Recently, our local Catholic newspaper, “The Clarion Herald”, celebrated 50 years. In this beautifully done issue, there was a timeline of significant things that happened in the Church and in the world during that period of time. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane with the Archdiocese of New Orleans…Anyway, when I got to one page, the caption read “Communion in the Hand.” It explained that in 1977, The United Stated Bishops were granted permission from Rome to administer Holy Communion in the Hand with certain specifications – and with much care to be taken. I remember being a child in the elementary grades when this transition took place.
I was curious to learn more so I went to the “handy dandy” internet and Googled “Communion in the Hand, 1977.” Unbelievably, I found a whole website dedicated to the topic.
Let me share one of the quotes that I found to be very interesting. This one meant a lot to me, because I have the utmost respect for JPII - His life was inspiring – a powerful witness!
Pope John Paul II, Interview, 1980
“There is an apostolic letter on the existence of a special valid permission for this [Communion in the hand]. But I tell you that I am not in favor of this practice, nor do I recommend it.” (responding to a reporter from Stimme des Glaubens magazine, during his visit to Fulda, Germany in November 1980.)”
I found the WHOLE website to be interesting and eye opening. If you are interested in the topic, here’s the link.