Cardinal Canizares on Receiving Holy Communion

Cardinal Canizares is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. This report is from the Catholic News Agency.

Lima, Peru, Jul 28, 2011 / 01:56 pm (CNA).- Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera recently recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.

The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.”

Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling.”

“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”

“If we trivialize Communion, we trivialize everything, and we cannot lose a moment as important as that of receiving Communion, of recognizing the real presence of Christ there, of the God who is the love above all loves, as we sing in a hymn in Spanish.”

In response to a question about the liturgical abuses that often occur, Cardinal Canizares said they must be “corrected, especially through proper formation: formation for seminarians, for priests, for catechists, for all the Christian faithful.”

Such a formation should ensure that liturgical celebrations take place “in accord with the demands and dignity of the celebration, in accord with the norms of the Church, which is the only way we can authentically celebrate the Eucharist,” he added.

“Bishops have a unique responsibility” in the task of liturgical formation and the correction of abuses, the cardinal said, “and we must not fail to fulfill it, because everything we do to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated properly will ensure proper participation in the Eucharist.”

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

57 thoughts on “Cardinal Canizares on Receiving Holy Communion”

    1. I'm sorry, but I have a personal hang-up about titles. If you feel you should use them, please try to use the correct one. Just as my hair stands on end when the Queen is referred to as a Highness (mainland Europeans love to do this) instead of Majesty, please let me point out that a cardinal is addressed as an Eminence. But I am sure he is happy to be addressed as "Sir" or "Dear Cardinal" most of the time, if one is not sure.

  1. Until it’s mandated, it’s just the opinion of a Cardinal, and that’s all. Words without actions. and many of the Churches being built today do not accommodate those who prefer to kneel. Example latest Church built in the “Archdiocese of Philadelphia”. Show where there are any altar rails. Maybe +Chaput will make changes, but I highly doubt it. Show me where Roman Catholics can kneel, in this church.

    1. Would love to have an Anglican Use parish in Upper Bucks County PA. But the parishes in my neck of the woods, communion in the hand is the norm, and so is having EMHCs (the norm, it seems, even if not really needed).

      1. Pray and if led start one.

        Here in Pensacola I feared we would never have one. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Appeared one was not in the plan of God.

        Since July 4, I have had 3 families inquire about it. This past Sunday night, after compline with a group of young catholic priests, seminarians and young men the discussion turned to how the AU does Evening Prayer/Song. All of these men are under 30 and interested in the AU or at least supporting it. Before I left, one priest offered the use of his chapel if such a group formed.

        Tonight I am meeting with one of the families to discuss a timeline. Met with the Chancellor yesterday, we do not have a Bishop. He was supportive and will inform the Apostolic Administrator in Miami.
        Pray and you shall receive.

      2. Mr. Kovacs, the Ukrainian parish in Bristol is quite nice, if you don't mind the Eastern Rite. I say this from across the Delaware, in Trenton.

        1. Thanks!. St Josaphat's UGCC in Bethlehem as well as Presentation of Our Lord in Lansdale are two parishes I frequent. I need to see the one in Bristol though. I love the Byzantine rite. I even go to a few Orthodox Churches for Vespers, one in a while.

    2. There is a floor. It will do just fine. An altar rail would be helpful, but is not really needed.

      I applaude the Cardinals remarks. It is a move back to the reverence way too many have lost.

      In Dec 2010, I began attending my current parish, St Michael's the Archangel. My son became an altar boy. Altar servers had a severe lack of reverence, my son lead by example. His posture, his bearing, how he conducted himself. 8 months later, he is one of the leaders. He teaches, and you can see a definite change in the conduct at the altar. He is only 15 years old.

      I never saw anyone even bow before recieving communion. Before my conversiion, I genuflected before my blessing, my family did also. My wife and daughters wear veils, when no one else did. 8 months later, many many people bow and genuflect. I am seeing veils and hats. Fewer people chew the body of the Blessed Lord like a cow chewing cud.

