Saturday, May 23, 2020 –
Why is on the hand such a problem for some people?
Personally, I see far more abuses when the Eucharist is distributed in the hand. Practically speaking, on the tongue means the Eucharist is consumed right then and there: no fuss, no muss. I am not saying nothing has ever gone wrong when someone receives on the tongue, but the chances of dropping the Host or something else happening are extremely slim.
On the other hand (pun intended!), when someone receives on the hand, the chances of walking off with the Host, dropping It, letting crumbs drop, etc. are exponential. I have personally seen many dropped Hosts from those trying to receive on the hand. The other day a Host flipped over someone’s head (rare, but there you have it!). Many Priests have told stories of finding Hosts in hymnals, the parking lot, or on the floor of the Church.
Remember, this is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ! You really do not want to treat our Lord and Savior so cavalierly!
Okay, but I am worried about catching a virus. Isn’t it safer to receive on the hand?
That depends on who you ask. Scientists, doctors, and all the smart people of the world disagree on this matter.
Here is my 2-cents: if you are truly worried about catching cooties, do not receive the Eucharist. Under normal circumstances, you are ONLY obliged to receive the Eucharist once a year during the Easter season. Since most (all?) of the world is currently dispensed by their Bishop, you are NOT obliged to receive at all.
Likewise, there are just as many cooties on your hands as in your mouth. Drowning yourself in hand sanitizer is not the solution. In fact, if you are to the point of slathering a bottle of hand sanitizer all over, you might consider staying home for a little longer. Not trying to be rude, but if you are that concerned about germs, the world is basically a petri dish…just sayin’!
And again, I can assure everyone the Priest is NOT touching my tongue, and I am NOT licking him. We are not actively exchanging cooties. Promise!
I am dead set on receiving on the tongue, how to I make sure I am being reverent?
- Do not lick the Priest
- Do not make faces
- Make sure your mask is already off
- Try kneeling – the Church had a system for this for over 1,000 years. Kneeling puts you in a lower position, making it easier for the Priest to get access to your tongue.
- Do not be a “moving target” – seriously STAY STILL
- Stick your tongue WAAAAYYY out and make sure your mouth is WIDE open
- Do not “snap” at the Priest – just open wide and let the Priest do the work. You do not need to “help” by biting at the Eucharist
- Do not “chomp” – the Eucharist is not a cookie
- NEVER spit out the Host
I am dead set on receiving on the hand, how to I make sure I am being reverent?
- Do not come up with wet hands – Christ will stick to you and you will leave particles of the Eucharist all over you!!
- Do not come up with lotion or hand sanitizer all over your hands – see above!
- Do not come up wearing gloves, finger sleeves, bulky sweaters that slide over your hands, etc. – make sure the Priest has access to your actual hand!
- Do not wipe your hands of your clothes after you receive the Blessed Sacrament – in the event you have crumbs of the Host, you just put Christ all over your clothes. Instead, carefully inspect your hands to ensure you have consumed every last speck.
- Do not shake your hands out – see above
- Do not fumble around – this is especially pertinent right now. With a lot of people wearing masks, we are seeing people nearly drop the Host while they try to move their mask aside. Come up with your mask already OFF so you have one less thing to futz with.
- Make sure your mask and gloves are already OFF – see above
- Definitely check your hands before – make sure your hands are CLEAN. This is the Lord!
- Definitely check your hands after – make sure you are not walking around with crumbs from the Host. Remember: every little speck is wholly Christ!!
- NEVER walk away with the Blessed Sacrament – you are supposed to consume it directly in front of the Priest
- NEVER “share” the Host
- NEVER drop the Host
- NEVER dispose of the Host
- NEVER spit out the Host
There is a lot more I could say, but you get the general idea.
Saint Benedict of Nursia, pray for us!