Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taking or Receiving?

I often hear liberal Catholics say that Communion in the hand was instituted at the Last Supper. They reason that Jesus must not have fed the apostles with His own hands, so therefore it is the traditional Catholics who are getting it wrong, by insisting on receiving Communion on the tongue. Is that so?

Though the visions of the mystic, Anne Catherine Emmerich are not Scripture, she does relate a very interesting account of the Last Supper in her book, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Again he prayed and taught; his words came forth from his lips like fire and light, and entered into each of the Apostles, with the exception of Judas. He took the paten with the pieces of bread (I do not know whether he had placed it on the chalice) and said: 'Take and eat; this is my Body which is given for you.' He stretched forth his right hand as if to bless, and, whilst he did so, a brilliant light came from him, his words were luminous, the bread entered the mouths of the Apostles as a brilliant substance, and light seemed to penetrate and surround them all, Judas alone remaining dark.

It's worthwhile to note that Communion in the hand remains an indult, which means it is allowed by special permission. The traditional method is to receive on the tongue. Which do you prefer?

13 comments:

Shirley said...

Love that book. On the tongue, kneeling where possible.

paramedicgirl said...

Shirley, thanks for lending it to me. I'm taking it to work tonight and plan on reading it in between calls. Can't put it down!

pam j said...

I also read that passage over Lent and was very moved by it.
I started receiving Communion on the tongue in 2003, after years of reception in the hand. That year, I had a sort of re-conversion (although I never left the church). There is no way I could receive in the hand again. I feel so much closer to Jesus, as well as so much more reverent and aware of the Presence of Our Lord. Although I am physically unable, like Shirley, I would prefer to be kneeling as well.

Cygnus said...

I believe that receiving on the tongue is the only dignified way to receive the Eucharist. (Now, at least. I received in the hand ever since it was first allowed.)

Tom in Vegas said...

PG-

I LOVE the excerpt of the book you posted. I had not heard of it before, so it would have continued undetected if you had not written about it. MUST look into acquiring a copy. Thanks you for posting it.

Kathy Farrelly said...

I have never taken communion in the hand. I have followed my devout parents lead. I prefer too, to receive the sacred host from consecrated hands.

I'll tell you a true story PM.

Some years ago when my Father approached the altar for communion, something happened that deeply touched him and reinforced the reason for his continuing to receive communion on the tongue.

As the priest attempted to place the host on my Father's tongue, he dropped it. My father was mortified, particularly as the priest made no attempt to pick up the sacred host.My distraught Father bowed his head hoping to somehow retrieve the host with his
tongue, as he did not wish to touch the host with his unconsecrated hands.
When he was a couple of inches away from the host, a most amazing and wonderful thing happened, the host leapt onto his tongue!

No one else was privy to this little miracle from Jesus.

My Father returned to his seat, overcome with emotion and love for Our Blessed Lord.

Kathy Farrelly said...

Oops! Sorry PG.I typed PM by mistake.

paramedicgirl said...

Kathy, that is an amazing story! Your father is truly blessed!

paramedicgirl said...

Tom, have you seen Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion? He based the movie on this book. Yes, get yourself a copy! Shirley lent me hers, and now i will buy one too. Shirley said it would be good to read it every year during Lent, and I agree.

ignorant redneck said...

On the tounge!

Two reasons:

1--I do a lot of gardening etc--there is always some stain discoloration etc on my hands, so I don't want to touch the Sacred Body with them.

2--Witness--I believe in the Real Presence, infact, I believe in transubstanciation, and being devoted enough not to want to prove my "value" by handling the Eucharist. By doing so, I witness my belief. I have gotten some really dirty looks at Mass, especially from female EEMs "of a certain age".

Mark said...

Jesus communicated the Apostles at the last supper, and how he did so, hand or tongue, is irrelevant, as he had just made them priests and bishops; therefore it was fitting that they touch the consecrated species, as do all priests and bishops now.

For those who "assume" that layfolk were present, this assumption is false according to traditional exegesis; you cannot assume what is not there, otherwise you can assume anything. Oh. I forgot, some people do...

Mark said...

Oh yeah, ever since I learned that the ordinary discipline of the universal church is to receive on the tongue, I so do.

paramedicgirl said...

Mark, that's a very good explanation - that the Apostles were already priests and bishops and that how they received was irrelevant. I've never heard anyone mention that before, even though we all know it is so.