Monday, May 30, 2011

Receiving The Most Holy Eucharist

Here are some of the reasons I feel it important for me to receive Our Lord on my tongue and not in my hands.

~~> Council of Rouen (650 AD): "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths"

~~> "If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would 'fall down and worship God, declaring, God is really in your midst,'" explained Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan in the pages of L'Osservatore Romano.
[Exactly!  Kneeling is a symbol for the whole world to help non-believers see that we believe the Eucharist truly is our God]

~~> "Not very long ago I said Mass and preached for their Mother, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and after breakfast we spent quite a long time talking in a little room. Suddenly, I found myself asking her -- don't know why -- 'Mother, what do you think is the worst problem in the world today?' She more than anyone could name any number of candidates: famine, plague, disease, the breakdown of the family, rebellion against God, the corruption of the media, world debt, nuclear threat, and so on.

"Without pausing a second she said, 'Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.'"

(Father George William Rutler, Good Friday, 1989 in St. Agnes Church, New York City, a precise transcript taken from a tape of his talk available from St. Agnes Church. Note: Fr. Emerson of the Fraternity of St. Peter was also a witness to this statement by Blessed Mother Teresa)

~~> Blessed Mother Teresa: Blessed Mother Teresa said, "Further it is the custom in our Society, and my known wish, that the Sisters receive Holy Communion on the tongue, which to my knowledge they are doing everywhere" (Mother Theresa, India 1995; Athi Thoothan Editor, Aquinas, p. 13, Vol 2, No 1 March 2000).

~~>  Fr. John Hardon, S.J.: Whatever you can do to stop Communion in the hand will be blessed by God.” (November 1st, 1997 Call to Holiness Conference, Detroit, Michigan, panel discussion.)

~~> Pope John II: He only gave Holy Communion on tongue during private Masses in the Vatican. Concelebrating priests were told to do the same. Pope John Paul II said, "I do not revoke what one of my predecessors has said about this... ... here, my dear priests and my dear brothers and sisters, only Communion on the tongue and kneeling is allowed. I say this to you as your bishop!" (Sermon, March 1, 1989, Church of SS. Nome Di Maria)

When the wife of the President of France, Madame Giscard d'Estaing came before the Holy Father with outstretched hands, Pope John Paul II placed the host in her mouth. (Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 1997 pg 24). He did likewise for a canon lawyer who was present at the 1981 Papal Mass in Chicago.

~~> Pope Paul VI: Memoriale Domini, a 1969 document, recognized that communion on the tongue was conducive to faith, reverence and humility. Specifically, the document states, "With regard to the manner of administering the sacrament, one may follow the traditional method, which emphasized the ministerial function of the priest or deacon, in having them place the host in the hand of the communicant." In the same document it is also written, "To preserve and defend the reverence, dignity and holiness due to the greatest treasure in the Church, only kneeling, not standing, to receive Holy Communion, always on the tongue, was allowed." Thus, the document not only allows Communion on the Hand but also Communion in the Hand. However, due to irreverence and a disbelief in the Real Presence in recent times as well as the common error of receiving Our Lord simply "out of habit", I urge fellow Catholics to receive the Eucharist joyfully on the tongue. Below is my final excerpt from the document:

A change in a matter of such moment, based on a most ancient and venerable tradition, does not merely affect discipline. It carries certain dangers with it which may arise from the new manner of administering holy communion: the danger of a loss of reverence for the august sacrament of the altar, of profanation, of adulterating the true doctrine.

~~> First of all, to receive is something that is passive. The priest takes Holy Communion because the priest is the one who offers the Victim in sacrifice. Therefore, the one who offers the Victim must also take part in that Victim. But the people of God are to receive Holy Communion. To take the Host from your hand and put It into your own mouth is to take Communion, not to receive Communion; and so it is an active thing, not a passive thing. The Lord desires to give Himself to you as a gift, not to be taken by you. We need to be very careful that we do not lose the symbolism of what is happening in the Blessed Sacrament.  (Father Robert Altier) Father's complete statement is copied and pasted below the SOURCES.

