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http://www.spiritdaily.com/eucharistrespect.htm

[size=10pt][size=10pt]Respect For Christ In The Eucharist – One Priest’s Perspective[/size][/size]
by Rev. Robert Lange

Americans have the option of receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand.  The Vatican granted us the option of receiving on the hand in 1977. This was accomplished by an indult, a lifting of the law, so we may receive either way, on the tongue or in the hand.  The indult was granted because the American Bishops told the Vatican that their parishioners were clamoring for it.  “We can feed ourselves” was one of the specious arguments put forward.

After Apostolic times, the Church gradually adopted Communion on the tongue as the universal practice.  In the early fourth century the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, revived the practice of receiving Communion in the hand specifically to show a lesser respect for Christ, believing that He is not “equal to the Father.”

The universal Church law, which requires Holy Eucharist to be distributed to the faithful on their tongues, remains in force; it remains the law.  However the indult has the effect of making the law inapplicable where in force.

Foreseeing the demand for the indult coming, the Sacred Office for Divine Worship sent a letter to the presidents of the bishops’ conferences to advise them how they may implement this option if granted.  The letter spoke about reverence for the Holy Eucharist being the number one priority.  With this in mind, the letter went into great detail trying to explain this crucial concern.  The letter contained the following specifics.

Communion on the hand is an option; it is not the primary way of receiving.  Catholics must be catechized to understand this important point.  No one is to be forced to receive on the hand.

When receiving the Body of Christ on the hand, the faithful must be aware of the fact that each and every particle, no matter how small, is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.  Therefore no particle should ever be discarded or treated with less than total respect due to the Body of Christ. 

The faithful must also be reminded that their hands must be clean to receive our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

When ordained in 1986, I was a proponent of receiving Communion in the hand, but time has changed my thinking on this issue.  Seeing so many abuses and forming a deeper respect for Jesus’ true Presence in the Holy Eucharist were the factors which forced me to rethink my position.

On March 28, 1965, when the catholic college I was attending opened their newly renovated chapel, we students were told how to receive the Holy Eucharist: standing and in the hand.  There was no option given. May I add that this was fully twelve years before any American diocese received the indult, which allowed for that option.

Why did those priests, abbots and bishops disobey the authority of Rome? Communion in the hand became the norm for American Catholics in the 1960’s. In many cases the practice was not presented to us as optional, but as the way to receive.

In my twenty-four years as a priest, I have served in many parishes and witnessed many Eucharistic abuses caused by receiving in the hand. I have picked Jesus off the floor from under pews and picked Him out of hymnals. I have followed people back to their seats and asked if they would give me the host back (they bring it out of a clinched hand or out of their pockets) and have witnessed many other sacrilegious desecrations of the most Blessed Sacrament, far too many and varied to mention, some so shocking most people would simply not believe my words.

As I began to see these desecrations of the Holy Eucharist, I began to understand how very sickening, disheartening and avoidable all of this actually has been. Many religious education programs teach the children how to receive on the hand, with at most a cursory mention of the traditional way of receiving on the tongue.  Why?  The Church documents do not support such teaching. It was the same with many American dioceses in the 1960’s when the faithful were being coerced into receiving on the hand a decade before being granted the indult. 

Father Benedict Groeschel, a familiar face to EWTN viewers and an accomplished author, announced on his “Sunday Night Live With Fr. Groeschel” program that he considered Communion in the hand to be an abomination. That is strong language!

Blessed Theresa of Calcutta was asked what was the worst thing that has happened to the Church in her lifetime. She replied without hesitation, “Communion in the hand.”  Again powerful language!

Why would these two great figures of our time be so fervent in their opinions regarding this issue if it did not affect their whole being? Somehow I think they would agree that Communion in the hand is a true American tragedy.

Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI leads by example.  Since becoming Pope, anyone receiving Holy Eucharist from him must receive on the tongue and kneeling. He is not requiring a change throughout the world, but is giving us a profound message by example.

