Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Apr. 22, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The American magazine Catholic Response has published an English translation of a provocative article, originally published in the official Vatican newspaper, calling for an end to the practice of receiving Communion in the hand.
The article by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, originally printed in L'Osservatore Romano, examines the historical record of Catholic practice, concluding that the early Church quickly developed the practice in which lay people Communion on the tongue while kneeling. Only ordained ministers were allowed to touch the consecrated Host with their hands.
I agree with the article that receiving Communion on the tounge is an ancient custom with a solid foundation. Nor have I read the article. However, I am worried that the argument is something along the lines of old=good. Let us not forget that for many years frequent reception of Communion was discouraged (for some value of discouraged), and not until recent times was daily communication for the laity encouraged (I think).