Blog Archives

REBLOG: Communion: On The Tongue Or “Magic Trick”?

I have already explained in my post about the Catholic Onion that when the bishop acts correctly, his priests feel encouraged in going the right way even if this may result unpopular and conversely, if the Bishop doesn’t care for properly transmitted Catholic values this mentality will end up informing the behaviour of many of the priests in his diocese.

A beautiful example here, courtesy of Father Z.

You will remember Bishop Olmsted, the rather decisive bishop who recently excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride and deprived the Hospital of St. Joseph of the right to call itself “Catholic”.

It will now please you to read that when a good example is given from the top, it becomes both easier and more easily acceptable for the priests of the diocese to follow the lead and take the necessary steps towards the recovery of reverent liturgical customs. In Bishop Olmsted’s diocese itself, Fr John Lankeit is actively working towards a gradual elimination of communion in the hand.

His words are sincere and alarming: “What I witness troubles me. And I’m not alone” writes Fr Lankeit. You immediately understand that here is one not likely to throw M&Ms at the faithful during Mass.

Fr Lankeit puts the extent of the problem in clear terms:

While my main objective in encouraging reception on the tongue is to deepen appreciation for the Eucharist, I also have a pastoral responsibility to eliminate abuses common to receiving in the hand.

Notice here the double whammy: a) reception on the tongue is the best way in itself; b) reception in the hand causes abuses.

It follows a list of examples, seen “all too frequently”, which I hope will not disturb your sleep:

• Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it. (The act of blessing with the Eucharist is called “Benediction” and is reserved to clergy).

• Receiving the host in the palm of the hand, contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers, then consuming it (resembling a one-handed “watch-the-coin-disappear” magic trick)

• Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.

• Attempting to receive with only one hand.

• Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a Rosary.

• Receiving the host with dirty hands.

• Receiving the host, closing the hand around it, then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitcase) while walking away and/or blessing oneself with the other hand.

• Walking away without consuming the host.

• Giving the host to someone else after receiving…yes, it happens!

Some of these I had already imagined; others go beyond my ability to figure out how they happen (the “magic trick”, say); other still can only be defined as astonishing (the dirty hands, the rosary, the kleenex, the “blessing oneself” (??) and the walking away with the host as if it were a piece of luggage).

I am certainly wrong here, but I can’t avoid always seeing in the receiving on the hand an element of “I am the priest of myself” that, at some level, must be buried within the consciousness of the communicant. I just can’t avoid seeing the placing of the communion wafer on the tongue as a priestly function and besides, how one can come to the idea of receiving God the same way as he eats bread and salami is just beyond my understanding.

Father Lankeit doesn’t express himself in such terms of course, but one can clearly see the liturgical zeal and sincere desire to lead his parishioners to better understand the importance of Communion and of acting accordingly. He writes about this four weeks in a row. This is another who, like his Bishop, will be heard. More like him and his Bishop and the beauty and reverence of the Mass will be speedily restored everywhere.

Mundabor

Advertisements

Of Bad And Better Catholics

Poor Padre Pio had not been informed Protestants do such things better, without even believing in them.

Poor Padre Pio had not been informed Protestants do such things better, without even believing in them.

A controversy has erupted on a well-known Catholic blog concerning whether those who receive communion on the tongue are better Catholics than those who don’t.

It seems to me this is muddling the waters.

I would never dream of considering myself a better Catholic than others just because I never received the Holy Communion in the hands once in my life (and, just so you know, never will). I am sure there is an army of people out there who receive in the hands – as they are, alas, allowed to – and are far better Catholics than the wretched sinner writing these lines.

But you see, this is just not the issue.

It is obvious to everyone worth his salt that, whatever was practised by the “first Christians”, later Christians decided pretty soon that kneeling and on the tongue is the proper, because most reverent, way to receive Holy Communion. There can be no discussion about that, because this is a historic fact on which there is no controversy.

Therefore, he who decides that it is fine to receive in the less reverent way just because this is now allowed has not become a worse Catholic than myself, but he certainly receives Communion in worse way than I do. Apart from this, it is still rather difficult for me (my bad, no doubt) to think how one can be persuaded that the consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and still think the Protestants, who do not believe in it, had found a better way to honour this very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity than the Church of Christ, before she did or after she forgot it. The other matter – how many still believe in Transubstantiation after 50 years of, well, receiving Communion like Protestants – I do not even consider, because I am interested here only in the True Catholics, those who believe all that the Church believes and profess all that the Church professes; and who can be excellent Catholics in many ways.

Still, how they can seriously reflect on what Holy communion is and still prefer to… give God to themselves is beyond me.

Mundabor

“Conciliar Fathers”: A Lesson From Luther.

Heretic Nun-screwer. Thought that Communion had to be kneeling and on the tongue. What does this tell us about the "Conciliar Fathers"?

You may think that the title of this blog post is a joke, but it isn’t.

Taking Lessons from Luther is exactly what our heroes, the “Conciliar Fathers”, should have done once come back to their diocese after V II. Luther would have told them that communion must be:

1. kneeling, and
2. on the tongue

That much is what the great Athanasius Schneider has implied in an interview given to Radio Maria Suedtirol (= Alto Adige), in German, and reported by kreuz.net.

In the words of the Bishop:

„Die Lutheraner haben bis vor kurzem und bis heute noch in den skandinavischen Ländern die kniende Mundkommunion bewahrt.“

The Lutherans have preserved until a short time ago, and to this day in the Scandinavian countries, communion kneeling and on the tongue”.

