I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is
watching people receive Communion in the hand." (Mother
of Communion in the Hand
Communion in the hand for lay persons in the 20th century began as a
result of disobedience to the Pope. It has contributed to irreverence,
loss of faith, desecration and sacrilege. Many Catholics mistakenly believe
this practice is the norm in the Church, however, the
truth is that Communion in the hand may only be allowed conditionally,
under an "Indult" (special permission). And, even this limited
toleration was extracted from the Holy See due to widespread disobedience
on the part of certain of the faithful [many of which were influenced to
adopt this practice by deceitful measures ("a campaign of
deliberate deception and misleading propaganda"), while others
simply - and without thinking - "followed the crowd"].
Reasons Not To Take Communion in the Hand
There are numerous
and important reasons why faithful Catholics
should never receive Communion in the hand, such as...
Communion in the hand lessens respect for the Holy Eucharist.
Communion in the hand contributes to sacrilege & desecration.
Communion in the hand leads to loss of faith in the Real Presence.
Communion in the hand goes against the expressed wishes of recent popes
(one recent pope warned that "the
innovation could lead to irreverence, profanation, and the adulteration of
sacred doctrine") and was introduced in the 20th century in
defiance of their wishes. No known pope recommends this practice.
Communion in the hand often results in
sacred particles - Christ's true Flesh and Blood - being dropped
on the floor and trampled on by parishioners. In fact, since most people
fail to examine their hands for sacred particles after receiving Holy
Communion in the hand, there could be dozens or more sacred particles on
the floor in any parish where this practice is tolerated. This means
that many people at each parish may literally be stepping on Christ's
body - even those parishioners who don't take Communion in the hand. It
is useful to remember the Church's constant teaching regarding the fact
that even the tiniest particle of the Eucharist contains Christ's Body,
whole and entire:
"Yes, the same
Jesus Christ is just as much in a particle of a host as in a whole
host." (Catechism of St. Pius X)
"Jesus Christ is
present whole and entire in the smallest portion of the Holy Eucharist
under the form of either bread or wine; for His body in the Eucharist is
in a glorified state, and as it partakes of the character of a spiritual
substance, it requires no definite size or shape." (Baltimore
"Nor should it be
forgotten that Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under
either species, but also in each particle of either species. Each, says
St. Augustine, receives Christ the Lord, and He is entire in each
portion. He is not diminished by being given to many, but gives Himself
whole and entire to each." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
"Christ's Flesh is
food, and His Blood is drink; yet is He whole under each Species. He is
not cut by the receiver, nor broken, nor divided: He is taken whole. He
is received by one, He is received by a thousand; the one receives as
much as all; nor is He consumed, who is received. And when the Sacrament
is broken, waver not, but remember that there is as much under each
fragment as is hidden under the whole. Of the substance there is no
division; it is but the sign that is broken; and He who is the
Signified, is not thereby diminished, either as to state or
"[O]ur Lord is not
in the Sacrament as in a place. Place regards things only inasmuch as
they have magnitude. Now we do not say that Christ is in the Sacrament
inasmuch as He is great or small, terms which belong to quantity, but
inasmuch as He is a substance. The substance of the bread is changed
into the substance of Christ, not into magnitude or quantity; and
substance, it will be acknowledged by all, is contained in a small as
well as in a large space. The substance of air, for instance, and its
entire nature must be present under a small as well as a large quantity,
and likewise the entire nature of water must be present no less in a
glass than in a river. Since, then, the body of our Lord succeeds to the
substance of the bread, we must confess it to be in the Sacrament after
the same manner as the substance of the bread was before consecration;
whether the substance of the bread was present in greater or less
quantity is a matter of entire indifference." (Catechism of the
Council of Trent)
"If any one denieth
that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is
contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when
separated; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)
Communion in the hand requires that one 'self-communicate' - even though
Holy Communion should not be handled by lay persons ["To
touch the sacred species...is a privilege of the ordained" (Pope John Paul
II)] Note: click
here for more information on this topic.
Communion in the hand tends to treat the holiest of all things not
sacredly, but rather treats It like some common object.
Communion in the hand resembles how one eats fast food.
Communion in the hand (self-communicating) detracts from priestly
dignity and places lay persons on the same level as priests.
Communion in the hand may display a lack of humility.
Communion in the hand leaves no way for priests to "ensure proper reverence
and decorum" with regard to the Blessed Sacrament.
Those who take Communion in the hand risk dropping the Sacred Host onto the
Communion in the hand engenders an "unbecoming familiarity".
Communion in the hand "discourages
reverence for the mystery".
Communion in the hand "precludes awe" and "all but
extinguishes a sense of sacredness".
Communion in the hand has been used as a tool by liberals and feminists who want to change the
Church. They want the practice to be imposed on everyone.
