signaling that you would like to receive Communion on the tongue. It is your right, and you should not worry that this may seem "disobedient" to your bishop. The decision is yours, not his.

    However, be prepared to be refused Communion. If you are, please realize that Mass is not the place to argue the point. Make the Sign of the Cross, return to your pew, and say an Act of Spiritual Communion. Then, when you return home, send a letter to your bishop politely asking him to instruct the priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist in his diocese to respect your right, outlined in Memoriale Domini and reaffirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1977, to receive Communion on the tongue.

  3. You can refrain from receiving Communion, instead remaining in your pew and making an Act of Spiritual Communion. If you do so, please also send a letter to your bishop, as outlined in option 2.

Above all, we need to assume the best of intentions on the part of our bishops. That can be hard to do sometimes, but in this case, it is quite likely that some bishops simply do not realize that they are overstepping their authority in attempting to mandate reception of Communion on the hand. The advent of the swine flu may be a teaching moment—even for some of our bishops.

Comments
May 3, 2009 at 11:07 am
(1) Michael says:

Dear Scott,
Your explanation re: Holy Communion in the hand was interesting.
But I am unclear about one point.
Did Pope Paul VI indicate anything about allowing communicants attending a Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine) to receive in the hand?

Is it expressly forbidden?

Does Holy Communion in the hand extend ONLY to Novus Ordo Masses?
Thanks again for a most informative website.

May 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm
(2) Pablo H. says:

“Noli Me Tangere. Do not touch me”.

The actions of Christ are what we should follow. The only people Christ allowed to touch Him, the Blessed Sacrament, after His resurrection, were the Priests. (The first person called by name before the Blessed Sacrament was the sinner, when Christ raised Lazarus. “Magister adest et vocat te” “The Master is here, and He calls you).

It is sacrilegious, maybe blasphemy, to incite the argument someone could get a disease from the Blessed Sacrament, dispensed from the consecrated hands of a Priest. Illness comes from Original Sin; could the Blessed Sacrament, the Body of Christ, have sin attached to it in any way?

Perhaps the Bishops should order ‘Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist’ to stop the sacrilege of lay people putting their filthy hands on the Blessed Sacrament. That would bring swine flu worries to a halt.

Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is the greatest sin Catholics are committing at this time.

Could Bishops be in error in their pronouncements? Yes, all the way up to the Pope: i.e., “Alas, Most Holy Father! At times obedience to you leads to eternal damnation”. ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA (1347-1380) DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (Letter to Pope Gregory IX, 1376.)

“I vow to change nothing of the received Tradition, and nothing thereof I have found before me guarded by my God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;” from the Papal Coronation Oath, POPE ST. AGATHO (678-681)

“Those therefore who after the manner of wicked heretics dare to set aside
Ecclesiastical traditions, and to invent any kind of novelty, or to reject any of those things entrusted to the Church, or who wrongfully and outrageously devise the destruction of any of those traditions enshrined in the Catholic Church, are to be punished thus:
if they are bishops, we order them to be deposed….” SECOND COUNCIL OF NICAEA (787)

During the Masonic attack upon Holy Mother Church in the Cristero Rebellion of Mexico, the Freemasons, had to engage in pitched battles to try to bring about control of the Church. Now all they had to do was open a bottle of swine flu virus. Faithful are being told if they want to attend Mass, watch it on T.V.; only recieve Communion in the hand if you do go to Mass; Tradition is out the window.

The order for Communion in the hand is a wicked one. It demonstrates the Bishops have left the Church of the God made man, and have taken up residency in the Church of the Man made God. That they are not being challenged agressively by the modern Catholics shows how far Catholics have fallen.

We have but one recourse:
Entrust this whole matter in the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Mother of the Priest par excellence, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, of all priests in whom she forms her Son”.

