RORATE CÆLI: Ten Points in Favor of Communion on the Tongue—and the Sordid History of Communion in the Hand

Posted by

Rorate is pleased to publish this comprehensive study of a most urgent question that has everything to do with authentic (as opposed to glitzy or bureaucratic) Eucharistic revival. The author shows, among other key points, that the conditions established by Rome for the granting or retention of an indult for communion in the hand were never and are not now met in the USA, which means this practice’s introduction was duplicitous and its continuation illicit.—PAK

Bishop Athanasius Schneider outlines a double mindset that one should strive for in honoring Christ in Holy Communion: (1) Cum amore ac timore: “With love and fear” – the adage of the fathers from the first millennium; (2) Quantum potes, tantum aude: “Do as much as you can” – the adage of the second millennium coming from Aquinas’s Sequence for Corpus Christi, the Lauda Sion.[1]

At the (relative start of) the third millennium, we should consider what adage future historians and theologians will ascribe to our belief in the real substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Will future generations look back and determine that we approached the Blessed Sacrament with reverence and awe, or will they sadly conclude that we demonstrated casual indifferencereckless disregard, or worse arrogance and pride?

Like many Catholics in the US and Europe, I was taught to receive Holy Communion standing and in the hand. I received Communion in the hand for many years and have been receiving on the tongue and kneeling for approximately three years. This means I understand and appreciate the mindset of those Catholics who choose to receive Communion in the hand. The majority of Catholics who receive Communion in the hand are not doing so as a deliberate abuse or from any intention to profane our Lord. They are often doing so because it is how they were taught, it is all they have known, and they do not know the Church’s perennial position on the topic.


RORATE CÆLI: Ten Points in Favor of Communion on the Tongue—and the Sordid History of Communion in the Hand

Leave a Reply