Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cathedral Rector writes to his parishioners about 7 Common Communion Abuses

Courageous Priest follows priests they esteem as courageous. Among them are the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and priests, including Fr Ray Blake of Brighton, England. The blog carries news of A Letter from The Cathedral Rector [yes, Cathedral Rector - he presumably has the support of his Bishop] by Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ of January 30, 2011 to his parishioners. You can also read it at the Cathedral website.

Father Lankeit points out 7 abuses that he sees "all too frequently":
  • Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it. (The act of blessing with the Eucharist is called “Benediction”and is reserved to clergy).
  • Receiving the host in the palm of the hand,contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers,then consuming it (resembling a one-handed “watch-the-coin-disappear”magic trick).
  • Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.
  • Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a Rosary.
  • Receiving the host with dirty hands.
  • Receiving the host,closing the hand around it,then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitcase) while walking away and/or blessing oneself with the other hand.
  • Walking away without consuming the host.
  • Giving the host to someone else after receiving (including animals)…yes,it happens!

and concludes:
When Holy Communion is received on the tongue…every single one of these abuses is instantly eliminated!
It is worth reminding ourselves that Communion on the hand is possible thanks to the permission of the diocesan Bishop. It is therefore not a right. Father Lankeit has, quite rightly in my opinion, been encouraging his parishioners to return to the traditional practice of receiving on the tongue.


  1. God Bless Father Lankeit! Hopefully, he provides for those who wish to receive on the tongue while kneeling.

  2. I commented on this list on my blog. As to Abuse 1 and some what 6 good points. But if Catholic Priests rarel ydo Benediction how do we know

  3. Since returning to the practice of the Faith as an adult, I have always received on the tongue even when I still attended the Novus Ordo. This was the result of a practice at the cathedral in Vancouver, Holy Rosary, where communion was distributed from behind their intact altar rail. People could stand and stick out their paws, or they could kneel. No one would look at you funny either way. So I knelt and stuck out my tongue. I received no instruction on reception (nor on anything else in the Faith), but it just seemed naturally like the best way. Many years (and two bishops) later, I returned to Vancouver for a visit and went to Mass at the Cathedral and found that the incumbents had created a horrible situation. A truly dirty trick was being played on the devout parishioners. You still had the option of kneeling down at the communion rail and receiving on the tongue, but the only people distributing Communion at the rail were lay people, women (dressed up in some combo of albs). The priest, meanwhile, would leave the sanctuary and distribute Communion to a queue of people, standing, and normally on the hand. So if you wanted to receive from a priest, you had to stand, and if you wanted to kneel, you had to receive from a lay woman.

    No wonder the SSPX chapel was doing so well in Vancouver.

    Vancouver was also the place where if you wanted to go to the FSSP for their Mass, and you didn't have a car, you had to plan well ahead. It took two hours to get there on public transit, topped off with a death-defying walk across a noticably swaying highway bridge and a dash across the highway on the other end.

    Oh, you could go to the daily too, if you could find it, tucked away in a tiny (and totally moderist) suburban parish in remote Coquitlam.

    Yeah. spring time...


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