      Why? Because we, including other families, quietly lived our faith. And when needed, not so quietly.

      This Sunday we will start praying the Prayer to St Michael Pope Leo XIII wrote and said to pray. Which sadly has fallen to disuse among too many parishes. No big production, as soon as the last note of the hymn fades, we will begin.

      We need to stop complaining about the state of the Church and start actively praying and doing. That is what we are called to do. And if priests, bishop and laity do not understand or care…..not up to me, the One who should be obeyed will handle his wayward sheep. I pray I am not one of them.

      1. Women do not need veils. There is nothing wrong with a woman having a bare head in church. You can be reverent all you want, but encouraging women to cover their heads is just wrong. They don't need to, any more than men do. We are not Muslim. It is not required in the law and it just looks silly – particularly on little girls. Even the muslims don't require little girls heads to be covered. It is a profound step backwards. I'm all for wearing appropriate clothes to church that don't look like you just came from the swimming pool. No sundresses or immodest clothing. But this is not a pious practice that is to my mind any way healthy, and I pray that it does not come back into popular practice.

        1. Wow such a reaction is uncalled for. I never thought someone on this sight would totally and intentionly misrepresent what I would say. Where did I say women MUST cover their heads? Why don't you read my comment. They are doing it because they want to wear a veil.

          veils a step backwards? Silly? Why are your views on types of clothing any less backwards? Why do you think your opinion on sundresses etc in not progressive and backwards?

          You are projecting your own fears, feeling or whatever onto what I have said.

          I do not care what muslim do. Your feeble attempt to paint me as some sort of radical or extremist does damage to your own position and breaks the bond of Christian love and charity.

          If all you got was an issue with the veil, and reacted with such venom… other word but sad. The same word I have for those in our parish who have reacted the same way you have. Thankfully it has only been one or two who have attacked us. They got the same response.

          Sorry, the only silly thing here is your comment.

        2. "You can be reverent all you want, but encouraging women to cover their heads is just wrong. They don't need to, any more than men do."

          So much for St. Paul — who was not a Muslim, by the way.

  2. If these Bishops and Cardinals strongly believe in many of the traditional elements, than "mandate" them, instead of just talking about them. I see this allot in the past few years. Communion on the tongue, ad orientum, etc.. What I read on the web, and see in my Archdiocese (Philadelphia) is completely opposite. Mandate if you feel strongly about this!.

  3. Being recently retired from military service I understood an order (mandate) when I gave or heard one. Yet, as a leader I learned, and experience demonstrated, that the best leadership is by example; order (mandate) when necessary. The Holy Father is doing just that from day one. Now the Cardinals are speaking out. Changes done in this manner last much longer.

  4. I've been a Catholic since the late 1960s and have never had the opportunity to kneel at an altar rail for holy communion. How I would welcome it! Let us hope that coming generations will experience it more widely. At my parish in California, most people do make a bow before receiving the Eucharist, fortunately.

    1. Faithful have a right to kneel to receive at all times, something confirmed by a note from Rome some time ago (I have a copy in my paper files). If you are attending a N.O. Mass, you are entitled to kneel down no matter what the bishops' conference says about norms. Of course, the reaction will differ from place to place. In my Diocese, I have done this every time I attend the N.O. (which is very rarely) and no priest has ever discouraged me or even raised an eyebrow. But I've heard that some priests will refuse to communicate you in certain places.


  5. Cardinal Cañizares Llovera is one of the truly good prelates in the curia (despite his support for one rather odd organisation). As Prefect for Liturgy and the Sacraments, he should have at least some say in what future Anglican liturgies look like, and that is likely to be good news, especially given the presence in the same curia of certain other cardinals. To those in the TAC, in particular, who are trying to have their liturgy protected, I suggest that they contact this good man.


