“The Experiment of Communion in the Hand Has Been a Disaster…”

Many Catholics are familiar with Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. (July 23, 1933-October 3, 2014). A co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, as well as being a retreat master and author of numerous books, Father may be best known for hosting the long running EWTN show Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel. What may not be as well known are Father’s views on the modern practice of receiving communion in the hand. From the above clip:

So anybody who wants to push for a more reverent celebration of the liturgy, they’re my friend. And I also want to state very clearly that I think that the experiment of giving communion in the hand has been a disaster. An experiment is a try, and this is a try that didn’t work.

While the Church permits the faithful to receive communion in the hand, the universal norm is still to receive on the tongue. Of course, reception in the hand is only an option at the Ordinary Form of the Mass; both the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as eastern rite liturgies, do not allow for it.

Decades of irreverent liturgies have caused immeasurable damage to the faith. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, echoing sentiments similar to those expressed by Fr. Groeschel, has said that the “so called new, modern, manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.”

An immediate remedy for this failed experiment is for more of the faithful to simply choose to receive on the tongue. As more people reverence Our Eucharistic Lord by returning to the traditional practice, let us hope more priests and bishops are emboldened to speak out in defense of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Posted on September 10, 2016, in liturgy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 110 Comments.

  1. everyone is stuck on saying how this is holy the eucharist but no one mentions how in the past youhad to not eat anything for 1 hour before receiving communion

    • Isn’t that still the case? I sure don’t eat anything an hour before receiving, I thought that was still the rule.

      Heck, when I was a kid, it was nothing after midnight the night before. Only an hour is soft.

  2. It is now an hour before that we must fast …. It used to be 24 hours before communion!

    And Communion should be received not only on the tongue but also while kneeling. So the communion rails were taken away to force the new way on us. So anyone who is unable to kneel without the rail or a kneeler is forced to either stick out their tongue in the priest’s face or simply comply and receive in the hand! To further complicate this, before the change no one but the priest was permitted to touch the sacred Holy Eucharist, so only the priest could give the Eucharist. Now a further abomination is to be endured in that we have a parade of lay people so called “extraordinary Eucharistic ministers” decending upon the alter at Communion and then handing out the Holy Eucharist as though they were cookies!!!!! Ostensibly this is to save time….. Thanks but no thanks, I will be happy to wait in line for a priest! When I was younger all Masses were filled to the walls, sometimes you couldn’t get a seat. And we waited in line to kneel at the alter to receive Jesus on our tongue. People who take the time to show up will also be happy to wait another 5 minutes so this is a fallacious argument.

    I am hoping that our new leader Of the USCCB will take us back to the Latin Mass and reverse this travesty around the reception of the most sacred body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ … (Sacrilege ! ? )

  3. Oh yes, let’s keep everyone at arms length. After all Jesus is God and we must make sure we give proper respect (as we define it) to the Son of God. With your logic, we only worship the divinity of Jesus. That looks like more self-righteous heresey to me. You are all to holy for me, and I suspect Jesus would agree. 🙂

  4. Nonsense.

    This false piety is exactly what Jesus addressed repeatedly in the Gospels as the hypocritical obsession of the externally religious.

    • What makes you think the piety and the thought and emotion behind it are false? Have you been gifted with divine sight into people’s hearts and minds?

      Or are you just unable to distinguish between sincerity and hypocrisy?

    • Fr Benedict is false piety? If you want to continue lazy liturgical practices that have thinned the pews go ahead.

      • You’re right

        I come from a diocese that had lazy liturgical practices. It was almost “roll your own”, some of them barely licit. One parish had the pastor inviting EVERYONE up for communion. That was the church to attend, the mayor (a Baptist), local rabbis and imams used to go there. The imams were complaining to the bishop because they knew that wasn’t right. It took someone taking a video of the proceedings and sending it on to the Vatican to get the bishop to put an end to it.

        That pastor was reassigned. He eventually started his own church, got his pastoral assistant (a woman) “ordained” at this church, and took half of his parish with him, including one of my cousins. My aunt is beside herself.

        That whole diocese is thinning out. They’re forming clusters now – one priest for two or three parishes, Masses are scaled back because the pews are empty. There ARE some that celebrate good, holy Masses and they are filled to overflowing. The rest are dying out in that part of the country.

        The fruits of loss of reverence for the Mass and the Eucharist. Did it start with Vatican II? Or was it communion in the hand? Or are they just symptoms?

      • Hey Deb,

        The seeds of destruction were planted before Vatican II by corrupt “modernist” theologians, many of whom were double agents working for the other side, the Luciferian secret societies. Vatican II formally introduced that corrupt theology into the wider Church, specifically promoting numerous heresies such as indifferentism and universalism. Some of these changes were ambiguous at first, but then the agents of Satan who promoted the “on paper” changes went about the business of implementing that which they knew would destroy the power, unity and sacred character of the Catholic Faith and the people of God. That would include the “Mass of Paul VI” and communion in the hand, protestant architecture, removing the tabernacle from the altar, etc. All of this was done with Satanic hatred for the Catholic religion.

  5. I so totally agree. Our pastor, God bless him. Put up 6 old communion kneelers in front for receiving. Eucharist , encouraging g receiving g on tongue, and changed church to look more like a Catholic Church should in last 3 years he’s been here. Altar boys in traditional garments, still have a girl now and then, bells, incense on Sundays and Holy days. This all beings more reverence fir Mass and subsequently the Eucharist. All ties in.

  6. Thank you for this. When the libe to receive Holy Communion moves as fast as a freeway, it’s difficult to pause enough to receive on the tongue. No excuse, I know. And when EMs sometines allow communicants to DIP the Holy Host into the chalice containing Jesus’ sacred blood I want to cry out in anguish!!! All these abominations!!!!!

  7. I will dissent from the views of the author. I have a moment to hold the precious Body of Christ in my hand and further reflect on the miracles of Christ’s sacrifice and God’s mercy that I might be worthy to receive by His word. I also cannot kneel. Why should I be called out for my human frailty? Altar servers should be anyone who is willing to serve, to include girls. I will follow the leadership of the Pope. I will not participate in tearing my Church down based on the perception of another’s “fitness” or “laziness”. Poor liturgical practices are the result of poor training at the local level, and from the comments posted, are largely in the eye of the beholder. If the numbers in the pews have thinned, it probably has more to do with the excesses of Church in the last century. Our blessed Francis has reversed the trend to reject all things Catholic and following his example is where we should be placing our energies.

  8. I agree. After having your hands on a car steering wheel or whatever they are not clean enough to recite Holy Communion.

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