Rorate Caeli

The great Catholic horror story: the pseudo-historical deception of Communion in the hand

If you do not believe in the Real Presence, how hyperbolic it must sound... For those who know that He is there, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, "horror" does not begin to describe the problems surrounding the handling of the Most Holy Sacrament in post-Conciliar settings, based on pseudo-historical "sources" and outright deception.

The Great Deception about Holy Communion in the hand

St. Cyril of Jerusalem and Communion in the hand

Regarding the matter of so-called “Communion in the hand,” [Una Fides] presents an article by the Rev. Father. Giuseppe Pace, S.D.B., published in the magazine Chiesa Viva of January 1990 (Civiltà, Brescia.) [Translation by Rorate contributor Francesca Romana.]


The acorn is a potential oak tree;  the oak tree is an acorn that has come to perfection. For the oak to return to being an acorn, presuming that it could do so without dying, would be a regression.  It is for this reason the Mediator Dei of Pope Pius XII condemned liturgical antiquarianism as anti-liturgical with these words: “Just as obviously unwise and mistaken is the zeal of one who in matters liturgical would go back to the rites and usage of antiquity, discarding the new patterns introduced by disposition of divine Providence to meet the changes of circumstances and situation. (no.63) (…) This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "deposit of faith" committed to her charge by her divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn. (no.64)

The pseudo – liturgists who are desolating the Church in the name of the Second Vatican Council are prey to such morbid antiquarian obsessions; pseudo-liturgists, who, at times reach the point of obligating their subjects with exhortations and instances that violate the few remaining wholesome laws that still survive, and which, they, themselves, have formally promulgated or confirmed.

Symptomatic of all this is the issue of the Rite of Holy Communion. One bishop, in fact, after declaring that the Sacred Species be placed on the tongue of the communicant is still in force at the Traditional Rite, at the same time, also permits Holy Communion to be distributed in little baskets which the faithful pass along to each other; or he, himself, deposits the Sacred Species into the hands (are they always clean?) of the communicant. If you want to convince the faithful that the Most Holy Eucharist is nothing other than (a piece of) ordinary bread, perhaps even blessed as a symbolic meal, one could not imagine a better way to do it than that of sacrilege.

The promoters of Communion in the hand call upon that pseudo-liturgical antiquarianism condemned by Pius XII in apertis verbis.  In fact, they say that it is in this way that you must receive It, because it had been carried out in that manner by the entire Church, both in the East and West from Her beginnings and for a thousand years afterwards.

It is most certainly true from the beginnings of the Church, and then for almost two thousand years, that, in preparation for Communion, communicants had to abstain from all food and drink from the night before until the moment of reception. Why don’t those antiquarians restore that Eucharistic fast? This would certainly contribute quite a bit in maintaining awareness in the mind of the communicant the thought of imminent reception of Holy Communion, so that they would  dispose themselves better.

Instead, it is most certainly false that, from the Church’s beginnings and  for a thousand years afterwards, the entire Church, both East and West, had the practice of placing the Sacred Species in the hands of the faithful.

The pseudo-liturgists love to pull out the following piece from the Mystagogical Catecheses attributed to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem:  «Adiens igitur, ne expansis manuum volis, neque disiunctis digitis accede; sed sinistram velut thronum subiiciens, utpote Regem suscepturæ: et concava manu suscipe corpus Christi, respondens Amen».( When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.)
They stop, when they arrive at this Amen; however, the Mystagogical Catecheses do not stop there, but continue:
Then. carefully sanctifying the eyes by touching them with the holy Body, partake of it,(…)    "Then, after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, come forward only for the cup of the Blood. Do not stretch out your hands but bow low as if making an act of obeisance and a profound act of veneration. Say 'Amen'. and sanctify yourself by partaking of Christ's Blood also. While the moisture is still on your lips, touch them with your hands and sanctify your eyes, your forehead, and all your other sensory organs…Do not cut yourselves off from Communion; nor deprive yourselves of these sacred and spiritual mysteries, not even if you  are defiled by sins).

