Communion in the hand

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

One of our parishioners has a question about this:

41. Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words “The Body of Christ.” The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: “When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost.” 52

The question — since it says the left hand should be on top of the left, is it wrong to put one’s dominant hand (usually the right) on top?

He is sincere in his question.


GIRM 160 & 161 just calls it communion in the hand, without distinguishing right from left. The national directives quoting Cyril of Jerusalem just intends to give some extra catechesis. I usually advise people to place their dominant hand below the hand that receives, which is not precisely what Cyril wrote. His main point is quite lovely, though, receive communion as something precious