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Communion into the hand. - DanielM - 14-06-2010


Where does the BOC practice of recieving communion into the hand come from?
I know many in the Orthodox church see this as incorrect practice, but have also heard that it predates recieving communion into the mouth.

ANy hekp on this would be great.

- neil boorman - 14-06-2010

St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s citation from his Fifth Mystagogical Catechesis circa 350 AD, the Synod of Trullo cites in Canon 101:
(Cateches. Mystagog. v.(1))

When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.

Hope this helps


- DanielM - 14-06-2010

Thanks Neil.

That is the exact quote that I was looking for.

- Severus - 17-06-2010

There is an interesting account in the life of Pope Peter I of Alexandria (302-211) recounted by the distinguished Coptic writer, Father Tadros Malaty:

"There was a man in the city whose hands were crippled (twisted so that he could not straighten them at all). As there was a service, he went to the church and desired to receive the holy mysteries from the hands of the Pope, and because his hands were crippled he opened his mouth to receive them. The Pope said to him, 'My son, stretch forth your hands and take for yourself.' Immediately his hands became straight and he stretched them forth and received the holy mysteries, and glorified God."

The passage not only shows that Pope Peter had no problem about administering the sacrament into the hands but also implies that this was the normal tradition at that time.