Sanctimonious squabbling

Just a few thoughts before i go to bed….(so i hope they have some semblence of clarity about them).

1). I don’t care which way you cut it , slice it and dice it…I will never accept the skewed viewpoint of those Catholics who propose that it is better or somehow superior to attend a TLM Mass than a reverent and liturgically correct N.O Mass.

I happen to love the N.O Mass.

It is the N.O Mass that I fell in love with when I first took my tentative steps towards embracing Catholicism. I was over at Dave Armstrong’s blog a few days ago and read that he too has some pretty clear thoughts on this, you might want to go over and read them.

2). I will also never accept that recieving Communion in the hand is somehow a lesser means of receiving the Eucharist than receiving Communion on the tongue. I don’t care which way you cut it, slice it and dice that either… I do not receive a lesser Jesus if I receive in the hand. I still receive all of Jesus. Those who receive on the tongue don’t receive more of Jesus.

I have witnessed abuses when Communion has been received both in the hand and on the tongue. I echo the thoughts that Karen shared on this in her recent blog post and found her combox made for particularly interesting reading.

Edited to add.

3). Mantillas!  (Thanks Mum6kids for the reminder!)

And if you should ask “where did this come from, Deb?”

Well, I’d have to say that I’m just so tired of the hierarchical delusion and pomposity that some bloggers seem to be enamoured with. I can’t help but wonder if, particularly in blogging circles, these ‘flashpoint topics’ are really about ‘kicking potential abuse’ to the kerb’, or if they are more about some misplaced sense of superiority; of some Catholics thinking that they are in some way more devout than he rest of us?

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16 Responses to Sanctimonious squabbling

  1. This is interesting Deb, I recently posted about an old lady who thought I was a Saint, merely because I wore a Mantilla. I t may have been that I “looked the part” to her, but that is not why I wear one, and it was her error to think such a silly thought about me. I am, unashamedly convinced of the superiority of the Old Rite – I would LOVE to go back to the old days (of three years’ ago) when I had not attended a Tridentine Mass since my very young days, and was a regular NO Mass goer, and loved the Mass as I knew it. It’s too long a story for here, as to why I, and my family, began to attend the Extraordinary Form, but, funnily enough, it was just before Pope Benedict was elected, and we went through a lot of heartache, and soul searching, before we ended up where we are now, little realising that the old rite would one day be allowed again in a big way. We don’t feel we are superior in ANY way, but we do believe that the older form is (and boy, have we looked into it, and been convinced of why – again too much to go into here, maybe I’ll post about it one day, maybe not). As to Communion in the hand – of course that has nothing to do with Our Lord being diminished by a different way of receiving – did you know, by the way, that a study was done on how many crumbs of the Sacred Host could be lost from people’s hands, even when the greatest care was taken, and the least crumbly hosts were used? The results were quite shocking, suffice to say, a lot of the Blessed Sacrament gets trampled underfoot by well-meaning Catholics, every Sunday. Also, if it’s true that Mother Teresa considered it one of the greatest problems in the Church today – you have to ask yourself why?
    Anyway, it’s very late, I should be in beddybyes! Goodnight and God Bless!

  2. Rosemary says:

    Deb, I share your concerns.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I receive both ways and I hope I am respectful either way. I know that abuse can happen in any form, Deb, but as an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister, I’ve seen
    some pretty dreadful and literal grabbing the host and walking away with it in the hand with the arm just swaying as the people have walked away..more than a couple of time. As I serve the Precious Blood, some people come up and quickly dip before I even realized what happened..things like that. One son of a lady I know found a host inside of the hymnal! I am not saying …Shame on us for taking in the hand and if we don’t go back to the other way all the time…I would not say shame on anyone. Still, it would not bother me one bit if we went back…I still miss kneeling around the Holy Communion rail too. There are things I miss, but I am glad that right now the NO and the TLM are both being offered. I understand where you are coming from and for now…I don’t think you need to worry about and I don’t think most people think they are superior for receiving on the tongue. I know alot of people doing that and noone shuns me rather I do or don’t. There is alot of fussing going on lately though about the Latin Mass and alot of people freaking out that we are going back to that and that is all there is to it…I don’t think that. Anyways…good post.

  4. Karen says:

    Suzanne, I’m an EM too, and if anyone walks away with a Host I hope you chase them as you should I ALWAYS keep an eye out. doesn’t happen often. THAT SAID … don’t think because someone has received on the tongue that they’ve necessarily consumed it, either. When I was six I wanted to make my first Holy Communion …. I didn’t want to wait until I was 7… however I wanted to PROVE to my mother that I had done so, I put the Host in my hankie, and showed it to my mom on the way home…. …much longer story I might post about some day.

    Deb, if you read my second post every, you might find it interesting. I read the blogs a few months before staring my own and I pretty much laid out what I thought of all this business back then. You can see it here.

