I’ve just read Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s little book Dominus Est. It is reviewed here by Alcuin Reid
It is an important book giving fascinating evidence from the documents of the Church, the Apostolic Fathers and the tradition of the Church both East and West for the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue kneeling.
It has certainly influenced my thinking, and I will be recommending that the faithful show more reverence when coming to communion. Reminding them of the need to make an act of reverence before reception and also encouraging them to receive on the tongue.
That’s awesome Father.
This is a very sensitive topic with me. I strongly feel we have lost our reverence for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.Ideally I would love us to return to kneeling to receive and receive only on the tongue. After all it is our God who we are receiving.I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at the Cathedral where I worship – a role that I was rather reluctantly pushed into by a deficiency of altar servers and large congregations.I am not at all sure I like the idea of EMHCs. I still feel that laity should not handle the Blessed Sacrament.As an EMHC I see so many abuses of Holy Communion as people receive the Host in their hands then try to walk away with It. At the Cathedral the Ushers catch them fast but in most cases they are simply told to consume the Host. I personally suspect that many of them are not Catholic and just joined the lines to get something.I find the whole modern method of receiving Holy Communion deeply distressing and very irreverent.The Hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” sums up my feelings. We have lost our awe of Almighty God.
I’ve posted about reverence for the Blessed Sacrament before, as well.
There is literally nothing more central to our faith, not papal infallibility, not hierarchy–absolutely nothing. If you don’t believe the Host is Christ, body, blood, soul, divinity, you are not Catholic, although you may be a Christian–perhaps a better Christian than most Catholics. But if you do believe it, then no matter what part of the Church you criticize, disobey, dissent from, you are Catholic, albeit perhaps in mortal sin. Objectively, the Host IS Christ, regardless of one’s belief.No single thing, absolutely nothing else–no sermon, liturgy, or event, not even a bona fide miracle, has the power to restore the Church like the Blessed Sacrament. If priests and bishops everywhere were adamant about this, if they preached reverence for it, if they preached the awful consequence of receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin, if they themselves believed–it wouldn’t matter what liturgy is celebrated, it wouldn’t matter what anyone’s views are on any topic whatsoever. All things, ALL things–social doctrine, liturgy, ecumenism, whatever–all things proceed like rays from the central light of the Blessed Sacrament. Without it, without faith in it, belief in it, everything is in darkness, no matter how attractive, how righteous, it may appear to be.Like belief in God, our conviction is often weak, but, just as we know that doubt is part of faith, we also know that Christ told us, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you.” Nothing is more repugnant to our species than cannibalism, and that is WHY nothing is a greater act of faith than reception of the Holy Eucharist. We think, “Where can we go, Lord, you have the words of eternal life” as we stand in line and pray for the grace to believe. It is the ultimate humility, the ultimate deference to God, the ultimate acceptance of his word in the utter absence of our own understanding. There is no more “right relationship” to God than that–not even if you’re one of those saints who levitate when they pray.