According to him, the idea of communion in the hand in the way practiced today – the article goes in detail about the way communion was practised in the first centuries, and makes clear that the former, infinitely more reverent practice had been completely and, crucially, un-controversially abandoned by the V century – comes from the Calvinists.  And even in this case not from the original ones, but from Dutch Calvinists of the XVII century.

This means that even people who did not believe in the Real Presence managed to deal with the host in a more respectful way than the “Conciliar fathers” did once returned to their dioceses.

Go figure.

I do not know whether, when talking about the “Spirit of V II”, mockery or anger is more fitting; but I feel irresistibly attracted toward the second.

Mundabor

Bishop Athanasius Schneider On Communion In The hand

The Church was there before they came, and was there after they had gone.

I have already written about Bishop Athanasius Schneider here and if you read the blog post you’ll see that Bishop Schneider is not one who takes his role lightly.

Thanks to another excellent comment of Schmenz, I was alerted to this great video from the “Athanasius Contra Mundum” Blog, in which this excellent bishop speaks about communion in the hand.

Many are the interesting issues touched in this fragment of TV interview. The parts which most impressed me are the initial ones, where a young boy (being raised up in a communist regime) is shocked at being informed that in Germany Holy Communion can be received in the hand as if it was a piece of cake. More moving still is the part when the bishop remembers his mother searching for a church distributing communion on the tongue and – after failing to do so – giving in to tears. May God bless these beautiful souls and give them back one thousand times in glory what they had to endure in suffering and persecution.

Imagine for a second a persecuted Catholic family in a communist country – people ready to suffer daily humiliations and discrimination for the Lord – at seeing the Body of Christ casually distributed and superficially received (or I should say: eaten) in a way that to these poor family must have seemed a perfect absurdity and the epitome of shallow and desecrating behaviour. This was in 1973, an age when the older generation had still been properly instructed and had to witness the crumbling of a liturgical world made of reverence and sacredness.

At the same time, the perfect shock of these pious and persecuted people at what they were forced to witness gives the full measure of tragedy of the drunken years following Vatican II, an unforgivable liturgical booze-up whose after-effect is still felt within the Church.

Bishop Schneider gives hope that a new generation of bishops will put things right but at the same time exposes the betrayal of the most elementary sense of the sacred incited, permitted or tolerated by most Western bishops.

Once again, Kudos to Bishop Schneider for his beautiful and moving words. We do need more like him, but why must we go as far as Kazakhstan to hear a bishop talking with such reverence?

Mundabor

 

Communion: On The Tongue Or “Magic Trick”?

Princess Grace receiving on the tongue.

I have already explained in my post about the Catholic Onion that when the bishop acts correctly, his priests feel encouraged in going the right way even if this may result unpopular and conversely, if the Bishop doesn’t care for properly transmitted Catholic values this mentality will end up informing the behaviour of many of the priests in his diocese.

A beautiful example here, courtesy of Father Z.

You will remember Bishop Olmsted, the rather decisive bishop who recently excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride and deprived the Hospital of St. Joseph of the right to call itself “Catholic”.

It will now please you to read that when a good example is given from the top, it becomes both easier and more easily acceptable for the priests of the diocese to follow the lead and take the necessary steps towards the recovery of reverent liturgical customs. In Bishop Olmsted’s diocese itself, Fr John Lankeit is actively working towards a gradual elimination of communion in the hand.

His words are sincere and alarming: “What I witness troubles me. And I’m not alone” writes Fr Lankeit. You immediately understand that here is one not likely to throw M&Ms at the faithful during Mass.
Fr Lankeit puts the extent of the problem in clear terms:

While my main objective in encouraging reception on the tongue is to deepen appreciation for the Eucharist, I also have a pastoral responsibility to eliminate abuses common to receiving in the hand.

Notice here the double whammy: a) reception on the tongue is the best way in itself; b) reception in the hand causes abuses.

It follows a list of examples, seen “all too frequently”, which I hope will not disturb your sleep:

• Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it. (The act of blessing with the Eucharist is called “Benediction” and is reserved to clergy).
• Receiving the host in the palm of the hand, contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers, then consuming it (resembling a one-handed “watch-the-coin-disappear” magic trick)
• Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.
• Attempting to receive with only one hand.
• Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a Rosary.
• Receiving the host with dirty hands.
• Receiving the host, closing the hand around it, then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitcase) while walking away and/or blessing oneself with the other hand.
• Walking away without consuming the host.
• Giving the host to someone else after receiving…yes, it happens!

Some of these I had already imagined; others go beyond my ability to figure out how they happen (the “magic trick”, say); other still can only be defined as astonishing (the dirty hands, the rosary, the kleenex, the “blessing oneself” (??) and the walking away with the host as if it were a piece of luggage).

I am certainly wrong here, but I can’t avoid always seeing in the receiving on the hand an element of “I am the priest of myself” that, at some level, must be buried within the consciousness of the communicant. I just can’t avoid seeing the placing of the communion wafer on the tongue as a priestly function and besides, how one can come to the idea of receiving God the same way as he eats bread and salami is just beyond my understanding.

Father Lankeit doesn’t express himself in such terms of course, but one can clearly see the liturgical zeal and sincere desire to lead his parishioners to better understand the importance of Communion and of acting accordingly. He writes about this four weeks in a row. This is another who, like his Bishop, will be heard. More like him and his Bishop and the beauty and reverence of the Mass will be speedily restored everywhere.

Mundabor

%d bloggers like this: