Communion in the hand...
Blogged by James Preece on 25th June 2012
Mark Lambert reminds us...
So hang on a minute. The Magisterium of the Church led us to receive Holy Communion on the tongue early on. It remained the practice of the Church up until 1969ish, how did we get here? Surely Communion in the hand was a teaching of Vatican II? Absolutely not, you won't find it anywhere in the Magisterium. In fact, it was a complete innovation introduced by a certain group who were trying to change Catholic liturgy to be more like prevalent Protestant liturgy.
They did this by a technicality of Canon Law called an indult, that is an exception from a particular norm of Church law in an individual case.
Bizarrely, the reality is that the universal law that forbids Communion in the hand remains in force. No, you're not mistaken, I really did just say The universal law that forbids Communion in the hand remains in force!
In 1969, Pope Paul VI gave this indult to the French bishops permitting each bishop to allow the practice in his own diocese (En réponse a la Demande). An indult is a special permission for a particular situation, not a universal norm. Nonetheless eventually the majority of dioceses in the world took advantage of the indult and simply permitted the practice. Unlike Pope John Paul's indult to celebrate the Usus Antiquior, the indult to receive Communion on the hand was enthusiastically embraced in England & Wales, one has to wonder at this process and the reasoning behind it?
Did you know that everybody who received communion from Pope Benedict during the Papal visit was told that receiving on the tongue was a requirement. If you had the chance to receive from Pope Benedict during the Papal visit what would you have done? Would you have said "my way or the highway"? I doubt it.
So what you're saying is you're willing to kneel and receive on the tongue for the Pope on a special occasion.. but for God? Nah... He's not worth the effort...
Or were all the people who received from the Pope traditionalists?