The Holy Spirit is moving people at this very moment to speak out in defense of the Eucharist. I truly believe this. Communion on the tongue, while kneeling, and from the consecrated hands of a priest (or deacon) is being advocated for by more and more of the faithful. This can be addressed at the diocesan level by the local ordinary or simply by individual Catholics themselves. The current practice for most of the faithful is to receive communion in the hand; a practice that has been called “objectively irreverent” by Bishop Athanasius Schneider. It is for these faithful that I offer the following quotes for consideration.
The Eucharistic Wound
“To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament…
“There is…the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. 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.
“There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.
“And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.”
“We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.
“A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan
“This method of distributing holy communion (on the tongue) must be retained, taking the present situation of the Church in the entire world into account, not merely because it has many centuries of-tradition behind it, but especially because it expresses the faithful’s reverence for the Eucharist…
“Further, the practice which must be considered traditional ensures, more effectively, that holy communion is distributed with the proper respect, decorum and dignity. It removes the danger of profanation of the sacred species, in which “in a unique way, Christ, God and man, is present whole and entire, substantially and continually.” Lastly, it ensures that diligent carefulness about the fragments of consecrated bread which the Church has always recommended: “What you have allowed to drop, think of it as though you had lost one of your own members” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).
Memoriale Domini, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, issued May 29, 1969
“This has always been the belief of the Church of God, that immediately after the consecration the true body and the true blood of our Lord, together with His soul and divinity exist under the form of bread and wine…For Christ is whole and entire under the form of bread and under any part of that form…” Council of Trent, Session XIII, Ch. III
“Whatever you can do to stop Communion in the hand will be blessed by God.” Fr. John Hardon, S.J., November 1, 1997