May God our Lord in his infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us his abundant grace, that we may know his most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.

pablo

May 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm
(3) Mary Ann says:

Dear Scott,

Thank you for the explanation. This morning at mass a letter was read from our Bishop “suspending” communion on the tongue. I was pretty sure a Bishop does not have the authority to deny that. I received in my hand, although I have not done that in years, and instructed my children to do the same. After mass I asked our priest if I would be denied communion on the tongue. He did not give an definite YES or NO, but said that our Bishop was very worried and he storngly encouraged it. The letter from the Bishop recommended we address any concerns to the Vicar General (who is also our Pastor). I will be writing to him.

the way I see it: For 2000 years, Catholics have died for Jesus in some pretty horrific ways. I’m okay with catching the flu in order to reverently receive him.

Fortunately, there is a Tridentine Mass we can attend, if need be.

May 5, 2009 at 6:46 pm
(4) Father Daniel Beegan says:

Dear Scott,

I am a priest in the breakaway Catholic Charismatic Church. Many of our hierarchs encourage receiving the Eucharist on the tongue, either alone or with tincture in the Precious Blood. We have not changed because of this media-hyped swine flu epidemic. Think I’ll have a couple pork chops later this week too to help dispell the myth the flu can be caught by eating pig meat.

May 7, 2009 at 10:48 am
(5) Kirt Higdon says:

In my diocese of Corpus Christi, TX, there is now no communion on the tongue or from the cup, no touching at the kiss of peace, and (at least in my parish) no holy water fonts. No distinction is made as to whether or not a person feels ill since someone could be infected or a carrier without current symptoms. These measures, while strict, are I believe justified by the situation and may help impede the spread of this flu. As far as “mandating communion in the hand” is concerned, what is actually meant is forbidding communion on the tongue. To me, common sense would indicate that communion on the tongue or from the cup would be more likely to spread the flu than communion in the hand. So I don’t see why people would object to this rule as a temporary measure. This will pass soon enough. In the meantime, why insist on endangering the lives of others just to take communion in your own preferred fashion.

May 7, 2009 at 11:42 am
(6) Scott P. Richert says:

As far as “mandating communion in the hand” is concerned, what is actually meant is forbidding communion on the tongue.

That’s precisely the point, because that’s what bishops have been forbidden to do by Pope Paul VI and the ruling from the Congregation for Divine Worship.

To me, common sense would indicate that communion on the tongue or from the cup would be more likely to spread the flu than communion in the hand.

The two practices—Communion on the tongue and Communion under both species—are different questions. We do not need to receive under both species—Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in each species. The practice of distributing Communion under both species is not traditional in the Latin Rite, and where it is traditional in Eastern Rites, the Precious Blood is not distributed to laypeople through drinking from a chalice but by intinction.

Communion on the tongue, however, is another matter, which is why Paul VI and the CDW said that it could not be forbidden. It isn’t just “your own preferred fashion”; it is the traditional practice in ALL rites, Western and Eastern, for the better part of two millennia.

If it is “common sense” that Communion on the tongue is more likely to spread flu than Communion on the hand, then this seems to me more evidence that common sense is sometimes quite wrong. I’ve already discussed this somewhat above, but historically, there’s been no indication that, in times of plague, Communion on the tongue exacerbated the situation.

To be very blunt, I think that the health of myself and my family is more likely to be safeguarded by the fact that we receive Communion on the tongue distributed by a single priest than it would be if we received Communion on the hand distributed by a score of Eucharistic ministers. In my experience, physical contact between the Eucharistic minister and the recipient is much more likely to occur during the distribution of Communion on the hand than it is during distribution of Communion on the tongue.

All of that said, I stand by my suggestions above. I would not urge anyone to “insist” on receiving Communion on the tongue, because the Mass is the wrong time and place to argue the point.

May 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm
(7) Ella_Cinderella says:

Our priest has already made it clear that he will not give Communion to those who will not receive in the hand. Personally, I’d really, really like to avoid reception on the hand. I understand it’s my choice.

Scott, your suggestions on what to do during the time for holy communion make sense to me, but if I abstain from receiving Our Lord even ‘temporarily’ am I shorting myself of the graces available? Would I need to go to confession before I could receive Him again- and what would I say, ‘I disobeyed the orders of our bishop by not receiving on the hand’, when it’s the bishop who has clearly overstepped his authority?

This is a very disturbing issue to me; I see it as divisive in our community.

