Meeting Jesus in the Eucharist
A few of us were recently discussing Eucharist practices: tongue vs hand, standing vs kneeling. I researched this subject and found various, interesting opinions.
Receiving Communion is as intimate and varied as our spiritual practices. I made my First Communion in 1965, before the Vatican II reforms were implemented. When the changes took over, the Mass no longer belonged solely to the celebrating priest. People became more involved, the language was understandable and we became witnesses to the consecration of bread and wine as it becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. The priest would no longer come to us and place the host on our tongue as we knelt before the Blessed Sacrament. We began to journey torward him, in silent prayer and reflection, lifting up our hands to receive Jesus.
Recieving Our King
There seems to be resurgence in returning to the old way of practice. But these practices are not from the early Church or perhaps even the early Christians. In 350, Cyril of Jerusalem wrote this of receiving communion: “Place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King.” I haven’t read anywhere that Jesus broke bread and placed it in the mouths of his disciples. I have not read that the disciples were on their knees. Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take it; this is my body.” That’s it. I couldn’t find a list of instructions about how to “take it”. I am not condoning anyone’s Eucharist practices, but to make a throne of our hands to receive our savior makes more sense to me than sticking my tongue out.
In my hands I can touch Jesus, hold him and kiss him. My hands might not be clean but before Communion we admit that we are not worthy to receive him. In Communion I say the word, bring Jesus to me and he heals my soul. Amen.