Communion; Hand or Mouth?

Yesterday at Mass, my husband noticed that on the floor of our pew, by our feet, was a quarter of an unconsumed Host. He picked it up and consumed it.

Discussing it on the way home, my husband chose to think the best, not the worst. “Maybe [at a previous Mass] the wedge was part of Consecration Host, and it somehow got picked up with another one and missed, or dropped onto a sweater, or something.”

My husband is always quick to think the best, especially when a matter is too troubling to consider, otherwise. We don’t want to think the worst, that someone simply threw the Blessed Sacrament on the floor, or had casually nibbled at the Host, as though it were a cookie – although such things do, sadly, happen.

Nevertheless it brought home to us, again, the reasonableness of receiving the Eucharist by mouth, rather than by hand. My husband currently receives in the hand; I have, over the years, gone back to receiving by mouth; neither one of us has an issue with the other’s choice – they’re just our personal preferences. But my husband has said that if the choice disappeared, he’d have no problem receiving by mouth again.

So, it is very interesting to read Pope Benedict’s thoughts on the matter:

“I am not opposed in principle to Communion in the hand; I have both administered and received Communion in this way myself.”

But, he explains: “The idea behind my current practice of having people kneel to receive Communion on the tongue was to send a signal and to underscore the Real Presence with an exclamation point. One important reason is that there is a great danger of superficiality precisely in the kinds of Mass events we hold at Saint Peter’s, both in the Basilica and in the Square. I have heard of people who, after receiving Communion, stick the Host in their wallet to take home as a kind of souvenir.

“In this context, where people think that everyone is just automatically supposed to receive Communion — everyone else is going up, so I will, too–I wanted to send a clear signal. I wanted it to be clear: Something quite special is going on here! He is here, the One before whom we fall on our knees! Pay attention!

It seems like Light of the World is allowing the pontiff to address some negative assumptions that are immediately made about his every move–like, why he wore the camauro:

For example, in December 2005 Benedict XVI once sported the camauro, a thick woolen cap last worn by Pope John XXIII. Several commentators touted it as an example of Benedict’s traditionalism, but in the Seewald interview the pope says the reality was far more prosaic: It was a cold day, Benedict has a sensitive head, the camauro was lying around, and he simply put it on.

Benedict says he’s never done so since, “in order to forestall over-interpretation.”

My husband is quick to assume the best about even the worst situations–to try to credit the good, until something else convinces him otherwise. Wouldn’t it be great if the media–or even some Catholics–could do that, once in a while, about the Pope?

Or if we all could do that, just a little more than we do, about others, in general–assume the best, rather than the worst about others–whether they are in the pew behind us, or personal acquaintances, or media folk, or even some politico-types–until we have a real reason not to? That’s a lesson I know I keep needing to learn, over and over.

To that end, I think I am going to close comments for the first week of Advent. I am becoming convinced that the internet–wonderful as it is as a tool for information and communication–is also turning people into curmudgeons or hand-wringing hysterics. Too much time in the forums and on the comments threads and in the echo chambers–all that noise–it can’t be good for us, or our souls. We’ve all gotten into the habit of instantly jumping to respond to stories, events and people–instareactions–that everyone seems kind of edgy and unhappy. Maybe a little quiet time will make us more reflective, and that will make for a fruitful Advent.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jon White

    “Interpret all things positively.” – St. Francis deSales

  • Maximus Decidius Meridius

    I ceased receiving in the hand after one experience of being an Extraordinary Minister one time, and when I was finished distributing the Eucharist, my fingers were coated with particles of Our Lord’s Body.

    I realized then and there several things;
    - most people don’t understand what they are receiving
    - my hands aren’t consecrated
    - I am a pauper before my King and God…and a subject of the Crown kneels before his Sovereign

    Recently, I began to kneel to receive Jesus. The act of kneeling on the floor is…well…it just seems *appropriate* for me to do.

    If the Church says distribution of Holy Communion in the hand is OK, then it’s not for me to judge. That said, I kneel and open my mouth.

  • William

    I, too, prefer to kneel and receive Holy Communion on the tongue but seldom do so because of “Eucharistic Ministers.” Their hands are no more consecrated than mine. Sadly, where I attend Holy Mass the priest knees to the side while lay people give out Communion. It’s all so wrong.

