Search A Catholic Life:

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Mother Teresa on Communion in the Hand

Ever since reading this comment by Mother Teresa around the time that I was confirmed, I have decided to only receive Holy Communion on the tongue. The priests hands are the only ones that should touch the Eucharist and sacred vessels like the chalice.

From St. Thomas Aquinas:

"Out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency" (Summa Theologica, III, Q. 82, Art. 3).

Mother Teresa's words:

When Mother Teresa was asked by Fr. George Rutler, "What do you think is the worst problem in the world today?" she replied without a moment’s hesitation: "Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion-in-the-hand."


del_button January 11, 2007 at 11:56 PM
Ryan said...

While it's certainly not authoritative, I would refer you to this website:

del_button January 12, 2007 at 12:11 AM
Ryan said...


del_button January 12, 2007 at 1:42 PM
Tito said...

Excellent posting.

del_button January 13, 2007 at 10:47 PM
SoonerScotty said...

perhaps it's because I'm a former protestant but I just can't get past the scripture passage where Jesus tells us to "Take eat, this is my body." (Mark 14.22, Matthew 26.26)

I fully respect those who take communion on the tongue and praise their reverance for the Lord, however I don't believe I'm showing any less reverance by following the Lord's admonition to "take" and "eat."

del_button January 26, 2007 at 10:55 PM
Anonymous said...

I agree with her: that's the devil at work. We're not pure to touch the body.

del_button January 10, 2008 at 11:41 AM
Anonymous said...

What are your views on lay paople bringing the Eucharist to the home bound.

del_button January 10, 2008 at 4:30 PM
Seminarian Matthew said...

I personally opposed lay people bringing the Eucharist to the home bound, but I am much more against Communion in the Hand at Mass:

del_button June 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM
Anonymous said...

Pope Benedict is saying that we should promote Communion in the mouth while Kneeling. Enjoy!!!!!!!

Complete LSN Interview with Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera

LSN: Is there a movement in the Vatican to return to the traditional manner of reception of Communion? (With the recipient kneeling and the host placed directly on the tongue.)

"Cardinal Canizares Llovera: There is no resolution that forbids giving Communion in the mouth. In the same way, there is no norm that forbids Communion in the hand. Neither can be forbidden. Neither one nor the other. This means that Communion in the mouth has a long history and tradition that expresses in a profound way the sense of adoration, reverence in the presence of the body of Christ. Everything that is at stake in the real presence of Christ. If Communion in the mouth goes with the gesture of kneeling, it expresses in a stronger way, with stronger force, the real presence of Christ, the sense of adoration, the participation in the body of Christ that offers Himself for us."

"If the papal liturgy is a sign, an indication for all the Church, we should promote Communion kneeling and in the mouth. But, this does not mean not permitting or forbidding Communion in the hand if it is done with due respect. With a previous gesture of adoration. This could be kneeling, or a genuflection or with a deep bow. And also in the moment of receiving Communion, the right hand should be placed under the left hand forming a cross expressing in this way the recognition of the real presence of the body of Christ offered for us. We should take care that no particle should be lost. And the body of Christ should be received in front of the priest."

We should all fight to avoid abuses against the Eucharist. It is the holiest, greatest, most important [thing] in the Church and in life. We should respect the Eucharist and the rules and discipline of the Church that give the warranty of ecclesial communion that has its sources, its roots, its truth in the Eucharist, in the celebration of the Eucharist, in the rite that the Church has indicated.

God love you


Post a Comment


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address: