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Communion in the hand should be rejected


"Communion in the hand has not been, and will not be accepted by Heaven. This is a sacrilege in the eyes of the Eternal Father, and must not be continued, for you only add to your punishment when you continue on in the ways that have been found to be unpleasing to the Eternal Father." - Our Lady of the Roses, June 30, 1984

Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pope Pius XII "the 20th Century Doctor of the Church,” was one of the world's most eminent Catholic philosophers. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) wrote about Dietrich von Hildebrand in the year 2000: "I am firmly convinced that, when at some time in the future, the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time."  No other Catholic writer has so thoroughly echoed the message of Our Lady of the Roses. The following article by Dietrich von Hildebrand, entitled "Communion in the hand should be rejected," was published November 8, 1973:


There can be no doubt that Communion in the hand is an expression of the trend towards desacralization in the Church in general and irreverence in approaching the Eucharist in particular. The ineffable mystery of the bodily presence of Christ in the consecrated host calls for a deeply reverent attitude. (To take the Body of Christ in our unanointed hands—just as if it were a mere piece of bread is something in itself deeply irreverent and detrimental for our faith.)  Dealing with this unfathomable mystery as if we were merely dealing with nothing but another piece of bread, something we naturally do every day with mere bread, makes the act of faith in the real bodily presence of Christ more difficult. Such behavior toward the consecrated host slowly corrodes our faith in the bodily presence and fosters the idea that it is only a symbol of Christ. To claim that taking the bread in our hands increases the sense of the reality of the bread is an absurd argument. The reality of the bread is not what matters—that is also visible for any atheist. But the fact that the host is in reality the Body of Christ—the fact that transubstantiation has taken place—this is the theme which must be stressed. 

Arguments for Communion in the hand based upon the fact that this practice can be found among the early Christians is not really valid. They overlook the dangers and the inadequacy of re-introducing the practice today. Pope Pius XII spoke in very clear and unmistakable terms against the idea that one could re-introduce today customs from the times of the catacombs. Certainly we should try to renew in the souls of Catholics today the spirit, fervor, and heroic devotion found in the faith of the early Christians and the many martyrs from among their ranks. But simply adopting their customs is something else again; customs can assume a completely new function today, and we cannot and should not simply try to re-introduce them. 

In the days of the catacombs the danger of desacralization and irreverence which threatens today was not present. The contrast between the saeculum [secular] and the holy Church was constantly in the minds of Christians. Thus a custom which was not danger in those times can constitute a grave pastoral danger in our day. 

Consider how St. Francis regarded the extraordinary dignity of the priest which consists exactly in the fact that he is allowed to touch the Body of Christ with his anointed hands. St. Francis said: “If I were to meet at the same time a saint from heaven and a poor priest, I would first show my respect to the priest and quickly kiss his hand, and then I would say: ‘O wait, St. Lawrence, for the hands of this man touch the Word of Life and possess a good far surpasses everything that is human.’” 

Someone may say: but did not St. Tarcisius distribute Communion though he was no priest? Surely no one was scandalized because he touched the consecrated host with his hands. And in an emergency, a layman is today allowed to give Communion to others.  

But this exception for emergency cases is not something which implies a lack of respect for the holy Body of Christ. It is a privilege justified by emergency—which should be accepted with trembling heart (and should remain a privilege, reserved only for an emergency).

[Note: Our Lady of the Roses stated, "My child, please, you must make it known to Our clergy that they are defiling My Son’s Body in many ways. Disrespect and dishonor, how many tears have I shed at the sight! Only consecrated hands shall give and bring My Son to the peoples of earth, legally ordained and given the Holy Spirit—the clergy chosen by the Father to bring His Son to you! Unclean hands shall not touch My Son’s Body! You must not allow My Son to be defiled any longer. No children shall carry My Son’s Body in the hands! Know, My child, that only one exception can be made: when a legally ordained priest is unable to reach the dying, he will send his deacon to bring My Son to him. But only in severe trial and need, I say! Only to the dying. All others, My child, will be given the needed grace if they pray." - Our Lady, December 31, 1974  

Our Lady of the Roses quote is in conformity with the traditional practice of the Church and the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Specifically, Canon 845. § l which states that the ordinary minister of Holy Communion is ONLY the priest.  Canon 845, § 2 states that the extraordinary minister is only the deacon. The sacramental theology book, The Administration of the Sacraments (1963 edition) by Nicholas Halligan, O.P., explains: 

"It is a certain teaching that the priest alone is the ordinary minister of Holy Communion." (Nicholas Halligan, O.P., The Administration of the Sacraments, 1963, p. 107, Imprimatur: Cardinal Spellman) 