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  • Rick

    Our priest is blind… receiving in the hand is… necessary… and nearly weekly, he explains that those receiving should form a throne for our Lord with both hands… and so people do just that…

    I witnessed someone dropping the host yesterday… and the man was completely chagrined and flustered by it… he picked it up, and then gave it back to our priest, who had noticed somehow that the man had bent over to pick it up… he attempted to put it back in the ciborium and the priest stopped him, took the host back, and immediately consumed it…

    It was something to watch… and it was done, somehow, reverently…

    I look forward to that day when I’ll receive again and this time with the proper respect and reverence for what is taking place…

  • Margo

    I thoroughly agree with you (and your husband) about assuming “the best, rather than the worst about others.” I wrote a post about the “too good to be true” concept of thinking. It doesn’t exactly pertain to what you are speaking of here, but the point is that we are almost programmed to think in a negative way rather than a positive one. Thanks for this article, I enjoyed it!

  • MrsA

    Hooray for this idea- both closing comments for some quiet time, and thinking the best! Two ideas I have heard many times might help us to do this.
    1. Think (in personal situations, esp.) “That person did not know how much they would wound me when they said/did that.”
    2. God is always happy with our 2nd reaction as well- For example: when someone cuts us off, and we get steamed- try to right away find a forgiving/charitable thought- maybe they’re late for work-have to go help someone, etc. It really works- and often we end up saying a little prayer instead of a little curse.

  • Ellen

    I recieve on the tongue. I’d love to kneel, but our church isn’t arranged for that. Our new priest is devout, prayerful and holy. I hope some of it will rub off on some of the more informal members of the congregation.

  • Annie

    I have been receiving Communion in my hands for years, but I have occasionally thought about changing ever since I saw the pope administer it on the tongue.
    After hearing his explanation, despite the fact that he states that he is not opposed in principle to Communion in the hand, ironically, I think that I will finally take the plunge and revert to the older method…with an exclamation point!

  • Jan

    If Communion rails were still around, I’d be happy to kneel – but these knees just ain’t gonna make it down to the floor and up again without one:)

    I never took up the ‘in-the-hand’ means of receiving with regularity. I don’t particularly care if people want to receive in the hand, except for the times when they shove the hand holding the Host into their face like a two-year-old with candy; as Rick said, the hands should form a throne – one hand receives and the other picks the Host up to consume.

    The other thing that is really not cool is when people who receive in the hand pick at their palms over and over with one finger as those there were dozens of visible particles left. Or even worse when they lick their palms – I’m not kidding – I’ve seen it happen. It’s kind of repulsive to watch, especially when they are the EMHC’s – standing there in the sanctuary as they do in my parish.

    I’ve taken Communion the the sick and hospitalized for years – I haven’t seen more than a couple of particles the entire time.

  • Greta

    I am blessed in going to a solid Dominican run parish and you notice it as the people come up to communion. There are many that genuflect but the vast majority of them bow and most receive communion in the mouth. I also see that many on some weeks fail to come up for communion unlike some parishes where they seem to be coming up for a food line unaware or without a care that they should no do so while in the state of grave mortal sin. We also have a very strong showing at the pennance services which happen frequently each week. I find that parishes that do not promote and provide times for pennance services, also seem to lack the reverence for the host. In growing up, I remember often going past people in the pews who were not going that week and in fact in some way I guess showing their state of grace and need for cleansing the soul before commiting a grave sin of recieving while in the state of another grave sin.

  • BB.

    I wonder if the problem of careless handling, dropping the host in the pew, etc. ever happens in Protestant churches. In every non-Catholic service I’ve been in, I’ve found a great deal of reverence at Communion. ( also, I’ve noticed that worshippers conduct them selves in general with more decorum than I usually experience with Mass goers).

  • Jeff

    I see many people not taking communion at Latin masses; at English language masses, it seems everyone goes. Discuss amongst yourselves.

  • alexandrag

    Thanks for all the recent religious posts. I have been enjoying them thoroughly. Closing comments sounds like a relief, and a wonderful fast in anticipation of the birth of Christ.

