Rorate Caeli

Communion handling: the gravest problem

Translation problems? Mass celebrated towards the people? Altar girls? Postures?

No, the greatest and gravest problem of the liturgy of the Latin Church - that is, of the "Ordinary form", or Mass of Paul VI - is one that transcends all this, even it is related to all of them: it is the way the Body of Christ is treated. That must be the very first issued tackled by an eventual true "reform of the reform", one that is set not by fleeting example, but by hard law.


(1) Any human being who has ever had any experience with any edible object based on a milled product knows that crumbling is a natural part of the process of consuming it: loaves, wafers, cookies, biscuits, crackers, tortillas, nachos - it does not matter, fragmentation takes place. 

(2) Catholics believe that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ are truly present in each of the Consecrated Species, and completely in every single and minute fragment of it.

Because of (1) and (2), the Church was traditionally extremely careful regarding the distribution of Holy Communion. That meant reducing to the minimal imaginable level the possibility that any Fragment of the Body of Christ, even the smallest one, might be profaned or lost - which meant only the celebrant himself touched the Body of Christ, that all Fragments could be held under control on the Altar, and that all gestures in the distribution of Holy Communion by the Priest (or Deacon) to the servers and faithful would mean that no Fragment could ever go unaccounted. (And that same process also took place with the distribution under both Species in the East, in a slightly different evolution, but with the same end result: consecrated hands distributing Holy Communion in such a way to make any loss or spillage unlikely and under strict control.)

What the liturgical innovations following the Council did was to inculcate Catholics with the notion that the Fragments of the Body of Christ do not matter - and it would be absurd to limit that only to the abhorrent practice of Communion in the hand; no, it is not just a matter of respect, but of Belief that God Himself is entirely present in each single Fragment of the Consecrated species; and Communion in the hand is only one aspect of this. In fact, all those allowances for distribution by people other than those with consecrated hands that are not purified before and after the Distribution of Holy Communion, the use of all kinds of "vessels", and all related matters - happening thousands upon thousands of times every single day around the world - also necessarily lead to abuse. Or, rather, they ARE the abuse. 

All other problems with the New Mass are intimately related with this gravest of problems. If the Sacred Liturgy is the "summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed" (SC, 10), the handling of the Body of Christ by the non-ordained is the pit from which all and every single liturgical abuse ontologically flow. Because if God present in the Most Holy Sacrament is treated as "crumbs" and "dust", then reality vanishes and all that remains, in appearance, are empty and ridiculous symbolisms - and no wonder people do not respect these, change them at will, and expect them to adapt to one's own preferences.


  1. Ferraiuolo9:15 AM

    I wonder if there is an end to all of this. All the parishes around the world follow things that prior to the council were absolutely deplored. When, O Lord? When?

    Prayer and penance for the Church is most necessary.

  2. Anonymous9:36 AM

    Thanks New Catholic for this excellent article. You explain clearly one of the reasons why I can no longer celebrate the new Mass and refuse to give Holy Communion in the hand. Until the Church tackles this issue, it will be will be a sign of contradiction - officially teaching one doctrine but not living it in practice. Our liturgical practice no longer expresses the reality of the mystery and treasure that is our doctrine of the Real Presence. This is where the reform has to start. Everything is just lip service.

  3. Anonymous9:59 AM

    This article of Rorate reminds me of another article but its subject is on kneeling which is also somehow related.


  4. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott10:44 AM

    Thank you for this article, I shall continue to distribute these to educate un-catechized Catholics.

  5. Anonymous10:51 AM

    Great piece. Reminds me of what Mother Teresa once said, that Communion in the hand is the greatest horror she had ever witnessed.

  6. Kairos10:58 AM

    While I appreciate the concern over this issue, I think the analysis of it being at the heart of our liturgical problems is not particularly correct. Eucharist in the hand strikes me as more a symptom than a cause of the problem.

    We should also not forget that as undesirable as some of these practices are, they are not absolutes, strictly speaking. The early Church had some recipients receiving in the hand. As for kneeling, not only does the Byzantine rite customarily receive while standing, traditionally, they would normally completely avoid kneeling altogether on Sunday during any part of worship, which as I understand it, is seen by them as contrary to worship on the day of the week that marks the Risen Lord.

    Rather, I think the root of the problem lies in SC itself, as Chris Ferrara masterfully depicted some time ago. Liturgical reform should be modest, organic, and for the glory of God, the facilitating of Holy Sacrifice, and the sanctification and edification of the lay faithful. Not to facilitate Christian unity and meet the so-called, alleged needs of our time.

    Eradicate that mentality, return to traditional worship [if I had my druthers, that would not even be 1962, but early 1950s Tridentine], and these symptoms will take care of themselves.

  7. It is not a "concern" and it is not an "issue", such as gestures, postures, or ... liturgical dancing. It is the Lord Himself.


  8. Good points, but I would go further. As we know, how we worship effects how we believe.

    Simply put, the NO puts meal over Sacrifice, "almost silencing" the latter, in the words of the great theologian Gherardini; so, in doing this, Paul VI, Bugnini and the Consilium thugs, including Protestant "observers", clearly and deliberately placed the emphasis on the communion of the people in the assembly with each other rather than in communion with Almighty God.

