Monday, April 17, 2006

Receiving Christ

The methods of reception of Christ have long been a debate in the U.S. From my experience there is often great tension though of varying degrees and reasons from both sides of the 'argument'.

Those peoples who wish to receive Christ in their hand before consuming Him often feel as though they are being looked down on by those who opt to receive on the tongue. They feel as though the tongue people (for lack of a better term) convey a certain "holier-than-thou" attitude. Perhaps there is something to be said about their defensiveness?

Those peoples who wish to receive Christ on their tongues feel as though the hand people (again, for lack of a better term) are conceiving a certain attitude which is not there... not to mention they usually never find any validity in the reasoning behind receiving on the hand. Most of the time tongue people see only a bunch of whining and defensiveness about a custom most hand people grew up with (the majority being young).

Both sides tend to claim personal preference (and rightly so in the U.S. given the word from the USCCB) but still battle it out over which is the better way.

Me? Well, I'm a tongue person. Presenting clear and swaying arguments for why this is would not be easy as this is not how I came to receive on the tongue. I felt highly inadequate when receiving in my hand. As I knelt down at the altar rail one Sunday, I decided I would receive on the tongue that day. I was hooked. There is something about receiving in this way that is incredibly humbling. In doing it you recognize your own inadequacy and humble yourself before not only the Lord but before the EMHC. You allow this person to place Jesus on your tongue. It has never been comfortable but it is certainly more comfortable than receiving in my hand.

The best way to explain it for me:

I feel close to Jesus when they raise Him in front of me and say, "the Body of Christ". I don't think I should have to hold Him in my hands to know or to feel closer. I don't stick my finger in the cup and swish it around before drinking His blood, why should I hold His body before I consume it?

(This explanation was of course stemmed from the statements similar to the following: "I feel closer to Jesus when I hold Him in my hand.")

We are so unclean. Receiving on the tongue seems the only proper way for me to receive.


Blogger Julie D. said...

Being left-handed and trying to figure out the "which hand is on top, which hand is cupping" etc. as well as being backwards from everyone ... well it freaked me out. I did it once after I was confirmed and almost dropped the Host.

That settled it. I receive on the tongue.

4/17/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Daughter of St. John said...

I had Jesus fall off of my tongue once! And then in my efforts to be sure it didn't happen again I nipped Fr. DM on the finger! Afterwards he said, "I didn't literally mean this is MY body!" (Thank God for his sense of humour!)

Needless to say I've been paranoid ever since!

4/20/2006 11:19:00 PM  

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