August 03, 2007

Friday of the Seventeenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

I have posted a homily for today's Gospel.
Click HERE for it.

August 01, 2007

Receiving the Lord's Eucharistic Body ... on the tongue or in the hand?

In the Tridentine rite, one must always receive Holy Communion directly on the tongue. No other option!

In the Rite of Mass promulgated after Vatican II, universal Church law for Roman Catholics gives the bishop the rite to ban communion in the hand, but not communion on the tongue. In other words, he may require everyone to receive directly on the tongue; he may not require anyone to receive on the hand.

If the bishop allows communion in the hand, the person receiving still has the absolute right to decide for himself to receive on the tongue.

In my previous post about tongues, I mentioned some of the peculiarities of individuals who receive on the tongue.

When I was preparing to receive my First Holy Communion back in 1966, the Sister who was my teacher had the class practice sticking out our tongues for Communion. She went around the room inspecting each of us. When she got to me, I intentionally stuck out my tongue at HER. She smiled and said to me, "Good!"


Now ... priests see a lot of hands also.
There are those who cup their hands as if they are going to hold water in their hands, with the two edges of their hands touching, rather than overlapping. When I see that, I make sure I put the Host on one palm and I press down a little so that the person's hand turns upwards, to make sure the Host doesn't fall or slide of their tilted palm.

There are those who correctly place one open hand ON TOP of the other, so that there is only one exposed palm on which to place the Host. However, a few of these persons hold their hands out tilted towards themselves, rather than flat and level. When I see that, I'm always afraid the Host will fall off their hand. In that case, I lower my hand in such a way that the heel of my palm meets and gently pushes down the person's fingertips (making sure the person's hand ends up more level than before), and then I put the Host into their palm with my fingertips.

Sometimes this woman or that will hold out her hands to receive the Host but has her rosary in her palm or wrapped around her hand. In that case, I use my pinky to push the rosary aside before I put the Host down into her palm.

There are those who hold out their hands, but have their thumb and forefinger up like tongs, so that I end up putting the host between those two fingers rather than into their palms.

From time to time, some will come forward, but hold their hands down so low that I don't see them, and then I'm sticking the Host at their unopened mouths, when they wanted to receive in their hands instead.


Bow or genuflect before you receive?
The Church still requires a priest celebrating Mass to genuflect before he receives communion.

In the U.S.A., the Church directs people to bow, rather than genuflect, when they approach to receive the Eucharist. However, the Church also directs the clergy not to refuse or correct on the spot anyone who genuflects or kneels down.

Some "liberal" bigots say that when you genuflect you might trip the person behind you. Well, there's more of a problem with people bowing. Some persons bow so close to me that I'm forced to lean or step back so that when they straighten up their heads don't knock the Eucharistic vessel in my hands. I never have to do that when someone genuflects.


July 31, 2007

This coming Saturday: an ordination of a Carmelite friar.

Saturday, August 4, starting at 10 A.M.
Ordination Mass for a Carmelite friar
St. Therese Catholic Church
510 N. El Molino St.
Alhambra, CA 91801

The place will be crawling with friars in habit,
nuns in habit,
sisters in habit.

I'll be there, at least one monk in full habit.


July 30, 2007

Both dentists and priests see a lot of tongues.

That's what occurred to me this morning in a dentist's office.

In giving Holy Communion I see tongues in all shapes and sizes.

There's the one lady with a really narrow, pointed tongue. I'm always afraid that the host will fall off of her tongue when I give her communion.

There's a tongue I recognize, but I forget who it belongs to: very wide and blunt.

There are individuals who open their mouths to receive the Eucharist, but do not stick out their tongues. I have to stick it in between their upper and lower teeth if they don't open wide.

Some of those people who don't stick out their tongues open their mouths real wide, and tilt back, as if I'm supposed to drop Communion in. Makes me want to tell them:
Don't say, "Ahh."
Say, "Amen."
I'm not the dentist.

Then there's this one I call the "Snapper." Tongue stuck out well enough for me to place the Host without a problem. However, as soon as the Host meets her tongue, DOWN come her teeth. She hasn't bitten me yet, but I'm scared that one day she will.

One smiling matron has a tongue that is very long and curls upwards at the tip. If I'm not fast enough in withdrawing my fingers after I give her Communion, her tongue curls up and licks my fingers. On those rare occasions when I succeed in getting away without getting licked I want to say, "Yessss!"

Oh, and there's the big guy who likes to be in the front pew. He comes up, and before I can say, "The Body of Christ," he's already got his mouth open and his tongue stuck out. I place the host on his tongue, and then he says, "Awm-med," (instead of "Amen) because his mouth is full. Then I want to say, "Don't talk with your mouth full."


July 29, 2007

The Seventeenth Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

I have posted a homily for today's Gospel.
Click HERE for it.