  6. Certainly kneeling to receive Communion is part of the Anglican Patrimony (see the 'black' rubric). But is receiving on the tongue? In England it mostly seemed to be an affectation adopted by those wanting to ape Rome. I well recall being taught in a confirmation class that (as I understood one of the ancient fathers taught) you should 'make a throne for God, placing your right hand on your left' and that you should then bow your head to take the Host from your hands. One of the customs which surprised the priest instructing us at Allen Hall was to see some of us doing just this; rather than taking the Host between thumb and forefinger as most Roman Catholics seem to do. Surely the question is basically one of reverence: and we should not concern ourselves with how another person does this.

    1. I suppose that reception in manu might be accepted by Rome as being part of the Anglican patrimony; on the other hand, reception in lingua is always allowed in the Latin Church, and the ordinariates are part of that Church.

      Those in the Latin Mass movement regard it as especially troubling to see reception in the hand. The tradition has been not to touch the Sacred Host except in emergencies but to receive It on the tongue from the consecrated hands of a priest. True, in the old days, deacons sometimes did distribute Holy Communion as well, especially in seminaries.

      Even our language, however, respects this notion of reverence. We speak of what is untouchable. The priest washes his hands before Mass and during Mass at the Lavabo. He keeps two fingers joined for the more sacred parts of the Sacrifice. Even the constant kisses of the priest's hands signal to the congregation a profound respect for the Eucharist: It is not touched by the laity. That is by far the best practice and it would be better to make it universal.


      1. Thank you, Father Barnes (by the way I'm waiting for the Holy Father to elevate you to Monsignor subito), now I realise why I as a former Anglican am almost the only one in my R.C. parish to place my right hand on my left and not the other way around – it comes natural!

        As for receiving communion on the tongue, I must admit that I have always found this a rather unsavoury practice, not only when doing it myself but more so when distributing Holy Communion, as I did frequently when I was a male religious. In fact I felt most uncomfortable, not wishing to drop or almost throw the host into the communicant's mouth but at the same time trying to avoid touching the tongue and transporting saliva to the next communicant. In fact, if there is a part of the body which is less pleasant than the hands, then it is the digestive system, and we do not hesitate to eat the host, in fact, the Lord commanded us to do so. He obviously held us as humans and God's creatures worthy enough, consecrated enough to receive his body inside us. I feel sure the apostles would not have dreamt of poking their tongues out to receive Christ's body, but quite naturally used their clean hands.

        Sorry, P.K.T.P.

        1. That's what the spoon is for..come to a byzantine liturgy and enjoy the ease of the golden spoon for distribution of the intincted eucharist into brethrens mouthes;-)

          1. I've received many times in the Byzantine Ukrainiian Catholic Church. It is a good way to do it but, be honest, there are problems with the Byzantine practice, such as the possibility of spillage. No, the Armenians have the best way. No wonder Armenians are so successful financially. They're smarter than all the rest of us.


        2. Oh, really, one hears such silly arguments on this. I recall the Modernist priest who told me that he could not bear to see all those dried up tongues in a row early in the the morning. It is very easy for a practised priest to lay the Host on the tonue without transporting saliva. Come on! I am the M.C. and server at our Mass and I see Father communicate the people while holding the communion paten. Never have a seen the slightest problem and I've seen hundreds and hundreds of receptions.

          I did wish to avoid arguing against in manu but, if we must, I point out that it makes deliberate acts of sacrilege much easier, and that is a problem these days. I'd rather not comment further but it can happen. Of course, in can happen in any event but in lingua reception makes it harder.

          Frankly, I like the way the Armenians do things: intinction but using a Roman Host. I believe they intinct the corner of the Host in the Precious Blood and then give this on the tongue. Now the Anglicans all sip from the same chalice and this spreads disease, if that's what you're worried about.


