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|Meeting Christ in the Liturgy|
Instruction of the Roman Missal
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240. DISTRIBUTION OF COMMUNION
On June 17, 1977, the Congregation of Sacraments and Divine Worship approved the request of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to permit the optional practice of Communion in the hand. The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, in its catechesis about this optional practice, drew attention to these considerations:
a. Proper catechesis must be provided to assure the proper and reverent reception of Communion without any suggestion of wavering on the part of the Church in its faith in the Eucharistic presence.
b. The practice must remain the option of the communicant. The priest or minister of Communion does not make the decision as to the manner of reception of Communion. It is the communicant's personal choice.
c. When Communion is distributed under both kinds by intinction, the host is not placed in the hands of the communicants, nor may the communicants receive the host and dip it into the chalice. Intinction should not be introduced as a means of circumventing the practice of Communion in the hand.
d. Children have the option to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue. No limitations because of age have been established. Careful preparation for first reception of the Eucharist will provide the necessary instruction. (See also the Roman Ritual, «Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass», no. 21.)
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