    As Alfons Cardinal Stickler said, it was Paul VIs intention to make the New Order Mass as much like protestant worship as possible. Cf. The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass.

    Be careful what you ask for or you might just get it!

    Thirty percent believe in the Real Presence at the NO mass now, in a "reform of the reform", and then, again, if you "reformed the reform of the reform" (ad infinite regress of reforms) you are not going to see a big improvement in this number, because the NO is systemically flawed, and its praxis will always be more human, and less Divin.

  9. THE

    I'm Eucharistic
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That's sinister
    I lead all down
    The aisle.

    I see my son
    But twice a year
    He prays and studies
    In cassock-black
    Men laugh and jeer
    Though mocking
    Just empowers.

    I'm Eucharistic
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That's sinister
    And loyal
    I'll dance awhile.

    Empowers him
    To pray say yes
    Receive and be
    These other Christs lay hands
    And bless

    I'm Eucharistic
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That's sinister
    Why we're priests
    Rank and file.

    Through Masses, rosaries
    Teary eyes
    If Christ calls all
    My boys
    They'll go but not
    Support your lies
    A meal with lots
    Of noise.

    I'm Eucharistic
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    You act as though
    That's sinister
    We're having fun
    Just smile.

    Three years he's slaved
    Four more to go
    Each year he's
    Farther away
    And that's so we
    Can learn and know
    His life for Christ
    He'll lay.

    I'm Eucharistic
    At Mass I dress
    In style
    And all can be a minister
    To beguile!

    (just another Catholic mother of Seminarians who sends away another son soon)

  10. Kairos11:18 AM

    Yes, New Catholic it is the Lord Himself. That doesn't mean the handling of the Lord is the root cause of the problems, as serious a matter as that is.

  11. Anonymous11:25 AM

    The gravest problems in the so called "Novus Ordo" of Paul VI come from (surprise!), the Protestant tradition.

    Communion in the hand and standing, using a simple table altar and celebrating facing the people, the Intercessory prayers (Bidding Prayers in the Episcopal Church language), Communion taken from "the common cup"....all are Protestant. And all have caused tremendous damage to the Catholic Mass, and to the sense of the Sacred and respect for the Holy Mass.
    Remove these total Protestant elements, put in place by Paul VI (who wanted the Catholic Mass to be more like a Lutheran or Calvinist "Lord's Supper"....can you imagine anything more shocking from a Pope than to want us to be more like Protestants!!) and you remove the problem.
    It was a simple matter of education for these liturgical pirates and ecumaniacs to teach the average Mass going Catholic that all the traditions and reverence for the Host and the Mass didn't matter would be likewise a simple matter of re-education to instruct Catholics that is very much does matter...for the good of our Souls.

  12. It is not the handling itself, Kairos, I am sorry you could not understand it. The handling, that is, the disregard for each Fragment, Who is the Lord Himself entirely, is certainly not the historical origin of problems, and it disturbs me that you wish to muddle the discussion. But the disregard for the Lord is certainly the substantial problem, and I do not see how this could be clearer.


  13. For this very reason, the Angel of Fatima taught the children this prayer (excerpt):

    "In reparation for all of the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference, by which He is offended..."

  14. Dear NC. Amen, Amen, Amen. And I would add a wry and wise observation from Dr Zmirak:

    "This book isn’t the place for the critique of recent liturgical changes in the Church-particularly the method of dispensing Holy Communion. But we’d like to suggest an experiment.

    From now on, to get a movie ticket, Americans should have to kneel before a consecrated celibate wearing ceremonial robes and take the ticket between their teeth – never daring to touch it with their hands. Within a generation or so, they’d all develop certain ideas about movie tickets and their significance.

    Now take the Eucharist and reverse the process, treating it like a movie ticket…Enough said."

    From, "The Bad Catholics Guide to Good LIving"

  15. Anonymous12:10 PM

    This is such an abusive innovation. Every ancient rite of the Eucharist (both Western and Eastern) treats the Body and Blood with the most profound respect. Communion in the hand is found ONLY in Protestant communions (and sadly now our Church as well). This illustrates how foreign this practice is to traditional Christianity. A Coptic Orthodox student of mine told me that in their church even the priest doesn't touch the host but picks it up with a special cloth, and when people come up for Holy Communion altar servers hold a cloth under the communicant's mouth just in case a particle should fall. I have no problem with the Novus Orod per se, but it bothers me that all sorts of abuses and innovations were introduced under the dubious "spirit" of Vatican II. I've started going to a traditional Eastern Catholic parish because I can no longer stomach the abuses at my local Roman parish.

  16. Anonymous12:12 PM

    When I think of the numbers who left the church post Vat 2, I can't help but think this was great part of it. Sometimes when I see it happen in my N.O. parish, I feel like standing up and shouting, "alright everybody! The ruse is up! let's stop wasting our time these are clearly just crackers!" So long as there is communion in the hand we might as well not even have rubrics for a mass

  17. Joseph12:54 PM

    Permit me to relate my first crisis of faith.

    It was my first time in Rome and my first time at St. Peter's. It was the Feast of the Assumption in 1975. The basilica was packed for the papal Mass offered by Pope Paul VI. When it came time for Communion, the priests came down the demarcated center aisle and proceeded to distribute Holy Communion to those closest to the demarcating barrier; they in turn would pass the Sacred Host to the person behind them, who would proceed to "pass Him on."

