Communion in the hand and other similar frauds

July 04, 2020
Source: FSSPX Spirituality
  • A booklet by the late Michael Davies

An extract from Communion in the hand and other similar frauds by Michael Davies

Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote:

Unfortunately, in many places Communion is distributed in the hand. To what extent is this supposed to be a renewal and a deepening of the reception of Holy Communion? Is the trembling reverence with which we receive this incomprehensible gift perhaps increased by re-receiving it in our unconsecrated hands, rather than from the consecrated hand of the priest?

It is not difficult to see that the danger of parts of the consecrated Host falling to the ground is incomparably increased, and the danger of desecrating it or indeed of horrible blasphemy is very great. And what in the world is to be gained by all this? The claim that contact with the hand makes the host more real is certainly pure nonsense. For the theme here is not the reality of the matter of the Host, but rather the consciousness, which is only attainable by faith, that the Host in reality has become the Body of Christ. The reverent reception of the Body of Christ on our tongues, from the consecrated hand of the priest, is much more conducive to the strengthening of this consciousness than reception with our own unconsecrated hands. Visus, tactus, glistus in te fallitur, sed auditu solo tuto creditur, says St. Thomas Aquinas in his magnificent hymn Adora te [“Sight, touch, and taste would err about Thee, but through hearing alone are we given certain faith.”] (The Devastated Vineyard, pp. 67/8)

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