    Well, at least I’m not the only one!

  5. thehermitage says:

    I’m with you on this one Deborah. One of the things that drew me towards the Church was being at a local monastery where they celebrate the N.O. Mass in Latin daily. I had never experienced anything more beautiful and even now it can move me to tears. I’ve also been at a couple of TLM Masses and although they are equally beautiful, I wouldn’t want to be there every Sunday – but I am happy that the Holy Father is encouraging TLM Masses to be celebrated where parishes see a need for them.

  6. Sarah says:

    I think it’s a shame if anyone judges anyone else period. We cannot see the heart of anyone else quite like the Lord Almighty can. I have caught myself thinking so-and-so is acting all holy well, what’s my problem with someone else being holy at all? Thank God they are. Superior? Well, perhaps we can know that when they tell us so by saying there is only this way of a Mass. I’ve been a Catholic 12 years now . . . I’m still learning. I don’t think we should be divided about which Mass is better as such. One’s in Latin the other in garbled English, right? More bells and smells at one and not at the other? I have to learn about the differences. Anyway, I receive on the tongue, because I like the fact a priest is feeding me – it puts some humility into it for me and I think it honours God that I also honour Him by genuflecting first. I am one of the only families at my parish who genuflects before Christ, but I’m not doing it for anyone else – I do it for Jesus. Also, if someone were to say to me “could you stop doing that because it makes us feel uncomfortable and makes us feel like you are superior to us in holiness” I’d probably laugh and cry at the same time. Why? The Mass is about the Holy Eucharist and all of us should pay attention to that alone – and if we receive in the hand or tongue, genuflecting first or not, if our hearts are right with God, and we receive in our hearts (and outwardly) in a respectful, reverent manner, well, that’s a good thing. Again, why should anyone elses holiness be called into question? We are not all called to the same holiness, but we are called to holiness. The first step is to not worry about the “militant mantila wearers” and whether we feel they are superior, trying to be superior etc.

    I know, it’s human to tear each other apart and assume things . . . but how can we really know what they’re trying to do? Let them “be holy”, but you be holy as the Lord is calling you to be holy. As Christ said, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our body and all our soul; and to love our neighbours as ourself. Are we doing that?

    In any event, it is a choice (right now) as to whether you receive in the hand or tongue.

  7. Suzanne says:

    No, I’ve only served the Host at a children’s Mass for the school a few times…otherwise I have served the Precious Blood. I have seen that happen several times
    is what I think I wrote and was far enough removed where I could not have helped. Perhaps you would go to better effort…perhaps I should have made a huge scene. Lord, forgive me if I neglected You! I know one
    person who did this clearly looked, let’s say a little mentally handicapped, so on that occasion I just felt it was not done with wrongful intention…the other time, I prayed very hard. Its a gift to serve..I am unworthy
    and I tell you, since those times, I pray before I serve that the Lord will inspire anyone coming toward me or to Holy Communion to have a STRONG sense that they must be respectful…it seems to be working..I have had no one trying to “dip” into the Precious Blood lately! I am relieved and will continue to pray it doesn’t happen.

    I do know that there can be problems even on the tongue…so, it is like anything..there is going to be things that happen that there is little or nothing we can do but pray and hope that the Lord is taken care of by whomever walks away. Let’s face it, we know many who approach may also be in the state of mortal sin and I pray about that for sure, as well.
    There are no easy answers…it is up to the Lord to decide.

    My point in all of this discussion, is that I personally
    know people who do receive on the tongue and they do so because they do not want one crumb of Christ’s Body to hopefully fall upon the floor..they may feel strongly about the holiness of the priest’s hands as they are cleansed right before the Consecration. I don’t know all of the finer details of why a person chooses this way for sure…even amongst my friends, but I do know one thing about many of the fine mothers I know that do this and they are not judgemental about how anyone else chooses to receive Our Lord..they are only concerned with the way they feel they must. I have never felt one ounce of condemnation by any of them and as I said I receive both ways and they have seen me choose to receive in the hand. Not many of them are EEM’s and they are still very fine with me doing that..they see the need at this time, I suppose, yet, they don’t feel called to do this.

    I am sorry if anyone has felt judged by people who receive on the tongue, but perhaps many of those people have seen or been upset about things they have seen we will never know about. I know my mother chose the Catholic Faith after visiting many other churches. She searched high and low…she prayed but unlike Deb, she came into the Church when we went up to the altar rail and received on the tongue while the altar server placed the paten under her chin. She loved the Faith and she loved the fact
    that the Church took great pains to keep one crumb of Christ’s Body from being desecrated! So, I think we must be very conscious of the fact that there are more sincere people receiving on the tongue than just being pompous about it.

