Monday, 6 February 2017

Communion on the tongue is an Apostolic Tradition

An issue much revisited here on this blog, I know, but I discovered a set of quotes about it conveniently gathered in one place by Roman Catholic Man. So here they are below.It does seem odd that such an ancient and much lauded tradition has been so casually superseded with no obvious reason that pertains to the good of souls.

Statements from Popes, Saints and Church Councils:

St. Sixtus 1 (circa 115): “The Sacred Vessels are not to be handled by others than those consecrated to the Lord.”

St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (330-379): “The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution.” St. Basil the Great considered Communion in the hand so irregular that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault.

The Council of Saragossa (380): Excommunicated anyone who dared continue receiving Holy Communion by hand. This was confirmed by the Synod of Toledo.

The Synod of Rouen (650): Condemned Communion in the hand to halt widespread abuses that occurred from this practice, and as a safeguard against sacrilege.

6th Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (680-681): Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand,
threatening transgressors with excommunication.

 St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): “Out of reverence towards this Sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this Sacrament.” (Summa Theologica, Part III, Q. 82, Art. 3, Rep. Obj. 8.)

The Council of Trent (1545-1565): “The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition.”

Pope Paul VI (1963-1978): “This method [on the tongue] must be retained.” (Memoriale Domini)

Pope John Paul II: “To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained.” (Dominicae Cenae, 11)


scherzo said...

Thanks very much for this Father.

Marko Ivančičević said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fr Simon Henry said...

And yet, the other consideration apart from the historical practice (universal in the Catholic Church until recently) is the lived experience of many priests, that receiving in the hand has indeed led to a decline in reverence in all sorts of ways.

Kenny said...

A couple of years ago In Brompton Oratory a Sacred Host was removed and it was filmed on youtube. You must now receive on the tongue there. Rightly so.

David O'Neill said...

Even as a (now infrequent) server I never touch the sacred vessels unless wearing white gloves of using a cloth. This was something I learned as a boy at school. As to the Corporal It was to be folded in on itself so that only the underside was touched.
I recall a monsignor telling me that he would bless my hands so that I could receive Communion in the hand - I refused & was given Communion by the celebrant (the bishop) on the tongue.