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Communion: With Humility or Pride?

Ok, so who wants to open their mouth and stick their tongue out at the priest? I know that sounds a bit silly, but it is that "uncomfortable" aspect that turns many off from receiving communion on the tongue. I remember someone once asking me, "Who does the Church think I am, a baby? I can feed myself, I don't need to receive communion on the tongue." That shows the clear misunderstanding of what is going on, as well a misunderstanding of our relationship with the Lord.

To some, it is a “comforting” idea that communion in the hand allows them to keep control of what is going on. Think about it: it truly is humbling to kneel down, tilt your head back (which, yes, you should do), open your mouth and stick out your tongue. To add "insult to injury", then you have to trust the priest to put the host on your tongue (and not poke you in the nose). In fact, we could say that communion received on the tongue elicits a sense of dependency, a sense of being a child in the lap of God waiting for Him to feed you.

That is not, of course, the primary argument for communion on the tongue instead of in the hand, but it shows what is being encouraged by each. One pushes you to think about being in control and the priest is just like a waiter at a restaurant; he delivers food. The other pushes you to think about being provided for by our Lord, and the priest is acting in persona Christi (i.e. as the ordained representative of Christ) as is natural for his vocation; his hand becomes the hand of God. Only one of the two teaches us how to grow in faith and learn to submit to the tender and Fatherly care of God Almighty.


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