Sunday, 18 April 2021

Communion in the Hand

Mr Holdsworth explains why reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is the proper way to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.

I thought I’d start by addressing that concern because for Catholics, Holy Communion or the Eucharist is the reception of the God of the Universe incarnate for us in space and time. If we truly believed that, don’t you think we’d treat the moment we interact with that substance with severe caution?

Like, imagine if you lived in the Marvel universe and some superhero walked up to you and said, I need you to take this, it’s one of the infinity gems, it’s a substance of incredible power. You’d probably have a lot of questions and reservations about being in contact with something like that. Like what’s the protocol with this thing? Even our prescription medications come with a whole litany of instructions to ensure that we take them exactly as instructed because they are a persuasive substance that will produce considerable effects so you want to make sure that they produce the right ones based on how you use them.

Well, the Eucharist, is the bread of life. It’s the medicine that can heal your eternal soul, as long as you receive it as instructed by the experts. If you recognize the expertise of pharmacists and doctors when it comes to your prescriptions, because they’ve spent years studying this stuff and you haven’t, then we should, likewise, recognize the expertise of bishops and theologians when they tell us how we should treat the Eucharist.

The other reason this isn’t a trivial thing is because the way we practice our faith can create a sense of community and harmony among believers or it can create division and discord. And the current state of affairs, I think, lends itself to the latter so I think it’s important that we try to have these difficult discussions in the hopes that it will educate those who sincerely just want to practice the faith authentically. So in case you didn’t catch the title of this video, it’s about the Catholic practice of receiving communion in the hand, which is the defacto norm in the Church today, even though that’s NOT the actual norm, which is pretty startling for people like me who, when I converted to Catholicism, was taught that it doesn’t matter. I’ll start off by saying that I only receive communion on the tongue and the reason I started doing that was because I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to try it and so I did and I’ve found that my appreciation for the sacredness of that sacrament as well as my sense of humility and reverence for it have increased. It’s helped me to better worship God and appreciate who I am in relation to him and that’s purely anecdotal, but if it’s enough for you, then I’d encourage you to give it a try and see if your experience reflects mine. If you need reasons, then let’s explore that.

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