No wonder so many people there have given up on Christianity. On the other hand, if the sins are not so great that a person should be judged to deserve excommunication, he ought not to withdraw from the daily medicine of the Lords body.[26]. How should this evidence be brought to bear on the modern conversation? 1996, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was proved that belief in the Real Presence is abysmal. Pakistan, 29 October 1976 When the priest gives it he says: The body of Christ. He teaches you by this word not to look at that which is visible, but to picture in your mind the nature of this oblation, which, by the coming of the Holy Spirit, is the body of Christ. 95% of parishes shrinking, seminaries empty, young people disengaged: it will happen in Africa and Asia too when the culture of the secular West overwhelms the Third World. Many of us would treat your claims skeptically as unsupported rumor and gossip. I guess my point is that regardless of our internal reverence (or lack thereof), the way we verbally and literally communicate our faith to others, especially our children, is still very important. From a hygienic point of view, the hand carries a huge amount of bacteria. For example, to say that Communion in the hand is a sign of spiritual maturity, or that Communion on the tongue reduces the lay faithful to infancy, is belied by centuries of lay saints who received in this manner. The Church in Europe struggled mightilyand some might say in futilityagainst centuries of violence, sect on sect, nation vs nation. [10] See John Damascene, On the Orthodox Faith, 4.13. However, cases of a deplorable lack of respect towards the Eucharistic species have been reported, cases which are imputable not only to the individuals guilty of such behavior but also to the pastors of the church who have not been vigilant enough regarding the attitude of the faithful towards the Eucharist. After stipulating the historical practice of Communion in the hand, Memoriale Domini: defends the development of discipline that led to Communion on the tongue Pray Tell here documents two statements of the Congregation for Divine Worship issued under Pope Paul VI. It is now August 2020 and I can say that you have been proven wrong. A Journal of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, by Elizabeth Klein Our souls ought to be purer than they, more holy, more brilliant. We are the Body of Christ, moving forward to receive the Christ who makes us one with himself and with one another. So Indian Bishop conference have not got any Indult for communion in hand? There is also evidence that this was a contested subject (i.e., about what sins prevent someone from receiving), as it would continue to be throughout the history of the Church. July 2, 2020 ( LifeSiteNews) Many bishops around the world are attempting to compel Catholics, who are in the right dispositions to approach the Holy Eucharist, to receive Our Lord in the. Their attitude of reverence must measure up to what they are doing. All the rites which use leavened bread are reverent but not obsessive. We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. On reverence for the Eucharist and belief in the Real Presence among Catholic laity has greatly declined I dont think this has ever been proven. Holt Orders cannot sustain the Church, no matter how much traditionalists preach priests are of the utmost importance. [11] Council of Constantinople in Trullo, canon 101. They should be grave and objective questions related to good and evil. cites vote tallies to defend a claim that a large majority (longe plurimos) of bishops not only oppose introducing Communion in the hand but consider it tum sensui tum spirituali cultui [] offensioni I think the Holy Spirit was nudging people closer to the problem, which was already in evidence decades before the Council. The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed, in the hand, the choice lying with the communicant. Guidelines for Receiving Holy Communion. In this context, I think it is fair to say that the present practice of Communion in the hand is not a simple restoration of a historical custom but rather introduced a new practice in new circumstances which, while it has some historical justification, is essentially motivated by current pastoral concerns in some parts of the world. 1396: In Baptism we have been called to form but one body. The new manner of giving communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice. Greg., Dial., I, III, c. iii). Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university. [23] John Chrysostom, hom. Q. What is the proper way of receiving Communion in the hand? Timothy O'Malley, Copyright 2023 Our bishops have argued that Communion in the hand is the proper way for the faithful to respond to our Lord's invitation: "All of you, take and eat this." What the bishops overlook is the fact . Devotion and reverence toward the Eucharist in the case of communion in the hand. [22] Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Faith 10, trans. That rhetorical flow and its further implicit objections (i.e., take care lest XYZ) *could* be a setup for a generous grant of indults, but given the overall negative tone I dont think it accidental or inconsequential that the prospect of permission is only mentioned in these cases where contrary practice already prevails. It also happens, on occasion, that the free choice of those who prefer to continue the practice of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue is not taken into account in those places where the distribution of Communion in the hand has been authorized. It is reported that a bishop shouted out, On the tongue or in the hand?. For example, Augustine writes, Someone might say that the Eucharist should not be received daily. In this he shows a great fear, and since the hand that is stretched out holds a higher rank, it is the one that is extended for receiving the body of the King, and the other hand bears and brings its sister hand, while not thinking that it is playing the role of a servant, as it is equal with it in honour, on account of the bread of the King, which is also borne by it. Scotland, 7 July 1977 For example, there is ample evidence that the exchange of peace between the people was practiced well into the Middle Ages in several European countries. While we have the option of receiving holy Communion either on the tongue or on the hand, we must always be mindful of receiving our Lord respectfully. Copyright Interestingly, during the Middle Ages, the reception of Holy Communion was restricted to "on the tongue" because of abuses. Sacrilege is at an all-time high, yet use of the Sacrament of Confession is at an all-time low. Think of what you receive in your hand and keep it clean of all greed and theft. 3. Many pathogens are transmitted through the hands. On the part of both the minister and the recipient, whenever the host is placed in the hand of a communicant there must be careful concern and caution, especially about particles that might fall from the hosts. It is always helpful to review instructions for receiving Communion. For one who eats unworthily eats and drinks to his own condemnation (1 Cor 11:29). We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. [2] Cyprian, On the Good of Patience 14, On the Lapsed 16 and 26,and Letter 55.9. The following norms must, therefore, be respected. Paraguay, 27 September 1971 The way you put it, it doesnt sound obsessive-compulsive but salutary. Receiving communion in the hand was the common practice of the Church in both East and West for the first 800 years of Christianity, and it was certainly considered reverent by the Fathers. In North Africa (including Egypt) the practice is mentioned by Tertullian,[1] Cyprian,[2] Augustine,[3] Cyril of Alexandria,[4] and John Climacus. The rationale for Communion on the hands being an ancient practice is from St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Has the Holy Eucharist any other effect? This practice has been requested by individual episcopal conferences and has received approval from the Apostolic See. In an even more elevated tone, Ephrem the Syrian, in a stunning passage, invites the Christian communicant to feel awe at what is placed in his or her hand, since even the Seraph did not take the divine coal with his hand, nor did the prophet Isaiah eat it (see: Isa 6:6). Featured Image: Rossano Gospels, Last Supper, 6th c.; Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Old-100. In comparing the indult list provided in this post with the brief history of Fr. At the same time, it is not justified to claim that Communion in the hand is necessarily less reverent or inevitably leads to abuses. But one should not by his own judgment abstain from or return to communion, as he pleases. The [Seraph] did not hold it, and [Isaiah] did not eat it The usage of communion in the hand must be accompanied by relevant instruction or catechesis on Catholic teaching regarding Christs real and permanent presence under the eucharistic elements and the proper reverence toward this sacrament. Jeffrey T. Wickes FotC 130 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2015). [23], The great and divine Apostle Paul with loud voice calls man created in the image of God, the body and temple of Christ. What if our reception made us all more loving of one another, whatever our views on how to receive? In 1980 St. John Paul II wrote in the apostolic letterDominicae Cenae: In some countries, the practice of receiving Communion in the hand has been introduced. October 13, 2022. Pope Paul Vl calls attention to the purpose of the InstructionMemoriale Dominiof 29 May 1969, on retaining the traditional practice in use. It must also increase their faith in the sublime reality of the Lords body and blood, which they touch with their hand. James Shapiro, a literature prof at Columbia, says the situation is catastrophic: One reason was the way of the world. France, 6 June 1969 Some may choose to receive the Lord on the tongue while others choose to receive in the hand. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholics want to know if it is allowed for their bishops and priests to require Communion be received only on in the hand instead of on the tongue. W.R., Goa, India. This is the reason why you say after him: Amen.