Sunday, June 29, 2008


On the RPInet boards, there's a good little discussion thread going about our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's decision to use the traditional way of distributing Holy Communion - kneeling, and on the tongue.

This got me thinking -
I made my first Holy Communion on May 16, 1971, when receiving on the tongue was still the only way to fly.

When I was in my early to mid teens, we were taught that we could (as of then) receive our Lord Jesus in our hand (as an option) as well as on the tongue.

Normally, when I attend Mass and I'm not at an organ console, I try to make an effort to get seated so that I can receive from the priest. Most of the time, from my experiences, the priest will feed one of the two lines coming down the center aisle. Sometimes I don't get so lucky. In one case, the celebrant decided to take a side aisle instead. In other cases, it's a matter of having the misfortune of landing up on the wrong line of the center aisle.

As of late (with tonight's Mass being no exception), I've been getting stuck with those extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who have been trying to put Jesus into my folded hands instead of placing it on my tongue, which I have prepared for the EMHC to place our Lord. It's almost as if the tongue isn't even an option (or the norm) in their eyes. I've had to actually bring my tongue to them and all but say (or hold a sign pointing to my tongue saying) "PLACE JESUS HERE, PLEASE!"

Another thing I want to point out is the error in the ways of the stereotypical CCD/Religious Ed./Faith Formation powers that be that teach the kids receiving their First Communion how to receive on the hand, but make no mention of the tongue. My last two kids' classes were no exception. The tongue, as far as I understand it, is STILL the norm. And our Holy Father is bringing back kneeling - yes, in the Ordinary Form Mass - and on the tongue. The hand is an option. So, yeah - if it was me teaching, I would tell the class that you would normally receive on the tongue - reverently place your tongue out (don't lash it out as to say "neener neener neener" or "blech") so that the priest may place Our Lord and Savior on it. I would then tell the class that yes, you may also receive in the hand, and point the steps of doing so. Tell them that they may receive either way, but that the tongue is the norm, and that's what the Pope does.



Anonymous said...

For my first communion, I was told to recieve on my tounge. I am 17 years old now, so do the math, since I can't. But anyway, when I serve, i recieve on my tounge, to set an example, but when I'm in the pews, the EMoHC always take the side aisles, which is where I sit, since I can see the altar, and not have to deal with pesky kids that always sit up front. Also, my parish only gives out the precious blood on Solemnities and special parish celebrations. These are at the Midnight Mass, Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, Corpus Christi, and the Parish Festival, plus others here and there.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

My family and I sit beofre the tabernacle, which in our churhc is in one of the transept (THe chruch is cruciform) It is not so much that we prefer to receive on the tongue as every EM0HC is ware of the non-verbal cues as to how the communicant wishes to receive. But the family moves from our spot to the center transverse aisle and then up the centre aisle where the priest is, for no other reason, but that we believe that Communion should be received not only from the tongue but from Consecrated Hands of Priest or Deacon. But that is just us.

Ebeth said...

It has been a tangent for me, but now I receive on the tongue and so do my 2 of my 3 children. I was taught to receive on the tongue as a post Vatican II communicant, but don't remember going to the hand, but now to reverse my ways is my age! My 2 young children seem to be doing well with it. I simply did it first and then told them that we are not worthy to hold, much less touch our Lord and Savior. They understood.