  • F

    I was recently warmly welcomed into a religious community as a guest in the old monastic tradition of hospitality. While at mass with them in their chapel, we received consecrated bread. It was unleavened but thick, crumbly and messy. My mother and I were startled. After the priests and brothers of this community received, which, btw, they did by passing the patten and just taking one and passing it on, they would consume the host and then each one brushed all the chunks and crumbs off their hands as if they’d just had a free sample at Costco. This was painful for me. So, Jan, I know you do not like to see us clean our palms but, I’d rather turn you off a bit than let my Lord be profaned by dusting Him onto the floor. Sorry. I don’t believe in palm licking but, I always check for particles as our parish uses the giant hosts that have to be broken into about 16 pieces. They always have crumbs and particles falling off. I can’t see myself making eye contact with Jesus if I’d been careless with His sacred body.

    I’m all for the holy silence, Anchoress. Thanks for stepping up and leading on this one.

    I’m also longing for more silence before, during and after mass. Why can’t those of us who need and want prayerful time in church have it? I thought the vestibule/narthex were designed so folks could have a place to meet that was not outdoors. I can’t hear the Lord when I’m hearing all this needless chatter around me. It hurts because, after working 6 days a week, I need to have SOME shelter, SOME oasis, SOME sanctuary. And what is most scandalizing is when our senior parishoners do it. I thought they’d know better and want to set a finer example.

    And, lastly, I’d like to chime in for more emphasis on worth reception. We have a new priest at a local parish, newly ordained and trained in Rome. Wow. How refreshing. He’s always making himself available for confession. I finally went to him and he was marvelous. I didn’t know what a young man priest could do but, truly, he is in persona Christi. Thank heavens the new generation of priests seems to “get” the need for cleansing before receiving the Lord.

  • Billiam

    I will never forget the feeling of receiving the host by spoon when I attended a Russian Catholic parish in another city years ago. Nothing made me feel more like a child before the Lord . . .

  • Patrick B.

    I still receive by mouth. Was a Eucharistic minister years ago. The question about whether the EM’s hands are “consecrated” is easily answered: no, they aren’t, and can never be sufficiently consecrated, so let’s just muddle on. Too often I see communicants pop that wafer in there like it was a bubble gum commercial (complete with the cud chewing). I’d prefer to receive from hands that know what they’re doing.

  • Phillip Eisenberg

    I’ve had a couple discussions here and there over the question of reception of the Eucharist.

    I hope anyone reading this would not fall into the alarming mindset I too often see.

    That is, a human person, full of dignity and made in image of God, who willingly and in the state of grace receives our Lord with a worthy disposition CANNOT devalue and/or weaken the effects of the Eucharist MERELY by the way he or she physically receives the Eucharist.

    Such a mindset otherwise would be gravely erroneous to the Truth of the Blessed Sacrament and the sheer selflessness out of which Christ gave us.

    ALLBEIT, I do prefer to receive on the tongue as well and encourage others to do so . So, instead of first presenting a passive aggressive condemnation of those who receive on the hands, let’s continue to encourage each other in complete spiritual and physical awareness of the True Presence of Christ who receive in the Eucharist.

  • JB

    I will heartily recommend a little book “Dominus Est – It is the Lord!” yes, with the exclamation mark :) by the Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

    If the Bishop’s surname seems odd to that region of the world, consider the plight of Catholics under Soviet oppression. The book first discusses their devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and their dedication to protecting the sacramental priesthood.

    Bishop Schneider provides a consideration of the Church Fathers and the early Church, the Magisterium, and the Rites of West and East, in their attitude towards the Eucharist.

    “I have read the whole book with delight. It is excellent.” -Francis Cardinal Arinze

    “Now more than ever, it is necessary to help the faithful renew a living faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church herself.” -from the preface by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

    When the book was published and so enthusiastically reviewed, let us consider that Cardinal Arinze was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, with now-Cardinal Ranjith the Secretary thereof.

    How would we greet Our Lord if the Mass had been absent from our cities for fifteen years? Why do we not have this attitude at every Mass? It is something to consider.

  • Dennis

    At Old St. Mary’s in Cincinnati we all kneel at the communion rail to receive either in the hand or on the tongue.

    When I went to Holy Family in the 50′s we not only knelt, but also placed our hands under an immaculate white linen cloth that hung suspended on the sanctuary side of the rail and was turned over the rail toward us just prior to communion by the two servers. There was no question how people respected the Eucharist.

  • Andrew B

    My wife and I are in the early stages of RCIA, so we are attending Mass each week. While we do not yet receive Communion, I was startled to see people standing to receive, as well as taking the Host in their hands.

    I grew up in a moderately High Church Episcopalian parish, and we invariably knelt for to receive Communion. I guess I just assumed that the Catholic Church would do likewise.