May 14, 2009 at 11:28 pm
(8) Matt says:

Wow…..all this discussion totally misses the point. What a lukewarm faith comming down from Church leaders and accepted by the “faithful”. I am embarased.

The very thing that sets us apart, our belief in transubstantiation and the fact that we are receiving the body and blood of our Savior, is rendered null and void by the Church’s unwillingness to stand in faith.

As we come to receive Jesus why would he allow anyone to become sick as a result. He died on the cross so that we might be healed. We should be rising up as a body of believers, present in His house, receiving His precious body and blood unafraid and confident in the healing that He earned for us on the cross. I don’t buy the explanation that it is the chalice or the hand or what ever argument is being handed down.

Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sickness and by His stripes we are healed.
And now, timid as we are, we have allowed Satan to frighten us and create the spector which stops us from embracing, spreading God’s peace and receiving our Savior body, blood, soul and divinity.

For crying out loud, when are we going to stand in faith and BELIEVE.

I implore every Catholic who is considring this situation, to place their faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He will not allow us to become ill as we come to receive Him in His house.

Otherwise, we might as well be receiving a symbol as our Protestant brothers and sister believe.

May 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(9) RichR says:

I think the article above is very well thought out. It takes into account the law, the intentions of the bishops, but points out the cautious reserve we must have for setting these types of precedents (suspension of the law for perceived “emergency reasons”). The OP’s advice is sound and done in a very charitable way.

I, personally, think that the bishops need to know both sides of the story. Writing a respectful letter is a great way to assert your rights without being presumptuous, arrogant, or insubordinate.

June 7, 2009 at 11:57 am
(10) Suzie Savoy says:

Thank you for a most informative explanation. Today on Holy Trinity Sunday my husband was at St. James Catholic Church in Beaumont, Texas (just visiting) where they have replaced the Holy Water in the Holy Water fonts with bottles of hand-sanitizer. NO JOKE. He could not believe it.
Then, an announcement was read before Mass from a letter from Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas which basically stated a mandated communion in the tongue, no shaking hands during the sign of peace (which I agree with anyway) and no reception of communion from the Cup.
After Mass, my husband went to ask the pastor a question that if he wanted to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, would he be denied? With no pastoral-like sense, the priest said unequivocally and without hesitation that if a person wanted to receive on the tongue, “He would be vehemently denied communion.”
This is so ridiculous. My husband is a dentist and I am a dental hygienist. We deal in spit all day long. People are overreacting, especially with regards to the Holy Eucharist. It is our Catholic faith which teaches us that we receive the actual Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Christ in the Eucharist. If one truly believes this, then one must also believe that one cannot obtain a disease/illness from the Eucharist, and this includes receiving on the tongue, and from the Holy Blood from the Cup. Besides if one does, then, “hello” it’s God’s will.
The Bishops, the priests, and the lay people must stop overreacting and step back to examine what they truly believe from their faith in the Eucharist.

June 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm
(11) Suzie Savoy says:

Correction to my previous post…the statement read before Mass from the Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas was a basically a “mandated communion IN THE HAND”…
Sorry for the mistake.

June 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm
(12) Fiona says:

Receiving communion on the the tongue poses a higher risk for transmission of diseases, than receiving on the hand, as a person can expel air borne pathogens through their breath, which can then be transmitted from fingers to host.

June 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm
(13) Scott P. Richert says:

Fiona, I specifically addressed your concern in the body of the post. And you haven’t addressed the question of hand-to-hand contact, which is quite common when the Host is received in the hand.

July 13, 2009 at 6:09 am
(14) Michael says:

Thank God for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. I attended Mass this morning in this Form and received Communion on the tongue. As I have a day off work I though that it would be a wonderful opportunity to go to Mass a second time and receive Our Lord again as permitted. However the Parish Priest has decided to give Communion in the hand so I, reluctantly, did not(could not bring myself to go. I gather from what the Priest said at the end of Mass that some brave souls did ask for and receive on the tongue. As it is not a Diocesan policy in our diocese yet (Southwark – London UK)I suppose they cannot insist however the message was that, in receiving on the tongue you risk spreading the Flu. I wish I had had the courage to go up and receive on the tongue. It seems that what the Modernists could not achieve, Swine Flu has done! Of course the Sign of Peace is still given. I hope I did not offend the person next to me. I kept my hands joined and bowed to him.

