Monday, February 22, 2010

On Receiving Holy Communion

Father Anscar Chupungco OSB in his speech entitled: Liturgical Studies and Liturgical Renewal given 21 January 2010, Sydney Australia:

"Is receiving Holy Communion on one’s knees and on the tongue more reverent than receiving it standing and in the hand?"

Compare this:

with this:

Isn't it obvious???

[Thanks to Rorate Caeli for the video link.]


Father Jojo Zerrudo said...

you have to be blind not to see the obvious!

Rommel said...

I have started an online petition to stop communion in the hand.

We'll send the petitions along with these video evidence to the Holy Father to convince him to stop this indult.

Lord have mercy on us!

Chiness said...

Did the woman incur latae sententiae? And she happily chewed on the Host as if it's an ordinary streetcorner cracker! Disgusting! Can anyone send this to Chupungco together with the Brazilian Eucharistic adoration a la bacchanalia?

Bruce in Iloilo said...

I think that there are four separate issues (and a related five).

First, does one receive kneeling or standing?

I prefer kneeling but standing is OK if done reverently. See below.

Second, if standing, should it be in a "bread line" perpendicular to the altar or should it be standing side-by-side facing the altar?

The "bread line" to me is inexcusable. Regardless of whether it is kneeling or standing, we should present ourselves to the altar, together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, as a community. Growing up in the Anglican church, I have fond memories of my mother and us four boys standing in a respectful line taking communion together, in front of God's altar. The minister then came down the row with the bread and wine (remember Anglican).

The current "bread line" is an individualist experience, not a corporate one, and one presents oneself not to God's altar but to the priest, who stands regally and bored as people bow to him.

Third, should the "bread" be taken in the hand or in the mouth?

I prefer the hand, in the Anglican way (see below). I find that it helps my appreciation of the mass and my relationship with God to pause, look at the host and then make a conscious effort to partake. Remember, I am kneeling or standing, stationary, at the altar, contemplating God. I'm not rushing back to my seat, popping it into my mouth. I am not worried about "blocking traffic". It's the bread line that is far more disrespectful then the taking in the hand.

I appreciate the reasons for on the tongue but I find that I get more out of that conscious decision to partake, that communing with the communion wafer in that second, when on my knees, I am looking at the wafer, bring it to my mouth.

Which brings me to the fourth related question: how to take Him in the hand?

I find that the Catholic way to be disrespectful. But aside the bread line. In the Catholic way BOTH hands touch the wafer. In the Anglican only one. I kneel (or stand). Put my right hand over my left (note the symbolism). The wafer is placed in the palm of my right hand and a raise that hand to my mouth and partake. It's sort of like when you cup water in your hands, but more respectful.

I do not pick up the wafer from my left with my right and pop it in my mouth like a potato chip. Of course, that is the more secure way. You might drop it otherwise in the rush back to your seat. You might trip if you actually look down. Again, the root of the problem is the bread line.

Finally the related fifth, how should the cup be shared, by giving it to the communicant or by holding it and helping to guide the communicant to drink?

One consequence of the standing and "bread line" is that the cup is not respected. It is often over on the side or in a corner and when a communicatnt choosing to partake, passed over like one would pass around a whiskey bottle. Again, the respect that the Anglican tradition shows, where the priest distributing the bread is followed by the cup is an example. This waiting for the cup also means that no one is rushing away from the altar after acquiring the bread. But this comment is too long. I will not bother with a full explanation.