|The Holy Father wishes communicants to kneel and receive on the tongue|
Sadly, at the time of the Christmas Feast when some 'Catholics' return to go to their once a year Mass, many are not in a suitable state of grace and should NOT receive - I can still hear the Dominican Nuns of Burnt Oak telling us boys that the worst sin of all was to receive Our Lord unworthily!
So here is a reminder of the conditions for receiving Holy Communion:
1. Must be in a state of grace, that is, NOT in mortal sin. If you are in a state of mortal
sin, go to confession first.
2. Should be free from venial sin, make a good act of contrition (Confiteor) before
3. Fast from food and drink for at least one hour beforehand (or, try to fast for 3 hours
if you are able, it is a small penance but a good one to observe).
4. Follow the Mass in your missal, or, meditate and pray if you do not have one.
5. Kneel and open your mouth widely, holding out your tomgue.
6. After reception bow your head and wait until the person on the left of you has
received before making your way back to the pew.
7. Keep your hands clasped or in the 'Amen' position at all times.
8. Make a good act of thanksgiving - say the 'prayer before the crucifix' and gain an
Now, please do not shout at me for advocating reception on the tongue and kneeling. I know that people say you can be devout when standing and in receiving in the hand and, so you can. BUT.....you can be more devout when kneeling. It is also the customary practice at the Extraordinary Form of Mass so, if you attend one of those, you really must comply - it goes with the territory!
Not satisfied? OK, let's say you have been honoured with a knighthood or are going to be endowed as a Dame - do you decide to flout the protocols and stand in front of your Queen. Of course you don't - you feel very honoured and fortunate to be there and you do not wish to offend anyone on this auspicious occasion, least of all your monarch....so, you kneel - and receive in accordance with the established practice.
And if you feel I am being over prescriptive then I am sorry but I do not think you can be informal in any way with regard to Holy Communion; I find people who wander aimlessly up with their hands in their pockets or flopping about by their sides intensely distracting and the sight must be offensive to Almighty God.
In fact, my brother was right, if we do feel terror it will help us to hold what we are about to take part in as something very, very special.