    I was scheduled to enter the seminary in two weeks time. The experience at a papal Mass was so personally devastating, I never went.

  18. Another aspect of this abomination to consider is the symbolism of the faithful taking the Lord in their hands and then "giving" Him to themselves, rather than receiving Him from the alter christus, the priest. Especially when accompanied (as it almost always is) with reception standing, the symbolism is redolent with connotations of democracy.

    I think that the "false consciousness" of most in our culture now, i.e. that democracy is the norm for everything, is behind a lot of this, as well as other stuff, like the calls for changes in the matters of communion for divorced and remarried people, married priests, womyn priests, etc., most recently publicized as coming from the Germans.

    And of course the thing about a democracry is that you have no King. So to belabor the point, if you have a democratic Church you do away with Christ the King. Maybe at most you have a "president" or a "chairman", and that shows the essentially immanentizing nature of democratism, especially in the Church.

    The reform of the physical postures is imperative in reversing this disastrous "false consciousness" and needs to start right now.

  19. Anonymous1:08 PM

    So I ask: the Pope Paul VI and his successors could authorize this practise?
    As St. Paul said, everyone is forbid of preach a different gospel of Christ's gospel, even the Pope. But can a Pope authorize sacrileges?

  20. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Profanation of the Body of Christ is what it is. That profanation could be the cause why the wrath of God is visited upon his people in these times. Thanks, NC, for this well thought out article.

    Many elderly priests that I have spoken to, ordained before the changes, are well aware of the potential for abuse but the chains of obedience make them stay quiet about it. This is one more of the diabolical disorientations that Sr. Lucy spoke about.


  21. Anonymous1:22 PM

    I am a priest, and may I say that you couldn't be more on the mark, as usual, about this horror. Of all the terrible, terrible things initiated and permitted by Paul VI, this, with all its results, is his ongoing condemnation.
    Even in more traditional parishes, where the Pastor tries his best to honor the Blessed Sacrament, this remains his greatest heartache. I knew a priest who, every time he had to give Communion in the hand, said "I'm sorry," in his heart to Our Lord.
    Yes, only rigid and immediate legislation will repair this and without this being repaired, nothing else will be.

  22. Jack O'Malley1:26 PM

    The gravest problem is the novus ordo seclorum masonic service itself.

    Put an altar rail in front of the Cranmer table, fire the Eucharistic "ministers", hold a paten under each chin, and you still have a novus ordo protestant service with an altar rail and paten.

    I am not doctrinaire on this however. There can still be an exception for abortion-pushing solons and Spanish royalty to palm the Host. Best to get it in writing, though. Maybe a new motu proprio, Manibus fidelium? A papal indult for sacrilege.

  23. New Catholic: How absolutely spot on this post is; it goes to the heart of the problem. This goes far beyond gestures of reverence or beauty in worship--it goes to the treatment of Our Lord Himself, and the widespread *desecration* (unwitting or no) committed in modern parishes everywhere.

    Back when I was a new convert and received on the hand because I didn't know any better, I remember becoming increasingly concerned at how many fragments were always left on my palm. The problem was solved, naturally, by receiving on the tongue. But imagine how many millions of Catholics receiving on the hand today leave the pews with fragments on their palms, to be brushed off onto the floor and trampled underfoot. It is horrifying to think of it, and yet how many do?

    Thank you for this post. More people need to be discussing the gravity of the current situation.

  24. I can't stand watching the priest alone go through the ablutions after distribution of Holy Communion when there should be, in reality, about three quarters of the congregation having their hands washed as well.


  25. Anonymous2:57 PM

    I'll be more with Kairos on this topic though New Catholic is absolutely correct that the awful practice of communication in one's hand goes far beyond the disrespect itself.

    We have to keep in mind, as strange as it can be for the readers, that Paul VI NEVER condoned communication in the hand : his 1969 document expressly underlines why the traditional form of communication on the tongue IS the norm - should be - and the commended way.
    Pope Benedict XVI does nothing than implementing 1969 "Memoriale Domini" of Paul VI in its authentic spirit.
    In 1969, the pope gave permission to the bishops to tolerate the alternative form as a merciful measure due to the liturgical chaos already prevailing.

    Naturally the bishops nearly everywhere in the world jumped on the occasion and now 99% Catholics believe it's the "normal" way to receive the Holy Communion. Nearly no diocese, one in Argentina and a couple of others, is teaching what Paul VI meant in Memoriale Domini.

    So having the communication on the tongue is perfectly legal within the Novus Ordo without changing a single word in the missal or the rubrics. Is it enough to make the pitiful Eucharistic prayer n°2 better ? No.
    Is it enough to reduce so-called creativity in the whole Mass ? No.

    I concur with New Catholic that in the rare Ordinary Form masses where communication on the tongue is enforced, there is in general less "creativity" and horrendous abuses.
    I also agree with N.C. that removing the toleration introduced in 1969 would be a BIG step forward but I also concur with Kairos when he says it's far from being in itself what a genuine "reform" of the revolution is expected to achieve. There are other key parts to be truly restaured.