Who could possibly sustain that a similar rite was more or less the custom of the universal Church for more or less a thousand years? And how  to reconcile such a rite, (when even those defiled with sin are admitted to Communion), in accordance with what was certainly the universal custom from the beginnings of the Church which forbade Holy Communion to those who were not holy? «
Itaque quicumque manducaverit panem hunc, vel biberit calicem Domini indigne, reus erit corporis et sanguinis Domini. Probet autem seipsum homo: et sic de pane illo edat, et de calice bibat. Qui enim manducat et bibit indigne, indicum, sibi manducat et bibit non diiudicans corpus Domini» [ [27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. [28] But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (I Corinthians, 11, 27-29, Douay-Rheims)]

The description of such a bizarre Communion Rite, which concludes with the exhortation to receive Holy Communion even if you are defiled by sins, was most certainly not preached by St. Cyril in the Church of Jerusalem, neither would it have been licit whatsoever in any other Church. What we have here is a rite which is a product of the imagination, oscillating between fanaticism and sacrilege, by the author of the Apostolic Constitutions: an anonymous Syrian, a devourer of books, an indefatigable writer who poured into his writings,  indigested and contaminated figments of own his imagination. In the book VIII of the aforementioned Apostolic Constitutions, he adds 85 Canons of the Apostles, attributing them to Pope St. Clement, canons that Pope Gelasius I, at the Council of Rome in 494, declared apocryphal: «Liber qui appellatur Canones Apostolorum, apocryfus (P. L., LIX, col. 163). The description of that bizarre rite, even if not always necessarily sacrilegious, became part of the Mystagogical Catechesis through the work of a successor of St. Cyril, who most (scholars) retain was “Bishop John,” a crypto-Arian, influenced by Origen and Pelagius and thus, contested by St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome and St. Augustine.

How can Leclercq claim that «… we must see in this [in this extravagant rite] an exact representation of the usage of the great Churches of Syria»? He cannot claim this since he is contradicting himself, given that just before he states that it deals with : «…a fantasy liturgy. It does not come from nor is it destined to anything else than to entertain its author; it is not a normal, official, liturgy belonging to a specific Church» (Dictionaire de Archeologie chretienne et de Liturgie, vol. III, part II, col. 2749-2750).

Instead we have concrete evidence of customs that are the opposite, that is, of the practice of placing the Sacred Species on the tongue of the communicant, and of the prohibition of the lay faithful touching the Sacred Species with their hands. Only in cases of grave necessity and in times of persecution, St. Basil assures us, the norms could be derogated, permitting the lay  to receive Communion in the hand. (P.G.,XXXII, coll. 483-486).

It is clear we do not intend to review all the testimonies invocated to demonstrate that the custom of placing the Sacred Species on the tongue of lay communicants was in use in antiquity, neither do we intend to indicate something only symptomatic, and what is more, sufficient, to disprove what they assert, that for a thousand years, the universal Church in both East and West, was in the habit of placing the Sacred Species in the hands of the faithful.

Saint Eutichiano, Pope from 275 to 283, so that laypeople would not touch the Sacred Species with their hands, forbade them to take the Blessed Sacrament to the sick: «Nullus præsumat tradere communionem laico vel femminæ ad deferendum infirmo» (Let no-one dare consign Holy Communion to a lay man or woman for them to take to the sick) (P.L.,V, coll.163-168).
Saint Gregory the Great narrates that Saint Agapito, Pope from 535 to 536, during the short months of his pontificate, went to Constantinople and healed a deaf-mute during the act of «ei dominicum Corpus in os mitteret» (placing the Body of the Lord in his mouth). (Dialogues III,3).

This was in the East but also in the West, it is known and unquestionable, that Saint Gregory the Great himself administered Holy Communion to the lay-faithful in that same manner. Even earlier, the Council of Saragozza in 380, had launched excommunication to those who dared to treat the Most Holy Eucharist as if they were in a time of persecution, a time in which even lay-people found themselves out of necessity, touching the Sacred Species with their hands. (SAENZ DE AGUIRRE, Notitia Conciliorum Hispaniæ, Salamanca, 1686, pag. 495).
Undisciplined innovators were not lacking even in antiquity. This induced the ecclesiastical authorities to call them to order. The Council of Rouen did just that, around 650, forbidding the minister of the Eucharist to place the Sacred Species in the hand of lay communicants: «[Presbyter] illud etiam attendat ut eos [fideles] propria manu communicet, nulli autem laico aut fœminæ Eucharistiam in manibus ponat, sed tantum in os eius cum his verbis ponat: "Corpus Domini et sanguis prosit tibi in remissionem peccatorum et ad vitam æternam". Si quis hæc transgressus fuerit, quia Deum omnipotentem comtemnit, et quantum in ipso est inhonorat, ab altari removeatur» ((The Presbyter) must be mindful also of this: give Holy Communion to the faithful only by your own hand; "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layman or woman but only in their mouths, with these words: ‘May the Body and Blood of the Lord help you in the remission of your sins and attain eternal life.’ Whosoever will have transgressed these norms, disdain God Almighty and in doing so will have dishonored himself and should be removed from the altar).(P.G., vol. X, coll.1099-1100).

