Friday, August 7, 2009

Pope Benedict and Communion

I've written about this subject before back when Nathan was preparing for First Communion.

I requested comments about what other people felt about receiving Holy Communion on the tongue or in the hands. Now, with the Swine Flu such a reality in our home, this brings up a whole new set of questions for me.

I'm interested in opening up this subject again for discussion. I came across this article over at
Esther's place (A Catholic Mom in Hawaii).

There are definitely legitimate arguments for receiving in the hands even though I prefer to receive on the tongue.

Please feel free to add your views.


Therese said...

My eighth grade teacher was a nun who had had valve replacement and she was always very vocal about receiving in the hand and not taking from the cup if there was a possibility we were sick. If I am sick, I receive in the hand. When Peter made his First Communion, the teachers made a very big deal saying that you need to have clean hands for Jesus if you were going to receive that way. Peter to this day has always received on the tongue.

scmom (Barbara) said...

My hands are germy from touching the pew and the missals and anything else around me (shaking hands at the sign of peace) -- many, many germs are going from my hands to my mouth if I receive in my hand. I will continue to receive on the tongue. "Back in the day" when we all knelt and received on the tongue, the priests were much more practiced at getting the Host on the tongue and not touching any part of the mouth. Practice makes perfect.

~ Judy ~ said...

I would gently say that if one is sick in the first place, one should stay home from Mass. This is in consideration of the faithful...if a person would like the Blessed Sacrament brought to them on a sick-call, they can arrange for that.
I think that following this small gesture of respect for others alleviates a need to decide whether to receive in the hand or from the cup etc...if you are sick...stay home!
As to receiving kneeling and on the tongue...I am SO HAPPY that our Holy Father has issued this directive. Our former parish retains the Communion Rail and when we switched parishes we were very sad that we would now have to stand...seriously, would ANYONE stand toe-to-toe with Jesus if He were suddenly before you in His physical body?!? Perhaps...but to me that is unfathomable...I would FALL UPON MY KNEES TO KISS HIS FEET!
Now that I've read the Pope's directives, I will speak with my new pastor and express the my family will be kneeling...there is a family that kneels already...but for me...that was an issue of disobeying a Bishop's that I see the POPE has requested this, I know that this over-rides the other and we are free to kneel once more. We already receive upon the tongue.
Thanks for this discussion Nancy.

Allison said...

I became Catholic 3 years ago, and not until recently had I ever had to receive on the tongue. It was at a Catholic wedding and we all kneeled and received on the tongue.
Every other church I've been to, it was a line and we all just walked up and took it in our hand.
As for taking the cup, if I am feeling sick, I do not take the cup.

As far as preference, I don't mind either. When I was Lutheran it was common practice to kneel at the altar and receive Communion. We never stood. Of course some churches took it on their hand. And many churches had individual cups. Which I don't advocate doing for obvious reasons. But I wouldn't mind kneeling.

However, I will have to disagree with that if you're sick you should stay home. I make a point to go to mass each and every Sunday. Sure, if you are sick to the point of vomiting or have a very communicable illness, then yes, perhaps you should stay home. But if it's just a cold, I don't see the point. If you cover your mouth should you cough with a sleeve or tissue, and wash your hands before going, then there shouldn't be an issue. At the same time, you could refrain from shaking hands with others or holding hands during the Lord's Prayer.

Anne said...

Great topic Nancy, and by the way, I love your new header-its beautiful!

I never really gave this much thought. My parish is extremely liberal (ask Therese she knows!) and our pastor hates to follow directives because he is one of those who thinks he knows better than the powers that be. Why do I stay? Because I was a parishioner before he came and I will be a parishioner after he leaves. It's my parish and my family loves it there and I want them to be joyful about attending Mass and I feel like it is the community of parishioners as a whole which matters more than the individual priest. Anyway, that's all off the subject I know, but I love what Judy says! Who wouldn't kneel in His presence!

When the directives first came that we should bow before receiving, he (our pastor) came out and said we wouldn't do that at our parish because he thought it was a silly rule. So, my rebellious family and I always make a point to be in his line for communion and proudly bow to our Lord in the Host. I notice that a lot of other families now bow as well. So now, we just may have to take it upon ourselves to be the first ones kneeling and establish that trend at our parish. If the pastor won't teach the right way to do things, somebody has got to!

You've given me a lot to think and pray about! Thanks!

Tracy said...

I have always taken communion in the hand (due to some anxiety issues I have) my children also take it in the hand (same issues with them) if the Pope actually passes a law that says "you will take it on the tongue" I will have to do just that and will deal with it at that time. As I have understood, he has expressed that he would like Catholics to kneel and take communion on the tongue but he has yet to make it official and I don't really see that happening in the United States.. sadly we have way, way, way too many liberal parishes that will fight it.
I guess I just don't over think it that much.. I am just so humbled and amazed and excited to be invited to the Lord's table.. that is all that is going on in my head at Mass.

Colleen said...

I agree with everything Tracy said. I would like to add though that I do not believe that receiving the cup or receiving the host either in hands or on tongue can make us sick. If we truly believe it is the Real Presence of Jesus, why would we think He would make us sick? I have a real problem with stopping the cup during this swine flu scare. We send the wrong message, is it wine or Precious Blood?
In the final analysis, I think it is more what is in our heart that matters.