July 24, 2009 at 11:19 am
(15) akathist says:

Thank you for your advise. Now what would happen if the swine flu vaccine contains aborted fetus cells ?

July 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm
(16) Brian says:

Scott -

It is proper and right to receive Jesus on the tongue. As an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, I have witnessed all kinds of abuses i.e. trying to receive with gloves on, holding the Host in the hand – not consuming until seated in the pew, placing the Host in the pocket and trying to run out of the Church (with a priest at their tail). Jesus on the tongue will fix all these problems. The Pope should notify the US Bishops and tell them “Communion in the hands no more”!!!

God bless you!

July 25, 2009 at 6:10 am
(17) akathist says:

Fiona Hi

All who receive holy communion respond with ‘Amen’ before recieving the host. So it shouldnt make a difference.

Would’nt contact with money within the church bring germs also

July 31, 2009 at 4:12 am
(18) Pius says:

What a storm in a tea-cup! (or is it a chalice?) Surely we have missed the point!The bishops are not mandating comuunion in the hand. This is a temporary procedure made for the COMMON GOOD in order to prevent the spread of a virus that is killing those with underlying conditions, the young and the elderly. Lets put the ‘I’ and ‘me’ aside and begin to think of the ‘we’ and ‘us’, thus safeguarding the vulnerable. The situation will revert to normality once the flu season is over. Let some basic common sense and charity prevail please!

July 31, 2009 at 9:41 pm
(19) Martin says:

“Her priests have despised my laws;and have defiled my sanctuaries. They have made no difference between the holy and the profane; nor have they distinguished between the polluted and the clean”

Ezechiel:22,26

August 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm
(20) Antony says:

Its like the good article says, if the priest makes sure no contact is made when the body of Christ is placed on the tongue then there is no problem. Priests just need to be a little more cautious thats all. And being afraid of catching a virus is impossible to avoid so why dont we just say if i get it, i get it (que sera sera) as long as we have lived a good life (and followed the church rather than renegade shepherds) then we shall go to heaven.
Here is a passage for all us faithful ones:(Jeremiah 6:16)
The Lord says this, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths: which was the good way? Take it and you will find rest for yourselves. But they (the modernists) have said “We will not take it”
Ps i am a young man of 28 in England, i came back to the Church 3 years ago but i see too much laziness and modernism in the Church, all you modernists need a lesson in humility and realise that you are not in line with the Pope and the Church. May i remind you that the Pope is the vicar of Christ and that the Church is the bride of Christ. Modernists please begin to learn that the Church has a past and that you cannot say that the Church has Vatican Council 2 as its base. The base of the Church is the last two thousand years and the vatican council 2 can only be understood in relation to these two thousand years of Sacred Tradition.
Glory to God in the highest and peace to all People who are God’s friends
Pace vobiscum

August 30, 2009 at 7:11 pm
(21) Henry Law says:

Here (Sweden) the edict that has gone out is no handshaking and communion on the tongue only. Which means using the Communion Plate.

To further prevent the spread of infection, it would be a good idea for the priest and congration to face in the same direction, and it might help too if communion was received with the communicants in a kneeling position. And while we are about it, communion rails should be put back for Health and Safety reasons as the sanctuary step constitutes a trip hazard.

September 1, 2009 at 11:54 am
(22) Strega says:

When our bishops issued their letter with a “recommendation” that communion be only in the hand the priest celebrating Mass that morning put it in terms of protecting them, so I went immediately to ask my doctor ( a neumologist) if I were a threat to my priests’ health by receiving on the tongue and he laughed and said absolutely not. Sadly for me, there is only one Tridentine Mass here a month, on the 1st Sunday of each month. But fortunately all of the priests in my parish are honoring the right of those of us who wish to receive on the tongue. I’ve only been refused once, so I didn’t receive at all at that Mass – I will not receive in the hand. It took the Bishops 2 or 3 more weeks to get around to eliminating the contact in “the sign of peace” and in that case the archbishop made it an “order.” BTW we have never had holy water fonts in my parish, which makes me sad, but on Saturday brand new hand sanitizer dispensers turned up at every entrance – it looks like a public restroom. Thanks to Pablo (above) for a beautiful, articulate explanation of the truth in this issue Pax et Bonum.