  26. Whether or not it is the "gravest" of the problems is irrelevant..It is just another problem in the domino effect of the modernists having installed a new mass in the construction of their new religion. It wouldn't matter if the pope issued an order that all go back to communion in the hand, it wouldn't matter if modernist priests adopted all the trappings of tradition, learned to speak Latin in an effort to parody the Latin would be nothing more than icing on a moldy, rotten, poisonous cake. The new mass should be dumped, along with Vatican II. If the doctrines of the faith are gone, and the priests, bishops, religious and Catholic faithful no longer know their faith...expect nothing to improve.

  27. We are not dealing exclusively with communion in the hand here, dear Alsaticus, but with all non-consecrated and non-purified hands involved in this gravest of scandals.

    The New Mass: problematic. Versus Populum: anthropocentric. Liturgical abuses: disastrous. But "losing", trampling upon, throwing away the Lord Himself is intolerable.

  28. One of the well-worn arguments used by the Innovators who agitated for this change was that Communion-in-the-hand was a restoration of an ancient liturgical practice. They pointed out, correctly, that it was used in the early Church.

    But what they didn't mention was the fact that when this method was used, the communicant could never physically touch the Sacred Host, but that the Host would be placed on a clean linen cloth which was laid on top of the communicant's hands. The communicant then had to lower his mouth onto the Host which lie on this cloth and consume it.

    The modernists also did not see fit to mention that this clumsy way of receiving the Eucharist was very short-lived. It was quickly observed that one of the obvious problems was the real danger of particles of the Host sliding off that cloth onto the ground. Communion on the tongue (accompanied by the perfectly logical and natural posture of kneeling) was very quickly instituted in the Church.

    It would be good to relate these facts to anyone who still wishes to defend this horrible practice.

  29. A very good and timely post. The disrespect to Christ, and the shame of the Church is well exposed here. Can nothing be done about this? The present Pope is very sensitive to the limits of what he can do without the wholehearted support of the bishops. The priests cannot do it for reasons already shown in the comments. It must surely be the laity themselves who can persuade the bishops to revoke this abominable practice.

  30. Anonymous3:54 PM

    As an altar boy, emphasis on the boy, in the '50s I was taught that the precious species (Body and Blood of Our Lord) had to be protected and defended with our very lives, if necessary. Also, I was taught that only the priest with consecrated hands could touch the Blessed Sacrament. Then, in the '70s I saw the precious Host and Blood in the Chalice, or what served as one, treated with such carelessness and disdain by unconsecrated hands that I nearly lost my Faith. Indeed, the term Mystery of Faith was even taken from the words of consecration of the wine into the Blood of Christ. Can you imagine, dear Holy Father and bishops of the Church, what this did to my psyche? Allow me to say this with all humility and respect for your positions: the Mystery of Faith is the transubstantiation of the bread into the Body and the wine into the Blood of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and is only applicable to the one true Faith, the Catholic Faith which has come down to us from the apostles. As such, does it not deserve to be retained in the formula for the Consecration of the wine at Holy Mass?

    Allow me also to say that when I was confronted with the abuses which I mentioned above, I sought out a traditional priest who was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1973 and who said only the traditional Mass, the Mass of my youth, which Fr. Faber has termed the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven. This priest even had a celebret from Cardinal Mayer long-time past-Head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. When I inquired of the local bishop if this priest had faculties from him, he replied: "No, he is outside the Church." Even today, this priest and his fellows are without formal faculties and what is euphemistically called "canonical jurisdiction."

    I ask you: Is this Justice? Is this the Church that I was taught in my youth by dedicated nuns who wore their penintential habits proudly as the one, true Church outside of which no one can be saved? Is this the church of balloon masses, guitars, and lay people including lay men and women all over the sanctuary - indeed even handling the Body of Christ? Is this the Church which demands of the SSPX some kind of a doctrinal submission (called a Preamble) before they are given their rightful place in the Church? I await a response from any one of you on these questions if you have the intestinal fortitude to do so. With the greatest love and respect for the one, true Church and with docile submission to all tenets of the Faith I am

    LtCol Paul E. Haley, USAF Ret (PEH)

  31. Anonymous4:05 PM

    SUPERB article.

  32. Anonymous4:25 PM

    If I may call out for some holy opinions on this ...

    This topic is the one single most closest to my heart.

    I do not have access to the Traditional Mass.

    I only have access to the NO.

    I cringe every time I go to Mass. When I have gone to confession and am made worthy to receive communion, I sit in the front pew JUST SO as soon as communion is to be distributed, I go first receive kneeling and on the tongue and scoot immediately to the back of the Church so there is no chance that I would trample unknowingly on the Lord on my way out at the end of Mass.

    But it occurs to me that simply going to these parishes in the first place - and I assure you these are 2 or 3 of the most respectful and dignified NO parishes - one of them recently having installed an altar rail - but just being in those parishes, as good as those priests are exposes me to the potential of sacrilege by way of trampling the Lord underfoot.

    I have considered simply praying the EF Mass in private by myself and making a spiritual communion and confession but the signal graces I received from this in the past confuse me and I am uncertain if this is a good way to go. For one, it would mean never receiving physical communion. For two, it means the loss of the benefits of praying en masse with other faithful, where the Lord Himself promises that He is present, something He does not promise for those who pray solo.