  7. What the cardinal says is his opinion and not the teaching of Catholicism – and I pray he will not seek to bend latter to the former. It is utter nonsense to say that receiving Communion on the tongue whilst kneeling is the true way to show respect. There were clear instructions in the early Church as to how to receive, with the right hand "forming a throne" for the Body of Christ; were early Christians less reverent than those who receive on the tongue? As for kneeling, Eastern Rite Catholics – who are part of what the cardinal calls the "entire Church" – have always received 'standing in awe'; are they also to be accused of lacking reverence ? Cardinal Canizares is demonstrating an amazing ignorance of both Latin Rite and Eastern Rite traditions as well as Anglo-Catholic practise. He needs to do some reading.

    1. In earlier in manu reception, the Host was normally received on a cloth, I believe. At any rate, archæolgism is the error of thinking that precedent is set by ancient practice. No, precedent is set by continuous practice into present times. Past changes were usually good, not bad, and directed by divine guidance. We don't receive the Precious Blood through a metal straw these days. Would you like to return to that as well? Now there's a good way to spread disease.

      By the way, this Cardinal is not just a cardinal but Prefect for Liturgy and the Sacraments. So when he speaks on such matters, while this has no legal force, it often signals what might come. Just a thought.


  8. Father Barnes is correct, it is a question of reverence. Communion can be received most reverently either kneeling or standing, in the hand or on the tongue. Likewise, kneeling and receiving on the tongue is no guarantee of reverence. Reverence comes from within, not from posture.

    1. No, but posture signals reverence in our culture. Kneeling and genuflexion are literally ways of loweing oneself to the One being received. Not touching what is sacred is a notion reflected in our language: we do not put our hands on what is holy because touching can mean a taking control of. So holy things are said to be 'untouchable'. Throughout Mass, the servers touch their lips to the priest's hands to show reverence to the Eucharist, for the priest's hands are specially consecrated to touch the Sanctissimum.

      What is important is context. If a practice is established in use, the question is this: what effect is had by changing the practice? So, in the Latin Church, a sudden abolition of kneeling and receiving the Host in lingua had the effect of reducting reverence, as it was departure from understand symbols of reverence.

      It could be argued that the Anglican patrimony is an exception to this, since Anglicans have been receiving in the hand for a very long time. They have also received kneeling. For them, kneeling and receiving in manu might signal appropriate reverence; for Latins, kneeling and receiving in lingua. The ordinariates are part of the Latin Church and receiving on the tongue is obviously acceptable universally in that ritual Church (esp. since many Anglo-Catholics have also received that way for a very long time).

      The Cardinal was no doubt referring to general Latin practice and not to the ordinariates, where an exception might be contemplated on the grounds of tradition (viz. the Anglican patrimony). But it is tradition–received and transmitted practice–that determines what is right and good, not practices from hundreds of years ago that were also abolished hundreds of years ago. Read Mediator Dei of Ven. Pope Pius XII. Archæologism is the preference for ancient but long-dead practice *and it is an error*. Tradition is the preference for established practices that have been received, preferably from very long usage.

      There is no question that the reception of the Holy Eucharist in the hand and whilst standing has diminished reverence in the Latin Church in general. Hence a return to the *traditional* practice on the tongue whilst kneeling should be restored. There is nothing in the documents of Vatican II that ever called for a change. This was just another way for Modernists and liberals to undermine venerable tradition. They wanted to destroy reverence and effect discontinuity with the past. Benedict XVI and others are now trying to reverse some of the damage. God bless Cardinal Cañizares Llovera for taking the correct position on this.


  9. Fr. Barnes points out correctly that the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling is certainly part of our Anglican tradition and patrimony, although receiving on the tongue is not found so much, even amongst Anglo-catholics.

