Why Receive Eucharist on the tongue?
Receiving Eucharist on the tongue displays proper reverence for the Eucharist, i.e. the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is tradition of the Catholic Church going back almost 2,000 years.
Support for receiving the Eucharist on the tongue
- · USCCB: “Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue, and the decision should be that of the individual receiving, not of the person distributing Communion.”
- o https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/the-reception-of-holy-communion-at-mass
- · St. Sixtus 1 (circa 115) “Sacred Vessels should only be handled by those consecrated to the Lord”
- · St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (330-379): “The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution.” St. Basil the Great considered Communion in the hand so irregular that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault.
- · The Council of Saragossa (380): “Excommunicated anyone who dared continue receiving Holy Communion by hand. This was confirmed by the Synod of Toledo.”
- · The Synod of Rouen (650): Condemned Communion in the hand to halt widespread abuses that occurred from this practice, and as a safeguard against sacrilege.
- · 6th Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (680-681): Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand, threatening transgressors with excommunication.
- · St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): “Out of reverence towards this Sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated,
- · John Paul II, in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia ("The Church comes from the Eucharist"), in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia ("The Church comes from the Eucharist"), wrote in n. 61: “By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift. We are urged to do so by an uninterrupted tradition, which from the first centuries on has found the Christian community ever vigilant in guarding this ‘treasure.’ There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for ‘in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation.’”
- o http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_eucharistia_en.html
- · When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.
- o http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20030317_ordinamento-messale_en.html#B._Mass_with_a_Deacon
- · In the following period, after the true meaning of the Eucharistic mystery, its effect, and the presence of Christ in it had been profoundly investigated, from a pressing sense of reverence toward this holy Sacrament and of the humility which its reception demands, the custom was introduced by which the minister himself would place the piece of consecrated bread on the tongue of the communicants.
- o http://www.catholictradition.org/Eucharist/memoriale.htm
· When receiving holy communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the body of the Lord from the minister. the consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When holy communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the precious blood.
What is the result of a degradation of reverence for the Eucharist?
- · Nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”
- · The pearls of the Eucharist are desecrated by falling onto the floor
- o https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/05/transubstantiation-eucharist-u-s-catholics/
Let us know if you would like to receive communion on the tongue and would like someone to accompany you to do so during a Mass that you attend.