[21]. The showing of tooth and claw by some traditional-leaning Catholics is a scandal that discourages neighbors, and puts a very ugly face on the Body for others to view. The oldest reference to the Eucharist in the New Testament occurs in chapters 11 and 12 of the First Letter to the Corinthians, which has no reference to receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. For the first few centuries of the Church, receiving Communion in the hand was a common practice. This means that Jesus has no eyes but our eyes, no feet . Our procession should move with dignity; our bearing should be that of those who know they have been redeemed by Christ and are coming to receive their God! While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family. [5] John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent 28. COVID-19 Additional Questions for Catholic Schools, COVID-19 Finance FAQ for Catholic Schools, COVID-19 Personnel FAQ for Catholic Schools, COVID-19 Remote Learning FAQ for Catholic Schools, COVID-19 International Students FAQ for Catholic Schools, Forming a New Prayer and Intercessory Team at Your Parish, Resources for Existing Intercessory Prayer Teams, Mooney Real Estate Holding Company and Parish Incorporations, Stewards for Tomorrow/Archdiocese of Detroit Endowment Foundation. Christ himself at the Last Supper pleaded with his Father: "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us" (John 17:11, 21).Baptism has joined us to Christ and to one another as the vine and its branches. Finally, to the end that their coming to this heavenly table may be completely worthy and fruitful, the faithful should be instructed on its benefits and effects, for both the individual and society, so that their familial relationship to the Father who gives us our daily bread, may reflect the highest reverence for him, nurture love, and lead to a living bond with Christ, in whose flesh and blood we share. All of us are only grasping a hint of it. Catholics use birth control, get divorced and fornicate at the same rate as society in general, with the sin of using birth control rarely confessed. That the conference had voted twice but failed to approve the practice and then only won the third vote by gathering absentee votes which is the article claims was unlawful? The Council of Saragossa, 380, excommunicated anyone who dared continue to receive Holy Communion in the hand. 2. Still, while not the direction eventually taken, I believe restriction to be the more natural reading of the Vaticans intent at that moment in time. And why so? I make no judgment about who is guilty of this- I dont know most of the people by far and am in no position to judge. Gross Alexander NPNF 13, ed. The symptoms are myriadI certainly would assent to much of what you cite. [6] In Syria (what we now call Turkey and surrounding regions) it is witnessed by Basil the Great,[7] John Chrysostom,[8] Theodore of Mopsuestia,[9] John Damascene[10] and the Council of Constantinople in Trullo (also called the Quinisext council). I am just wondering what the reason or reasons were for allowing reception of Communion in the hand to begin with? If, however, Communion is given under both kinds, the rite prescribed in nos. Fire and Spirit, contrary to nature Bolivia, October 15 1969 Do we accept an experience of the Real Presence only when the externals and the lingo of 1950 are seen and heard? Cardinals Thorne (Peru) and Caffarra (Bologna) have banned Communion in the hand, citing reasons of abuse and disrespect. As with all historical practices, one must examine the context and circumstances which are usually not repeatable. I dont think reception in the hand is destroying the Church like what some prominent leaders in the Church have implied, but this practice has still had wide ranging [and not entirely positive] ramifications in the Church over the last half century, far beyond the obvious choice of the individual communicant. Instead, this option must increase in them a consciousness of the dignity of the members of Christs Mystical Body, into which they are incorporated by baptism and by the grace of the Eucharist. But there is more to the story. Communion in the hand is allowed in the United States by decision of the American Bishops. As to the way to carry out the new rite: one possible model is the traditional usage, which expresses the ministerial functions, by having the priest or deacon place the host in the hand of the communicant. This is precisely why there are occasions when pastoral prudence can lead to suspend the permission. Finally, ensuring the application of liturgical law is above all the responsibility of the bishop and only indirectly the religious superior. Devotion and reverence toward the Eucharist in the case of communion in the hand. It is a matter of particular seriousness that in places where the new practice is lawfully permitted every one of the faithful has the option of receiving communion on the tongue and even when other persons are receiving communion in the hand. Catechesis has been virtually non-existent or flat-out heretical for the last 50 years. When one receives from the chalice, the same proclamation is made by the person distributing Communion and the Communicant again responds, "Amen." His blood now flows through our veins. [11] In East