    In our parish the decision was made to administer Holy Communion by intinction, and this happened for quite practical reasons. Before our parish was received into full communion with the Holy See, we typically would have twenty-five or thirty communions at the Sunday Mass. It was not a problem for me to administer the Host to the kneeling communicants, return to the altar for the chalice, and administer that to them as they continued to kneel. On the Sunday after our canonical erection as a Catholic parish, we had many more people. Some of them, after receiving the Sacred Host, returned to their pews, and when I came back with the chalice, there would be someone else kneeling there, who had not yet received the Host. Terribly confusing at a most sacred time!

    I called a meeting of the whole congregation after Mass and outlined our options. 1) We could continue the existing practice and put up with the confusion. No one wanted that. 2) We could have a second person administer the chalice, but because we had no other clergy but me, it would have to be a layman. Not a single person wanted that. 3) We could change our practice and administer only the Host, which everyone understood as being perfectly legitimate; however, because our tradition included reception under both Species, no one wanted to change that practice. 4) We could purchase an intinction set, and I could administer both Species by way of intinction. That was the solution which met with 100% approval by the members of our congregation, and that is the practice we have maintained for these past twenty-eight years. Because of this practice, it does mean everyone receives on the tongue. One of the practical benefits it that there is little danger of someone profaning the Blessed Sacrament by carrying it off with them — a terrible possibility as our parishes grow and there are increasing numbers of people attending whom we do not know.

    Although we have more clergy on the parish staff, we have continued the practice of intinction, mostly because our people very much like to receive Holy Communion in that way. We are able to administer to several hundred communicants at a Mass in a way which is dignified, without undue haste, but in a reasonable amount of time. Usually there are three of us administering (the celebrant and two deacons), and we divide the communion rail in three sections, which helps keep an even flow of communicants. No one feels rushed, and it is a dignified and efficient way of administering the Sacrament.

    1. Dear Fr. Christopher, I am fascinated to learn that there is something called an intinction set – what does it look like and how does it function?

      Sorry, Father, but it is precisely the "drinking" aspect of Anglican communion which I have missed during my years as a Catholic. I was so looking forward to attending an Ordinariate Eucharist to share this drinking experience again. After all, Jesus did ask us to eat and drink, not receive only one species or intinct or God knows what else, to save time or confusion. And there is nothing to stop a person who has received communion on the tongue – God forbid – spitting it out into his hand after leaving the communion rail – we will not stop someone profaning the Sacrament if they are intent on doing so.

      1. David, an intinction set (or intinctorium for those who like fancy terms) consists of a bowl-shaped ciborium with a small chalice which fits into the center of it. The one administering Holy Communion dips the Host partially into the Precious Blood and places it in the mouth of the communicant.

        I'm sure there are many places where you are able to receive the Precious Blood from the chalice; in fact, most Catholic parishes in our area have lots of extraordinary Eucharistic ministers distributing the Host and offering the chalice. Since from the beginning our parishioners preferred not to have laypersons administering Holy Communion, so that was a contributing factor in the institution of intinction as the mode of administering. No doubt there will be many Ordinariate parishes that will continue with the more familiar practice — I was simply recounting our way of doing things.

        By the way, I find administering in this way to be very simple when communicants are kneeling… very little "tongue-touching," if you know what I mean. When a person is standing, the angle seems wrong, and it's not as easy.

        1. Dear Fr. Phillips:

          I think that this is a very sensible way to do things, using the intinctorium. Did this come from Armenian practice or do they have a deacon hold the chalice or ciborium? Curious.


          1. I'm not aware of this coming from Armenian practice. One can find intinctoria listed in church goods catalogues which cater to the Latin rite. There is no need for the one administering Holy Communion to have any assistance, since the intinctorium has its own small chalice which is held securely in place, in the middle of the ciborium bowl which holds the Hosts. I am able to hold it in one hand, without releasing my conjoined fingers (rather like holding a regular chalice) and administering with the other hand. Elegantly simple!

            1. Yes, I agree. I believe that the practice in the Latin Church was for the communication of deacons or other clergy at one time. Is this so?


