Monday, May 30, 2011

Dear Holy Father, What About the Rest of Us?

Please Reverend Fathers, may we have one of these?

I have to hand it to people who are willing to kneel on the floor to receive Our Lord.  I wish I could do it.  Without something to grab onto, I'm not sure I'd be able to get up off the floor and I have no desire to create a spectacle.  So, I receive on the tongue at the Novus Ordo, standing up, which is less than ideal.  If anyone thinks it's just EM's who don't know how to administer Holy Communion on the tongue, they are sadly mistaken.  A lot of priests fall into this category as well.  Some examples of presenting Our Lord badly include:

The" Come and Get Him" approach, whereby if you do not open your hands to receive the Lord, the priest or EM simply stands there holding the Sacred Host, and you have to go after the Host with your mouth.  What's up with that?

The "Hurry Up and Open Your Mouth" approach,  whereby the priest or EM attempts to shove the Host in your mouth before you can say "Amen".  What's the hurry?

The "What Do You Mean You Don't Receive in the Hand" approach, whereby the priest or more likely the EM attempts to shove the Host in your closed hands.  See, that's why my mouth is open and my hands are folded upright, because I don't want to receive in the hand.

The "Frisbee" approach, one of the worst of all, whereby the priest or EM attempts to hurl the Host into your mouth so their fingers don't have to go anywhere near it.  This is especially dangerous when there is no altar server nearby with a paten.

It is so much easier to administer Holy Communion to someone who is kneeling.  I heard the characteristic "plink" sound the other morning when the Eucharist fell onto the paten (thankfully, and not on the floor).  That almost never happens at the TLM because we kneel.

If the Holy Father will only administer Holy Communion on the tongue to the kneeling communicant, why, oh why has he not made this same provision for the rest of us? Would it be asking too much to have a prie dieu set out, in those churches lacking an altar rail, for those of us who wish to receive on the tongue but don't want to risk the Sacred Host being dropped on the floor?  Or, how about inviting those of us who wish to receive kneeling to come forward at the very end of the line, so we don't inconvenience those who are on a 60 minute time-limit and can't spare an extra second in church?


  1. Bravo Joyce! I've never understood why the Communion rails were removed in the first place. I attend a retreat annually where we are encouraged to kneel where an altar rail would be (if there was one.) It's so peaceful to kneel and recollect yourself as you await the priest and the Precious Host. I'm grateful that our beloved Pope Benedict is setting a beautiful example, but yes: what about the rest of us?

  2. Classic post Joyce! Gave me a great laugh! Sooo true. I have experienced every one of those myself...that's why I prefer to go to the Monastery.~Theresa

  3. I prefer it being handed to me, I have to admit. It just seems so much secure for some of the very reasons you listed. Plus I get to touch Jesus with my hands as well, which is special for me. "The frisbee approach" Hahaha! Now I hope I don't laugh next Sunday when I go up.

  4. Yes, bravo! The solution is to keep asking - and praying!


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