Proper respect shown to the Holy Eucharist is primary.  Please consider these thoughts before receiving Holy Communion this Sunday.  Thank you.
(04-30-2010, 12:25 PM)Magdalene Wrote: [ -> ]Our Holy Father, Benedict XVI leads by example.  Since becoming Pope, anyone receiving Holy Eucharist from him must receive on the tongue and kneeling. He is not requiring a change throughout the world, but is giving us a profound message by example.

Benedict XVI may be intending to send a "profound message" but its effect has been minimal. Benedict XVI has the authority to immediately fix this problem.  Can anyone explain to me why he will not?  Pray for Benedict XVI to have the courage to act as he ought.
(04-30-2010, 01:21 PM)Anthem Wrote: [ -> ]Benedict XVI has the authority to immediately fix this problem.  Can anyone explain to me why he will not?  Pray for Benedict XVI to have the courage to act as he ought.

Ratzinger is Ratzinger. Sadly, I don't see him changing. He has always been a cautious man and does not have a strong temperament or personality. He is a man of contradiction. It has been like that his whole life.

Ultimately, Pope Benedict has made a fatal mistake that will hurt his pontificate. A serious error. According to John Allen, and other Vatican insiders, Pope Benedict sees his papacy as one of teaching. He wants to be the teacher and not the principle. He does not want to be the hands on administrator. Benedict thinks that by teaching, explaining the faith, and leading by example, it will have a positive effect on the Church.

Benedict and his predecessors have failed to see that without discipline, there can be no change.
(04-30-2010, 01:21 PM)Anthem Wrote: [ -> ]Benedict XVI may be intending to send a "profound message" but its effect has been minimal. Benedict XVI has the authority to immediately fix this problem.  Can anyone explain to me why he will not?  Pray for Benedict XVI to have the courage to act as he ought.

God is shining his Sun over good and evil, and Jesus explicitly declared that the we shall wait with the separation till the end of the times.

The Church is not in position to enforce what would be better. The pope could excommunicate, interdict, suspend what is intrinsically evil (e.g. the open disobedience to the Magisterium) but cannot do that loosing the majority for something what are merely desiderata.

Receiving the Eucharist without the state of grace is Sacrilege, receiving the Eucharist into ones hand is only imperfection. If the Church cannot do anything against the sacrilege, to concentrate on the imperfection would hide the real problem, like the Law-keeping of the Pharisees hid the fact, that they did not recognized their time.
It's sacrilege.  gg

remember how many bishops responded to the motu proprio with "not in my diocese"?

Pope Benedict could issue an order that Communion must be received on the tongue, with communicants kneeling and the use of a paten.  but how would he enforce it?  excommunicate every bishop and priest who didn't follow orders?  that could be quite a lot and while we might say "good riddance" (I would say it), it would cause a lot of upset in the Church.  people who liked their bishop or priest would be unhappy if he were excommunicated and many would be unhappy that they were no longer "trusted" to receive in the hand. 

in fact, no one should be trusted, as the priest indicates in his article, because some will desecrate the Body of Christ.  others take the Host and then amble over to the minister of the chalice, dunk the Host in the Precious Blood and consume it, possibly dripping some drops of the Precious Blood on the floor in the process.  this is not allowed by the Church but there's nothing that the ministers of the chalice can do about it.  we know that most Catholics wouldn't engage in such illicit intinction or in desecration so they need to be made aware that the desecration is happening, and that the dunking is illicit.  they also need to hear more sermons about the Real Presence and respect for the Blessed Sacrament.

the ideal reform would be if the faithful demanded a return to Communion on the tongue.

 
(04-30-2010, 08:03 PM)i.p.i. Wrote: [ -> ]remember how many bishops responded to the motu proprio with "not in my diocese"?

Pope Benedict could issue an order that Communion must be received on the tongue, with communicants kneeling and the use of a paten.  but how would he enforce it? 

