Sunday, April 29, 2012

Communion in the Hand

As time goes by, I am becoming more and more adament against the use of Communion in the hand. I know this topic has been written about ad nauseum, but these are my huble thoughts. The argument is that this is a meal and that the priest as presbyter of the community shares the Sacred Meal with the community in an egalitarian fasion. While this may work for Roman Catholicism, it does not necessarily ring true in the ISM.

The ISM has a completely different ethos. One of the beautiful things about our community is the fluidity of our ordination processes. Obviously this is not a free-for-all, but it limits the need for dozens of "eucharistic ministers" because people can be more easily admitted to the Holy Order of deacon and other orders. For this reason, eucharistic ministers become largely obsolete because they have the ability to be raised into Holy Orders if they feel that vocation.

Having celebrated Mass in large parishes, giving Communion in the hand becomes like the "cafeteria" line. The constant, repetative distribution of the most sacred gift in history in the most inauspicious way. It becomes "snatched" rather than distributed. Even just kneeling shows the proper dignity and respect towards the Sacament. However, when one receives on the tongue it shows the true importance of this most august sacrament. There is also less room for accidents to happen or the accidental dropping of the Sacrament.

I would argue that this is not a traditionalist vs modernist issue, but simply an examination of the true importance and significance of the Bread of Life.

1 comment:

  1. As an Eastern Rite cleric, communion in the hand is not an issue. I don't understand why the west went the way they did...I believe this has caused what is seen as a loss of understanding for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    But, from a theological point of view, this issue is clearly understood in the east under the command of Jesus when three times he told Peter, "FEED MY SHEEP." Feeding the communicant, I literally feed them...not give them the food to take for themselves in a haphazard way.