"Communion services" in Toronto
  • To be perfectly frank, when it comes to potential desecration of the Most Blessèd Sacrament, I’m more than happy to b&m if it prevents even a single soul from profaning Him. I won’t apologize for that.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    As with the Sabbath, communion was made for man, man wasn't made for communion.
  • Serviam is Quite Right -
    I received the Sacrament all my life as an Anglican upon a throne made of my cupped hands whilst kneeling at the altar rail. I did so with unspeakable gratitude, immeasurable awe, profound worship, and all appropriate fear and trembling - and love. I actually got to hold, and, for a very brief moment, see, feel, and adore my Lord. Though it has now become apparent that by far most Anglican orders and sacraments are not valid (though some unquestionably are), I at the time believed most profoundly that they were. There isn't a reason in the world why we should be spoon-fed the Blessed Sacrament as if we were some leprous and filthy creatures. God 'did not abhor the Virgin's womb', he did not abhor people, he touched them and they touched him. He ate, drank, and mingled with people of all classes from the least to the highest; and, at that first Eucharist he passed himself around to be partaken of by all - he did not ask them to stick out their tongues while he fed himself to them. I will forever feel betrayed that at any ordinary Roman rite church I can now receive the Sacrament as I always did as an Anglican, both Chalice and Host, but in my own Ordinariate I have to stick my tongue out and it's all over - which, frankly, feels ridiculous, disrespectful, and totally foreign. I do not get to cradle and adore my Lord. I must say, though, that it seems equally strange and foreign that there are pitifully few, if any, altar rails in any Catholic churches built after the mid-sixties - and most of those in pre-sixties churches have been demolished. This never happened in the 'invalid' Anglican churches. At least we do have altar rails in all Ordinariate churches - we even have rood screens which define the holy of holies.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    Jackson, I think the important thing to me is that Christ came among us, wanted to be with us, and accepted us with all our flaws. At the Last Supper, he broke bread and passed it around to the others there. I always suspected the cult of royalty and nobility got into all that at a later time and distanced Christ from the people making him untouchable.
  • Charles (Giffen),

    Shouldn't we spell exchequer properly?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,159
    What?? And spoil the pun(s)?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,385
    I have lost a reference I remember to a sermon by one of the early Bishops in which he says "nibble it as you would your lover's ear". This is a rather different attitude from some "pious" authors pre VII who taught that allowing the host to touch your teeth was sacrilege. (Google is no help, as you can imagine.)
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,169
    I hope that ministers of Holy Communion everywhere are observing the sanitary procedures recommended by the Thomistic Institute. If those are in place, there's no reason to forbid the normal method of distributing the sacrament, i.e., on the tongue.
  • Those quoting St. Cyril to say that communion in The hand is okay are taking his words out of context. At the time it was written, communion wasn’t received directly in the hand. Each communicant had a special cloth that was placed over their hands and they wouldn’t touch the host with their bare hands.

    Regardless, communion in the hand isn’t an option in the EF. Our priests have offered numerous options such as receiving after Mass and following strict protocols, having only one household receive at a time and sanitizing everything between households. No dice. Interestingly, the Ukrainian Catholics are publicly stating that communion has been suspended, but friends who have attended Mass at one of the parishes here has said they’re still distributing communion, but are using individual wooden spoons and burning them and disposing of the ashes in the customary manner.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw francis CHGiffen
  • At the time it was written, communion wasn’t received directly in the hand. Each communicant had a special cloth that was placed over their hands and they wouldn’t touch the host with their bare hands.

    This needs to be emphasized more. The modern custom of consuming the Eucharist as if it were a cookie or potato chip has nothing to do with early Church practices.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    I think the special cloth and such are more Post-Trent rationalizations than fact. In the earliest days, some of the bread was actually taken home with the communicants to consume later. Things were not so codified in the early church. As I keep noting, the Church began at Pentecost, not Trent, although I am sure the Trads will never be convinced the Holy Spirit did not descend again at Trent.

    The thing to remember is that if popes can set up procedures for communion, they can also change or modify them.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,715
    some of the bread was actually taken home with the communicants to consume later.

    Such as St Tarcisius, an Acolyte or Deacon.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    We are not discussing dogs but the faithful, who are hardly dogs by any measure.

    Of course, a lot of the early practices were based on the good will and reverence shown by the people. It was later when the degree of reverence was not deemed adequate that things changed.

    Again with popes and the thoughts of some that everything has to be approved by the pope. Your bishop is your pope unless the actual pope overrules him. That doesn't happen often.
  • I received the Sacrament all my life as an Anglican upon a throne made of my cupped hands whilst kneeling at the altar rail. I did so with unspeakable gratitude, immeasurable awe, profound worship, and all appropriate fear and trembling - and love. I actually got to hold, and, for a very brief moment, see, feel, and adore my Lord.


    M Jackson said this all so beautifully.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 675
    St. Cyril is describing the person receiving Communion just bending down and eating the Host from his hand, not picking it up with his hand. The priest put the Host into the person's hand, and the next thing to touch it was the recipient's tongue, mouth, or lips.

    However, it's not clear that this was the only way to receive in the first centuries, or even the most common way. It's the way they did it in Jerusalem, and that's all we know.

    Feeding someone else, morsel by morsel, was a fairly common sign of intimacy in the Greco-Roman world, whether with hand or spoon. It was somewhat parental, but it could also be a sign of respect and/or love. I've heard it suggested that in John 13:26, Jesus popped the morsel into Judas' mouth, and this would be consonant with Middle Eastern or Ethiopian dining. (Although I'm not sure how the logistics of people-positioning would work, given that everybody was probably reclining.)

    The idea that the Host should be chewed was connected with the Greek "trogo" (to gnaw, bite, chew) and the Latin "mandere" (to chow down, chew).

    But from early times, there was also a feeling that one should eat gently and with great decorum, and in a different way than one would eat normal food. When it became common in the West to eat bread in the form of wafers on certain occasions, it was generally considered a sort of relief to people receiving Communion to be able to eat more gently. (To be fair, wafers were also a cost savings in flour, prevented spoilage and staleage, and weren't as susceptible to damp.)