Reception of communion

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I hope you are doing well these days. I have a question about the reception of holy communion. It is a big divide these days in our diocese, and I guess in many places in this country. 

One religious community, who work and minister in some parishes in the see city, in general suggest that one should receive on the tongue (as opposed on the hand), and they seem to insist on that and seem to impose it too—though they’d say that reception on the tongue prevents abuses of the sacrament.  

I check the USCCB website. But what are some official church documents that may have references to the topic in question? And what are some patristic references? 

And most importantly: what is really the “norm?” Or maybe there is no “norm,” as either form of reception is acceptable? 

I hope you could elaborate. thanks for your time Paul. Blessings.


A: The rules for methods of reception are in GIRM 160 and 161.

The decision to receive on the tongue or in the hand belongs to the communicant alone. Both paragraphs make that point.