[20] Cyril of Jerusalem, myst. Dear Patrick, awr. Because, he says, one should choose the days on which one lives with more purity and self-control in order to approach so great a sacrament worthily. I think youre right that, without an explicitly limiting clause, there is no canonically binding restriction to those countries, and that the subsequent granting of dispensation ultimately belied such restriction. Paul W. Harkins ACW 31 (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1963). Mingle and flow into the palms of his disciples![22]. The very idea of people regularly receiving Communion (and even receiving Communion as part of the liturgy to the Eucharist itself) were relatively new ideas at the time of the Council. The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. Under the moral aspect will be considered, in reference to Holy Communion: necessity; subject; dispositions. Why? It must be presumed that a priest has sufficient formation in moral principles so as to exclude an erroneous conscience in such matters. Since practices vary from one church to another, we hope these guidelines help you feel more at home. [3] Augustine, Answer to Petilian 2.23.53and Against Parmenian 2.7.13. So when received unworthily, it is not only useless, but it is harmful to oneself (a lifestyle of sin continues), our neighbors (increase of violence, arson, looting, murders), and society in general (take a look at the condition of our country), and is extremely offensive to God (hence the wide-spread suffering). 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. The liturgical assembly of the baptized that comes together for the celebration of the Eucharist is a witness to, a manifestation of, the pilgrim Church. Communion received on the tongue and while kneeling. [13] In the far-flung regions of the empireGaul (modern-day France and Spain) we have the witness of Caesarius of Arles[14] and the council of Auxerre,[15] and in England, we have the Venerable Bede. In North Africa (including Egypt) the practice is mentioned by Tertullian,[1] Cyprian,[2] Augustine,[3] Cyril of Alexandria,[4] and John Climacus. In such cases, episcopal conferences should examine matters carefully and should make whatever decisions, by a secret vote and with a two-thirds majority, are needed to regulate matters. For this alone is the eating referred to by our Lord ( John 6:58 ). I quite deliberately eschewed entering the historical argument as it would have digressed from the main point of that article. Pray Tell here documents two statements of the Congregation for Divine Worship issued under Pope Paul VI. Communion in the hand is allowed in the United States by decision of the American Bishops. There are particles, and there are particles. The author seems to think that liturgical reforms should consist of only what an ecumenical council prescribed. Gross Alexander NPNF 13, ed. However, it was a brief exchange with ones immediate neighbors and at a time when men and women occupied separate aisles in the church. The wind has left our sails and many of us are adrift on uncertain seas. 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. 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. The Council of Saragossa (380): Excommunicated anyone who dared continue . The faithful must be taught that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that therefore the worship of latria or adoration belonging to God is owed to Christ present in this sacrament. http://www.kathpedia.com/index.php?title=Handkommunion. A: The answer to this question is somewhat complex. Australia, 26 September 1975 It is clear that this mode of reception was considered reverent and was to be carried out in a reverent manner. The [Seraph] did not hold it, and [Isaiah] did not eat it Communion on the tongue is recommended and considered the most consonant way to receive the Eucharist, while Communion on the hand is permitted, provided that certain precautions are observed, such as checking to see if any fragments of the Host remain on the palm of the hand. [22] Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns on Faith 10, trans. We have no nets to cast deeply. Then he saw that it was futile. Their decisions should be sent to Rome to receive the necessary confirmation, []. The document does not have numbered paragraphs to cite, but youll find it a few paragraphs after the tabulation of votes collected from bishops. Chad, 18 September 1969 It is also difficult to ensure that the person who receives Communion effectively consumes the host. Over and over again the prayers of the liturgy and the norms of the General Instruction emphasize this fundamental concept of the unity of the baptized, stressing that when we come together to participate in the Eucharistic celebration we come, not as individuals, but as united members of Christ's Body. 91). [19] This list is by no means exhaustive, and it would be tedious to cite all of these references as a catalog, but let us turn to a few of them to see what the Fathers have to say about the meaning of this practice. The two ways of receiving communion can without question take place during the same liturgical service. But whatever the case, it is the Pope who decides to authorize it for countries, and it is indisputable that he did so. This reply aged like Milk (currently January 2022). There are many devout Catholics who find this practice helpful. Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Particularly in regard to this way of receiving communion, experience suggests certain matters requiring careful attention. It is a matter of particular seriousness that in places where the new practice is lawfully permitted every one of the faithful have the option of receiving communion on the tongue and even when other persons are receiving communion in the hand. Middle Africa, 3 February 1970 These considerations can perhaps help balance our perspective (whether in favor or against the practice of communion in the hand), and alert us to the fact that reverence is a complex phenomenon that, of course, does involve postures of the body, but most importantly, the attitude of the heart. 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. Nowhere in this article did I see what the CHURCH says about Holy Communion, only the writers opinion. Please take responsibility for the lies, the bile, and the sinful stuff. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 3). Of note for the modern debate, both John Chrysostom and the Council of Constantinople in Trullo argue that human beings, made in the image of God and capable of communing with him, are more worthy to touch the Eucharist than vessels of gold and silver. This helps explain why this line of thought isnt gaining much traction except on the right fringe. 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. For whatever reason, reception on the hand does not appear to convey the same level of reverence in the public consciousness as reception on the tongue. Other way round, it was in the hand and changed to the tongue circa 900 in the west. I have come to realize in the last few weeks how many of my Roman Rite brethren are actually understanding the Eucharist in a heretical way. We should rejoice in that. 2. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all. October 13, 2022. From the historical point of view, we can say that there is strong evidence that the practice existed in early centuries in some areas of the Church. This means that Jesus has no eyes but our eyes, no feet . Timothy O'Malley on the meaning of Eucharistic coherence in the life of the Church. I similarly think Cardinal Sarahs frankly ridiculous comments about Lucifer are draining credibility from his cause (one that I admittedly align with sometimes), even if some of his proposals are good ones. The traditional and preferred method is the reception of the Host on the tongue: Step forward and kneel at the Communion rail or station (if you stand, make a sign of reverencesuch as a bow or genuflection or Sign of the Crossbefore receiving the Host and take care not to disrupt the Communion line). All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another. The Council was a start, but we have allowed ourselves to get sidetracked in silly and divisive banter. Your fire, O, Our Lord we have eaten in your offering [T]hose who restrict communicants to receive Holy Communion only in the hands are acting against the norms, as are those who refuse to Christ's faithful [the right] to receive Communion in the hand in dioceses that enjoy this indult. Just look at what making donating money an indulgence-eligible corporal work of mercy resulted in during the Renaissance. However, this is likely to lead to many embarrassing instances for the faithful who approach communion unaware of the situation. These views are sometimes strongly held. 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. It should be noted that it is never permissible for a person to dip the host he or she has received into the chalice. Fire came down and consumed the sacrifices of Elijah South Africa, 1971 It is standard procedure so I wonder what the basis of this accusation is. They should be grave and objective questions related to good and evil. The Communion Procession is an action of the Body of Christ. Nor did the Vatican interpret it that way, near as I can tell. As with all historical practices, one must examine the context and circumstances which are usually not repeatable. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. I mean WHAT SPECIFIC REASONS were given for requesting it in the first place? The large numbers of faithful and the general hustle and bustle at the moment of communion make it quite easy for a host to fall to the ground. 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. 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. Bolivia, October 15 1969 In order to be properly disposed to . Do we have faith in the efficacy of the sacraments or not? St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 348 gave this instruction to his congregation:When you approach Holy Communion, make the left hand into a throne for the right, which will receive the King. Hard to believe that Catechesis has never been better if that fundamental is misunderstood. 4. 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. The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Follow-up: Objecting to Communion in the Hand (10-16-2018), Pursuant to my reflections on Communion in the hand (October 2), a reader from France claimed that It is totally justified to claim that Communion in the hand is necessarily less reverent or inevitably leads to abuses. The cultural backing. Your email address will not be published. (Catholic Encyclopedia: Genuflexion) Germany, 6 June 1969 This is more a question of moral theology than of liturgy. Basil the Great, 330-379 stated, "The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution." This statement may very well have been made in response to St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 348. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the Priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, The Body of Christ. 21. 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. 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. Consider that you not only receive this gift in your hand, but that you also bring it up to your mouth, and keep your tongue clean of all disgraceful and outrageous words, blasphemy, perjury and all other sins of this sort. However, since it is a permission, it does not generate an absolute right, and the pastors can rescind the permission, either generally or in particular circumstances if objective motives exist for doing so. Biting, tearing, casting aspersions on the faith of other Catholics: this is a damnable situation in the Church. . The following norms must, therefore, be respected. France, 6 June 1969 For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. [2] Cyprian, On the Good of Patience 14, On the Lapsed 16 and 26,and Letter 55.9. Communion on the tongue remains the usual and common form of administering Holy Communion. For it is a deed fraught with destruction to take the tongue which serve such awesome mysteries, which has become purpled with a blood so precious, which has become a sword of gold and to change its course to abuse, insolence and ribald jests. I used the wordnecessarilyas an equivalent to in and of itself. There is no inherent reason why Communion in the hand is less reverent. Bishops who have been permitted to introduce the new rite of communion are asked to send a report to the congregation, six months hence, on the outcome. 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. Excelling, therefore, every sensible creature, he who by the saving Passion has attained to the celestial dignity, eating and drinking Christ, is fitted in all respects for eternal life, sanctifying his soul and body by the participation of divine grace. But such as, instead of their hands, make vessels of gold or other materials for the reception of the divine gift, and by these receive the immaculate communion, we by no means allow to come, as preferring inanimate and inferior matter to the image of God.[24]. Fr. Have reverence for the honor which God has bestowed upon it, and do not lead it down to the vileness of sin.[27]. A Journal of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, by Elizabeth Klein FYI, the announcement that approval for Communion in the Hand was given (in 1969) to Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, and Chad appeared in Notitiae in v. 6 (1969), no. Fire consumed the offering It must also increase their faith in the sublime reality of the Lords body and blood, which they touch with their hand. Blog Staff and Editorial Advisory Committee, http://www.kathpedia.com/index.php?title=Handkommunion, http://www.cultodivino.va/content/cultodivino/it/rivista-notitiae/indici-annate.html, From the Wires: U.S. Catholic Priests Are Increasingly Conservative as Faithful Grow More Liberal, Yale Organ Week: Now Accepting Applications, The North American Academy of Liturgy, 2023, New Open-Access, Ecumenical Journal Powered by the University of Vienna, Is the Eucharistic Revival a Liturgical Revival (Part 2), What Did Jesus Know? Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 2 October 1971 [25] Origen of Alexandria, homily in Ex. 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. Confess it and move on. SACRED CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter En reponse a la demande, to presidents of those conferences of bishops petitioning the indult for communion in the hand, 29 May 1969: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 61 (1969) 546-547; Notitiae 5 (1969) 351-353. Hence, my theory is that the wide granting of the indult exceeded its initially intended scope as continued prompting from advisors and larger-than-anticipated requests from conferences overcame the popes reluctance. Jamaica, 12 March 1970 Permission for administering Communion in the hand was granted by the Holy See to the United States on June 17, 1977 and has since become almost the universal norm in the Ordinary Form. I am just wondering what the reason or reasons were for allowing reception of Communion in the hand to begin with? 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. To that which you are you respond Amen (yes, it is true!) and by responding to it you assent to it. This is the quote that is always used: " make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21). He said that he had checked with the then Apostolic Delegation and had been assured that the pope was giving the boy a rosary. The question has been asked for a long time since the Church has often allowed both methods of reception. The problem is a lack of intentionality across the board, starting with the laity. The problem of lack of reverence stems not from the manner of receiving Communion but from the lack of faith, awe, and gratitude before this great mystery. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. Whatever one thinks about the practice today and its reemergence after Vatican II, it is important that our conversation be grounded in an accurate picture of the history of this practice.
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