Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Synod of the Eucharist

Against Communion in the Hand

ARCHBISHOP JAN PAWEL LENGA M.I.C. OF KARAGANDA, KAZAKHSTAN. "Among the liturgical innovations produced in the Western world, two in particular tend to cloud the visible aspect of the Eucharist, especially as regards its centrality and sacredness: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of communion in the hand. ... Communion in the hand is spreading and even prevailing as being easier, as a kind of fashion. ... Therefore, I humbly propose the following practical propositions: that the Holy See issue a universal regulation establishing the official way of receiving communion as being in the mouth and kneeling; with communion in the hand to be reserved for the clergy alone. May bishops in places where communion in the hand has been introduced work with pastoral prudence to bring the faithful slowly back to the official rite of communion, valid for all local Churches."

No Mass on Lenten Fridays

BISHOP LORENZO VOLTOLINI ESTI, AUXILIARY OF PORTOVIEJO, ECUADOR. "Refraining from the celebration of Mass on Friday in Lent would help the faithful to feel greater hunger for the Eucharistic food, and it would give priests the chance to put themselves at the disposal of the faithful for the Sacrament of Penance, thus establishing a relationship of equal dignity and necessity between the two Sacraments. ... I propose it be suggested to dioceses or National Conferences, or at least allowed to those that request it, that they establish a day of Eucharistic fasting, preferably during Lent and perhaps on Fridays. This should not be experienced as a day of Eucharistic absence but as a period of preparation for and expectation of the Eucharist. It should not be considered as an interruption of the practice of celebrating the Eucharist each day, but as a way to give worth to the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, equally celebrated in Penance and in the Eucharist in the totality and complementarity of the two Sacraments."

Communion to the Divorced and Remarried

ARCHBISHOP JOHN ATCHERLEY DEW OF WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND. "Our Church would be enriched if we were able to invite dedicated Catholics, currently excluded from the Eucharist, to return to the Lord's table. There are those whose first marriages ended in sadness; they have never abandoned the Church, but are currently excluded from the Eucharist. There are Catholics married to people baptized in other Christian faiths. We acknowledge them to be baptized in Christ in the sacrament of marriage, but not in the reception of the Eucharist. This Synod must be pastoral in approach; we must look for ways to include those who are hungering for the Bread of Life. The scandal of those hungering for Eucharistic food needs to be addressed, just as the scandal of physical hunger needs to be addressed."


  1. I have prayed about this a lot an I have come to the conclusion that I commit many more sins with my tongue than I do with my hands, so I see receiving on my hand as a more reverent way. But that is my prayerful discernment of the action.

  2. Of course, if the Bishops were to tell me tomorrow that I had to receive on the tongue I would do so in faithful submission. But I still believe that I have discerned what is right for me for now.

  3. AM, you still receive on the tongue, even if you receive in the hand. Putting something in your hand signifies ownership. That is why keys are put in your hand to signify that you own the car.

    More to the point, as Pope Paul VI taught, if even a single fragment of Host falls on the ground and is not immediately picked up so noone steps on it, it is a sacrilege against Our Lord's True Body. You realize that about one out of every two Hosts leaves particles in the hand. Do you - does your neighbor - bother checking for particles after receiving in the hand? Every time your neighbor drops a particle of Host on the ground, sacrilege is committed when someone steps on It.

    The seminary I attended never gives Communion in the hand - ever. It is extremely edifying when, during Ordinations, you have hundreds of people talking outside the tent where Ordinations were conferred on the new priests. When a priest comes to move the Blessed Sacrament from the tent to the church, everybody - and I mean EVERYBODY - stops what they're doing, shuts up immediately without being prompted, and kneels in adoration of Our Lord, Who is passing. That is one of the most edifying scenes I've ever seen, and it happens every year. Nobody even has to say, "Sh!"

    Is Our Lord treated with that much reverence where Communion in the hand is practiced? Is there a correlation? I believe so.

  4. I heard Fr. Altier, great, holy, learned priest,

    the other day on a radio program say that everyone in his parish in Minnesota receives on the tongue and they all kneel at the communion rail. As far as ease of administering, he says that it is much faster, in opposition to what most people would like to believe and of course places people in a more reverent position of reception.


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