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Let me share what happened this morning at the FSSP chapel I attend for Sunday Low Mass (the only time it's open). The priest announced before the service that he'd explain at the homily the details of the "spiritual communion" and the L.A. Archdiocesan guidelines exempting attendance from Mass this and the next two Sundays. (As a relevant aside, I note that the FSSP parish itself had the pastor in its bulletin of Sunday March 8th defend communion only on the tongue against the rationales that the Archdiocese had supported in its prohibition of distribution on the tongue; in the bulletin of the 15th, the pastor's note did not express this objection, but taught the importance of Mass obligation.)

He told us that he faced a difficult choice. Our bishop mandates that at present due to the public health precautions, those guidelines state at their start that we cannot receive Communion except in the hand. The FSSP priest confided he had two bouts with pneumonia back-to-back and suffers from frequent bronchitis, so that his immune system is weakened now. So, he reasoned that rather than distribute the Eucharist the only permitted way, we'd have time for adoration of the Host and we'd make a spiritual communion instead of the usual reception of the Host on the tongue.

A parishioner, angry by his body language from before the Mass had started, seated in front of me a couple of pews (the chapel had about its usual number of regulars today, with families and children and the elderly same as usual), stood up after the sermon. He challenged the edict and insisted that he had the right to Communion, and that neither the priest nor the bishop had authority to order otherwise. He affirmed his allegiance to Rome, not the bishop. The priest tried to intervene, but the man talked over him, although in a slightly subdued way, and continued to argue.

The priest respectfully responded by re-affirming the point of his talk, that one need not take Communion at every Mass, and that the spiritual option had the approbation of Sts Catherine of Siena, Pio of Pietrelcina, and Therese of Lisieux among others. Another parishioner spoke up politely, asking the man to obey the Church in this matter. A third parishioner, who sat near the protesting man, stood up and walked out of the chapel, only to return a bit later, phone in hand, and talking to a woman who seemed confused. That woman then left, and others asked those involved in the chat to respect the Mass. The situation settled down and the Offertory and Canon proceeded as normal.

At the communion time, said man and his neighbor marched--that is the verb--up and knelt firmly at the rail. They remained there until after the Mass. Then a couple of others came up and joined them. The man unlocked the altar gate and went to confront, out of sight, the priest in the sacristy. The man emerged after a considerable time.

The priest then came out. He announced an "historic precedent" or some such phrase, and then proceeded to open the tabernacle and distribute the Host to the four people (a fifth next to me then went up too). Before he did, the same woman who had asked for obedience said "I implore you, Father" not to disobey the Church's pronouncement. A total of five people out of the maybe thirty in the chapel at that point remained, as did I, in our pews, most kneeling. A man who had just gone up to the altar rail turned and told the woman who'd asked for respect: "the priest took a vow, we didn't." The man who had begun the protest hissed at that woman from his position at the rail as he waited for the Eucharist. I state all this as a witness, not to cast aspersions, but to provide a full account.

By now, a mother was crying quietly near me, and repeated hymns in Spanish were spontaneously sung by those remaining kneeling. Another man turned from the front pew where he'd walked up and told everyone in Spanish that the only proper "canonical" method of reception was on the tongue. The priest eventually left and we all dispersed.

Upshot: I came home to explain to my wife the scene (she is not Catholic, but after nearly a third of a century listening to me rabbit on, well, she's picked up a lot); she observed the dissenting man had already sinned before his "right" to communion by opening that altar gate and challenging the priest on holy ground, so to speak.

I feel very bad that our good priest--after careful and lengthy explanation at the pulpit-- was pressured, in my view, to give in and to risk his health and that of fellow recipients of the Host. What do you all think? Who was in the right?
(03-15-2020, 06:36 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ](As a relevant aside, I note that the FSSP parish itself had the pastor in its bulletin of Sunday March 8th defend communion only on the tongue against the rationales that the Archdiocese had supported in its prohibition of distribution on the tongue)
Here's that statement, which I thought made its point well.

"Currently there is great concern for the spread of the Coronavirus and precautions are taken to contain this contamination as much as possible. The only way to receive Holy Communion in the Extraordinary Form is on the tongue. There is no provision made for Communion in the hand. We will continue to give Communion on the tongue.

However if the priest touches someone’s tongue he will go to the altar and purify his fingers before continuing to distribute Holy Communion. While it may be thought that Communion in the hand is more sanitary, this is difficult to prove - your hands are dirty from touching everything in the church and the host has to touch the priest’s hands anyway. It is better if the priest places the host directly on your tongue, rather than also in your hands.

Along those lines, please keep your tongue still when the priest places the host on your tongue. Don’t lunge at the priest’s fingers. The recommended distance for your tongue is that it rests on your bottom lip - about one centimeter out of your mouth. Regarding other matters, please do not remain in the main body of the church if you are coughing from an illness.

There is no point in the Extraordinary Form where handshakes are given so there is no need for precautions there. Just keep your hands to yourself!"
I would not want to be that man when he faces the Judgement Seat! Disrupting Mass, disrespecting the Holy Eucharist, I could go on and on. I hope he comes to his senses, repents, and does some serious penance before he dies!
(03-15-2020, 06:40 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ]Here's that statement, which I thought made its point well.

"Currently there is great concern for the spread of the Coronavirus and precautions are taken to contain this contamination as much as possible. The only way to receive Holy Communion in the Extraordinary Form is on the tongue. There is no provision made for Communion in the hand. We will continue to give Communion on the tongue.

However if the priest touches someone’s tongue he will go to the altar and purify his fingers before continuing to distribute Holy Communion.

Priests need to learn how to give communion on the tongue.  It's not an uncommon practice, so there's no excuse to not know how to do it correctly.  If they're concerned about spreading disease, they should buy some ginger snaps, gather a few friends, and practice.  Priests should also remind lay people not to go to communion if they are sick.  It's only a requirement to receive once a year, but people seem to think they're supposed to go every single time.  Just because one person handles disease well doesn't mean the person next to them will handle the same disease just as well.  Don't be afraid to live your life, but be courteous about it.  Additionally, it would be a good idea for priests to keep some hand sanitizer or an alcohol swab handy just in case someone thinks they're supposed to receive communion like a dog eating/licking a biscuit from their master's hand.
Being from SoCal and aware of the metal of those who still live there, I am not surprised at the militancy of the flock at your Church to this matter. It is most inappropriate, and misguided, in MHO.

Fact is, it is nearly impossible to not contaminate the fingers and hands with breath or saliva whilst giving Holy Communion. I can attest to this as a practicing EMHC. You do your best and try not to contaminate the remaining Consecrated Hosts as you continue your duties. Some amount of contamination is certainly a possibility, but not a likely outcome. I am unaware of any documented case of disease spread through Holy Communion reception.

That being said, we have to make sacrifices in order to maintain the general health of our followers. Extraordinary lengths often need be taken to do this and making reception in the hand the norm is a small sacrifice and it will, most likely, be very temporary.

At our parish today, the Deacon announced that Bishop Estevez (of St. Augustine) had stated that 'communion in the hand' become the common practice until the epidemic comes under control. The Deacon added; that anyone who wished to receive 'on the tongue', would not be denied. Our priest, last Sunday already asked those that knew they were sick or had been around sick folks should stay home and the Mass this AM was quite fewer in population than is usual. We are an 'elderly' Parish.

Nicely done Fr. Merik!
Up until now I've always thought, 'yes there's a crisis in the Church, but God has allowed us to have the grace of the sacraments.' now that is coming to a close--at least for a time. We need to be very good and stay in the state of grace.
(03-15-2020, 07:25 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]I would not want to be that man when he faces the Judgement Seat! Disrupting Mass, disrespecting the Holy Eucharist, I could go on and on. I hope he comes to his senses, repents, and does some serious penance before he dies!
Heh, I feel sorry for the guy. He let his anger reach a sinful level and then made a public act of defiance to the priest before receiving Communion. Not a great idea. Also, NO ONE has a "right" to the Eucharist. Period.
(03-15-2020, 07:43 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]That being said, we have to make sacrifices in order to maintain the general health of our followers. Extraordinary lengths often need be taken to do this and making reception in the hand the norm is a small sacrifice and it will, most likely, be very temporary.