    One reason I receive both ways is because a very
    sarcastic priest ( mostly at that time) called over to me across the church
    after Mass was over…”Oh! There goes the tongue lady!” Hmmm…how nice was that?! It hurt like a pain I’d never felt. I didn’t even know this priest. Having
    said that, he has truned out to be one of my dearest friends whom we still pray for one another and one another’s faults. He like many were fearful of people trying to force us to go all the way backwards…I never intended that! I assure you many are not out for that at all. So, I felt as long as I reverenced the Lord with all my heart that I would receive both ways …whatever comes upon me at the time I arrive before the priest..that is what happens and I don’t worry over it anymore.
    God bless!

  8. Mum6kids says:

    Have to agree with this Deb. In fact I have started avoiding some blogs because it’s becoming both depressing and bad for my temper.
    I am sure we all want to see an end to abuse-but the NO is a real Mass and some of us are okay with that.

    The battle often lacks charity and clarity and I wince at the thought of those seeking the Church seeing this and thinking it might be better to avoid us.

    I was going to blog on this myself, but I get too irritated and I think I would be just as uncharitiable so I have stayed clear.
    You’ve said it rather well for me.

    I do receive Holy Communion on the tongue-I am holding crutches- but I choose to as well because I prefer it that way. My children are a mixed bag of tongue and hand receivers. I have not seen that those of us who choose to receive on the tongue are better than those who receive on their hands.
    I have a huge mantilla. It is very pretty but I don’t wear it because it would make be stand out at Church and that’s NOT the point.

    Can’t we all be reasonable? For those who prefer the TLM fine they should be allowed to attend. But they should respect the rest of us who prefer the NO or are not so fussed about which Mass so long as it is holy and abuse free.
    Sorry I’m going on…I’ll shut up now!

  9. Alexa says:

    I receive on the tongue – because I believe it to be the best way to receive. It is my understanding that receiving in the hand became an option because of some concessions to the liberal side of things after VII — and so, I accept that it is an option – but not the best option. For a ton of reasons. However, I am eager for it to be changed – and hope that the rules do change – if for no other reason than to give the altar servers something to do, i.e., hold a paten… (just kidding) (sort of).

    I wear a mantilla if I’m feeling like doing so – or if I’m having a bad hair day (just kidding – again). I don’t really give a dern what others think about it – I wear it if I want to when I want to – just like I dress really nicely when I’m moved to dress really nicely – but I have been known to wear my jeans and a nice top often and a dress and mantilla equally as often.

    My mantilla is huge and cream colored too!

    I don’t think we should even be worrying about who is superior to who else — it’s all junk. I haven’t read those blogs that get off on setting everyone straight – and if I do – what the heck, it’s a blog and it’s their opinion.

    The “form” of our worship is important – whether we kneel, clap our hands and yell “amen!” or wear a mantilla. But that said, our faith journeys are personal and go hand-in-hand with the ways we demonstrate that faith.

  10. ukok says:

    I’m looking forward to having more time to respond to comments tomorrow, but for now I should just say that nowhere in the post do i state one way or another whether i attend TLM Masses or receive communion in the hand or on the tongue, or even whether or not i wear a Mantilla. This post is actually about pridefulness and a misplaced sense of superiority that some people have, for doing one rather than another, and about how very vocal they are in ‘slamming anyone’ who doesn’t follow suit.

  11. Easter A. says:

    Hello dear Deb,

    Ok I am not exactly sure what to share here.

    My children and I go to daily Mass for many reasons and though they have not attended a latin Mass (I have), I am pretty sure they will love it just as much. We also receive him in our hand. I was told by a priest that there is a certain kind of childlikeness in receiving Jesus in the tongue. We don’t do it though. The Real Presence of Christ there as we receive in faith and in all its simplicity is real; it doesn’t change in any way. It is what helps us first and foremost in having to get up early in the moring and go to one. It is the foretaste of heaven.

    Now why do I go to Mass daily or as often as I can? It is because if I don’t I believe I will go nuts. 🙂

    You, dear Deb, are tagged by the way. 🙂

  12. mary says:

    Great discussion ladies!

    Suzanne –

    It sounded like you were offended by Karen’s comment. When she said that, I can only imagine she was trying to support you in your ministry.

    Some extraordinary Eucharistic ministers just don’t realize that at all costs we should be mindful of the possible desecration of our Lord.

    In fact, in a course I took we were told – absolutely – that halting the flow of the line is inconsequential when it comes to this.

    As in all things, circumstances must be considered. Personally, I can only imagine – being astounded when it happened, probably – that I would have let the disabled person go, but, once Communion was done, I would have said something to the child’s teacher or parent. Just to be sure the host was consumed. I probably would have also let the priest know what happened.

    So sorry about that “tongue” priest. How mortifying! Talk about being given a gift of something to offer up!!!

