Thursday, January 11, 2007

Have you heard ... ?

I was debating with my Parish Priest recently about how to get people to receive Communion on the tongue. Of course I suggested teaching First Holy Communion children and RCIA candidates the Church's teaching on the matter and telling them that is how they will receive their First Holy Communion. However he pointed out that the parents will not allow their children to do it and the adults will not agree. He then told me he had read an article which said that in first century Jewish culture to place a piece of bread on the tongue of the guests at a meal was a sign of love and friendship so this is most certainly how Christ would have distributed Communion to His disciples. This would of course blow the whole, 'That's not how Jesus would have done it' argument completely out of the water! My PP promised to show me the article so I could quote it in similar arguments at the seminary but he didn't. Has anyone else read this article or heard this theory? I would be very interested to learn more about it!


Fr Ray Blake said...

I had a visiting Indian bishop, who made up his own Mass, but at the very Indian reception afterwards he gave sweets to all the women, "on the tongue". One of the husbands suggested it was more act of a lover than a Bishop.

Fr Julian Green said...

I'm always sceptical of doing things 'because that's what Jesus would have done'. In the Mass, we are obeying the command of Our Lord to celebrate the Eucharist in memorial of him, but the memorial is the sacrifice of calvary and the Resurrection. In the end I used to insist on communion on the tongue for children from their First Communion until after Confirmation. Then it was up to them. I just said 'it's more respectful' - and I was in the sort of parish where the PP's word is law, so never had to defend my decision at all.

Pat said...

Hello Orfully Catholic,
Just found your blog. In fact only just found this whole group of Catholic blogs.

You might consider consulting an OT Scripture scholar.

One of of the Scripture scholars when I was at Maryvale in Birmingham was Father Robert Letellier. As far as I know he's still there. He knows a LOT about OT and its culture. Try and find a contact for him at Maryvale Institute, which is on the web.

Will call back soon.

I'm in the process of trying to set up my own blog, but I'm busy so it's slow.


Orthfully Catholic said...

Thank you for your comments on this topic, I have just looked at Fr Tim's blog and he has a post on the same topic with a reference to an article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, perhaps that could be the article my PP read!

Fr Julian, a parish where the PP's word is law? How do you do it?