~~> Holy Scripture: In the Old Testament, it is recorded that only Levite priests were allowed to carry the Ark of the Covenent (1 Chronicles 13:2), and when a non-Levite priest touched the Ark of the Covenent he was struck dead (1 Chronicles 13:9). Today the Holy Eucharist is the Holy of Holiess, and only those who have been consecrated to touch the Eucharist (Summa, Pt III Q, Q2 Art. 3) should touch it.

A Catholic Life
Vatican Newspaper: Receive Communion on Tongue, Kneeling
** Mission: Restore Eucharistic Reverence ** 
Catholic Apologetics Notebook
The Beauty and Spirituality of the Traditional Latin Mass

Fr. Robert Altier:

"In the first reading today Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Colossians, talks about how, in Christ, is hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This is because He is almighty God; He is the Creator of the universe; He is the Savior of the world; He is God, absolute and perfect. Saint Paul says at the beginning of the reading that he makes up in his flesh for what is lacking in the
suffering of Christ, for the sake of Christ's body, the Church.

"In Christ, now, there is no suffering, but only in the Mystical Body. But there is one place, which I would like to address this morning, where I believe that Our Lord is truly grieved. I want to challenge you in that area: That is, the manner by which we receive Holy Communion.

"The Church is very clear in Her documents that she desires that we would receive Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand.

"The bishops of America, as well as a few other countries in the world, have allowed Communion in the hand as a dispensation. But the Church is very, very clear that She does not want us receiving Communion in the hand.

"Let me explain a little as to why. First of all, to receive is something that is passive. The priest takes Holy Communion because the priest is the one who offers the Victim in sacrifice. Therefore, the one who offers the Victim must also take part in that Victim. But the people of God are to receive Holy Communion. To take the Host from your hand and put It into your own mouth is to take Communion, not to receive Communion; and so it is an active thing, not a passive thing. The Lord desires to give Himself to you as a gift, not to be taken by you. We need to be very careful that we do not lose the symbolism of what is happening in the Blessed Sacrament.

"Also, if you will notice, during Mass after the Consecration, my fingers remain together because of the particles of the Host that are there. When we take Holy Communion in the hand, there are particles of Our Lord that are on our hands and on our fingers. That is why, after Communion, the priest will purify his fingers - because of the particles of the Host. But how often the people of God, after receiving Holy Communion, simply brush the particles onto the ground and walk on Our Lord. Or they put their hands in their pockets, and Our Lord is right there on their clothing. The abuses that this opens them up to are very grave. Not that anyone is intentionally doing that, but I think it is something that we need to consider exceedingly carefully.

"What I always tell people is that you can look forward to the Day of Judgment and ask yourself how you intend to approach Our Lord, because He is your Judge. The same Lord you approach in Holy Communion is the same One you will approach on the Day of Judgment. Do you assume that you will put your hand out to Our Blessed Lord on the Day of Judgment?

"Is your view of judgment that you will shake Our Lord's hand and tell Him how wonderful it is to see Him? Or is your view that you will do great reverence to Our Blessed Lord? My view is that I will be flat on my face - not shaking His hand.

"We do not put out our hand to God. Scripture says that God holds us in the palm of His hand. We should not be holding God in the palm of ours. He created us; He made us in His image and likeness. He is the Creator; we are the creature. We must approach Him with the greatest reverence, the greatest respect.

"If we simply look at the fruit that has been borne by Holy Communion being taken in the hand, it is not good: the loss of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, the familiarity.

"Thankfully it is not happening here, but go to most churches and ask yourself if you see people praying before Mass or if they are chatting, goofing around, and talking.

"We have lost the reverence for the Real Presence because Jesus is just "our buddy" when we put our hand out to Him; He is not our God when we do that. So we need to be very careful.

"But beyond that, we can look also at what has happened spiritually to the people of God. Since we have been receiving Communion in the hand, we have lost sight of the idea of going to Confession, of our own sinfulness, of the reverence we must have for Our Lord. We have made Communion so easy a thing and so nonchalant a thing that people have lost that sense of reverence, of awe, and of respect in the Presence of Our Lord.