Instead, the Arians, to show that they did not believe in the Divinity of Jesus and who retained that the Eucharist was merely symbolic bread, received Communion standing and touched the Sacred Species with their hands.  It was for no small thing that Saint Athanasius could talk about the Arian apostasy. (P.G., vol. col. 9ss).

We do not deny that lay people had permission to touch the Sacred Species on occasion – in certain particular cases - or even in some particular Churches for a short period of time. But we deny that this, had been the practice in the Church in both East and West for a thousand years. It is even falser to assert that it should still be done in this way now. Besides, in the worship owed to the Most Blessed Sacrament, there has come about wise progress, similar to that which has occurred in the field of dogma (which has nothing whatsoever to do with the modernist theology of the “death of God”).  The above-mentioned liturgical progress, restored universal practice of kneeling in the act of adoration, and thus the use of kneelers;  the practice of covering the balustrade with a white cloth, the use of the paten, now and then a torch-bearer and the practice of at least a quarter of an hour of personal thanksgiving.  Abolishing all of this does not result in increasing the worship owed to God in the Most Holy Eucharist, nor in the sanctification of the faithful, but it is serving the Devil.

When St. Thomas (Summa Theologica,III,q.82,a 3) exposes the reasons that forbade laypeople to touch the Sacred Species, he does not address a rite of recent invention, but  a liturgical practice as old as the Church Herself. Rightly, the Council of Trent could not only claim that it had been the consistent custom for laypeople to receive Communion from the priests, while priests communicated themselves, and that this custom, categorically, goes back to Apostolic times. (Denzinger, 881).  Here is why we find it prescribed in the Catechism of St. Pius X (Questions 642-645).  Now this rule has never been abrogated: in the New Roman Missal, article 117, you read that the communicant tenens patenam sub ore, sacramentum accipit (holding the paten under the mouth receives the Sacrament).

It is difficult to understand how the same promulgators of such wise norm, go about exempting the dioceses one after the other. The simple lay person faced with so much incoherence, cannot help but grow into greater indifference regarding the liturgical and non-liturgical ecclesiastical laws.


  1. Igumen Gregory9:29 AM

    With reference to Communion in the hand, the current practice should either be abolished or corrected to conform to ancient patristic standards. One should make a throne of the left hand and a manger of the right hand, formed in a cross. The Body of Christ should then be placed in the right hand and then brought to the mouth with devotion. Better yet Communion should be given by intinction thereby solving the problem of how to distribute.

  2. I once saw, at the Oratory in Rock Hill SC, several communicants go to the altar and break apart large hosts with their own hands. Such irreverence is legion these days.

    Patens, kneeling, communion only on the tongue, and the ancient practice of washing the tiny crumbs of the Host into a garden, all added to the belief in the dogma of the Real Presence.

  3. M. A.1:50 PM

    It seems to me that Igumen did not read the article.

    Thank you, NC. I will be posting this on my blog. (of course, giving Rorate credit.)

    It will be posted under "I told you so" because I have been telling people this for years. But if the popes allow it, the bishops sanction it, many priests insist on it, pseudo – liturgists teach it, can see why most Catholics don't listen.

  4. "Why don’t those antiquarians restore that Eucharistic fast?"

    Answer: because restoration of ancient practice is not a true goal of many of these liturgical "reformers," but a blind for their real theology, which sets out to conform itself to liberal, secular attitudes at every turn. They cherry pick the ancient practices they like, mutate them further, and discard the rest. You don't hear many squawks of concern from these quarters over evidence of steep declines in lay belief in the Real Presence. That's a feature, not a bug. Reading Schillebeeckx's sacramental theology (if I may call it that) is instructive here.