    At this point, my prayer is that an SSPX parish somehow pops up in my vicinty, or that one of the parishes here would be turned into an exclusively-EF parish. But even the good priests I know who secretly desire and sometimes offer the EF will not enforce it exclusively.

    The story a couple of weeks ago about that Italian priest who made the courageous decision to go EF-exclusive is a dream of mine.

    I am sincere in this posting. I cannot share personal details. But would appreciate some priestly advice, or even a new post by NC to allow people to discuss this topic. It is marginally related to this posting, and I personally agree fully with NC.

    If a NO parish would enforce communion on the tongue, always served by an ordained priest - this alone - would be a major fix for many issues during Mass. I agree with Alsaticus and one or two others however that to me the fix is not just communion on the tongue, but communion on the tongue KNEELING. As a NO priest once said to me ... pagans don't kneel!

    Sincerely, confused faithful.

  33. Anonymous4:27 PM

    No, the gravest problem is Vatican II and all related documents in its wake!

  34. Kathleen4:35 PM

    Communion handling is indeed the gravest problem.

    The lack of love and respect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of all of the other abuse.

    Conversely, if love and respect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is restored the myriad behavioral problems among the laity, like immodesty, etc, will start to evaporate as a natural extension.

    NC is absolutely correct that the abuse of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is the first thing that must be corrected if there is to be any hope of saving the poor souls caught in the tangled mess of the N.O.

    A fine traditional effort to promote reform of the abuse of Communion in hand has been started and surely could use attention and assistance.

    The website can be found here:

  35. Anonymous4:47 PM

    "We are not dealing exclusively with communion in the hand...but with all non-consecrated and non-purified hands involved in this gravest of scandals."

    If I may point out as to how deep that problem is...

    At St. Mark's parish in Plano, Texas (Dallas Diocese), each Monday night at 7:00 P.M., an OF Latin Mass is offered.

    We began with about 120 worshipers but have fallen to about 35.

    Nevertheless, with only about 35 worshippers present each Monday night, at least one EM (always a womman, of course) is present to distribute Holy Communion.

    There were times when two women served as EMs to 30 to 35 worshipers.

    The craziness goes even deeper as until last week, the priest would administer the chalice as the female EMs distributed the Sacred Hosts.

    That was done to force communicants to receive Sacred Hosts from the EMs.

    From Pope Benedict XVI downward, everybody within the Church is aware that in a great many nations, the laity have overrun Sanctuaries at Novus Ordo Masses.

    The Holy Father could end that problem if he desired.


  36. Anonymous5:18 PM

    I am tired on the "early church" being some sort of gold standard for every issue. I mean, many fundamental christological issues were not even sorted out until hundreds of years after Christ....the canon of scripture for hundreds of years too...but the mere custom of standing in the first centuries should be kept simply because of its antiquity? No. The Church gains, in a general way, a deeper insight and wisdom over time (notwithstanding periodic exceptions, like today).

    The eastern argument of standing because it is Sunday is weak. Personally, I want to be on my "knees" for all eternity, in the heavenly liturgy. If I met Jesus right now, I would kneel, or preferably, prostrate myself, until he said otherwise. I would not shake his hand and stand there. True joy is subordinating our whole being to God, and giving Him every honor....and the more, the better.

    For humans, kneeling is the objectively superior posture (to standing) before God, whether we are rejoicing. I am sorry, but the East has this one wrong. And, dare I say it, this is one thing I like about Muslims: their posture of praying is objectively healthier. It is good for the soul to humble oneself before the Creator. The Muslim posture for prayer could even be their single most effective evangelization tool.

  37. I changed to only receiving communion on the tongue when I started attending a very traditional N.O. parish (uses communion rail, no EHMC etc). I have continued the practice now that I have to attend churches built in the "what communion rail" 80's, it was wreckovated out or a few "let's just ignore this commuion rail" chapels.

    A week ago or so I happened to look up after my communion reflection and I saw a man who received in his hand then licked his hands after consuming the host... (Yes, I need to work on the custody of my eyes.) After my initial "ick" I did have to admit there was a logic in his actions. Better though perhaps that we all just receive in our hands.

    I also am praying for the return of communion rails. Since most of the churches don't have an altar server to hold the paten, even receiving on the tongue while standing, I am constantly in fear of a host dropping. I still feel it is absurd that my Methodist relatives receive what is not Jesus while kneeling, while I, who am able to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, has to stand. There are a few people I have seen kneel, but I am already one of the few women at the daily N.O. wearing a chapel veil.....

  38. misericordia5:47 PM

    They can "reform the reform" to within an inch of its life, but until the abusive practices regarding the handling of the Sacred Host are made unlawful, I shall never, ever attend a Novus Ordo Mass.

    Only the consecrated hands of a priest should handle the Sacred
    species. I can bear to see neither Communion being given into the hand nor being handed out by the lay ministers of Holy Communion.

    These profanities need to be addressed before any changes are made to the liturgy, because they give so much offence to so many people and also, I think,to God.