Communion in the hand may physically sully the Holy Eucharist and lead
to illness since those who receive Communion in the hand do not wash
their hands before handling the Eucharist. [Note: Those who receive Communion
in the hand may have, only minutes previously, touched filthy
dollar bills (e.g. for the collection), touched contaminated collection baskets, touched
the unwashed hands of multiple strangers (e.g. 'sign of peace'), sneezed
or coughed into their hands, lifted dirty kneelers,
Communion in the hand was inspired by Protestants -
it was purposely introduced by
in the 16th century to destroy belief in the Real Presence.
In fact, the practice itself has been considered
"symbolic of the Protestants' rejection of Catholic Eucharistic teaching".
Communion in the hand has aided those who steal the Holy Eucharist for
use in satanic rituals.
Communion in the hand is only reluctantly tolerated by the Church by way of an Indult (and may not be universally licit - it may be "strictly forbidden in Rome and throughout
There is no benefit to Communion in the hand, only danger.
Should Receive Communion in the Traditional Manner
should reject Communion in the hand and receive Holy Communion in the
traditional manner - on the tongue - as is their indisputable
right. Regardless of what others may be doing, we must remember that we
are responsible only for our own behavior. One must NEVER feel compelled
to take Communion in the hand, even if he must act alone. Should a priest
seem hesitant or confused, remember that one's right
to receive Holy Communion in the traditional manner cannot be
disputed. Be patient, but firm. Keep in mind the many reasons
why one should receive Holy Communion in the traditional manner (such as
those indicated above) and pray that others will soon follow.
With regard to the
issue of Communion in the hand, faithful Catholics
should be aware that liberals have promoted a misleading and deceptive
"propaganda campaign" designed to equate the reception of Holy
Communion in the hand by lay persons with the "dignity of
man". They also attempt to mislead the faithful to consider the
practice of Communion in the hand as being the "true"
traditional practice of the Church. Modernists / liberals - "the worst
enemies of the Church" (Bl. Pope Pius IX) and "the most
pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church" (Pope St. Pius X)
- also attempt to make Catholics feel that Communion in hand is
preferable. Don't be fooled!
The liberal's desire
of placing the Holy Eucharist - God - in our unconsecrated hands seems
more like an attempt to "control God" rather than to emphasize
"human dignity". Considering that our blessed Lord humbles
Himself under the appearance of bread and wine, should we not consider our
smallness and unworthiness of such a great Gift? Should we
not follow the Biblical admonitions, such as...
the LORD with fear; with trembling bow down in homage" (Ps. 2:11)
to the LORD the glory due God's name. Bow down before the LORD'S holy
splendor!" (Ps. 29:2)
fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by
it." (Ps. 111:10)
hand made all these things when all of them came to be, says the LORD.
This is the one whom I approve: the lowly and afflicted man who trembles
at my word." (Isa. 66:2)
Instead, they would
rather have us stand and stick out our hand as if we were handling fast
Never willing to
discard their agenda, the modernists have even adopted misleading
campaigns to convince faithful Catholics that Communion in the hand is a
"truly" traditional practice. They may point to the biblical
account of the Last Supper or to an early writing which discusses the
practice. Conscientious Catholics, however, should realize that such arguments
are misleading or false. For example, even if those at the Last
Supper took Holy Communion in the hand, we must remember that they were
the apostles - the first bishops of the Church, ordained by Christ. Therefore, they were invested with the priestly
dignity. No lay persons received (or distributed) Holy Communion in the hand at
the Last Supper.
Also, one must
remember that in the earliest days of Christianity, there was much persecution.
The fact that some early Christians (Catholics) may have
'self-communicated' in times of persecution (or when there were no
priests), does not mean this was the desired practice of the Church.
Despite this, modernists may continue point to early documents in an
attempt to 'prove' this practice as being "truly" traditional.
The fact is that at least one favored document of the modernists may be
of doubtful authenticity. This same document is often selectively quoted
to skip past the "troublesome" parts that they would not like
to mention (e.g. touching one's sensory organs with Christ's blood).
Also skipped by modernists are the parts of early writings which emphasize the
great reverence owed to the Blessed Sacrament (e.g. using one's hands to
make a "throne" for the Eucharist, women being prohibited from
receiving the Holy Eucharist in their bare hands, etc.). It is always
interesting to notice how liberals selectively quote a handful of old
documents when they feel it suits their agenda, but will deny a
'mountain' of old documents which contradict them. (If they are really
trying to restore 'tradition', ask them why they are not seeking to
restore all the traditional practices - e.g. penances lasting for
years, public penances, sinners being required to remain outside the
church begging for prayers, etc. - but are instead seeking to restore
just the 'traditions' that suit their fancy.)
In any case, we know
for certain that the practice of receiving Communion in the hand may be
considered a "serious offense" by the Early Church Fathers, except
in special cases (e.g. times of persecution, absence of a priest):
"It were needless to point out that for
anyone in times of persecution to be obliged, in
the absence of a priest or deacon, to receive communion by his own hand
is certainly not a serious offence, because long custom sanctions this
practice in such cases. Indeed, all the solitaries in the desert, where
there is no priest, reserving Communion at home, receive it from their
own hands." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 369 A.D.)