    Live and learn.

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  • Bernard

    Jan, I grew up in the Church of England, and the lifting of the two hands to the mouth was how I learned to consume the communion wafer there. When I became Catholic, I continued to consume the host in the same way. It is a cultural difference, for sure, but it is probably not at all disrespectful; it is probably the mark of a convert. I wonder if there are any English Catholics reading who can tell us if this is normal in the UK?

    I stopped receiving in the hand when I moved to the tropics, as my hands were invariably sweaty. There would be particles left all over them, and I had to lick them in order to fully consume the host. I also felt that that was not respectful, so I started to receive on the tongue.

    I was a eucharistic minister for a time, and I had a child bring a host back to me and tell me that his brother had not eaten it. I placed it in the lad’s mouth, so that ended well, but I am morally certain that there were other times when the ending was not so happy. I understand that the discipline of receiving the host in the mouth started when some people were using the host in witchcraft rituals; it was easier for the priest to prevent malicious abuse. I guess that it’s an improvement that the problem in the West is more one of ignorance, but only just…

  • Jennifer

    About 5 years ago, I started receiving by mouth due to a squirmy newborn boy, then toddler, and now preschooler – my hands were otherwise occupied with him. As I’ve had to guide him less, I’ve come to the conclusion that I actually prefer receiving by mouth – I’m much more conscious of what I am doing – I have to pay more attention to the priest and what I happening and being said. When I received by hand, the host was just sort of plunked into my hand and I was free to wander off.

  • Don

    Your husband is to be commended for attempting to see the good in people. These days, it’s a hard thing to do even occasionally. However, my concern is why didn’t you both wait until after the mass was over and, while one “stands guard,” over the host, the other should have gone to get the priest to recover the host and give Him His proper disposal. Also, did your husband therefore recieve Our Lord twice at the same mass; one self-communicated?

  • Elaine S.

    I switch back and forth between hand and mouth depending on which way feels less awkward and more reverent to me at the time. I understand all the arguments for recieving by mouth only and would do this all the time if I could, but there are a number of reasons why I don’t.

    One reason I don’t receive by mouth more often is because I am rather tall for a female (about 5′ 8″) and if I am in line to receive from a height-challenged priest or EMHC, that means I either 1) force them to reach up or 2) have to bend over and thrust my jaw forward in an awkward manner. Of course, if the parishes I attend had communion rails and we knelt to receive that issue would be moot.

  • Dino

    Prefer receiving the Body of Christ by mouth, but am put off by the EMs who bless everyone, those receiving and those just in line, with the Holy Species.
    As for assumptions, my wife always assumed that I was positively wrong.

  • Tigger23505

    @ BB Yes, during communion lots of interesting things happen to both the bread and wine during the process. In my current church (Methodist) the practice is to take the bread in cupped hands and then dip it in the wine (by church rules grape juice). (Intinction) Most often, some of the smaller children drop the bread in the cup. So they are given a second piece.

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  • Mick

    Oy vey! Does anyone here doubt that crumbs fell from the original loaf broken by Christ?

    Mountains out of mole hills!

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    RE: EMs giving blessings…

    Some months back, a priest blogger wrote about EMs giving blessings, and noted that, yeah, they’re not supposed to do that. (Technically, EVERYBODY gets blessed at the end of mass, anyway, so it’s redundant for anyone to do it, period.) He suggested, however, that EMs could simply say, “Receive Jesus in your heart,” which isn’t really a blessing but does serve to satisfy people’s hunger for some spiritual nourishment during communion.

    I’ve done that, and I think it’s apt.

    Dcn. G.

  • OhioCatholic

    This is my greatest shame. If ever I could do something over, this would be it, no question.

    I went to visit my brother in Baltimore shortly after I converted to Catholicism. He had been Catholic for 4 years before me. We went out on Friday to get some fresh seafood, which made me very very sick. By late Sunday I was well enough to venture out to mass, but still very far from well. I had to leave mass twice. I was able to make it to communion, and I received by mouth. When I was leaving, though, walking to his car on a cobblestone path, worn out, my head down, looking forward to getting back into bed.

    There, on the ground, on the way to the car, “hidden” on the cobblestone path, was my Lord and Savior. And I didn’t pick him up. I didn’t call for help. I didn’t stop walking.

