View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Communion on the tongue while kneeling recommended

Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, recently recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” he said in an interview with CNA during his visit to Lima, Peru.

He points out that there is a lack of respect while receiving Communion. He acknowledges that there are other ways than kneeling to show respect - bowing or genuflecting, for example - but people too often fail to do even those.

On the tongue? Okay - but I think it can still be done reverently in the hand.

I don't think kneeling should be mandatory. There are many people who have a hard time kneeling - I see them at daily Mass. Even if they were told they could stand, if a rule about kneeling was put in place many would try to kneel, or would feel they are falling short. At daily Mass at least I do see respect: Many people do bow before receiving Communion. Some genuflect.

I agree, though, that people at Sunday Masses could and should show more respect. We need to hear more preached from the pulpit about this.

He was just responding to a question, so this is not an official ruling. Who knows what might be coming down the road, though.

Spanish cardinal recommends that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Blogger Mandi said...

A few years ago, I decided to start taking the Eucharist on my tongue, because I felt like I was not worthy enough to touch it with my hands (I know...if I'm not worthy to touch it with my hands, then how can I consume is a bit of a contradiction). I would like to see more people take the Eucharist this way out of reverence, but I don't necessarily think that it should be a mandate.

I knew a man from my old parish that always knelt to receive and he was very upset when, on a few occasions, priests told him NOT to. He felt it was his choice (and people always used to take it that way - why would it be wrong now!). I think the priests' reasoning was that he was "making a show" - obviously not his intention, he was just very humbled before the Lord!

I think it is fine that we have those choices and that you are correct in saying that priests should be emphasizing respect, not a "particular" way of doing things. In my opinion, respect and reverence for the Eucharist includes appropriate attire, and I am always saddened that priests never seem to address that issue.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

An interesting Communion conundrum from the always fascinating "Ask Sister Mary Martha" (there's nun better when it comes to Catholic blogs)... what do the glutamin-Apparently, something I never knew is that there are low-gluten communion wafers made, but there are people whose systems can't tolerate any gluten at all... and the Church insists communion wafers be made from wheat (which, incidentally, is why Juan Garrido first planted wheat in the Americas... there was plenty of tortillas around, but they weren't an acceptable substitute and it was darned expensive to import communion wafers.

Hmmm, I wonder what to do about those that are not only gluten-intolerant, but have a bum knee and can't kneel. Though that sounds like one of those wise-guy questions you throw on the new priest.

6:20 AM  

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