Kids never cease to amaze me. I’m speculating, because the option was never proposed to me, but I reckon when I was in grade three, receiving communion on the tongue would have horrified me.
In contrast, the children I’m presently preparing for communion seem to prefer it. With just a few weeks to go, we practised how to receive holy communion today. St Cyril helped out:
Make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen.
I’m conscious of kids not liking wine, and making faces after tasting it, so we also tasted some altar wine today. The reaction was precisely what I expected. “Yuck!”
“Even if you don’t like the taste,” I told them, “remember that it won’t really be wine at Mass. It will look the same and taste the same, but it will be the Precious Blood of Christ. You don’t have to receive from the chalice, but I think it would be a wonderful thing to receive our Lord’s blood on your first communion day.”
So then the negotiations start. “Can’t we dip the bread —” (Fr John clears his throat) “— I mean, can’t we dip the body of Christ into the chalice?”
I guess someone, somewhere, had seen that practice. So I explained to the children that the Catholic Church doesn’t allow that, because the Precious Blood might drip onto the floor. “But in some places,” I added, “the priest dips the host into the chalice, and then he places the Eucharist on your tongue.”
That intrigued them. They all wanted to try it, and having tried it, most of them seemed to prefer it.
I promised them a funny video next week, which explains the dos and don’ts of receiving communion: