The debate on “communion in the hand” continues. Now it seems that the Holy Father, B16 is taking to giving communion with people kneeling and on the tongue in order to highlight the meaning of the Eucharist. I’m not sure how that follows. I was just at the Eucharistic Congress where we heard repeatedly that worship and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is intimately related to respect and dignity of the person. What are we saying to people about that connection when we say that they have to kneel for communion before the Holy Father but can stand and receive the Lord from a priest or deacon? It would seem that the Lord would not object to someone receiving him standing and in the hand. I wonder what would happen if someone came up the the Holy Father with hands extended? I am sure he would not think twice and share communion with that person as he did with Br. Roger at Pope John Paul’s funeral.
You may also want to look at an essay that considers this issue of communion in the hand as a “red herring”. It’s by a very interesting author, quite conservative, and also rigorous in understanding the issues. The author has a few interesting things to say about all sorts of topics as well. More and more I find solace in some of our more traditional/conservative brothers and sisters who are still “thinking” and understand the difference between conservative theology and rigidity. I find that those who are more rigid or simply determined to live in the past are not willing to enter into true dialogue. On the other hand, a thoughtful conservative will both show respect and be willing to listen. It’s with such people that I can can in turn try to understand, learn and perhaps grow. Thanks be to God for the Spirit still working among us.