Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Communion in the Hand is an EXTREME failure!
By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK
At our recent celebration of the occasion of First Holy Communion for our young people, I spoke to them about the love of their parents. When they were born, I told them, it wasn’t enough for their parents to simply look at them, or to be with them. A parent’s love for a child is so overwhelming and so powerful that he or she immediately reaches for the most passionate expression of love they can muster which is a kiss.
We tell our children quite rightly and often that God loves them more than anyone else possibly can, that God’s love is greater than any human love. In his writings on the Eucharist, the Holy Father Benedict XVI likens the love of God for us in the Eucharist to giving us a kiss. If this be the case, then reception of the Eucharist in the hand is like giving the Lord a handshake when what He offered was a kiss. We all know what it means when someone refuses a kiss and responds instead with a handshake and it doesn’t mean a return of the affection offered. [Great comparison if you ask me.]
For this and other reasons, I have come to believe that chief among the indults which have abysmally failed to improve Catholic faith and life as promised is this one which touches upon the central act of worship: the permission to replace with Communion in the hand the normal, universal, and noble custom of receiving the Most Holy Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling. [An indult which wasn't even formally asked of the Holy Father, but was rather an act of defiance orchestrated by the King of Charismatic Movements, the liberal Cardinal Suenens of Belgium, which is happily un-Christian now. Guess this is the fruit of his work in his country, eh? By the way, the cardinal is opposed to Humanae Vitae. You have an idea what he'll say about the RH Bill if he were alive today. Well, how about same sex marriage? Hmmm...]
If the liturgy is given so that we might grow in adoration and love of Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist, then the abuses that I and others have seen which have resulted from the handling of the Eucharist by the faithful are responsible for encouraging not only a diminishment of love for the Eucharistic Lord but even scandal and sacrilege as well. How this disaster is supposed to improve upon the worship of the people of God I cannot say. [Well, for those in the Bukidnon school think otherwise. Works wonders here, no? Bah.]
This indult, a special permission granted at the insistence of bishops in office years ago, is one among the other indults which have rendered many celebrations of the Catholic liturgy both unrecognizable from what came before as handed down in the Church from Christ and the apostles and also unrecognizable from the many church services offered by other ecclesial bodies who deny and attack Catholic teaching. In many cases, the indults have served only to distract from the primary purpose of the Sacrifice of the Mass: to meet, know, and love Jesus Christ. [aka...we don't look different from the Protestants. In fact a friend who belongs to the High Anglicans said that they now look more Catholic than the post Vatican II Catholics. Can't complain about it. He is right. No wonder there is Anglicanorum coetibus.]
In what way has reception of Communion in the hand served to deepen reverence or inculcate a more profound belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? [Don't spend money on surveys. The results are obvious. Priests themselves have been complaining....well, those priests who care about their job and not those who care how to look entertaining and relevant and less boring... Swswswshhhh] For over 40 years we have tried over and over again to explain the proper method for receiving Communion, the bow replacing kneeling and reception in the hand replacing receiving on the tongue. [Sin of Sloth if you ask me.]
Repeated instructions have failed [like the posters!] to result in any deep or lasting change in behavior as the proposed practice as permitted by the indult has degenerated into a procession no different from that to receive the sacramentals of ashes. The communicants in many cases simply march forward and stand before the priest or other minister and sometimes hold out one hand like they are getting a handout, “ pop” the Body of the Lord into their mouths in a movement very much failing to reflect the sense that they are receiving One who is not ordinary food, and return to their pews. The indult is too difficult for our faithful and so it is simply not done properly.
There will always be those who have faith strong enough to survive any liturgical changes and who will respectfully adapt to any innovation simply because they would cooperate with anything the Church asks of them. This same group would happily have retained the noble custom of reception on the tongue if they had been left happily enough alone. [They have even removed the kneelers in the pews and even the Communion rails. Why? They hate kneeling. The liberal priests I mean.]
The answer to this disaster appears to be what many priests are now doing. They introduce all first communicants to the noble custom, use the practice for the celebration of First Holy Communion, and offer to all the people of God at every celebration of Holy Mass those things necessary for kneeling and receiving on the tongue in the kneeler and a server with paten.
We are saved by grace through faith in the One we receive really, truly, and substantially in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. The manner in which we receive Him affects our faith either for good or ill. Offering the option of receiving on the tongue while kneeling encourages those who wish to express the greatest love and reverence for the Lord truly present and invites others to do the same.
[in other words, how can you lift the senses of the faithful into the divine and supernatural when you teach them to approach the supernatural with actions which are so trivial and mundane? By golly! Sticking out your hand even if it were cupped like how it was quoted from St. Cyril (albeit out of context ala Iglesia ni Cristo), does not teach the person the sense of the sacred! Can you just go out and shake the hand of the Queen of England or the POTUS? Hell no. Then here come the priest who treat the Lord as if he were just a mere arcade coin token. Goodness!]
The Church has granted indults. Communion in the Hand is one of them and it is not only permitted by most bishops and priests, it is even being promoted. Remember how the troops of Frs. AC and GD made posters on dressing properly for Mass and the proper way of receiving Communion in the Hand? Yeah.
How about the proper way of receiving Communion directly on the tongue?
Where are the posters for that?
There are other indults in the Church right?
This one is the most recent.
Where is your poster for this Fr. Diwa?
Will you have the same gusto to promote this just as you promote this manner of receiving the Lord?
I'll repeat it once again.
COMMUNION IN THE HAND IS A LITURGICAL ABUSE AND AN ABOMINATION AND MUST BE STOPPED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ASAP!
I am not shouting. I am drilling a point.
Probably exasperated that this manner of communion is still not stopped, univesally.
Sign the petition now!
Look for the link in the left-hand bar.
PS: Read this article about how the ugly practice of Communion in the Hand. And visit the website dedicated to eradicating this practice.