  39. Anonymous6:03 PM

    It should just be revoked, this indult. The Church nor people need it. There is so much confusion, profanation and downright loss of reverance that I would easily give up the right, even though I receive on the tongue, always. I mean who wants to be part of a "way" that is causing so much division and even if it is not your intention, just knowing that other people will use "your way, in the hand" to perpetuate abuses should be enough for everyone to unselfishly give it up. It is true that a small few can ruin it for all. So let's be done with it and everyone go back to receiving on the tongue. Do your part people...

  40. Anonymous6:48 PM

    An aside but one I felt compelled to make ...

    Anon 0928-2011 17:18 stated:
    " The Muslim posture for prayer could even be their single most effective evangelization tool."

    Perhaps, but only after the sword (or terror).

    The sword/terror has been the Muslim's most effective evangelization tool throughout its 1300 year history.

  41. Not even the Holy Father is going to be able to stop this practice as women have overrun the altar and taken authority over Priests.

    Think I'm kidding?

    Even here in Phoenix, Arizona the Tridentine Mass and its Priests were chased out and into the ghettos because the women were upset they were not allowed as Ministers, Lectors, Altar Girls,etc.

    This is going to need a chastisement to correct.


  42. Thanks for the article! When I see my fellow brothers and sisters taking Communion in the hand it deeply saddens me. I see this action as prideful along with disrespectful; it's saying to the priest "I don't need you to give me Christ; I will do it myself."

  43. Quote from GIRM: “However, article 162 of the GIRM indicates that if there are no other ordinary ministers present and there is “an exceedingly large [valde magnus] number of communicants,” the priest celebrant may then call upon EMHCs to assist him. Paragraph 151 of Redemptionis Sacramentum explains further that these EMHCs are to be used “only out of true necessity” and that when they are used, “special urgent prayers of intercession should be multiplied that the Lord may soon send a priest for the service of the community.”

    An “exceedingly large number of communicants” means more than five people in practically every parish Iv’e been to here in Philly Archdiocese.

    In other words these rules (GIRM) mean absolutely nothing to most Bishops and priests. They will allow whatever they and the “laity” want. And the general consensus is EMHC (male and female) in every parish no matter what the number is!. And the Pope or GIRM will never have the power to stop this trend.

    Which in my view is one of many things that has literally driven me to Eastern Christianity.

  44. Igumen Gregory8:29 PM

    Councils that re envisaged to update the Church rather than to correct heresies that are an assault on the Church seem to have an agenda that is anti-traditional. Every group of Christians who have sought to update the church have left it in doctrinal ruins and chaos. I use the term church to cover what the world calls Christianity. In the Orthodox Church there was a movement afloat, generally coming from Constantinople, that wanted the great council to do some of the following: discuss divorce requirements, making them more lax than they are now, married episcopate, changes in the Liturgy, restore the office of deaconess, with the view to create it as the female deaconate, which it is not. and the like. Do you suppose Rahner would be delighted with these kinds of changes. Fortunately this Great Council never happened, thanks be to God. the philosophical underpinnings are the same in liberalism, meaning secular and dialectical materialism. Sophiaism keep from liberal Russian theologians and is the philosophical equivalent of a mre radical feminism. Again the Enemy works over time in all fields were he can corrupt morals and truth.

  45. Anonymous8:35 PM

    I'm a simple guy but it seems pretty plain.

    Is Christ present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist?

    No? Then Mass becomes nothing more than an elaborate prayer service and loses all meaning.

    Yes? Then what posture do you assume before the King? One of adoration and humility of course. And the notion of one tiny speck of Him ending up in the nap of a rug or embedded into the sole of someone's shoe should invoke deep sadness and even horror in the heart of the faithful.

    This is not rocket surgery, so to speak. And the fact that we are where we are to me absolutely screams 'diabolical disorientation'.


  46. Brian8:54 PM

    When I was in the first grade, the nun taught us that the Body of our Lord is sacred and that we should immediately swallow the sacred Host and not even allow it to touch our teeth (presumably so that portions would not get stuck in our teeth). If a Sacred Host were to fall to the ground, the Priest, and only the Priest, handled the matter in a careful, prescribed way.

    The message to every six-year-old child was clear. We all understood, the Body of our Lord is Holy.

  47. Im Brazil, just to make things worse, there are many parishes in which children are allowed to go somewhere else and receive non-consacrated hosts. Last Sunday, as we did not have a Traditional Mass to go, I went with my family to the N.O. Mass and, coming back from Communion, I saw a child chewing and spitting, and putting again in her mouth, etc, a host. I almost had a heart attack, until my wife pointed out that the host was probably not consacrated.
    They find ways to *really* train the small children not to have any kind of respect... :_(

  48. Picard9:13 PM

    "The New Mass: problematic. Versus Populum: anthropocentric. Liturgical abuses: disastrous. But "losing", trampling upon, throwing away the Lord Himself is intolerable."

    AMEN! Thanks, NC!

  49. Anonymous9:37 PM

    "The New Mass: problematic. Versus Populum: anthropocentric. Liturgical abuses: disastrous. But "losing", trampling upon, throwing away the Lord Himself is intolerable."

    AMEN! Thanks, NC!

    Amen sure BUT as I've written you can perfectly have a Novus Ordo Mass with receiving kneeling and on the tongue.

    Removing the derogation granted by local bishops should be a first step in a reform of the litnik revolution. Nothing but a first step.