    Every time someone hypothetically asks “If you saw Jesus on the street, would you recognize Him? Would He recognize you?” I think of what I did. I know the answer. It’s not a hypothetical question to me.

    My only hope was that I was sick enough to only spend 10,000 years in purgatory. If I can only make it to purgatory…

  • Patricia

    Related to this topic, here is an excellent post from Abbot Joseph Homick of Holy Transfiguration Monastery – “Open Your Mouth and I Will Fill It” :

  • Kim T

    Being of the Maronite Rite, but attending the Latin Rite Mass 95% of the time, I partake of the Eucharist, generally, on the tongue. However, because our priest is 80 years old, when I have a cold, I will partake in my hand, to prevent him from getting sick. I do like the option to receive either way for that specific purpose.

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  • ferdi grofe

    I love the one about the hat. It reminds me of the old joke: Why do firemen wear red suspenders? To hold their pants up!

  • jane

    A beautiful story told by my daughter who volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity – a woman who attended Mass at the convent let it be known afterwards that she had thrown the host in the garbage. When the sisters heard what had happened they gathered in the kitchen, sifting through every piece of the garbage in tears, looking for their beloved Lord. When they couldn’t find Him, they asked one of the volunteers to take them to the garbage dump to search, since the trash had recently been picked up. They were saved that trip when someone found the host in the sifting process. The sisters were overjoyed and my daughter was taught a lesson in Eucharistic reverance that she will never forget.

  • cathyf

    I understand the pope’s point about the struggle to keep mass at St. Peter’s from devolving into a carnival atmosphere. I understand his position as supreme teacher, using this spectacle to teach about being humble before the awesome majesty of Our Lord’s actual presence in the Eucharist. I understand that this Communion which binds me to Christ binds me to everyone who binds themselves to Christ, and that the assembly stands as sacred sign of the entire Church.

    But at the moment when I receive Our Lord I just can’t. I can’t be concerned about what I look like to the people around me. I can’t think about making some proper political statement that this or that partisan wants me to make. I can barely manage the Catholic olympics of getting on and off my knees (especially off!) under circumstances where I can give it all of my attention, but at the moment of receiving Christ, I just can’t.

    If I am in a situation where my hands are full (with a child, or music, or crutches, etc.) then I am grateful for the opportunity to receive on the tongue. But normally I approach the Lord empty-handed, and the ritual of receiving into the hand is a prolonged and emphatic assent. My firm and resolute “Amen.” My cradling of the Lord in the throne that I have formed of one hand, my taking with the other, and eating. Again “Amen.” My firm grasp of the chalice, taking and drinking. I’m surely a haplessly lame and useless disciple, but Jesus said, “Take and eat; take and drink,” and at that moment I can be obedient to his command. When I receive the Eucharist, my body encounters my Lord’s body, with all five senses. I hear the words “the Body of Christ”. I see the forms of bread and wine which host Him. I touch host and chalice. I taste and smell the stark simplicity of unleavened bread, and the abundant richness of wine. Certainly when I receive on the tongue I do so as well, it merely goes by a little bit faster.

    In a few more minutes, I’ll walk down the side aisle of the church, seeing the members of my parish that I know and love. Or if among strangers, I know that all of us are bound together by our love of Christ. I’ll return to my pew, or climb the steps into the choir loft, and sing the communion hymn, as well as I am able. But right then, at that moment which I receive Christ, I am overwhelmed by His Presence and it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other.

    So can we simply declare a truce when it comes to having opinions about how other people receive Communion? If for no other reason than that at the moment we encounter the full presence of Christ we are fully engaged and don’t have the attention to spare for creating spectacles and teaching moments and making statements.

  • Sal

    No comments is a lovely idea.
    Because of the number of new members or curious guests from other parishes, the priests at our E.F. parish give periodic instruction re: kneeling to receive on the tongue along with the announcements. It seems to work well.

  • TeaPot562

    The translation into English of Jesus’s words at the last supper (Mark 14:22, e.g.) are: “Take this; this is My body”; or Matthew 26:26: “Take this and eat it; this is My body”.
    To the extent that our worship is based on his command to “Do this in remembrance of Me”, do you think that the Eleven (if Judas had already departed) used their hands to receive the Sacrament? or did they stick out their tongues?
    Should we try to follow the examples of the Apostles?
    Just a question.

