Expert Answer Forum

communion reception QUESTION from Mr. David Young October 19, 1999
I understand that receiving communion on the tongue is the norm of the church. Is the reception of communion on the hand an indult? I read somewhere that it was. However, it was also a local option. What is the difference or is there a ifference? ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on October 19, 1999
Dear David, The following instruction comes from the Appendix to the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States, #240. On June 17, 1977, the Congregation of Sacraments and Divine Worship approved the request of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to permit the optional practice of Communion in the hand. The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, in it's catechesis about this optional practice, drew attention to these considerations: a. Proper catechesis must be provided to assure the proper and reverent reception of Communion without any suggestion of wavering on the part of the Church in its faith in the Eucharistic presence. b. The practice must remain the option of the communicant. The priest or minister of Communion does not make the decision as to the manner of reception of Communion. It is the communicant's personal choice. c. When Communion is distributed under both kinds by intinction, the Host is not placed in the hands of the communicant, nor may the communicant receive the Host and dip it into the chalice. Intinction should not be introduced as a means of circumventing the practice of Communion in the hand. d. Children have the option to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue. No limitations because of age have been established. Careful preparation for the first reception of the Eucharist will provide the necessary instruction. The option to receive Communion in the hand is an indult (concession, privilege), granted by the Vatican to all the Dioceses in the United States. Yours in Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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