Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Communion in the Hand is an EXTREME failure!


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.


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.


  1. Ah, Cardinal Suenens. I remember watching a tribute to him in the catholic (small letter c intended) TV program Family Rosary Crusade. Another time they also featured a tribute to Cardinal Bernardin. Hmm...

  2. Sir, how about Eucharistic Ministers giving communion to the faithful? Is that also a liturgical abuse?

    1. Bogey, according to current Church laws, they are not a liturgical abuse per se. In fact, even in the old Missal, instituted acolytes, not commissioned ones, are considered extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.


      It is a liturgical abuse when you have more than 10 EMHCs for a Mass that has about 300 mass goers. Imagine that! A ratio of 1 is to 30! How long does it take to give a Communion to each communicant?

      5 seconds the most. 5 x 30 = 150 seconds!

      Good grief! 150 seconds only!

      Look at the Sunday Masses at SM Megamall. They always have a full batallion of EMHCs serving!

      I wonder if they have the same number if cameras are not rolling.

    2. Thanks for your time TPC but your answer is going to be followed up by another question. Hehehe pasensya na po. Why is it a liturgical abuse if you have 10 EMHCs for a mass that has about 300 mass goers? What is the ideal ratio of EMHCs to mass goers? Actually are we talking about an ideal ratio here or is it something more than that, like receiving Jesus during communion time shouldn't be made in a fast pace or it is not proper for the celebrant (i'm talking about the priest) to demand or make communion at a fast rate?

      Thank you again!

    3. As their name implies, EMHCs are Extraordinary. They are the exemption to the rule.

      Let me refer you to the entries of the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum dedicated especially to the EMHC:

      [156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.

      [157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.[258]

      [158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.

      [159.] It is never allowed for the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to delegate anyone else to administer the Eucharist, as for example a parent or spouse or child of the sick person who is the communicant.

  3. In retreats, usually they do self-intinction. Now that I know it is wrong (Lord Jesus, have mercy on me), can I receive communion in the tongue while everybody else is doing self-intinction? Can you tell the priest it is wrong while he is "administering" communion?

    1. This is actually a tough one Lasallian. You cannot and please do not insist on it especially if the priest in your retreat is a school administrator. I am basing this on experience, ok? You get tagged or branded as "too oldie", "too traditional" and "dangerous". Yes, that is how modernists view those who follow the norm.

      Holy Mother Church is against this. Redemptionis Sacramentum is very specific on this:

      104. The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand. As for the host to be used for the intinction, it should be made of valid matter, also consecrated; it is altogether forbidden to
      use non-consecrated bread or other matter.

      Obviously, priests who do this on retreats think that you are just a bunch of mindless drones who'll just agree to what he commands you to do. And that you do not care about liturgical abuses.

      Take a picture and we'll post it here because quite frankly it is frustrating to know that our bishops will find the time to address the issues of gender equality and nature conservation rather than issues of profanation of the Eucharist.

      What I do?

      I don't receive Holy Communion if I am forced to receive it that way. You are not sinning for not receiving Holy Communion. You are already in the state of sanctifying grace if you have made a very good confession of your sins. Holy Communion gives you that extraordinary push, so to speak, since it is the Lord Himself who enters your entire being. He comes Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity into you so that your own body, blood, and soul, your entire being shares in the supernatural nature of the God-Man.

      You are in fact being forced, against your will, to perform an act that is contrary to the commands of Holy Mother Church, which quite frankly is almost a form of crime, isn't it?