Syria (what we would now call the Middle East) we have evidence from Ephrem the Syrian[12] and Narsai. Even if we presume the authenticity of the text we still do not know how long the practice lasted, whether leavened or unleavened bread was used and whether the practice was exclusive to the Church of Jerusalem. The fire of mercy has become for us a living sacrifice But "the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly." This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites. 843 1; cf. When the communion is distributed under both kinds, it is never permitted to place in the hands of the communicants hosts which have first been placed in the Blood of the Lord. 2. Biting, tearing, casting aspersions on the faith of other Catholics: this is a damnable situation in the Church. During the debate by the conference in the 1970s, a bishop said that he had seen a recent photo of Paul VI giving Communion in the hand to a little boy. This blog is not associated with Pray Tell: An open forum on faith in South Texas. Care must also be taken that the communicants have clean hands and that their comportment is becoming and in keeping with the practices of the different peoples. Or is there more context that is missing? Has done Because those vessels are made so for our sakes. Shapiro picked up an abused-looking iPhone from his desk. In fact, however, this hymn is prayer, the corporate thanksgiving prayer of the members of Christ's Body, united with one another. St. But as time passed it became the practice to receive Communion directly on the tongue in order to assure that the Host was received reverently. [1] This RCIA Process is the way in which you are prepared to be formally received by the Church; this is necessary before you can take Communion. are on the side of Lucifer. They probably never foresaw its subsequent, and occasionally chaotic, development in some parts of the Church. Luxembourg, October 15 1969 I did an internet search about the history of communion in the hand in the U.S. and the only thing I found was an article by the NLM. This article has been selected from the ZENIT Daily Dispatch Innovative Media, Inc. ZENIT International News Agency Via della Stazione di Ottavia, 95 00165 Rome,, To subscribe or email: with SUBSCRIBE in the "subject" field, Provided Courtesy of: Eternal Word Television Network 5817 Old Leeds Road Irondale, AL, HOME - EWTNews - FAITH - TELEVISION - RADIO - LIBRARY - MULTIMEDIAWHAT'S NEW - GENERAL - RELIGIOUS CATALOGUE - PILGRIMAGES - ESPAOL, EWTN | 5817 Old Leeds Rd. Not only was Communion in the hand started in disobedience, it was perpetuated by deceit. They would find many more areas we all need to work on than just their main focus. One said: When [the practice was] introduced in the U.S. Cyril of Jerusalem was quoted make your hands a throne for the King, take and eat.Is anyone denying the quote?, Concerning Communion in the hand, please consult the Mystical Catechesis of St. Cyril of Jerusalem for a description of the practice around A.D. 345. Pope Benedict was asked why he chose to distribute Communion only to those kneeling and on the tongue and he responded, because it highlights "the truth of the real presence [of Christ] in the Eucharist, helps the devotion . In this way, the practice of Communion in the hand is different from other liturgical elements restored after centuries of disuse, such as the prayer of the faithful and the exchange of peace. [] It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. 915). If we follow the example of the Fathers, we will prioritize practices that prevent the dropping of the Eucharist and catechizing communicants not to receive in a state of mortal sin. These need to be taken seriously if one wants to effectively engage in these discussions with the likes of Cardinal Sarah and others. . To increase sanctifying grace and all virtues in our soul. When permitted, the choice as to the form of reception falls upon the communicant and not upon the priest. My three hypotheses were less well researched opinions on my part, theyre not (that last one was a joke on Cdl Sarahs comments, sorry if that wasnt clear), but simply launchpoints in an honest discussion on the impact of Pope Pauls Indult, and the circumstances surrounding it, whether or not they hold any real merit. Nowhere in this article did I see what the CHURCH says about Holy Communion, only the writers opinion. 47), and says of the Communion Chant that "its purpose [is] to express the spiritual union of the communicants by means of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the 'communitarian' character of the procession to receive the Eucharist" (no. Then he saw that it was futile. Your fire, O, Our Lord we have eaten in your offering This formula should not be altered, as it is a proclamation which calls for a response of faith on the part of the one who receives. Thanks for this, Dennis. But whatever the case, it is the Pope who decides to authorize it for countries, and it is indisputable that he did so. What if we were passionate about all that? I do make the point that reverence, while important, is not the only or most important aspect of Communion.
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