September 5, 2009 at 7:34 am
(23) Michael says:

Re. my original post on the subject (14) I just wish to say that I apologise to anyone who might have been offended by it. It was rather a knee-jerk reaction. Although, as we know, Modernists have, in the past,notably during the Papacy of St. Pius X, I believe, attacked the Church I feel that I was unfair in generalising as I did. Our Bishops and Priests (God bless them) have a difficult task. I thank those who have not felt the need to impose ‘Communion in the hand’ on us and pray that those who felt they had to do this will soon feel able to allow the choice once more. I still remain unable to receive Communion in the hand – I would find it very hard to bring myself to touch with my hand the Body of Christ.

September 5, 2009 at 7:37 am
(24) Michael says:

Sorry – perhaps ‘impose’ was a bit strong!

September 5, 2009 at 7:40 am
(25) Michael says:

Sorry – perhaps ‘impose’ was a bit strong!It’s hard sometimes to find the correct word and express oneself without the risk of causing offence

November 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm
(26) Tanya says:

First off, thank you so much for this post. It was incredibly helpful. We are dealing with a situation right now, where our Bishop has announced that we will not be able to receive communion on the tongue for the foreseeable future.

My husband and I both receive communion on the tongue, and were dismayed when the Bishop told us that we would not be able to, until this threat had passed. This announcement by the Bishop was partly due to the fact that we cannot get vaccinated in this area, because they ran out of vaccines too quickly. My husband has been scouring the internet, and talking to many friends of his who are priests, deacons, etc. Most agreed, that it is not in the Bishops ability to suspend the receiving of communion on the tongue.

However, we did find out today from a priest friend who served on the Tribunal, that in a situation such as this, the Bishop is fully within his right to suspend communion on the tongue temporarily. He is not allowed to remove it completely, but he can do it on a temporary basis during a time, such as this.

While we still have questions, we will have to obey the Bishop at this time. We will have to take this on good faith, and of course assuming only the best intentions by the Bishop to aide in reducing the spread of the flu. God bless!

November 5, 2009 at 10:29 am
(27) Tanya says:

As an update to my prior post. After some continued digging, we were directed to the “Redemptionis Sacramentum”, from 2008, which again states that the receipt of communion is completely based upon the desire of the communicant. So, that brings us back to our doubt of whether the Bishop has authority. It continuously gets confirmed that he is not, even when there is the possibility of a maybe.

We have decided to not provoke the matter further. An email was sent to our Bishop asking for clarification and explaining our confusion over the documents, which clearly state that it is not within his authority to remove reception of communion on the tongue. However, we have received nothing back in response. For now, we will receive communion in the hand, and offer up our prayers.

November 28, 2009 at 12:58 am
(28) Dominique says:

I appreciate the article and the emphasis on the fact that the dangers of contracting this “over dramatized” flu via reception of our Lord on the tongue is any greater than if one were to receive in the hand. I have several friends who are nurses and know enough doctors to be able to state that in asking them the same question either way (on the tongue or hand) the danger of transmission is minimal to none. Now advising people to go to the Extraordinary form of the Mass (Traditional Latin Rite as celebrated by the FSSP) is a good idea, unless they reside in my diocese (Diocese of Southern Alberta, Canada) where our Bishop today has suspended the Mass in its Extraordinary form so long as their is a threat of flu and the FSSP priest refuse to give communion in the hand.

We are deeply sandened here as we have come to Love the Mass celebrated in its Ancient and Traditional form and are now forced to find another option. We will likely be going to the Society of St.Pius 10th until all this nonsense blows over. So much for obedience to the directives of our Vicar of Rome!!!

Dominus Vobiscum

January 10, 2010 at 1:58 am
(29) Belen Macias says:

I attend mass in the Diocese of Monterey in California. Twice I have been denied my right to receive communion in the tongue. Swine flu seems to have Today I wrote a letter to my bishop. Not only did I ask him to remind priests of my right to take communion in the tongue, but I also asked him to consider having priests announce the option of receiving communion in the tongue while kneeling. I pray for a good response!

