Friday, 9 October 2009

Communion on the Tongue: Oxford Yes, Clifton No

I was so happy to be able to receive Holy Communion on the tongue at the Oxford Oratory yesterday. Oxford is in the Birmingham archdiocese (or can the Oratorians make their own rules? I don't know), while I live in the Clifton diocese. Here it is forbidden to have any contact at the sign of peace, forbidden to receive Holy Communion from the Chalice, and forbidden to receive the Host on the tongue.

I can live very happily with the more peaceful sign of peace, in which, at most, people nod and smile to one another; and I don't receive from the Chalice anyway, because I want to give witness to the Church's teaching that Christ is received whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, under either species alone. I fear that a good many people have been confused into thinking their Holy Communion is not complete without receiving from the Chalice.

A good many things changed for me when Summorum Pontificum was issued. Among the changes, I returned to the habit of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. And now it has been forbidden, as a precaution against swine flu. I find it rather distressing, and one of the most troubling things is not knowing how long the ban is going to continue.


Ttony said...

I read the message here and thought that your Bishop is a slippery chap indeed. Is the geography of Clifton uniquely liable to pass Swine Flu on through communion on the tongue, in a way that neighbouring Birmingham isn't? What happens when you go from Tewkesbury to Evesham? What changes?

Answer: the Bishop.

But then I understand yours has spent today discussing with lay people how they are to take over from priests in his Diocese: the Linz of England and Wales.

Dorothy said...

Thank you, Ttony, for the link to the diocesan swine flu guidance. I have sent them a message, and have also published a new post about it.

Linz? Oh my goodness - I never thought of that!