It seems that the Church has a cool name for just about everything. (I mean – come on – who really needs a word like “tintinnabulum” – but aren’t you glad we have it?) A number of years ago Adam’s Ale had a post on abuses in the way people receive communion in the hand and their proper Latin terms (see here.) Yesterday while with some priests we discussed the corresponding abuses that occur receiving on the tongue. Those follow. For obvious reasons there are not the same type of pictures that there were for the first post.
Now, of course, the proper way to recieve after bowing and saying, "Amen" is to open wide one's mouth and to seriously stick out one's tongue providing a nice landing runway and amply open hanger doors all the while keeping one's hands folded. (It is amazing how many people stick out their hands and their tongues.) This sends a clear message to the distributor how it is that you wish to recieve and is the safest form of recieving Him on the tongue.
Movingus Targetus: One of the most insidious of all tongue receivers because of their deceptiveness. All may seem absolutely normal and safe but at the last possible moment when it is too late to duck and swerve the person moves causing their tongue to slide up your finger. It is at times like these that I wish we had never gotten rid of the maniple. Whose idea was that anyway?
Postus Slotus: This is similar to Postus Slotus in the hand. Here, after saying, “Amen” the person barely opens their mouth in order to receive. Maybe it’s modesty I don’t know. And I will admit though I enjoy sports I’ve never been particularly good with aim. We had our International Festival last weekend and while the kids were setting up games they invited me to have a go at throwing been bags through a whole around which a great white shark was painted. BANG – I hit its nose. BANG – I hit its fin. “This is the million dollar throw Father! You can do it! Just one!” BANG – no, actually WOOSH – over the top of the board. Anyway, that is why when someone wants to receive a la Postus Slotus, not matter how careful I am a whack them on the front teeth or on the lips before actually making it in.
Snapus Turtleus: Once again, everything seems absolutely fine and the distributor can be lulled into a false sense of security. Then, the person leaps forward to snatch the host from your fingers much like a snapping turtle. Once again – maniple anyone?
Maximus Cavimus: Similar to the Postus Slotus but not nearly as dangerous. Here the person opens their mouth wide but fails to stick out their tongue. However it poses little risk for the distributor. One can give them Jesus without fear of hitting teeth or being licked. Kids, remember, this is the one time you can stick your tongue out at an adult and not get in trouble for it so do it!
Guessimus: After saying amen the person simply stands there without giving any indication whatsoever how they wish to receive. Sometimes it is the case that they person has never received before such as at the wedding and despite the announcement has decided to come up anyway. At times these give themselves away by responding, “Sure” when you say, “Body of Christ.” Other times, not so much.
Usually however it is simply a late bloomer. Slowly move the host toward the person and it is then that they put their hands out or stick out their tongue. They are, in my opinion, the least of the offenders.
Once again, we believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity or Our Lord Jesus Christ. Careful and proper reception of this great gift gives honor to God and witness to our brothers and sisters.