  • JB

    re: TeaPot562

    I found in a link from other comments on this post and replies to it, that Abbot Joseph (a Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic priest) has pondered:

    “While it is true that Jesus said to his apostles, ‘Take, eat…’, it ought to be known that the word used can mean both ‘take’ and ‘receive,’ and I’ve even seen a minority of translations that read: ‘Receive, eat…’ In any case, in the English language, ‘take’ has connotations inappropriate for Holy Communion.”


  • Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    Silence for the first week of Advent. A gift indeed, thank you dear Anchoress, thank you. You have prompted me to consider actually being silent out here for a week.

  • Jeff

    The Apostles also wore tunics and sandals and at least two denied Christ. Should we do the same?

  • Maureen

    Actually, it’s fairly common in the Middle East for the host to pick up a choice morsel, or a piece of bread wrapped around a morsel, and then pop it into the mouth of the guest. Ethiopians often do this at meals as a sign of affection for their children or spouses.

    So yeah, it’s possible that Jesus did feed the apostles by popping food into their mouths, at least on occasion.

    Moving right along… it’s always been acceptable for Catholics to reverently dispose of a consecrated host, or particles thereof, by eating it. One of the little girl Chinese martyrs crept into a guarded church night after night, surreptitiously removing and eating consecrated Hosts that had been thrown about by the soldiers who arrested the priest and much of the congregation.

    So yes, ideally somebody would fetch a priest and do all the proper things to respectfully deal with the Host and the area around; but the impulse to quickly consume the Host to avert further disrespect isn’t wrong.

  • Manny

    I prefer receiving it in the hands, though I’m not sure why. It feels more secure for me but I have to admit I nearly fumbled it this passed Sunday. By my unscientific calculation I would guess most people at my church receive it by hand. No one kneels. We’re not set up that way either.

  • cathyf

    No, “take” is the right word, but that has nothing to do with the question of the mechanics of Communion. When we are in communion with the Church, we assent to what the Church believes. The specific act of taking Communion is when we say “Amen” to the assertion that this is the body and blood of Christ.

    All those who choose to take up their crosses and follow Jesus are surely a joy to Him. The Church Militant is an all-volunteer army; God doesn’t believe in the draft…

  • Kris, in New England

    Like Andrew B. in comment #21 above, my husband and I have just started RCIA classes. My husband grew up Catholic and could take Communion now; he refuses to until I can (the faith I was raised in, while Christian, is not recognized by the Catholic Church for baptism).

    Right now we go up to our Priest and receive a blessing from him. We are very thankful that he always stands on the same side of the sanctuary, so we can be assured we’ll be able to reach him during Communion. That blessing has become one of the most important moments of each week.

    (Andrew B. – if you aren’t receiving this blessing please ask your parish Priest if he will do it; it is a lovely experience.)

    Our parish gives the Eucharist by hands; as a budding Catholic I see nothing wrong with this. So long as the hands are formed properly and the Host is treated with the appropriate reverence – it shouldn’t matter.

  • Victor

    >>On the condom front, the extremes of the “left” and “right” brought us contrasts in hysteria that ultimately came to a similarly flawed conclusion: that Benedict had “reversed” a church teaching. He had not.<<

    NOW, "IT" is all straight for faith, me, myself and I thank you for having set "IT" clear that Satan has not found a bad cell in His Holiness as some might like to think and believe no matter what God will say and I guess "IT" will probably always be that way of thinking for some.

    Now I must go read your other fan's comments. :)

    God Bless Peace

  • Malcolm

    The important thing is to be genuinely in communion with the Lord we need to receive the host respectfully and faithfully. I was told that a person i know took the host in his mouth and then cupped his palm around his mouth and then dropped the host into it.

    We should not worry too much about particles that fall on the ground or on our clothes. When Jesus broke bread there must have been crumbs all over the table and floor. Jesus was beaten and nailed to a cross and it had no effect on him. So, why should some particles or pieces on the floor bother him? I believe that receiving communion – tongue or hand – without real commitment to his teachings is a sadder situation.

  • Father John

    Everyone seems to have an opinion about receiving communion don’t they? I wonder how many think about going to confession prior to communion? Not to many do these days. If you accept the body of Christ while not in a state of grace it makes little difference how you receive it since the very touching by tongue or hand places a mortal sin on your soul. I prefer the tongue as I do not feel that I am worthy to touch the body with hands that are contaminated with germs of myself and the person that I just shook hands with during the peace be with you. Receiving the Eucharist is a matter of HONESTY………