Receive Holy Communion On The Tongue

I think that the manner of reception of Holy Communion and the attitude to the Blessed Sacrament is very important.

Since Vatican II, we have seen a marked emphasis on the meal aspect of the Eucharist at the expense of the Sacrificial aspect. Yet the Church teaches, and has always taught that the Eucharist is indeed a Sacrifice. Pope John Paul II referred to Jesus' institution of "the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His body and blood," which is, he said, not only a reminder but also "the sacramental re-presentation of the Lord's passion and death" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 11).

Perhaps the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist is uncomfortable for many of us. Of course, we have no experiential concept of sacrifice apart from the Eucharist itself. This action would be immediately recognised for what it is by anyone who knew what a sacrifice is: all the elements are there, altar, bound victim, the priest who offers the sacrifice.

The sacrificial model comes to us from the Old Testament and is evident through the New Testament as the model which is applied to Christ. This is why we often see a bound lamb used as a symbol for Christ. People often think the lamb is used because it is gentle and mild and so was Jesus. They are shocked to discover that it is because Jesus is the lamb of God who was sacrificed for our salvation.

The three models of sacrifice in Scripture perhaps exemplified by the sacrifice of Noah (Genesis 8:20), Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and the sacrifice of Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:38). In the holocaust, an animal is killed and burned before God as an act of humble submission and thanksgiving, and it serves as the basic model of sacrifice in current Western theology. This is the sacrifice St. Paul has in mind in Ephesians 5:2 when he writes: "Christ loved us and handed Himself over as an offering and sacrifice to God in the odour of sweetness." It has the advantage of accounting well for the centrality of our Lord's saving death, where what is pleasing to God the Father is the total gift of himself made by His Son, and there is no question, therefore, that this notion of sacrifice goes to the heart of the matter, if it fails to cover every aspect of the Sacrifice of the Cross itself.

This is just a brief outline of this issue and the point is to show how, if the Eucharist is indeed "the source and summit of Christian life" (CCC 1324) we should make some effort to understand how and why, and how we each treat it and consider it in our own life.

This whole concept is one I find quintessentially theological, in that we have been given and believe something de facto, but we do not know, or maybe are not sure of exactly what it means or how to explain it. Charting the course of theology over the centuries shows the Church reacting to questions about this issue and slowly drawing more and more meaning from the deposit of faith it has been given.

I think when one considers the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist, it takes on a more spiritual and profound significance than when we just consider it somehow a shared meal, although this is also a dimension of Eucharist, and of ancient sacrifice as well.

A huge piece in this jigsaw puzzle as far as I can see is the manner of our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion. The way we go up to communion is pivotal, as even the bishops of England and Wales express in their document One Bread One Body, as it is the manner in which we prepare ourselves to receive Jesus. We must be properly prepared, have the right demeanour and disposition, and be in a state of grace having confessed our sins to a priest. It is possible to ignore these instructions and fool yourself and the priest...But you will not fool God:
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. ~ 1 Cor 11:27
More importantly, you will be amazed at the effect changing your disposition towards Holy Communion has on you, especially if you have not followed these steps before.

Now you know I don't always agree with Michael Voris but I really do think this video from him is great and explains the reasons we should all be receiving communion on the tongue really well:

You might also find this short film quite moving:

Prayers taught by the Angels:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

Requests and Admonitions of the Angel:

Pray, pray!

You must offer your prayers and sacrifices to God, the Most High.

In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for sinners.

Above all, bear and accept with patience the sufferings God will send you.

Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ terribly outraged by the ingratitude of men. Offer reparation for their sakes and console God.


  1. I tried a Google + comment, but something bad happened to it . . . I agree completely. If we want to give our all to God, then we should reflect that in everything: not just our thoughts and words, but in our actions, attitudes and everything else. The more reverently we behave when we receive the Eucharist, the more reverent we feel. Thanks, & God Bless. -Jim Milliken

    p.s. - nice use of the passive periphrastic in your blog title!


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