Vatican official calls for communion practice review

A senior Vatican official believes the Church should reconsider allowing faithful to receive communion in the hand.

Catholic News Service reports the Congregation of Divine Worship secretary Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don made the suggestion in the preface to a book about the Eucharist by Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan.

Archbishop Ranjith said Vatican II never authorised the practice or receiving the Eucharist by hand, but was "introduced abusively and hurriedly in some spheres" and only later allowed by the Vatican.

He says receiving communion by hand coincides with a "gradual and growing weakening of the attitude of reverence toward the sacred eucharistic species."

In the newly released preface to the book, Archbishop Ranjith wrote that the "Eucharist, bread transubstantiated into the body of Christ and wine into the blood of Christ - God in our midst - must be received with awe and an attitude of humble adoration."

The liturgists, theologians and pastors who encouraged the change said it better reflected the ancient practice of the Church and the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper.

Vatican official: Church should reconsider Communion in the hand
(Catholic News Service 01/02/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

4 Feb 2008