A note on Communion in the hand

wdtprs.com: 5:01 23-11-2010

A note on Communion in the hand

Elizabeth Scalia wrote the following about Communion in the hand. My emphases and comments.

Communion; Hand or Mouth?
via The Anchoress by Elizabeth Scalia on 11/22/10

Yesterday at Mass, my husband noticed that on the floor of our pew, by our feet, was a quarter of an unconsumed Host. He picked it up and consumed it.

Discussing it on the way home, my husband chose to think the best, not the worst. “Maybe [at a previous Mass] the wedge was part of Consecration Host, and it somehow got picked up with another one and missed, or dropped onto a sweater, or something.”

My husband is always quick to think the best, especially when a matter is too troubling to consider, otherwise. We don’t want to think the worst, that someone simply threw the Blessed Sacrament on the floor, or had casually nibbled at the Host, as though it were a cookie – although such things do, sadly, happen. [Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 says that if there is risk of profanation, then Communion must not be given in the hand.]

Nevertheless it brought home to us, again, the reasonableness of receiving the Eucharist by mouth, rather than by hand. My husband currently receives in the hand; I have, over the years, gone back to receiving by mouth; neither one of us has an issue with the other’s choice – they’re just our personal preferences. But my husband has said that if the choice disappeared, he’d have no problem receiving by mouth again.


God bless them.  I respect the processes by which lay people come to make their decisions when it comes to licit options.

If it were up to me, if I were suddenly elected Pope in a strange “Hadrian VII” scenario, among the first things I would do – among the top 10 things I would do – would be to eliminate Communion in the hand.

Maybe top 5 things.


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