Some of us, who have been receiving the Eucharist on the tongue, perhaps have an internal debate, whether they are worthily receiving the Sacrament, now, when they receive it in the hand. Which is right: whether to receive the Sacrament on the tongue or in the hand. The answer is, both are allowed. More than receiving the Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand, the spiritual preparation and reception is much more important. The following are the key points, we need to keep in mind, when we receive the Eucharist:
Receiving the Eucharist in a state of grace:
The Code of Canon Law (Can.916) has prescribed: “A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or to receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession, unless a grave reason is present and there is no opportunity of confessing. In this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible”. In other words, if a person is guilty of a mortal sin, the person requires to make confession, before participating at the table of The Lord.
Observing one hour of Eucharistic fast:
Canon Law (Can.919) states: “A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy Communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine… The elderly, the infirm, and those who care for them can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have eaten something within the preceding hour”.
Making an act of reverence before receiving the Eucharist:
Truthfully, we cannot show any sort of respect that Our Lord deserves. But still, we can show our reverence either by genuflecting or making a deep bow before receiving the Eucharist.
Prayer of thanksgiving after Communion:
Our reverential reception of the Eucharist requires that we express our gratitude to God for the gift of the Eucharist. Hence it is very fitting that we spend at least a few minutes in thanksgiving. This is also the time for us to pour out our love and then ask for whatever grace we need.
Right now, we are more concerned about the safety of one another due to the pandemic Covid-19. Hence, it is safer to receive the Eucharist in the hand.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.