    That's not to say that ressourcement impulses were always illegitimate - just that they have been repeatedly hijacked as nominal justification by modernists in their crusade for a true aggiornamento that amounts to revolution in the Church.

  5. Exactly! What's the big deal?

  6. Henry2:23 PM

    "The Body of Christ should then be placed in the right hand and then brought to the mouth with devotion."

    My understanding, as I recall from Bishop Athanaius Schneider's book, is that -- after the priest had placed the Host on the communicant's enthroned right hand -- it was received by bowing to bring the head down to the hand. In any event, it would have been unthinkable for the communicant to take the Host with his fingers and place it in his own mouth.

  7. Here is an excellent video to get those unfamiliar with this topic started on it.

  8. Rev. D. Hesko3:17 PM

    After several centuries the Church corrected abuses by mandating communion on the tongue only. She had very good reason to do so, not only to correct abuse (real and potential), but to highten faith in the Holy Sacrament. Are we so enlightened today (since Vat. II) that we can disreguard the wisdom of the ages?
    Communion in hte hand ought to be abolished.

  9. I am resending this since I didn't see the new ban on anonymous posts. I apologize for the incovenience.

    There's a couple problems with this analysis. First, St. Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Leo XIII based primarily on the Catechetical Lectures. In the many different volumes of Patristics I have seen the Lectures(old and new), not once have I seen their authenticity questioned. I have only seem them questioned in modern traditionalist opposition papers to Communion in the hand. The reference to being guilty of sins most likely refers to venial sins. Many Fathers speak of the cleansing power of the Blessed Sacrament (for example, St. Ambrose's prayer before Communion in the red Ecclesia Dei books focuses a lot on this). Without more context, it's tough to say the reason for his supposed contradiction.

    Furthermore, St. Basil's "assurance" is mischaracterized. He justifies laymen taking large portions of the Blessed Sacrament home and self-communicating in times of persecution by stating that they receive in the hand in the churches during normal times anyway. The whole letter can be seen here:

    That being said, this practice does seem to be mostly an Eastern one, or at least it lasted longer there. For example, the Council in Trullo excommunicates any who do not receive in the hand, but rather use gold vessels. The latest I have seen it described as a common practice is St. John Damascene (8th century). In the West it seems pretty much gone by St. Leo's time.

    I don't think impugning or spinning old writings is necessary to defend the practice of communion on the tongue. Pius XII's argument in Mediator Dei, that the Church is a living organism led by the Spirit who in her maturation has developed rites and practices to better convey the dignity of the Sacraments, should be sufficient. This argument (which, granted, can be a double-edged sword when referencing other innovations) is just as strong even with the admission that certain practices in the past were wide-spread for a period of time and that these practices were not intrinsically evil.

  10. A priest's hands are Consecrated, those of the laity are not, further the priest handles the Host between thumb and forefinger, ther laity will have only recently exchanged 'hand-shake' with several of the congregation.

    Ban Communion in the Hand!

  11. Regarding the quote (supposedly from the Mystagogic Catecheses) that the modernists used to justify the introduction of communion in the hand in the 1960s, both a footnote in Migne (PG 33:1123–6) and a passage in Jungmann (Early Liturgy, 5) indicated that the authenticity of the text was disputed.

    This didn't prevent them from endlessly recycling it, because another agenda was at work — that of undermining transubstantiation.

  12. This is why I quit serving at a reverent, but still option-friendly Novus Ordo parish.

    "Why am I standing here holding a paten under this person's hands?"

  13. Henry5:24 PM

    Some of these discussions rest on the false assumption that communion by snatching from the hand today has some connection with communion on the enthroned hand in ancient times.

    In the book I mentioned previously, Bishop Schneider emphasizes that--to the contrary--communion in the hands as we know it today bears no resemblance to communion in apostolic times. As mentioned, the Host then was placed on the open palm of the right hand of the communicant, and its touching the left hand would have been unthinkable, as would touching the Host with one's fingers. So no lay person ever picked it up off the palm and "placed it in his mouth himself".

    Instead, the communicant bowed profoundly toward his extended hand and took the Host directly into his mouth. This way might better be described as "communion in the mouth" (if not on the tongue) rather than "communion in the hand".

    The communicant's hand was purified both before and after communion. Indeed, the Host was placed on a corporal that covered a woman's hand -- so her own hand never touched the Host itself -- and the corporal was purified afterwards.

    So Bishop Schneider's research indicates that communion in this manner from the very beginning of apostolic times exhibited the deepest reverence for the Blessed Sacrament that one can describe. If communion in the hand were carried out in this manner today, possibly we'd see it differently. But communion in the hands has come to be associated with sacrilege in our time, whereas it was not in a former time.

  14. D. Morgan5:24 PM

    The forces of modernism will, have and will continue to use any crack, open window or resource to further weaken the Faith. What really surprises me is that so many people can be fooled for so long. Before the internet I could understand the typical Catholic not knowing what happenned at and after Vatican Council II. Now there really is no excuse. Anyone who has time to check their e-mails has time to see the truth of the change in direction that has occurred since 1963. The chastisement is comming y'all. Pray that you will not be found wanting. Pax Christi

  15. One of the most striking examples of not going back to ancient patristic standards is the movement to re-establish the practice of receiving communion on the tongue. Even those who attend the NO like those at EWTN's daily Mass are rethinking the procedure and are even kneeling or genuflecting before receiving. They know that receiving on the tongue is a far more respectful and safe means of communicating than in the hand.

    This is a grass-roots attempt to take back the sacredness of what was foolishly taken away by the indult for communion in the hand. The people in the pews know what what must be done to restore the element of sacredness to the liturgy; it's too bad the bishops don't know what the people do. I submit that many of them would like to see altar rails restored as well but, the bishops, well, that is another story isn't it?

  16. Anonymous5:52 PM

    I find it ironic that the decisions of the "illegal Council of Pistoia" condemned by the Pontiff of the time were met after the Second Vatican Council.

  17. Fr. A.M.7:00 PM

    'Mediator Dei' is a much underated encyclical.

  18. There seems to be a current movement to go back to the old ways. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit will convict these Bishops that there needs to be a return to the communion on the tongue.

    The same way, the UK has gone back to instituting the Friday fast, there is hope yet.

  19. Anonymous8:42 PM

    If Communion in the hand was such a great thing, the practice would have been retained. It was not and for good reasons.

    Let's bring back sack cloth and ashes instead.


  20. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott8:47 PM

    Who is for getting rid of Indults for the Majority of The Catholic Church ?

  21. Anonymous9:10 PM

    I stopped receiving in the hand long long ago - couldn't in good conscience continue to do it...

  22. There are sporadic comments from even Saints (Cf. St. Cyril) about communion in the hand.

    But through the centuries the Eucharist has been handled oh so carefully; from a golden straw used to distribute the blood in the 7th century to the spoon that was used to distribute it to me at a Catholic-Orthodox Mass I attended recently, standing.

    I don't begrudge a Melkite Catholic receiving standing with a spoon. Nevertheless, it was plain stupid to get rid of an age-old Tradition of receiving on the knees and on the tongue.

    It was (is) beautiful and age-old. And what have we gained in its absence? An almost total disbelief in the Real Presence, and it's almost as if one is in a fast-food restaurant when one is going to "grab" his communion "wafer"!

    We have gained nothing and lost everything in dispensing with the tradition of communion on the tongue. Those who begrudge our Pope should not that he only communicates on the tongue!

    Step-by-step, even if they are baby-steps!

  23. The Rev. M. Forbes12:59 AM

    A few points might helpful.

    1. In ancient times, everyone washed hands before service, prepared with fasting, some sort of penitential act and Vigil keeping. Would that work?

    2. After reception there were complicated rituals of purifying the hands and the mouth. Some of these persisted until the 19th century in the west and continue in some Eastern congregations. The lack of fuss ovrehe withholding of the chalice may have arisen from the giving of a chalice in the purification rite.

    3. Changes in Eucharistic practice, as regards reception, do not rise from Transsubstantion but from the wholesale abandonment of sacramental participation from the time of Lateran IV until the early days of the last cemtiry. One can argue the reasons for this, but it was the case and impacted much of Protestant practice, which often runs counter to the ideas of the reformers because the Local Councils were influenced by pre- Reformation practice.

