Pillars of Pine

Pillars of Pine

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Question for the Catholics out there...

Well, actually, a couple of questions.

A very quick background.  I was not raised a Catholic.  I am now a Catholic of course, and although I've read and studied a great deal, my knowledge in the practice of the faith is still lacking.  We don't have any local classes or anyone close with a great knowledge of these things, so sometimes I still feel like I'm floundering.

First Question:

Yesterday, we attended a practice at the church - two of my girls will be confirmed this weekend, and this was the first of two practices that will be held.

We usually avoid the lessons in the lead-up to confirmation and first communion in our parish, given that the sister involved is very 'liberal', I guess the word would be. 

As part of the practice, each girl went up like they would do on the day, to receive communion from the Bishop.  After they received the 'pretend' communion at practice, they were told to return to their seats.

One of my girls went to do the sign of the cross, and the sister grabbed her arm and said very firmly, 'no, we don't do that'. 

I always do the sign of the cross after receiving Holy Communion, but my girls were told very firmly not to. 

Why would they not be allowed to make the sign of the cross?

Second Question:

Communion on the Tongue.

Since becoming Catholic, I've always believed in receiving Communion on the Tongue.  But once again, in our parish, everyone is taught to receive it the in hand.  As well, dear hubby receives it in the hand, as he was taught. 

But I've always felt that it is far more reverent and respectful to receive it on the tongue, and of course, it eliminates the possibility of fragments falling to the ground, to be trampled underfoot.

But I stand alone on this issue, certainly in our family, and our parish.

I'm currently Googling more info on this topic - I'll present it to the troops, but I guess it's nothing that can be forced, especially considering the rest of the adults in our family see nothing wrong with it. 

What are your feelings and beliefs in this area? 

I'm in 'deep thought' mode today, aren't I?  :)



Legolas said...


I actually never knew you were not raised a Catholic. When was it you became a Catholic?

The Church does not say you have to make the sign of the cross. The sign of the cross after communion is Church tradition. The nun being Libral would not follow church tradition. But the nun is not allowed to stop them making the sign of the cross.

Making the sign of the cross is also a personal sign of showing reverence, and is greatly smiled upon by the larger majority of the church.

It used to be you had to receive Holy Communion on the tongue right up until the second Vatican council, where through disobedience it was allowed. Now it is a personal thing. Usually affected by what you learnt from your family. I have the same feelings as you about receiving Communion on the tongue, and so do the rest of my family. So don't worry you are not alone :)

I don't know to much more about the second Vatican council with Communion on the hand. But mum says she has a good site for those sorts of questions. I think it is 4realearning, or something like that, you will have to ask her

Linda said...

Thankyou - that does help! :)

I became a Catholic at Jessica's baptism - which is actually 20 years ago tomorrow.

Good to know I'm not alone - thankyou, it means a lot. :)

I found a couple of articles online which expressed what I was trying to say - printed them out, read them outloud, and we then had prayer time. So, we shall see.

Thankyou. :)

BethAnn said...

Dear Linda,
Just finding your blog and enjoying your posts. I find that the posts you have already received are well-informed and full of valid, solid information for you. I did want to make mention that as a young child in the northern US I was taught to receive on the tongue or hand. When we moved south right before my teen years most people took in the hand and I followed suit. It was not until my children were preparing for First Communion that I personally gave it much thought. Over the course of 4 years and many prayers and challenges with the Lord did I fully realize the mystery of the Eucharist and its blessing at each Mass. Then, although the only one in my family, I could only take it on the tongue as my understanding came into sharp focus. Continue to pray for God's wisdom and understanding to lay softly upon your family's spirits and let the Holy Spirit bring them to full fruition.