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Receiving the Eucharist

Right now, on social media there are some people that are communicating some really strange misinformation about the reception of the Eucharist at Mass. There are some that state that receiving Communion on the hand is a sin, even a mortal sin. They say that only the priest can touch the host because his hands have been consecrated at his ordination. Well, yes, the hands of a priest are indeed consecrated at his ordination, and they are consecrated for the consecration of the bread and wine.

The teaching of the Church is very clear: People can receive communion on the tongue or on the hand. To say that it is a sin or that it is a lack of respect to receive communion on the hand is totally wrong and it goes against church teaching. Please, do not pay attention to the misinformation that appears in social media. Such misinformation is wrong. It is divisive and creates confusion. The moment when we receive the Eucharist is a special moment during the Mass. Our attitude should be one of reverence and gratitude. We express our reverence by bowing or genuflecting before we receive the Eucharist on the tongue or on the hand. In receiving the Eucharist on the hand, we simply hold out our hand so that the host is placed on the palm of the hand. We do not reach out and grab the host with our fingers. We allow the minister, deacon, or priest to place the host on the palm of our hands and with the other hand we bring it to our mouth in a respectful manner. We take our time and there is no need to hurry. We place the host in our mouth in front of the minister, deacon, or priest before we start proceeding back to our seats. There is no need to place the host in our mouth as we walk. Just take your time and receive with a deep sense of respect.

So, let us create a spirit of deep devotion for the Body and Blood of Jesus by receiving communion with great love and respect. Whether you receive on the tongue or on the hand, it is a beautiful moment of communion with God. During this time of pandemic, I have asked that we receive on the hand for health reasons, but for those who wish to continue receiving on the tongue, please know that receiving on the hand is just as reverential and respectful.

Please, don’t pay attention to those voices that misinform and create confusion among us. Be at peace! Receive the Eucharist either on the tongue or on the hand with deep devotion and respect.

Friar Julio.

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