    4. The practice of our time in this matter may not negate real presence as a belief of the people. It may indicate a denigration of the mystical ideas which formally obtained in the view of priesthood. I think this is not entirely conscious. People are not receiving but readministering. A rejection of priesthood and its pervasive significance. If you want to see reverent reception in the hand watch old Episcopal ladies at an 8 am service. They believed in transsubstantiation although they would never use the word nor know what it meant

    A question and an observation:
    Why must everything in the traditional catholic mind be done by heavy handed regulation?
    Observation: When I get a lot of communicants who want to receive on the tongue, I usually end up with rather slimy fingers since nobody knows how to do this properly. (I am an Anglican and a lot of our people like to receive directly into th mouth but do not give you much to work with. Uch! I have thought of amputation from time to time.

    The Rev. Michael P. Forbes
    Rochester, Minnesota

  24. Peterman1:16 AM

    I won't name my diocese since I don't want to be confrontational but it's a VERY liberal diocese in Florida. Here I've put up with the dirty looks from (some of) the priests for years because I receive on the tongue. One time a particularly bitter (seeming) priest brushed his fingers loudly on his stole which made the whoosh sound as on corduroy cloth. He did this with a very disapproving look on his face.

    Other times I've had the priest put the holy host on my tongue so abruptly/obnoxiously/carelessly that they touched my tongue and mouth and didn't seem to care a less. The did wonder how many other tongues he touched right before mine and then if maybe that wasn't his intent. No matter, I received the body of our Lord.

    Contrast this with the FSSP mass where the priests use exceeding care and caution to place the body of our Lord directly on the tongue. A FSSP priest even once told me somewhat sternly "don't move" and though mildly embarrassing at the time, that was great for him to say. I would hope such care is taken at every Church. You can bet now I hold my head rock steady, this is the body of our Lord, we're not eating chips here.

  25. Joe A1:43 AM

    Call it Communion in the sand.
    The floors of their churches are littered with the Flesh and Blood of Our Lord and Savior.
    To walk into a novus ordo church is to possibly be stepping on tiny particles dropped from the hands of people who think it's no big deal.
    And they used to just make you step on a crucifix.

  26. I know a priest who has a special technique for distributing Communion. He somehow positions his finger on top of the host and actually presses it firmly onto the tongue. He even uses the small hosts too. I have never felt his finger. And I guess the beauty of a slimy tongue is that the host will adhere to it more easily.

  27. P.K.T.P.4:30 AM

    The Pope writes incessantly about the dignity of man. Communion in the denies the dignity of God.


  28. Gratias6:08 AM

    A way to defend the Church is to write our bishops. A good question to pose them is whether it is allowed us to receive Communion on our knees as Pope Benedict XVI does.

    This does hurt them. Some years ago Bishop Brown of Orange County, California, actually pulled up a communicant kneeling in front of him.

    When I attend my Novus Church I receive in the tongue. Must sometimes cross to another queue as there are women armed with Hosts. My priest does put up with me, and I reciprocate.

    Next step will be to kneel. One solution I have seen in France is to briefly kneel on one knee as the person in front is being handed the Lord's lunch. Once I saw a brave young man wait until the last place in the line, and then kneel and open his mouth. It worked for him. Have not imitated this yet because I need both my Traditional and novus parishes for weekly mass obligation. The truth is that the Novus Ordo liberals are not my enemies but rather my
    co-religionists, among whom the TLM will find new
    converts. It is a fine line we must toe. But we are making some progress, slowly.

  29. William Phelan9:54 AM

    The Rev. M. Forbes said...
    We checked with Pope Leo XIII and indeed your Anglican orders are invalid. Therefore, since you cannot confect the Eucharist, your opinions on what you give the Anglican ladies at the 8 AM service and how they perceive what it (it is only bread) is, is not pertinent to this conversation. I don't mind your visiting (I know there are only 2 million Episcopalians (Anglicans?) left in the U.S. and I am sure you are lonely) but your opinions are not germane. Thank you.

  30. Barbara4:28 PM

    When I was asked by our new parish priest in 2006 to be an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Communion, (!!!)I went into a kind of crisis. I had known for years that there was something not right at all in the way some priests offered Mass and how some of them really encouraged the over-participation of these “ministers”. Also I was noted for my resistance to invented-on-the-spot-liturgies (being somewhat interested in the Magisterium even then) and had had some, let’s say, heated discussions with the “commandants” in the parish.

