Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Why I receive the Eucharist on the Tongue

Good day, dear reader!

On Sunday, I was altar serving  as acolyte (Candle-bearer) and due to the layout of the Sanctuary this meant my seat in Mass was up a couple of steps behind the altar. At Communion, the priest tends to come to he servers at their place for practical reasons, so this meant I was quite a bit taller than Father, hence I chose not to receive the Eucharist on my tongue as I would have normally. Now, I tell you this as sometimes this has been a polarizing issue (though, not so much any-more - holy indifference maybe).

I tend to receive on the tongue for practical reasons. Some alter breads are very crumbly, and I was finding I was spending too much time after Communion staring at my hands rather than entering into the presence of Jesus fully - so simply I chose to receive on the tongue to save this stress and distraction. It's not particularly theological preference, simply convenience. Though I acknowledge the view that receiving on the hand sometimes leads to the Eucharist being seen as something common - profane - in many ways I personally don't find it more reverent either way! Its easier in the Extraordinary Form, as you don't have to say Amen at communion so you just stick the tongue out!

Sometimes people notice I don't normally receive from the chalice. Again this is for mixed reasons. Firstly, I find it an odd experience - I find the time between receiving the host and receiving from the chalice difficult to be. You have to focus on moving in the line, but you already have the fullness of Jesus Christ in you! I know its a nice sign to receive under both kinds, but its not like you receive more of Jesus by receiving both kinds. But I also worry about spilling the Precious Blood. But the main reason I don't receive, is that I sometimes in the past have struggled with it retaining the appearance of alcohol (wine) and thus found it safer not to consume from the chalice at all! Though now its more habit, and when I am serving at weekdays I usually do receive from the chalice. Its nothing to do with some idea of taking rather than receiving or anything to do with traditionalist nonsense.

I don't have any massive reflections to make, but sometimes people ask. So there is the answer!

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