    Besides it has to be acknowledged that a trend among N.O. faithful, though still a minority, is to receive very reverently on the hand (carefully forming a cross) having knelt before. This is already a little drive in the right direction. Not enough though.


  50. Alsaticus, my friend, communion in the hand is just ONE of the aspects we tried to cover here, which is why we titled it "Communion handling" in a general sense.

    I have no idea if that is "the right direction", as you say, unless this attitude prevents any Fragment, as small as it may be, from being displaced throughout the process, from the Altar to consumption. Otherwise, it is just additional making-it-up-as-we-go paraliturgicalism, typical of the NO mindset.

  51. Anonymous10:04 PM

    Well, this piece demonstrates another way in which the liturgical reform introduced Calvinism into Catholic piety. Calvinism is a rationalistic religion, dismissive of material exigency, material form, material limitation/boundedness. That is how they can conceive of the Fall as a merely LEGAL problem, instead of also a sickness, a disease infecting the human organism requiring the help of a divine physician. A symbol for a rationalist is just an intellectual concept that we associate, perhaps, with some physical object. There is NO place in such a framework for symbols that actually ARE what they symbolize! What a startling notion!


  52. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I find very curious every time someone posts a comment about a 'traditional NO Mass' or something similar. In 27 years attending NO masses in Brazil and in the U.S., I can't recall a single mass in which a parish had communion rails. I do recall quite well how over the years EMs, altar girls, etc... started appearing EVERYWHERE.

    Fortunately, for the 5-6 years, I have found a true traditional mass, the Traditional Mass. NO mass no more.

    The pride of these women in the NO parishes, especially the old ones, is just repulsive.

  53. Anonymous11:17 PM

    One small good thing in the Mass coming in the USA is the new ICEL translations of the Mass. Scheduled to maske its debut in NOvember, it is already making waves in liberal Catholic circles (all of whom are against it), in traditional circles (who applaud it), and in Protestant circles .....who moan, groan and whine about it that now the Catholic Mass in English will "sound nothing like ours....we will have less in common!!!!"
    Boo Hoo.

    Good Riddance.

  54. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Although purification of the celebrant's fingers was part of the liturgy before the council, there were also times when purification was not required. Fr. Heribert Jone's Moral Theology (518) describes how a priest should wash the spot where a host falls on the floor, but also says "washing is omitted is the Host falls on the chin, hands, clothes, etc. of the communicant." Before communion patens were in general use, particles would have fallen on the housling cloth, only to end up on the sanctuary floor.

    When particles of the consecrated host no longer retain the accidents of bread, Christ is no longer present in them. St. Thomas himself says Christ no longer remains in the sacraments "if the bread be reduced to fine particles or the wine divided into such tiny drops that the species of bread or wine no longer remain." (Summa Theologiae III:77:4)

    It would be difficult for the Church to draw a dividing line between what is Christ's Body and what is not. And as far as I'm aware, the Church has never tried. She has, at various points in her history, permitted the faithful to receive in the hand, realizing that tiny unnoticed particles would remain only to be displaced later on. And how could the Church have ever permitted this practice if it always amounted to desecration?

  55. Anonymous11:39 PM

    A Papal Decree would be great of course, but let's consider the meantime. What scriptural and logical arguements can we use to convince the average N.O. goer that they should receive on the tongue? And I am looking for arguements that build up reception on the tongue in a positive way rather than outright attacking the practice of receiving on the hand, a method of persuasion that would quickly make most N.O. goers stop listening. Let us not just lament the tragedy but do what we can in small ways to stop it. Thanks for the help.

  56. Anonymous12:44 AM

    Anon 23:29
    The best argument is reverence for the Lord, his priests, his sacrament. Communion on the tongue is as much to avoid the profane as it is to preserve the sacred.

    This attitude versus the argument to receive my friend Jesus in my hand because that is what the ancients did. It is more horizontal and likable this way. They also say that it is pridful to attract attention to one self by communing on the tongue when the others are doing so on the hand. All malarky of course.

    The NO have to be taught true Cathecism before they realize their errors.

    Until such time I will tell them what I think of their practice and avoid their communion lines so I don't profane my Lord.


  57. Kathleen1:47 AM

    QUOTE: A Papal Decree would be great of course, but let's consider the meantime. What scriptural and logical arguements can we use to convince the average N.O. goer that they should receive on the tongue? And I am looking for arguements that build up reception on the tongue in a positive way

    A traditional Catholic has made a good start on trying to organize just such an effort with appropriate resources here:

  58. A Passionist Priest who brought me into the church 30 years ago encouraged me to receive communion on the tongue, thanks be to God.This helped me to see very quickly the errors in the novus ordo mass and so naturally found my way to a latin Mass with the SSPX.
    Should the way be reached for the Society to have a further part to play in helping to restore the pre- vatican II Mass to the Church it cannot be done while the Pope still allows communion in the hand.

  59. Anonymous2:35 AM

    Yes I pray communion in the hand is abrogated. I also pray that Christ is once again respected in the tabernacles of the world. It is sad having to search for Jesus when I enter a church. Shouldn't our God be reserved in the most prominent place of honor in our churches and chapels? It makes me sad to watch Jesus not get the respect He deserves. People walk by, and move around tabernacles while failing to show any sign of respect to our God.

  60. Jack O'Malley2:37 AM

    To the recent innominate fellow at 23:36:

    First, did your parents not baptise you with a saint's name? Why not use it rather than a time stamp. Are you any one of the prior nameless wraiths? When you appear at the Pearly Gates, do you wish to be addressed as "the stiff who croaked at 23:36 step forward for Judgement?".

    Second, it is not a matter of convincing novus ordinarians to receive on the tongue. The abominations of the last half-century were imposed by Rome and it is Rome's duty to rectify the abuses. The novus ordo seclorum masonic mass being the prime abuse.

    You novus ordo sheep were hoodwinked into the protestant service and you have no historical memory of the True Mass. Or of the True Faith. And now you think the protestant-pleasing mass your birthright. Many who comment here remember the Catholic Religion as it was and will be as do I.

    I have lost any confidence that Ratzinger will implement by deeds what he has feigned to allow by words. Were he serious he would have had his MC instruct the Spanish queen and the German president in the proper method of reception of the Eucharist. He is not serious: that is the undeniable lesson here.

    The "marxist" bishops (as Mr. Perkins aptly labels them) are enemies of Tradition. Let the FSSPX beware the old man, der Schlipspriester, in Rome.

    Lupi in media urbe currunt. Pastor recedit et oves relinquit!

  61. Anonymous5:12 AM

    One word: Intinction.

    The Maronite Catholic Church distributes Eucharist via the process of intinction (if that is the right way to use the word). One byproduct of this process is that there can be no question of reception in the hand; even the most casual cafeteria N.O. Catholic can understand that getting the (liquid) Precious Blood on his/her hands is not a good idea -- literally or symbolically.

    Problem solved.

  62. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Our local parish St. Mary's had this in their June 2011 bulletin about Communion in the hand profanations:

    Do you commit one of these common Holy Communion profanations?

    Special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the priest, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharist species in the hand.

    1. Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it.  (the act of blessing with the Eucharist is called benediction and is reserved for the clergy).

    2. Receiving the host in the palm of the hand, contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers, then consuming it (resembling a one-handed "watch-the-coin-disappear" magic trick).

    3. Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.

    4. Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a rosary.

    5. Receiving the host with dirty hands.

    6. Receiving the host, closing the hand around it, then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitecase while walking away and / or blessing oneself with the other hand)

    7. Walking away without consuming the host.

    8. Giving the host to someone else after receiving.

    Please remember we would never treat a piece of GOLD with the same casualness-especially in this economy!  Yet many treat the Eucharist "piece" of GOD with casualness at best, indifference and irreverence at worse.  


  63. At least in the parish which my family attended when this "in the hand" nonsense began, the issue was "We're adults just as much as any priest and we're going to receive standing up and in the hand, not on the tongue kneeling before some priest like little children."

    In other words, like much of the spirit of Vatican II, it was all part of a hostile, feminist, adolescent rebellion against the "pay, pray, and obey authority of the priests and bishops." All, of course, rationalized with the kind of pseudo-intellectual nonsense exhibited by Anonymous 23:36.

    It's time to grow up and receive our Lord kneeling and on the tongue.

  64. Jack O'Malley12:04 PM

    Apologies to anonymous 23:36. I was responding to anonymous 23:39. Another reason for using names.

  65. The whole ordinary rite should be abrogated. It is this which has totally undermined the church & is the disembodiment of Roman Catholic liturgy. It is absolutely dysfuntional.

  66. Gratias4:15 PM

    Thank you Long-Skirts for your gift to the Church. And for the poetry.

    In my NO at least they still give one communion on the tongue if you cross to the line of the priest. I bow deeply while the person in front is receiving. In France I have seen a brief one-knee genuflection and then take communion on the tongue standing up.

    The Holy Father is now giving us an opening through his example. We better make use of it while he is here. Fortunately we can make the drive to the TLM twice a month. There is nothing like kneeling at the rail waiting for communion, one is closer to Heaven.

    If we could have more forma extraordinaria masses in the NO parishes, as is our right, others would come in contact with the true Mass.

  67. Anonymous5:50 PM

    A "reform of the reform" is waste of time, the new ordinary is deficient in any aspects, compiled and constructed on a anthropocentric drawing board.

  68. "The Holy Father is now giving us an opening through his example..'

    An example which is very inconsistent as we witness on a regular basis where liturgy is concerned.

  69. Anonymous1:33 AM

    There is an problem exactly parallel to communion in the hand associated with the common chalice. Just as communion in the hand leads to fragments, crumbs and sometimes entire particles of the Corpus Domini being profaned so the common chalice leads to purificators stained, wet and sometimes entirely soaked with the Precious Blood being tossed off-hand into the laundry bin. Serious things should be treated in a serious fashion and sacred things in a sacred fashion.

  70. The Lord examines the heart

  71. Anonymous9:53 AM

    I feel that due respect is not given to the Eucharist, these days.In olden days the communicants walked upto the railing provided for the distribution of the Holy Communion, knelt and received the Communion. As one who witnessed that style and the present style of receiving it in the hand, I very firmly feel that there is erosion in the devotion and awe. It is not at all healthy spiritually.


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