Pope Benedict on Communion in the hand


During a long interview with Peter Seewald, Pope Benedict has said that: “I am not opposed in principle to Communion in the hand; I have both administered and received Communion in this way myself.”

But, he explains: “The idea behind my current practice of having people kneel to receive Communion on the tongue was to send a signal and to underscore the Real Presence with an exclamation point. One important reason is that there is a great danger of superficiality precisely in the kinds of Mass events we hold at Saint Peter’s, both in the Basilica and in the Square. I have heard of people who, after receiving Communion, stick the Host in their wallet to take home as a kind of souvenir.

“In this context, where people think that everyone is just automatically supposed to receive Communion — everyone else is going up, so I will, too—I wanted to send a clear signal. I wanted it to be clear:  Something quite special is going on here! He is here, the  One before whom we fall on our knees! Pay attention!

“This is not just some social ritual in which we can take part if we want to.”
This was reported by Independent Catholic News here.

For more information  on The Light of the World, which will be out this Tuesday, see here and here.

Comments

  1. I agree with your interpretation Mary. I am certain that the Holy Father desires us to receive by mouth and kneeling (as he demonstrates at every Mass he celebrates) but is willing to allow those who prefer to stand and receive by hand to do so.
    Personally, I cannot understand why anyone would not wish to go on bended knee when they receive the Body of Christ. After all, we have the exhortation: "At the name of Jesus every knee should bend and every head bow". Seems pretty straightforward to me.

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  2. Again Richard the very devout Brigittines receive standing & on the hand..they are an example of reverence & piety..

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  3. Mary, I agree with the Pope Benedict XVI in this communion on our knees and on the tongue. What makes communion in our host that is baked bread a challenge in proper reception is that it is possible to take it in the hand. I have attended Mass in the Ukrainian Rite [in communion with the Holy See] and that Rite distributes communion from a chalice filled with wine and the host is cubed bread soaked in the wine. As the communicants come forward to receive, the Priest dips a spoon into the chalice to scoop up a cubed bread and the spoon level with wine which is then "spoon fed" onto the tongue of the communicant. In this way all communicants receive with both species and with no chance of misguided intent. At the reading of the Gospel the Priest exhorts the faithful, "Wisdom, be attentive". The Ukrainian Rite is an example of thoughtful and careful distribution of the Eucharist succinctly and with great respect. In the western Church, reception on the tongue is most respectful and on bended knee declares the Kingship of Christ by all his faithful subjects.

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  4. Hi Jackie,
    Thank you for your comment. While the Brigittines and many others may be 'very devout', we have to discuss the fact that Communion on the Hand can be a grave security risk. The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord may get stolen and used for sundry purposes that may constitute demonic practice. The Pope has said that Hosts were getting stolen as souvenirs from St. Peter's.

    Closer to home...A friend of mine had to stop a Japanese tourist putting a Host from the Oratory into her purse.
    I saw a Host stolen before my very eyes. Coward that I am, and the fact that I was smote with anxiety after seeing this, I did not chase the man/the 'criminal'(?).
    I have never seen this 'man'/the stealer of the Hosts again. I wrote a post on this called 'Host Stolen'.

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