COMMUNION IN THE HAND
BREAD IN THE HAND?
THE CATHOLIC COUNCILS
AND SAINTS SAY
NO TO COMMUNION IN THE HAND
IS THIS A CATHOLIC PRACTICE?
Bread in the hand...no problem...holy communion in the hand?
Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461), already in the fifth century, is an early witness of the traditional practice. In his comments on the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, he speaks of Communion in the mouth as the current usage: "One receives in the mouth what one believes by faith." (Serm. 91.3) Furthermore, in the ninth century the Roman Ordo clearly shows that Communion on the tongue was the manner of reception. The oft-quoted reference of St. Cyril of Jerusalem is quite suspect, because what follows his famous quote is odd, superstitious, and even irreverent to Catholic thought. This has led scholars to question the authenticity of the text, that perhaps the saint's successor was really responsible for this odd statement, the Patriarch John, who succeeded St. Cyril. But this John was of suspect orthodoxy, which we know from the correspondence of St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine. So if the quote is genuine, it most likely is attributed to the Nestorian Patriarch John, which would explain the oddity of the text. The fact that St. Cyril is quoted to the exclusion of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope St. Sixtus I, the Council of Trent, and centuries of Church tradition, is a prime example of the historical revisionism and dumbing-down of the modernists. Just a sampling of reliable historical evidence is enough to demonstrate the consistent position of the Church regarding Communion in the hand:
Pope St. Sixtus I ( 115-125): "it is prohibited for the faithful to even touch the sacred vessels, or receive in the hand";
Origen (185-232 A.D.): "You who are wont to assist at the divine Mysteries, know how, when you receive the body of the Lord, you take reverent care, lest any particle of it should fall to the ground and a portion of the consecrated gift (consecrati muneris) escape you. You consider it a crime, and rightly so, if any particle thereof fell down through negligence." (13 Homily on Exodus);
St. Basil the Great (330-379), one of the four great Eastern Fathers, considered Communion in the hand so irregular that he did not hesitate to consider it a grave fault (Letter 93);
The Council held at Saragozza (380), it was decided to punish with excommunication anyone who dared to continue the practice of Communion in the hand;
The local council at Rouen, France (650) stated, “Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layman or laywomen but only in their mouths”;
The Council of Constantinople (692) which was known as in trullo (not one of the ecumenical councils held there) prohibited the faithful from giving Communion to themselves. It decreed an excommunication of one week’s duration for those who would do so in the presence of a bishop, priest or deacon;
Council of Trent:
"To omit nothing doctrinal on so important a subject, we now come to speak of the minister of the Sacrament, a point, however, on which scarcely anyone is ignorant. The pastor then will teach, that to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer the Holy Eucharist. That the unvarying practice of the Church has also been, that the faithful receive the Sacrament from the hand of the priest, and that the priest communicate himself, has been explained by the Council of Trent; and the same holy Council has shown that this practice is always to be scrupulously adhered to, stamped, as it is, with the authoritative impress of Apostolic tradition, and sanctioned by the illustrious example of our Lord himself, who, with His own hands, consecrated and gave to His disciples, His most sacred body. To consult as much as possible, for the dignity of this so August a Sacrament, not only is its administration confided exclusively to the priestly order; but the Church has also, by an express law, prohibited any but those who are consecrated to religion, unless in case of necessity, to touch the sacred vessels, the linen or other immediate necessaries for consecration. Priest and people may hence learn, what piety and holiness they should possess who consecrate, administer, or receive the Holy of Holies."
(Council of Trent, Session 13, Chapter 8)
The Catholic practice of receiving holy Communion