Friday, July 24, 2009
Let me state that I consider the practice of Communion in the hand to be a colossal mistake that has seriously undermined respect for the Most Blessed Sacrament and belief in the Real Presence. If I were ever in the position to revise this practice, it would be gone in a heartbeat. However, I find most of the arguments against the practice to be defective. Some argue that the hand is somehow less worthy than the mouth. It is rightly pointed out that the mouth is the more common instrument of sin than the hands. This won't cut it. Others rightly point out that Communion in the hand makes desecration far more likely. This is true, but the abuse does not negate the use. A far more effective tact is to note the difference in the nature of the actions of receiving in the hand as opposed to receiving on the tongue. Receiving on the tongue is well more receptive. It makes clear that the Host is something to which we have no right; that we passively receive. (This is even more clear when one is kneeling.) Reception in the hand is far more taking, as if the Host is not a free gift of God.
Posted by Fr. Erik Richtsteig at 7:04 PM