Five tips on receiving the Holy Eucharist on your tongue:
- Open your mouth wide. Make your mouth into a landing pad, not a quarter slot.
- Stick out your tongue. Don't be embarrassed.
- Close your eyes. Why? If you leave your eyes open you'll be tempted to move your head toward the priest. Moving targets are hard to hit. Close your eyes and keep your head still.
- Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Sticking out your tongue will insure that his hand doesn't come into contact with your teeth (or lips - gross!)
- Please do not chew the Holy Eucharist. Let it soften in the mouth and then swallow. By doing this, you'll avoid having the smallest particle of Our Lord stuck in your teeth where it might be desecrated later by coming into contact with the profane.
As many who read this blog know, there are those out to make a dent in the communion in the hand practice post Vatican II (for both Roman Catholics and Lutherans, who tend to follow more than lead). I, for one, am on the bandwagon for communion on the tongue -- albeit not an ardent or adamant insister upon this practice.
So which is it? Stick out your "landing strip?" (This post) Or don't stick out your tongue, the Presider doesn't need to see your tonsils? (Earlier post, but not a quote)
Not all recovering evangelicals want what we now know IS Christ's body to touch our hands. We have fumbled around in the plate as we passed it around in the past, and need instruction.
What do you prefer? : > )
In the 21st century in the Midwest,
our LCMS communicants receive the
host in their hand. This is the way
it was done on Maundy Thursday 33 AD.
How about some tips on receiving the blood/wine? I was taught to keep your face looking forward. Don't lean your head downwards or upwards before or during the process of receiving the cup.
"Anonymous", I would be cautious making a declaration of what all Midwest LCMS communicants do in terms of receiving Holy Communion. I was raised in a Chicago LCMS church and currently attend a Chicago area LCMS church and have always received the Eucharist on the tongue while others in my church receive by hand.
When the practice was revived after centuries, this being after Vatican II, we were told that this is one of the many ways in which the Church is reforming itself back to the apostolic church and breaking out of the repressive, oppressive, suppressive and depressive mediaeval blind alley we have been in for centuries, and wrt to Communion it breaks away from a passive idea of faith to physically express our participation in our salvation, as the Lord's offer is met by our hand of acceptance.
I don't buy #5. There may be benefits of doing it that way, I dunno... but I tend to think of my own saliva as pretty "profane." Anyway, to say that not a particle will remain in your mouth if you follow their suggestions doesn't seem very likely.
I agree with Kelly regarding point #5.
As far as receiving the Host on the tongue is concerned, we were taught in Confirmation class to slightly extend our tongues so that the Host could be gently placed thereupon. Of course, we have Lay Assistants who administer the Host, so each one has their own subtle nuance (one almost invariably brushes his fingers on the recipient's lips).
I am just happy that the practices of ad orientem consecration, kneeling at the Altar rail, on-the-tongue reception of the Host, and use of the Chalice for the Holy Supper are the norm and common practice of my congregation. Heaven knows we also have the standers, Host-grabbers, and shot-glassers, but the method taught in Confirmation class and utilized by the majority is the former practice.
Lay Assistants and Geneva Gowns aside, this is no small miracle for a Wisconsin Synod parish in Milwaukee. I used to think nothing of our Communion practice, but after having witnessed numerous "ad populum" consecrations and forced hand and shot glass receptions of the Blessed Sacrament (always love being scandalized in the latter way), I have come to appreciate my home parish a lot more, despite all its quirks and liturgical aberrations in other areas.
Judas H if I don't shrink from being provocative and stuff, but I like black Genevas!
At least he wears a stole. And to be frank, I'm not going to judge a Geneva Gown over and against one of these cassock-albs that the majority of pastors this side of the Mississippi are wearing. To be honest, if we're going for traditional vestments I want to see an alb and chasuble. Anything short of that, and I don't really care if the pastor is vested in a Geneva Gown, cassock, or whatever.
And to be franker still, I gotta say that a black Geneva Gown and stole looks good on my pastor, and somehow the thought of him in an alb and chasuble comes right after flying pigs in a frozen hell in my mind. However, that may simply be due to 17 years of seeing him in the former.
You know what Daniel, black Genevas had quite a role in my development as a Lutheran! My WELS pastor always wore an alb and stole, but I noticed if he were away his stand-ins generally wore this black thing with a stole, so I asked What's up with that? He told me it was a "black Geneva" and that it was generally associated with Pietism, and that he wore the alb and stole to mark the move away from that in WELS. I had no idea what "Pietism" was so I started reading up!
I never saw or heard of a chasuble on anybody in WELS, and never ever saw a pastor in a Roman, oops, clerical collar.
Although as I kept "reading up" I found myself leaning toward LCMS and eventually went there, I still prefer a simple black Geneva and NO damned collars (which were simply sweatbands in origin, to keep neck sweat off the habit).
I learned the distinction between the Geneva gown and alb in terms of Pietism as well. As far as chasubles go, I have experienced them on two occasions in the WELS, once in Michigan and once here and Milwaukee. They are certainly few and far between, however. I doubt most WELS members are even familiar with the term...any vestiture terminology, for that matter. My pastor refers to his Geneva gown as a cassock, so I can't imagine the terminology of the laity is much broader.
Responding to Anonymous, I am 48 years old and grew up in Midwestern Lutheranism of the LCMS and WELS variety. As a youth, I remember everyone receiving the Host on the tongue in my parish. That's simply how we did it. Period. Nobody questioned it, argued about it or asked to receive it in the hand. But over the years, things slowly changed. I cannot recall exactly when communion in the hand was first introduced. When it was, it was not forced, because I never received it that way. I've seen many LCMS parishes where both practices occur in the same congregation: some receive in the hand, other on the tongue. I highly doubt that receiving on the tongue has completely died out in American Lutheranism. However, I have never seen it in the ELCA or its earlier church bodies such as the LCA or the ALC.
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