by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff | October 21, 2011 12:03 am
I have noticed, over the past few years, an increase in the number of people who are electing to receive the Sacred Host on the tongue directly from a priest, deacon or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at Holy Mass instead of in the hand.
My archdiocese is located in the United States of America which presently has permission in the form of an indult for communicants to receive the Sacred Host in the hand. Most people reading this in the U.S. are aware that the majority of those approaching for Holy Communion in this country receive the Sacred Host in the hand. This indult is an exception to the universal law of the Latin Rite for communicants to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. It is your right, if you are able to receive, to do so according to the universal norm on the tongue.
Unfortunately, many of those who have now elected to receive on the tongue have never been instructed as to how to properly receive Holy Communion in this manner. In the past, people received while kneeling at the communion rail. Now, for the most part, those receiving on the tongue do so while standing before the minister. This presents some challenges to the minister, but they are simple to overcome if several simple guidelines are followed by both the minister and the communicant.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful if you choose to receive on the tongue.
I mentioned above that if you are unable to receive Holy Communion (due to mortal sin, having not kept the communion fast, being non-Catholic, or some other reason) it is a good practice to make a Spiritual Communion. The following is a simple, yet profound Act of Spiritual Communion you can pray while kneeling in your pew:
An Act of Spiritual Communion
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”
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