Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Communion in the Hand: My Very Real Concerns

I have felt unhappy about Communion in the hand for quite sometime.

I believe that only an ordained priest should be able to handle the Blessed Sacrament, because even with the best will in the world, there is the chance of dirty/unwashed hands touching the sacrament, more chance of the host being fumbled and/or dropped and even the scandal of a host being pocketed, for whatever usage I dare not think.

I am sure most communicants don't have this in mind, but if this happens even just once as a result of Communion in the hand, then that is once too often and the damage is done to the Body and Blood of Christ.

I am no theologian or expert, so you would do far better to read the following article:

Rethinking Communion in the Hand by Jude A. Huntz, which delineates all my concerns far better than I ever could.

When I read about the Counter Reformation and the Council of Trent (which codified existing Mass practices to give us the Tridentine Mass), those pushing for Protestantism in Europe were calling on the Church to allow Communion in both kinds, Mass in the 'vulgar' languages, tables instead of altars and Communion in the hand.

The Catholic Church retorted with the wonderful Council of Trent which ended so many abuses, and defended Catholicism by drawing a line in the sand against such abuses, designed to make people have less devotion to the Real Presence of Our Lord, and gave us Catholicism redefined, which in turn helped stop the Protestant rebellion and enabled the Jesuits, Dominicans etc. take back so many hearts and souls for our Faith.

Our Pope refuses to give Communion in the hand and its practice is illicit in most countries.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said:

"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand."

I sincerely think that this practice should be curtailed. The vast majority of those who receive Communion in the hand would not mind, as they probably do not know that the Church universally regards the practice as illicit or at best an indult under strict conditions.

We should pray that the Bishops of England & Wales would make the practice illicit here. I think it would increase devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

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