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Fr. Z: Proper Reception of Holy Communion

September 15, 2013

QUAERITUR: How to get a people to return to Communion on the tongue?

People have lost the reverence and respect due to Our Lord upon receiving Him at Holy Communion. What to do about it?

Image from Te Deum laudamus! blog

Image from Te Deum laudamus! blog

That caution having been added, it is probably within diocesan bishop’s authority to issue particular law requiring that Holy Communion, when distributed under both species, be given by intinction.  Intinction would oblige reception directly on the tongue only.  This has been used by some priests to break the Communion in the hand stranglehold.  Intinction could be a good way of “re-training” the faithful to receive in this fashion and to continue to do so even when both species are not distributed.

Another helpful tactic would be to mandate the use of patens by servers during the distribution of Holy Communion.  Patens could also probably steer the faithful toward reception on the tongue.

There are three other things that could help get people back on their knees with folded hands.  They are, in no special order:

  1. Catechesis
  2. Catechisis, and
  3. Catechesis

Constant preaching and teaching from the pulpit, in the bulletin, in parish talks, etc., what Holy Mass is, who Communion is (hint: it includes the King of Fearful Majesty), the importance of coherence between outward and interior participation, and the Four Last Things, could drive people to their knees again before their encounter with mystery.

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