    I received no pressure from the priest, despite his progressive tendencies, but it was the pseudo-liturgists, the “commandants” (which he allowed) that employed religious manipulation and a kind of emotional blackmail on seeing my reluctance. They would say to me, even sweetly, the floowing generic phrases “ no-one is worthy” “there aren’t enough priests” “in the early Church lay people used to give out Communion” “there are so many shut-ins – would you deprive these poor people of the Sacrament?” “you are serving the Church,” “the Church has changed” and one priest I went to for counsel said to me – “Aren’t you happy? You are more fit to carry the Eucharist to the sick than some priests are! Be happy!” I was most decidedly not happy and more disturbed than ever, besides being scandalized by what the priest had said to me.

    Then, I did some research about lay people-handling the Most Blessed Sacrament and I came up with quotes and writings from Popes and Saints. The bottom line - touching the Sacred Host was a privilege of the consecrated priest. Also my own Eucharistic devotion and sensibilities had been greatly influenced by saints like St. Alphonsus and books like “The Imitation of Christ” which were in stark contrast to what the modern Church was promoting.

    What to do? Was that enough for me to say a succinct NO? Not having any priest to support me, I was still uncertain, and for human respect,(and a bit of cowardice as I did not want, yet another time, to stir up a storm) I regret to say, I went along to their farce of a 4 hour preparation course, then to the gathering of EMHCS of the diocese to be given the benediction and mandate of the Bishop and promptly receive a little card authorizing me to handle and distribute The Living God! I was not in the least happy, and considered myself an idiot for getting into something that went against my conscience!

    To cut a long story short, it was after I had accompanied the parish priest to what was to be my group of shut-ins, I realized NO WAY would I do such a thing. I saw these poor people, some bedridden, and stifling my tears, I knew that if I had been in their condition, I would have wanted a priest, ordained in HOLY ORDERS, to give me the comfort of Our Lord Jesus, being himself consecrated for that purpose, with the authority invested in him by the Roman Catholic Church, Our Lord’s Mystical Body. This was not for me. And I never did it.

    Then came 2007 and the discovery of the Old Rite after our good Holy Father’s Motu Proprio and all was changed utterly. But that is another story!

    Actually, I loathe Communion in the hand – and find it depressing, even if I realize that not all who receive in the hands are irreverent . Nonetheless, I avert my eyes. This “unbecoming familiarity with the sacred” has been deadly for the Faith and our Catholic Identity. I join the appeal for it to be abolished. Is anyone listening?


  31. M.Powers2:03 PM

    The whole Council of Pistoria thing is really serious...Vat II implementation resembles so much of what that illegal council embodies. It has done tremendous damage to the credibility of the Councils in general. It is couse for great concern.

  32. The Rev. M. Forbes4:20 PM

    I will be taking William P helan's advice and giving up on this site. But, before I leave the right wing Catholicism represented here, I would like to leave a few comments.

    1. My historical information mostly came from reading Canon Jungmann, not a pseudo -Liturgist.
    2. My remarks about the older Anglicans kneeling reerently and receiving in the hand were simply illustrative. I have read Leo on the subject of our Orders and I was a priest when our chuch decided to abandon them in 1976. That aside , it seems to me that we should learn to appreciste reverence where we can find it ( I was there before the Council so I know that edification was not as common as sentiment provides.)
    The other problem here is that the contempt shown in Mr. of Father Phelan's comments ignore the fact that a person who has received Baptism may always make an act of Spiritual Communion. If this act is in connection with elements which are taken in good faith, the elements as vehicles for the exercise must be treated with reverence tfor they function as, at least, a kind of Sacramental.

    3. My question was asked in good faith. I think that if reverence is taught in every lawful form, eventually, a consensus use will come forward and become part of Catholic pressure without the need for legalism. The present pontiff is a good example here. He has a personal standard, but has not outlawed other practices, even at papal Masses.
    Finally about spit (Vulgar what?) I have heard similar observation from Roman priests. It has never stopped me from giving Communion to all commern or from rinsing my fingers in the chalice and drinking the rinsings.

    If anyone is offended and wants to tell me off will work. The moderator of this site is to busy and I will no longer read this site or its comments.

    The Rev. Michaael P. Forbes
    Rochester, MN

  33. Mr. Phelan, kindly refrain from presuming to speak for Rorate Caeli. We don't mind your visiting, but your opinions are your own and do not necessarily reflect that of the blog owner or the other contributors. Thank you.


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