    Peace. ~~~mary

  13. Argent says:

    Dear Deb,

    While I have my clear preferences for which Mass to attend, my biggest concern is the interior disposition which we bring to Mass. If we truly understood what the Mass is as the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord for our sins, we would be ashamed and truly fall on our faces for using the Mass as a cudgel.

    We are truly unworthy to receive Him, but lo, and behold, He draws us to himself. We should approach with sobriety and humility. Angels veil their eyes at the sight of Our Lord. This knowledge alone should mortify us and cause us to modify our behavior.

    I highly recommend reading Romano Guardini’s “Meditations Before Mass”. If a hard copy is unavailable, it’s online at this web address:

    He begins with explaining silence then explains each part of the Mass. It’s beautiful.

  14. Suzanne says:

    Dear Mary and anyone else who may have misunderstood..I need to clarify that I am not upset with anyone and including Rosemay…I uplift her or you or anyone else in anyway who will stand up for Our Lord
    and as I posted, I asked for forgiveness from Him in the last comment for anything I did neglectful. The times that I have seen this occur, actually happened to our priest and I was not within in close proximity. If anyone could or should have done this immediately, it should and could have been done by the priest. Had I even moved either time in a hurry to catch the person, I would have been quite libel to have spilled the Precious Blood upon the floor myself. Some things are VERY
    unfortunate the way they happen, but in the cases where this has happened (in Father’s line) each person was receiving in the hand…so my point was that these are the times that I clearly have seen abuse and rather or not one time it was a handicapped person..I am not sure, but I do feel very sure if it was that the Lord forgave this person immediately. I am not sure that Father may have approached the others himself. That I do not know.
    At any rate, I also think the point with this discussion is that some abuse is on purpose, perhaps, some are neglectful and have not been taught clearly enough about the Real Presence even in our Religious Education or by their own parents and really both.
    In my teaching as a catechist, I try very hard to explain to the children, as do our First Holy Communion catechists that they are receiving the True Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ our Savior and that they are to be of utmost respect and in awe of that when they approach the King of Kings.
    Quite frankly, the children are amazing in their respect far more than adults at the way of their reception of Christ!
    As to my priest who said what he said many years ago to me, he is not in that place any longer, thank God. He has been and will remain to get help for the rest of his life concerning very certain problems he has (no not sexual abuse, so that I am very clear about that) and yes, he will always need prayer, as we all do. This post is about forgiveness too,in a way, also, for none of us is perfect and none of us knows exactly what another person is being led to do(with respect to how they receive on tongue or in hand) by their sincere prayers. Hopefully and thankfully, people change for the good and of course we must be ready to forgive at all times. No, humankind and that sort of respect doesn’t come first…certainly Our Lord does! We pray and do the very best we can in any given situation. For those that do or try to impress someone with how they do this or that for the wrong reasons and in a haughty manner will realize that those reasons are simply in error. We must do the best we can do. Once again,
    I state hiere and now before God and you all..that I am truly sorry as a EEC for anything I have done neglectfully while sharing Our Lord with my sisters and brothers in Christ.
    God bless.

  15. Ottaviani says:


    Just came across your blog. Seems you have a happy Catholic family.

    Please understand that the arguments surrounding the TLM over the Novus Ordo, isn’t to do with nice fancy vestments, pretty churches, smells and bells, etc. There is much more to it than that. The liturgical reform, afte the Second Vatican Council, threw more than the baby out with the bath water. A lot has been taken out of the liturgy, which grew with it harmoniously in the first place. Prayers and ceremonies, of ancient use (some even going back to the times of the persecution of early Christians) vanished over night. The sensibilities of the unsuspecting faithful were hurt.

    Is it any wonder why most Catholic masses resemble very closely a Church of England service? There is almost nothing distinguishable, apart from the fact that the new mass is sacramentaly valid and Protestant liturgies are not.

    This is why Catholics (who are derogatorily referred to as ‘Trads’) in late 1960s and early 70s, formed societies dedicated to the preservation of the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. For many years, they have had to fight hard against those who are meant to be shepherds, in order to worship as the church worshipped for nearly over a millennia.

    And that is why Pope Benedict, after the pleas of many people attached to the old liturgy, has allowed the old mass to flourish again. This will hopefully exert a “gravitational pull” on most Novus Ordo masses, so that Catholicism can regain it’s major identity: through her liturgical rites – as she always has in the past.

    Hope that helps

  16. Further to “your” opinion, Deb, I came across this today, as well –
    I think it’s important we look in to why there is, as you put it, “sanctimonious squabbling” – there can be pride on both sides, and ultimately, it is not about “your” opinion, or “my” opinion, but what we all need to subject ourselves to, ie “The Church’s” opinion.
    Hope the decorating is complete by now!
    Happy Feast of SS Peter and Paul.

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