"The pastor has the exclusive right to bring Viaticum both publicly and privately to the sick in his parish, even to those not his parishioners." (p. 108) 

"By ordination a deacon is the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion but only with permission of the local Ordinary or of the pastor granted by either for a serious reason, but this permission may be presumed in case of need. Apart from necessity a deacon would not be justified in acting without permission." (p. 108) 

"The deacon in administering Holy Communion observes the ceremonies as prescribed for the priest.... Unlike inferior clerics the deacon, although sinning gravely [Note: if the deacon distributes Communion without permission of the pastor or without grave reason], does not incur an irregularity if he acts without permission." (p. 108)]

But there is a great difference between this case of touching the consecrated host with our unanointed hands and that of taking Communion in the hand as a matter of course—on all occasions. To be allowed to touch the consecrated host with unanointed hands is in no way presented to the faithful as an awe-inspiring privilege. It becomes the normal form of receiving Communion. And this fosters an irreverent attitude and thus corrodes faith in the real bodily presence of Christ. 

It is taken for granted that everyone receives the consecrated host in his hand. The layman to whom the great privilege is granted for special reasons has to touch the host, of course. But there is no reason for receiving Communion in the hand; only an immanent spirit of paltry familiarity with Our Lord. 

It is incomprehensible why some insist on a way of receiving Communion which opens the door to all sorts of accidental and even intentional abuses. 

First, there is a much greater possibility that some particles of the consecrated host may fall. In former times the priest watched with great care whether or not some particles of the host fell, in which case he would immediately take greatest care that the sacred particles would be reverently picked up and consumed by himself. And now without any apparent reason, many want to expose the consecrated host to this danger in a much greater degree than before—this at a time when the host is made more and more to resemble bread and to crumble more easily. 

Second, and this is an incomparably worse problem, the danger exists that a communicant, instead of putting the consecrated host into his mouth, will place it in his pocket or otherwise conceal and not consume it. This unfortunately has happened in these days of revived Satanism. Consecrated hosts are known to have been sold for blasphemous uses. In London, the price is said to be 30 pounds for one, which reminds us of the 30 pieced of silver for which Judas sold the Body of Our Lord. 

Is it believable that instead of applying the most scrupulous care to protect the most sacred consecrated host, which is truly the Body of Christ, the God-man, from all such possible abuses, there are those who wish to expose it to this possibility? Have we forgotten the existence of the devil “who wanders about seeking whom he may devour”? Is his work in the world and in the Church not all too visible today? What entitles us to assume that abuses of the consecrated host will not take place? 

The greater our respect, and the greater our love, the greater our realization of the ineffable holiness of the Eucharist—the greater will be our horror of its being abused; and our eagerness to protect it from all possible blasphemous abuses. 

Why—for God's sake—should Communion in the hand be introduced into our churches when it is evidently detrimental from a pastoral viewpoint, when it certainly does not increase our reverence, and when it exposes the Eucharist to the most terrible diabolical abuses? There are really no serious arguments for Communion in the hand. But there are the most gravely serious kinds of arguments against it. 

"We ask and repeat that no one handle in unconsecrated hands the Body of My Son! It will be defiled and discarded, unless only a legally-ordained priest, a man of God, with purified fingers of the Holy Spirit, give the Body and Blood of My Son to each one under his care." - Our Lady of the Roses, September 6, 1975


Directives from Heaven

D2 - The Holy Eucharist   PDF LogoPDF
D3 - Communion in the Hand 
D146 - Honor the Eucharist, Part 1   PDF LogoPDF
- Honor the Eucharist, Part 2 
D228 - Consecrated Hands   PDF LogoPDF



What the holy ones say about Communion in the hand

Bishop Laise speaks out against Communion in the hand

Modernist and Protestant revolutionaries were behind Communion in the hand

Fr. John Hardon speaks out against Communion in the hand

VIDEO: Bishop Athanasius Schneider on Communion in the Hand

Communion in the hand should be rejected

Re-thinking Communion in the hand

More reasons for rejecting Communion in the hand

The consecrated hands of a priest

Communion in the Hand: Documents and History (Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise)



Pope Benedict discourages Communion in the hand

Pope Benedict to Catholics: Kneel For Communion

VIDEO: Pope continues to support Kneeling to receive Holy Communion

VIDEO: New Vatican protocol for receiving Communion at Papal Masses

Vatican official: Church should reconsider Communion in the hand

Regarding Communion in the Hand, Fr. Greg Markey

Receptivity Fitting For The Lord, Fr. Roger J. Landry



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October 16, 2017