March 13, 2010 at 12:27 am
(30) Laura Shepard says:

Recently I attended two different Churches where communion in the hand was mandated or highly encourage and the norm. Both times I decided to receive per the direction or the norm in the hand and each time I felt a great sense that I had defiled Our Lord. I will never again receive in this manner and instead will seek out mass in which communion is given on the tongue. I also was blessed to see a woman who kneeled as she received and immediately knew this was most pleasing to Our Lord. I thank the Lord for the grace of understanding and I pray the faithful will have their veils lifted in this matter. So here are two questions for each who claims the honor of being a Catholic….If He appeared in a personal form before us, who among us would not immediately kneel and humble themselves? If we believe in the miracle of the eucharist and we truly Adore Him who created us..how can we do anything less then receive him in a spirit of utmost humilty and thankfulness as represented in our physical approach to the host?

August 2, 2010 at 11:41 am
(31) Carol says:

I happen to prefer receiving in the hand because I can gaze on the Lord Jesus in the Sacred Host for a few seconds before receiving him, this i couldn’t do in the old days when we closed our eyes and open our mouths. I prefer to receive the way it is done today.
Now my Mother, 90 years old, who due to age isn’t sure of her grip will receive on the tongue so that she won’t take the chance of dropping the Lord on the floor, she doesn’t receive the Precious Blood from the chalice. Where as I do.
I like one of the previous posters believe that Jesus won’t allow germs to be transported via the Consecrated Bread and Wine that through the actions of his Priest have become himself in his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Also no where in the Bible or the “Teachings of the Twelve Apostles,” have I seen any reference to how the Most Holy Eucharistic elements are to be distributed to the faithful. Remember the early Christians didn’t have all the rules that we do today, as many were still devout Jews who had accepted Jesus as the Christ. Thus they still attended the synagogue and then added the Christian Eucharist in their homes.
Yes out of reverence and obedience to the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, “Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you….
Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlating covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me, we use unleavened bread (Roman Missal, Latin/Roman Rite) and grape wine. But nowhere does Jesus or the apostles say that the Eucharistic elements are only to be touched by priests or ministers. The Tradition of “Communion on the Tongue,” is just that, a TRADITION that was implanted by a council of clergy, just like a council of clergy decided what clothing, now vestments, would be worn by the celebrant and ministers. Yes tradition is great, but in the Holy Bible does say, “See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 (New American Bible) or, “See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hollow discourse, these are merely human doctrines not inspired by Christ but by the wisdom of this world. Colossians 2:8 (Christian Community Bible, Imprimatur – Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.) Thus, it isn’t how we receive, but WHO we receive in Holy Communion that should be significantly important. And lastly, “To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons; unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion.” The Catechism of The Council of Trent, Tan Books © 1976 Page 254. Thus this Blessed Sacrament being untouchable by other than priests, bishops….., is a tradition of men, not Jesus who instituted it. Jesus in the Eucharist won’t pass a virus, but the hand that has saliva from a previous communicant on it, most assuredly can pass a virus, and likewise, the chalice of the Blood of Christ won’t pass viruses, as it is wiped clean between communicants. How we receive, is a TRADITION OF MAN, not of GOD.

November 11, 2011 at 12:33 am
(32) brodjon says:

Oh Carol, you should not receive the Eucharist. Only catholics can receive it. You seem like a catholic but your posts reveal you are a protestant. When you protest against the authority of Church and Tradition you become a protester, a protestant. When you want to be your own authority in interpreting the bible you become a protestant. By disguising as a catholic, you deceive yourself.

November 11, 2011 at 8:43 am
(33) carol says:

1, I only wrote the 1st 9 lines of the post, the others came from I don’t know where. The only thing I stood up for that is counter the original post is why I prefer to receive the Eucharist in the hand, and the Precious blood from the Chalice.
2. As Jesus says, “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned….., Lk 6: 37 NAB. I don’t know who you are, and judging is reserved to God. May God forgive you for judging things that you arn’t privy to.

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