"I challenge you to think very seriously about this issue. The bishops, like I say, have allowed it; it is not a sin if you receive Holy Communion in the hand. In some places in the early Church they did that; Saint Justin talks about it. But the Church stopped it because of the abuses against the Blessed Sacrament that were occurring. I ask you to really pray about that.

"Look at Jesus in the Eucharist and ask yourself, "Do I really, truly believe that this is God? That this is my Creator and my Redeemer? How, then, do I desire to approach Him?" I really believe, if you pray that through, that there is only one conclusion to which you can come.

"Then, I beg you, do not remain silent about it. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Bring that word to others because all those good people out there, I do not think that they are willfully trying to do anything that would grieve Our Lord; they are doing what they have been told to do.

"But again, look at what has happened in the last forty years of this particular practice and ask yourself if the fruit it has borne has been good. Obviously, you love Our Lord: You are here at daily Mass; you are here every morning. The love of Our Lord is evident in you. Bring that love of Jesus out from here. The love that is in your heart, proclaim it to others and ask them in the same way to consider their actions toward Our Lord.

"Let us bring the reverence to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament back so that we can give Him fitting worship and praise because He is God, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are contained."


Abbey said...

I AGREE WITH THIS, you don't know how much. I always loved that the priest placed the holy Eucharist on the tongue, but seems most everyone takes it in their hand - I'm going back taking it on my tongue ... phooey with what people do today. Maybe others will follow - I will pray that they do!

Anonymous said...

Amen. I continue to pray that I will live to see a day when proper love and respect are given to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament again. I would like to see the communion rails return, so that we could receive kneeling and on the tongue, in the only manner that seems fit for receiving our King. Thanks for this post! May God richly bless you for your fervor and devotion.

Janice said...

I am a recent convert to the Catholic Church. I was confirmed at Easter Vigil 2010 just over a year ago. I converted from the Protestant church. Just before I entered RCIA I knew God was telling me I could no longer receive communion at the church I was attending. And when I was confirmed I knew I could only receive the Holy Eucharist on my tongue. I felt it was not right for me to take communion in the hand. Even though they had told us in RCIA we had a choice between taking the Eucharist in the hand or receive on the tongue. Something deep inside me said I could not take communion in my hand. I felt that this is the Lord and he is Holy. And my hands could not touch him.
I was in a bible study last night and our leader was reading her talk and she said the same words you spoke on this post. "God is not a God who we hold in palm of our hands but He holds us in the palm of his hand."
Thank you for your post. It really made me think. And I was blessed by it.

Janice said...

Also thank you for your blog. There is a wealth of information here.

Lisa said...

Pope Benedict is saying that we should promote Communion in the mouth while Kneeling. Enjoy!!!!!!! Complete LSN Interview with Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera

LSN: Is there a movement in the Vatican to return to the traditional manner of reception of Communion? (With the recipient kneeling and the host placed directly on the tongue.)

"Cardinal Canizares Llovera: There is no resolution that forbids giving Communion in the mouth. In the same way, there is no norm that forbids Communion in the hand. Neither can be forbidden. Neither one nor the other. This means that Communion in the mouth has a long history and tradition that expresses in a profound way the sense of adoration, reverence in the presence of the body of Christ. Everything that is at stake in the real presence of Christ. If Communion in the mouth goes with the gesture of kneeling, it expresses in a stronger way, with stronger force, the real presence of Christ, the sense of adoration, the participation in the body of Christ that offers Himself for us."

"If the papal liturgy is a sign, an indication for all the Church, we should promote Communion kneeling and in the mouth. But, this does not mean not permitting or forbidding Communion in the hand if it is done with due respect. With a previous gesture of adoration. This could be kneeling, or a genuflection or with a deep bow. And also in the moment of receiving Communion, the right hand should be placed under the left hand forming a cross expressing in this way the recognition of the real presence of the body of Christ offered for us. We should take care that no particle should be lost. And the body of Christ should be received in front of the priest."

We should all fight to avoid abuses against the Eucharist. It is the holiest, greatest, most important [thing] in the Church and in life. We should respect the Eucharist and the rules and discipline of the Church that give the warranty of ecclesial communion that has its sources, its roots, its truth in the Eucharist, in the celebration of the Eucharist, in the rite that the Church has indicated.

God love you


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