This is the one precaution measure they are all pushing that I really don't understand and think is wrong, because if reception on the tongue is too dangerous, then so is reception in the hands and more so in the hands. Also what started out as a rare exception, probably just 'temporary' too, (reception in the hands) became the norm. Just like EMHC (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion)... for extraordinary circumstances... and I see them every Mass and it really isn't an extraordinary situation with the limited number of people I see there.

The Priest washes the Chalice etc in a special sink due to particles of Our Lord remaining in them and they've done studies showing that when you receive in the hand there are particles left on your hand and it makes it easier for people to steal and sacrileges to occur, not to mention when it's handed out like common food, then it becomes like common food. I used to receive in the hand as it was all I had ever known, but now that I receive on the tongue from the Priest I could never go back.

I had also read on this website and it makes total sense too, that we should let our saliva dissolve the host enough to swallow (without using our teeth to chew as much as possible) so as not to get any particles stuck in our teeth and get brushed out and down the sink when we brush our teeth before bed etc.

As for the OP there is no doubt what the man did was wrong, inappropriate and sad and the woman saying we need to obey the Church etc really didn't help matters at all either, should've just left it to the Priest to handle, she probably encouraged him since it's the corruption in the Church and them doing and mandating things that are wrong that probably encouraged the man to do what he did anyway. He should have reverently observed the Mass without interruptions, and then afterwards had words with Father. If they mandate communion in the hands where I am (They recommended it) then I will just make a spiritual communion until I am able to receive again and possibly have words with Father for a possible exception (receiving communion at the end of the line).

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

God Bless You
(03-15-2020, 07:55 PM)Augustinian Wrote: [ -> ]Heh, I feel sorry for the guy. He let his anger reach a sinful level and then made a public act of defiance to the priest before receiving Communion. Not a great idea. Also, NO ONE has a "right" to the Eucharist. Period.

That was my point about disrespecting the Holy Eucharist, because he had no 'right' to demand it. Plus, a sacrilegious Communion to his own damnation because he received in a state of mortal sin. (And, no, I don't read souls, but anyone that angry has allowed his anger to override his use of reason.)
(03-15-2020, 08:09 PM)josh987654321 Wrote: [ -> ]This is the one precaution measure they are all pushing that I really don't understand and think is wrong, because if reception on the tongue is too dangerous, then so is reception in the hands and more so in the hands. Also what started out as a rare exception, probably just 'temporary' too, (reception in the hands) became the norm.

A good post with one small correction. 'Norm' has a legal meaning. The 'norm' of Holy Communion is on the tongue, and no one short of the Supreme Legislator has the right or authority to deny the norm to any of the Faithful, despite what these chicken hearted, mitre wearing cowards say. The CDW has made this clear on many occasions. Until I see differently from the CDW, approved in forma specifica by Francis, I'm not receiving in the hand. 

As I said in a blog post recently,


Quote:Well, it obviously has nothing to do with preventing the spread of disease. Why do I say that? Think about it. I have received on the tongue most of my life. Never, in all those years, has a Priest stuck his fingers in my mouth. In fact, in Communion on the tongue, only one hand is involved, that of the Priest. I think we can assume that at least most Priests practise proper hygiene, especially before celebrating Holy Mass.


In Communion in the hand, however, there are two hands involved, that of the Priest and that of the communicant. Even if the communicant has washed his hands before going to Church, he has undoubtedly touched a number of things before Holy Communion, his keys, his steering wheel, the door handle of the Church. If he has put cash into the collection basket, he has touched one of the most germ ridden things in our daily life. If he has shaken hands with friends before Mass, or, at an NO, 'passed the peace', he's shaken hands with possibly several people who have all done the same things. 

So, now he approaches Holy Communion, with (literally!) God knows what bacteria and viruses on his hands and it's supposed to be 'safer' and less likely to transmit disease for the Priest to place the Body of Our Lord into his hand? I think not!
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