Well, he doesn't have to enforce it.  He just says this is the case.  God will enforce it at judgment.

Quote:the ideal reform would be if the faithful demanded a return to Communion on the tongue.

Actually, I think that is the worst thing if you mean actually demand something of the bishops in a way that challenges their authority directly.  We should reject their errors and make our needs known, but Alinsky-type tactics don't belong in the Church.

Avoiding the NO altogether sends a message when the TLM is full and their pews (and coffers) are empty.
(04-30-2010, 11:38 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-30-2010, 08:03 PM)i.p.i. Wrote: [ -> ]remember how many bishops responded to the motu proprio with "not in my diocese"?

Pope Benedict could issue an order that Communion must be received on the tongue, with communicants kneeling and the use of a paten.  but how would he enforce it? 

Well, he doesn't have to enforce it.  He just says this is the case.  God will enforce it at judgment.

Quote:the ideal reform would be if the faithful demanded a return to Communion on the tongue.

Actually, I think that is the worst thing if you mean actually demand something of the bishops in a way that challenges their authority directly.  We should reject their errors and make our needs known, but Alinsky-type tactics don't belong in the Church.

Avoiding the NO altogether sends a message when the TLM is full and their pews (and coffers) are empty.

yes, B16 could issue the order but it would work better if there were more discussion about the Real Presence, about the fact that desecration is going on, etc., first, so that the people in the pews don't feel insulted at no longer being "trusted" because it's not most of the people who are the problem as far as desecration goes.  it will take time to undo the idea that it's okay for laity to handle the Body of Christ.

in my Ordinary Form parish, i always receive on the tongue and quite a few others do as well, have for the past twenty years, as long as i've been in the parish.  the number is apparently increasing because a note in the bulletin a month or two ago asked people who are receiving on the tongue to lean forward a bit to help the person giving Communion.  it should have just said "Get in the priest's line" because priests are more experienced at giving Communion on the tongue.  i'd take a priest over a deacon, not just over an EMHC, unless, perhaps, the priest was newly ordained and the deacon was an old hand.

no,  i didn't mean storm the chancery or set up a picket line against the bishop.  i meant that people see others receiving on the tongue and then decide to do so themselves.  more and more people receive on the tongue.  they see, if they watch any papal Masses, that the Pope only gives Communion on the tongue to people who are kneeling.  maybe somebody asks the pastor to preach about the Real Presence and why receiving on the tongue should be the norm again, or maybe the pastor himself introduces the ideas by increments.  then more people start kneeling to receive and eventually people ask 'why can't we have an altar rail to kneel at again?' 

in our parish, pews and coffers are full and we've just had to add another Sunday Mass.  we have added on to the church, built a large parish hall and office building,  added more parking lots and added on to the school.  OF parishes are not all dying out or in trouble.  it's a matter of demographics.  churches in neighborhoods that no longer have many Catholics, mostly in big cities in the NE and Midwest, are having to close but in our archdiocese we're opening new churches and schools all the time, have a new Catholic college that opened in recent years, have a lot of seminarians, several ordinations every year plus priests transferring to the archdiocese, some of them belonging to religious orders, others from other countries.  i've never heard of a church closing in this archdiocese.  some remote areas have had only a mission for years but many new missions become churches within a few years.  it's all about demographics. 


There's an excellent article here http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/article...ation.html on how the usurpation of priestly roles by the laity is a direct attack on the priest's masculinity, and thus his position as a spiritual father.  In a sense, the celibate priest trades the intimacy of a marriage for a greater intimacy with God through the Eucharist.  If everyone can touch your wife, that's an attack on your masculinity and marriage itself.  Likewise, if everyone can touch the Eucharist, that's an attack on the priest's masculinity and the priesthood itself.  The whole thing is very good, but some excerpts that sum up this part:
Quote:I will argue that the assumption of sacred functions by the laity, reserved to the ordained for at least fifteen hundred years, is poisoning the priesthood. The contention proceeds from a simple premise: if the priesthood is reserved to men, as has been taught by the Church, then what does harm to the masculine nature of the ordained weakens the priesthood itself.

