Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2nd Question

I have a question-Help me explain to my Protestant friends/family why Good Friday can't just be glossed over "in favor of" (for lack of a better phrase) Easter.Thanks!

Friday, March 21, 2008

1st Question--a biggie

I'm struggling with the concept that there is some disparity in how reverent you are if you choose to receive Holy Communion in your hands. I think if it's okay with Rome, it shouldn't be identified as you being irreverent.

  • this is an issue being widely discussed. Reverence is required in either case. I think this is a tradition rather than a cause for division. The early Church did not have communion hosts and used hands. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 390) indicated that the early Church practiced Communion in the hand. Later, communion was received on the tongue ONLY. Now we are under an indult that ALLOWS either.
  • This instruction is from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord

41. Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words "The Body of Christ." The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: "When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost." (51)

51. Cf. GIRM, no. 73(GIRM-General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002)

Personally, I see the importance of being reverent in either case, but according to the Church, the issue is being careful with the Body of Christ and proper care and reverence means that nothing should be lost to your fingers or the floor. Not many observe this level of care due mainly to lack of instruction. People that promote receiving communion on the tongue are also required to use the same care although receiving on the tongue combined with the use of a paten seems to minimize the chance of loss of any fragments (provided they consume the host with the mouth closed and yes....--don't ask).

All this said, I was trained to receive by hand. I have received on my tongue as well. I am reverent in either case. Avery (who is also reverent IMO) had a problem with the host as some of you know. He COULDN'T receive it without almost gagging when he was smaller--drove the wife NUTS! He got over it and now feels more comfortable taking it in his hands. He's gone to a TLM at Blessed Sacrament and did just fine.

I think we have to be careful to make sure we have the right motive of true Charity when we talk about all these topics. We also have to resist becoming overly scrupulous. We must be open to discuss but be gentle in our fervor to persuade. Hope this helps> I'll also try to get a TLM response to this question since I have less experience in that form.