We may be certain
that the Holy Spirit has guided the Church in prohibiting this practice
for so many centuries. And certainly, the Church does not now need to
follow the lead of 16th century heretics - heretics who hated the Mass
and adopted this practice specifically to destroy Catholics'
faith in the Real Presence.
One only has to look
at the fruits of this practice to see that its introduction has caused
great harm. As a direct result of this practice, great sacrilege has
been committed, profanation has become frequent, belief in the Real
Presence has plummeted, the priestly roles are confused, reverence and
respect for the Holy Eucharist are down sharply, etc.
When one discusses
the practice of Communion in the hand with a liberal, he should ask the
liberal for 'bottom line' facts - e.g. How, exactly, does this practice
better honor Christ? How does it benefit the individual? How does it
benefit the Church? How is it more reverent? How does it better prevent
against sacrilege and profanation? How does it safeguard the doctrine of
the Real Presence? Clearly no satisfactory answers may be given to such
questions. Frankly it does not matter whether the practice was tolerated
under certain conditions in the earliest days of the Church if its
reintroduction today is harmful, which it has clearly proven itself to
be. Catholics must also be careful of false statements made by liberals
(including false statements that a certain pope 'recommended' the
practice - when the truth is that he recommended the opposite),
published articles containing unproven statements simply asserted as
true without any proof, and errors in logic.
conscientious Catholics should reject the practice of Communion in the
hand. This practice:
Was promoted by the Protestant 'Reformers' in the 16th century to destroy
the faith of Catholics
Was introduced by liberals in the 20th century to promote their agenda
Was deceptively promoted
Is not recommended by popes
Was tolerated (under certain conditions) only reluctantly due to
Leads to irreverence and profanation of the Blessed Eucharist
Reduces belief in the Real Presence and is therefore harmful to souls -
Remember St. Paul's warning in 1 Cor. 11:29: "For anyone who
eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on
Leads to the trampling of Hosts by many parishioners in each parish
where this practice is tolerated (see above or click
Remember that this
practice is NOT required (and is, in fact, not
recommend). Further, the rejection of this practice does not
make one "reactionary, ignorant or disobedient". Rather, the rejection of this practice conforms to tradition and the
expressed will of the popes. It shows greater respect for our Lord,
greater respect for the priestly dignity, helps strengthen and protect
one's faith, expresses one's belief in the Real Presence, and protects the
Holy Eucharist from profanation and sacrilege.
Remember that one
should not blindly follow others - in fact, that's what
the Protestant 'Reformers' counted on - and those who followed their
ways lost their true Catholic faith and became Protestant! Instead, one
the utmost respect and honor for the Holy Eucharist, receiving
it on the tongue directly from the hands of a priest. Remember,
you have the undeniable right to receive Holy
Communion on the tongue and must not feel compelled to put the
Blessed Eucharist in your hand and self-communicate. [Note:
Occasionally, a priest may be confused if few
parishioners take Holy Communion on the tongue - simply be
patient with the priest and remember that your right to
receive Holy Communion on the tongue cannot be disputed.
Be firm, but patient.]
Now is the time
to take a stand for the Holy Eucharist. Why not educate others and challenge
them to join you?
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such as Communion in the hand are specific to the Novus Ordo
(New Order) Mass - the Mass celebrated in most Catholic parishes since
it was concocted by men after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's.
There are numerous and significant differences between the
Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass (click
here for more information).
Traditional Latin Mass, has specific rubrics which prevent abuses and
novelties, such as the use of "Lay Ministers", Communion in
the hand, etc.
you can still attend the Traditional Latin Mass - the highly reverent
"Mass of the Saints" - the Mass in use for most of the life of
the Church. This Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass is still
validly said in Catholic parishes today.
your diocese for the nearest location of this incomparable Mass.
this Mass is not available in your parish, petition your pastor!
Here for More Information
'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not?
Under Both Species: Is it Required?
Behavior in Church
Resources (Incl. Printable Fliers)
Eucharist / Mass (General Information)
Catechism of the Council of Trent on the Holy Eucharist
Eucharist / Mass
Mass / Catholic Tradition (Reflections)
Mass / Catholic Tradition Section
Holy Eucharist (Classic Encyclicals)
Mass / Sacred Liturgy (Classic Encyclicals)
& Vocations Section
touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own
hands is a privilege of the ordained" (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.)
of reverence towards this sacrament, 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. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it
except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the
ground, or else in some other case of urgency." (St. Thomas
Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the
history of the Church")
safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a
Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted
exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law
any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity
intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen,
or other instruments necessary to its completion [much less the
Sacred Species]. Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful
may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of
those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the
Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
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