[....]
The mistake was the failure to take into account the obvious possibility that the unique sacramental / pastoral role of the priest is not a mere timebound whim of the Church, but is intrinsic to the nature of the priesthood, particularly a celibate one. From the time that priestly celibacy came to be understood as the norm, the unique administration of the sacred and, in particular, the priest as sole steward of the Eucharist, were supernatural responsibilities that grounded the celibate's commitment.  The man who has sacrificed wife and family is discovering that the structure that guarded his self-identity as a spiritual spouse and father is in the process of being dismantled. The effects are simultaneously subtle and pronounced.

A constitutive part of masculinity is the desire for unique intimacy. Much has been written in the past three decades about appropriate intimacy for the priest. Most of the literature focuses upon the nature of the human relationships that dot the landscape of a priest's life. In the 1970s a best seller among priests and religious was a work entitled, The Sexual Celibate. It suffered from a variety of weaknesses, but it articulated a reality worth repeating: namely, the distinction between the sexual and the sensually sexual within each human person. The forfeiture of the sensually sexual does not mutate the human being into an asexual creature. The need for a unique physical intimacy with another is constitutive of permanent monogamous relationships ordained by the Creator, Yet it is precisely that type of intimacy with another human being that the celibate sacrifices. The celibate priest, however, was offered through his office an incomparable and unparalleled intimacy:  he alone could touch God.

The liturgical legislation of the post-Conciliar era has eliminated the Eucharistic exclusivity that marked the office of the priest. The celibate priest no longer possesses the unique corporeal relationship with God. He is not denied the relationship, but others have access to it. Consider a parallel situation: i.e., within the Sacrament of Matrimony. The possession of an exclusive bodily prerogative with one's spouse is primary; in fact there exists no greater convergence between the Divine Law and the instincts of even fallen human nature than on this point. Violate this pact, and one risks murderous rage. If a celibate priest, however, reacts with even the slightest resentment towards the loss of what was his corporeal exclusivity within his Sacrament of Holy Orders, he is considered a candidate for psychological evaluation.

The fact is that many priests do have an instinctive reaction against the presence of the non-consecrated hand touching the Body of God. A non-consecrated hand in the tabernacle, or reaching for the Sacrament at the reception of Holy Communion, violates an intimacy that was, before the engineering of liturgical "roles," exclusively the priest's.  A dynamic equivalent to what would fuel the emotions of a husband who realizes another has shared the exclusive intimacy with the one to whom he has permanently committed himself, is present within priests.  The sense of alienation is more intense for the traditional celibate priest because he is aware that his spouse, the Church, has arranged and promoted the nonexclusivity.

The change in Church practice that was the gateway to all of the above was Communion in the hand.

If I could change only one thing about the modern Mass (not talking about abuses here, but actual normal parts of it; and not trying to fix it, because I don't think it's fixable, but just trying to make it less dangerous for those who attend it), I would remove the indult for Communion in the hand.  A friend of mine thinks kneeling for Communion is more important, but I think if people had to accept on the tongue again, kneeling would tend to follow.  I suspect that this one change, more than any other, has led to a general loss of belief in the Real Presence, which leads directly to failure to keep one's Sunday obligation, the discarding of unpleasant duties like Confession, and eventually leaving the Church altogether.
While as usual fixing the NO is beyond the scope of the forum, I have at least this to add...


ipi, I'm sure there are plenty of good and holy NO priests who would like to do just what you suggest, but there are plenty of unholy bishops they report to that will bring a hammer down on them if they dare.  The Pope needs to move the bishops to action, get rid of the bad bishops, and then the pastors will fall in line or the bishop will have something to say.


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