Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sunday Sermon, April 15 -- Why Communion on the tongue is preferred to Communion on the hand (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)


A sermon on the fruitful reception of Holy Communion. First, we consider that we must be in the state of grace in order to receive communion worthily (having confessed all serious sins), then the importance of maintaining a one hour fast before communion, as well as the value of proper dress for Mass.

Regarding the manner of receiving Holy Eucharist, we recognize that there is a clear preference for receiving communion on the tongue rather than in the hand (since the universal law of the Church does not permit communion in the hand, and it is only allowed with special permission of the Pope and of the local Bishop – it is allowed in the USA, but not generally throughout the world). Additionally, there is always the option to kneel when receiving. 

In years past, Catholics were taught not to chew the Host after receiving – and there is good reason for this practice, since “crumbs” stuck in our teeth or in our mouth are still fully Jesus and must be consumed reverently (thus, not chewing, reduces the number “crumbs” and shows great reverence for our Lord’s Presence in this Sacrament).



Communion on the hand was permitted on certain conditions (Pope Paul VI, 1969):

“The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. […] The new manner of giving communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice. […] The rite of communion in the hand must not be put into practice indiscriminately. […] The option offered to the faithful of receiving the Eucharistic bread in their hand and putting it into their own mouth must not turn out to be the occasion for regarding it as ordinary bread or as just another religious article. […] Care must be taken not to allow particles of the eucharistic bread to fall or be scattered.” 



Cardinal Sarah (whom Pope Francis appointed as the #1 man for the Liturgy, to whom all priests and bishops should look for guidance in how to celebrate Mass) was recently as stating that the widespread practice of Communion on the hand is a “diabolical attack” and “part of Satan’s attack on the Eucharist”. The Cardinal said:

“Receiving Communion on the hand undoubtedly involves a great scattering of fragments. […] The saint [Mother Teresa] was saddened and pained when she saw Christians receiving Holy Communion in their hands. In addition, she said that as far as she knew, all of her sisters received Communion only on the tongue. Is this not the exhortation that God himself addresses to us: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it”? (Ps 81:10). […] Why do we insist on receiving Communion standing and on the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? […] Let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on our tongue.



Listen online [here]!






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