Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ecclesia Dei: "no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion in the hand in this form of the Holy Mass"

By Brian Kopp

From Kreuz.net:



Translation:

Dear Mr. XXXX

In reference to your letter of 15. June, this papal commission would like to point out that the celebration of Holy Mass in the extraordinary form envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Holy Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this form of the Holy Mass.

With blessings,


UPDATE:
WDTPRS has weighed in:

6 July 2010

Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” letter about Communion in the hand

CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULA — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 12:43 pm

Even yesterday I had a conversation about the thorny issue of just what Summorum Pontificum (the 3rd anniversary of its release is tomorrow, blessed day) might have revived.

Take the situation of the distribution of Holy Communion.

In the old days before the conciliar reform of the liturgy it was unthinkable – unless you were a heretic or Protestant – that people would receive Communion in the hand. There was no need for specific decrees about such a normal practice as reception of Communion, which was always given on the tongue to people who knelt if they could.

Today, however, there is (sadly) legislation which permits Communion in the hand under some circumstances.

Summorum Pontificum did not revive the old decrees of the long-gone Sacred Congregation of Rites or automatically resurrect the practices of yore.

Or did it?

I have always held that priests need to respect the laws in force about Communion today, even in the celebration of Holy Mass in the older form. Of course they can also do all they might to discourage Communion in the hand and promote a more reverent manner of reception. At the same time, it is unlikely that many who go to the older Mass will want to receive Communion in the hand.

I received from a friend in England the following very interesting news. This is on kreutz.net.

The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" – remember them? – sent a response to a person making an inquiry about reception of Communion at the older, Extraordinary Form. Translation:

"Dear Mr. XXXX In reference to your letter of 15. June, this papal commission would like to point out that the celebration of Holy Mass in the extraordinary form envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Holy Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this form of the Holy Mass. With blessings,"


I note from the graphic that there was no Protocol.

There is a stamp on the letter rather than a signature.

This is a form letter.

It is therefore more than a curiosity, but it is a great deal less than the final word.

We are still left with questions about Communion during the Extraordinary Form.

If people insist on receiving in the hand, are they to be denied based on the argument that in 1962 there was no permission to receive in the hand?

And on an additional note, keep in mind this and this.
• • • • • •


3 comments:

fr. A.R. said...

I am sorry but unfortunately it must be fake, a forgery.

1) It is not signed by anyone
2) The date is in italian, the content in german
3) It is full of mistakes
4) It has no protocol number: you will never see a letter without it from the Vatican
5) It has a seal, but usually real letters from Ecclesia Dei are not stamped with that!
7) It is utterly impossible, as you know, that Ecclesia Dei received the request on the 15th of June and, almost immediately, on the 21st could give the answer.

Brian Kopp said...

Dear Fr. A.R.

See Fr. Z's comments in the UPDATE above.

Jack said...

\\In the old days before the conciliar reform of the liturgy it was unthinkable – unless you were a heretic or Protestant – that people would receive Communion in the hand.\\

Hardly.

The Byzantine Liturgy of St. James BY RUBRIC calls for the faithful to receive the Body of Christ in their hands and to sip the Precious Blood directly from the Chalice.

The ancient Liturgy of Addai and Mari used by the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, and the Syro-Malabar Churches of India (both Orthodox and Catholic) likewise have always called for communion in the hand. First, however, they purify their hands in the smoke of the censer.

These are all living liturgies with a history of continual use in the Catholic Church.

Remember--the Latin Rite is NOT all there is to the Catholic Communion of Churches.