      2. J.M.J.

        David –

        It almost looks like you are implying somehow that receiving both species is a more complete or more perfect communion.

        The trough con-commitance, the Whole Christ is present in EITHER of the Eucharistic Species. One does not receive a fuller communion just because one also drinks from the Chalice.

        The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas in the Third Part of Summa, Question 80 – addresses this point quite well – be sure and read particularly where he says "I answer that…"

        Article 12. Whether it is lawful to receive the body of Christ without the blood?

        Objection 1. It seems unlawful to receive the body of Christ without the blood. For Pope Gelasius says (cf. De Consecr. ii): "We have learned that some persons after taking only a portion of the sacred body, abstain from the chalice of the sacred blood. I know not for what superstitious motive they do this: therefore let them either receive the entire sacrament, or let them be withheld from the sacrament altogether." Therefore it is not lawful to receive the body of Christ without His blood.

        Objection 2. Further, the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood are required for the perfection of this sacrament, as stated above (73, 2; 76, 2, ad 1). Consequently, if the body be taken without the blood, it will be an imperfect sacrament, which seems to savor of sacrilege; hence Pope Gelasius adds (cf. De Consecr. ii), "because the dividing of one and the same mystery cannot happen without a great sacrilege."

        Objection 3. Further, this sacrament is celebrated in memory of our Lord's Passion, as stated above (73, 4,5; 74, 1), and is received for the health of soul. But the Passion is expressed in the blood rather than in the body; moreover, as stated above (Question 74, Article 1), the blood is offered for the health of the soul. Consequently, one ought to refrain from receiving the body rather than the blood. Therefore, such as approach this sacrament ought not to take Christ's body without His blood.

        On the contrary, It is the custom of many churches for the body of Christ to be given to the communicant without His blood.

        I answer that, Two points should be observed regarding the use of this sacrament, one on the part of the sacrament, the other on the part of the recipients; on the part of the sacrament it is proper for both the body and the blood to be received, since the perfection of the sacrament lies in both, and consequently, since it is the priest's duty both to consecrate and finish the sacrament, he ought on no account to receive Christ's body without the blood.

        But on the part of the recipient the greatest reverence and caution are called for, lest anything happen which is unworthy of so great a mystery. Now this could especially happen in receiving the blood, for, if incautiously handled, it might easily be spilt. And because the multitude of the Christian people increased, in which there are old, young, and children, some of whom have not enough discretion to observe due caution in using this sacrament, on that account it is a prudent custom in some churches for the blood not to be offered to the reception of the people, but to be received by the priest alone.

        Reply to Objection 1. Pope Gelasius is speaking of priests, who, as they consecrate the entire sacrament, ought to communicate in the entire sacrament. For, as we read in the (Twelfth) Council of Toledo, "What kind of a sacrifice is that, wherein not even the sacrificer is known to have a share?"

        Reply to Objection 2. The perfection of this sacrament does not lie in the use of the faithful, but in the consecration of the matter. And hence there is nothing derogatory to the perfection of this sacrament; if the people receive the body without the blood, provided that the priest who consecrates receive both.

        Reply to Objection 3. Our Lord's Passion is represented in the very consecration of this sacrament, in which the body ought not to be consecrated without the blood. But the body can be received by the people without the blood: nor is this detrimental to the sacrament. Because the priest both offers and consumes the blood on behalf of all; and Christ is fully contained under either species, as was shown above (Question 76, Article 2).

        1. Sean, thank you for this informative post, but you can rest assured that I do 100% believe that Christ is fully present in each of the species and that the sacrament is full and complete if one receives only one of the species. This is how I have communicated for over 40 years, except on Maundy Thursday when both species are offered in my parish, or when I have belonged to the sanctuary team and shared the chalice with the priest.

          But I wrote of my subjective feeling that I preferred to partake in the full symbolism of eating and drinking. The sacrament is no more complete but the personal experience is more ample.

