HIS IS VERY SAD. Recently I saw this video on YouTube taken during the papal visit to the Philippines in January. What a tragic scene! From the video, you can see the body of our Lord being passed down to the congregation.
HY? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? Maybe they didn’t have good formation; or perhaps they take the Mass too casually because they grow up in a Catholic country. There are many possibilities and I will not get into that. This video led me to start thinking about a “hot” topic: the posture of receiving communion.
In the Liturgy, we adapt different postures and body movements. These postures and movements help us to relate to the liturgical actions and to express our believes. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, we have the options of receiving communion in the hand or on the tongue, standing or kneeling. The Church didn’t say whether there is a best option, but personally, I think there is a best way to receive Jesus!
It definitely works better logistically to receive communion on the tongue. The incident in the video would not happen if people receive communion on the tongue. This can also avoid many other “accidents”. One can use his common sense to figure out whether he should receive the body of Christ standing or kneeling. There are two questions you can ask yourself: “Who is it I am receiving?” and “Does my physical condition allow me to kneel?” If we realize that Jesus Christ our God is truly present in the Eucharist and we are going to receive him, we will kneel before him! Our postures and actions should express our beliefs in the Liturgy.