          I was a little harsh when I suggested that giving only the host or intincting happened out of expediency, and I apologise for that.

  10. if it is kneeeling then altar rails are essential – for some this will be simply demarcation, but for those of us with dodgy knees (and other low joints) an aid for stability!


      Unfortunately I have even had to give up genuflection. I managed to get down alright, although with an enormous thump, but getting up almost proved impossible.

      So, thanks for a communion rail – or a prie-dieu, which the Pope uses at large events.

  11. As a former Episcopalian (for many years Anglo Catholic) there was no conformity in the way individuals received Holy Communion. In my last parish some received in the hand and then the Chalice, some in the hand and only recieved the Body and I and many others received by intinction.

    One poster mentioned he didn't feel comfortable giving the Host on the tongue, however, there are many protestants who also feel receiving from a common chalice is not healthy. Personally I feel we are receiving Christ's Body and Blood and know that whatever choice of receiving our Lord will not cause any negative health issues.

    The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics receive from a common spoon. In the end it will be personal preference in most parishes. I do wonder if our Lord were to appear before us would we not kneel in His Presence.

    1. This idea that our Lord prevents the spread of disease is not found in Church teaching. The Sanctissimum is entirely the Body and Blood and Soul and Divinity of Christ. However, just as a virus can attach itself to bread and wine, so can it also be present together with the consecrated Host. While it is possible that our Lord prevents this, we do not know that. So while Ms. Yuhas is entitled to her opinion, others have a legitimate right to worry that this opinion is incorrect.

      We no longer receive the Precious Blood through a metal straw, as they did in the Middle Ages. I think it to be sensible to avoid metal straws and drinking from a common chalice. The Intinction method of Fr. Phillips, or the Armenian method of intinction (I believe a decaon holds the chalice) or the traditional Roman method are all fairly safe; so in Communion of the Host alone in manu. In times of plague, the Church can simply withhold distribution of Holy Communion for a time. The Lavabo should be restored (i.e. let's do away with the N.O. Offertory), also a help to prevent spreading disease.


      1. This argument has come up before, and I've yet to see any evidence that the Chalice has ever been identified, or even suspected, as a transmission vector.

  12. @ David Murphy. Most Catholics when receiving in the hand place the left hand on the right hand. I place the host on the wedding ring if there is one. I feel then that the marriage is especially blessed.

  13. People do go on about this subject don't they?
    Why is the argument always 'when you receive the Body you receive the Blood as well' indicating, ' just be happy with the Host'. Well, goll darn it! I want to receive just the Blood and not the the Body to fullfil the Sacrament. The Body is in the Blood you say, so give it just under the species of wine. So there!

    1. J.M.J.

      Matthew –

      As St. Thomas makes quite clear the whole Christ is present under EITHER of the Eucharistic Species.


  14. At the first mass, the last supper, for protetants, Jesus spoke Aramenian. Everebody was seated when they received The Body and TRhe Blod of Jesus. And the stand position is the one of resurection. The apostels received the bread and wine in the hand.

      1. You're almost as harsh as me, Dr. Tighe.
        Although it is interesting to reflect on what we are not, I am not sure that this was a very constructive contribution to the discussion.

        On the other hand I would really be interested to learn more – from your historical expertise – about what we ARE.

    1. Jesus used Hebrew in prayers in the Temple. Hebrew was, at the time, a language, 'not understanded by the people', who would have spoken Aramaic or Hellenistic Greek. He taught us to Follow him. So we also use a lingua sacra to show reverence to that which is holy. That's why we use Latin. As for the Last Supper, any formal prayers of thanksgiving might have been said in Hebrew as well, as it was the formal passover meal.


  15. Intinction should be avoided, especially if the host is given to the communicant and then he or she dips it into the wine. If the priest does it, it would mean Communion on the tongue, since the wet host will stick to the hand.

    1. Over ten years ago, I used to see several communicants receive the host in hand in typical fashion, not consume it, and then proceed to the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to receive the Precious Blood. They then dipped the host into the Precious Blood on their own.

      I doubt the EMHC even knew how to react, but our priest at the time was unaware of it or didn't seem to object. About a year or two after I noticed this happening, there was an article in our diocesan newspaper stating this was improper and should stop. Afterwards, it did seem to stop at that parish.

      Since the correction appeared in our diocesan newspaper, the decision must have been made by our bishop at the time, now Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, D.C.

      Is intinction by the communicant allowed in Latin Rite parishes?

        1. I have seen intinction by the communicant done in my Archdiocese by various individuals. Problem is, no one tells them not to do it.

        2. Sorry, Father Christopher, but I have been living in Germany many years and at those masses where communion is offered under both species (one or two a year in most parishes), intinction by the communicant is the absolute norm. Drinking from the chalice, where the communicant lifts the chalice to his or her own mouth, is the minority option, and I have never encountered either presentation of the chalice where the priest holds the chalice during drinking or intinction by the priest. That's why the intinctorium fascinated me.

          We seem to have a myriad of varieties of administration and reception of communion in this one post and the responses to it. It would seem to be a question of local tradition – the one thing I would say is that if administration and reception takes place in a devout, dignified way, then the form becomes secondary. And I do believe that reverence for the sacrament increases if adoration and sacramental benediction are regular parts of parish worship.

          1. Self intinction is against the rules of the Church. Whether some priests allow this or not, it is not condoned by the Church. It would be considered an abuse.

            Hopefully some of these abuses within many parishes will slowly be eliminated as more Cardinals, Bishops and priests step forward to correct the innovations that have crept into the Church.

  16. Cardinal Burke states "The wearing of a chapel veil for women is not required when women assist at the Holy Mass according to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is, however, the expectation that women who assist at the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form cover their heads, as was the practice at the time that the 1962 Missale Romanum was in force. It is not, however, a sin to participate in the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form without a veil." But, I remember the sixties… the veil was discarded as the communion rail and all the beautiful statues and stained glass. I can clearly see the destruction of our churches. I, of course, went along believing this was all "church teaching" as I trusted my teachers. Vatican II was guided by the Holy Spirit and along with the paper work the enemy jumped in. Little did I see the N.O.W. — and anyone working for the enemy — involved with a plan to destroy the family with the attack on woman — again. She was lied to as before. Give woman "freedom"; get her out of the home/heart. When the veil came off so did much of the clothing. The generation today cannot even see the damage and destruction as this is all they know. The immodesty in clothing is the norm and it is one form of pornography. Families are destroyed because the heart has been torn from them… as hearts were torn from the victims of the priests in the Aztec sacrifices But, this is what families are today — a mix of yours, mine, ours and someone else's, and the gay families (another attack to destroy the family). It is a complete attack on the woman and her heart/family. I decided to wear the veil again when so much of this came to light for me. When I pondered the self portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe I realize she was the first tabernacle; her womb "veiled" and protected our little Savior. Everything in the Bible that is holy is "veiled". Woman is called to be a "Tabernacle of Life". Look what abortion is! I wear the veil as a sign I will give my life to protect Life. It is a sign to the enemy I know what he is doing and I will fight to protect. It signifies modesty, purity and humility… virtues that should be in the heart of woman. What care I if I am the only one in the Church that is wearing a veil? It is God and the enemy who really know what my veil is about. And, kneeling… or standing to receive Holy Communion? Clearly there is a difference. When one kneels it is a sign of humility; a sign of servant; a sign of love. Standing is more a sign of equality and pride. But, relative thinking makes it OK to stand to receive our God, Creator and Savior in this mystery of His infinite Gift. With everything that was thrown out of our Church after Vatican II was also our humility before our God and Creator. Thrown out was the "awe" of holiness and this is what we have today…a not so important God because WE are important.

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