There appears to be what could be described as an unending debate about whether it is appropriate to receive communion in the palm or not.
Advocates of Communion on the tongue point to the reverence with which the Body of Christ should be received. The practice of Communion on the tongue developed alongside increasing focus on the sanctity of consecrated Host and unworthiness of the recipient.
Of course, Communion on the tongue ensures that it is actually consumed – which is certainly not a frivolous concern.
Communion in the hand was officially permitted in the United States in 1977, following an indult – that is, special permission – given by the Congregation for Divine Sacraments in 1969.
Today, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops makes it clear that Communion may be received in the hand or on the tongue, a decision that is to be made by the individual receiving Communion and not by the minister distributing it.
In spite of this, I have seen pockets of resistance on both sides: places where only Communion in the hand or only Communion on the tongue is permitted.
Amidst the growing spread of the deadly Coronavirus worldwide, it became expedient that the Ghana Catholic Catholic Bishop’s Conference issue a directive encouraging the faithful in Ghana to receive Holy Communion in the hand.
In as much as the decision has been met with some resistance, you may as well follow the directive for your safety.
Find below how to appropriately receive Holy Communion in your palm
1. Put your left palm into your right palm and slightly raise it to the priest.
2. The priest will then put the Communion in your (left) palm.
3. Move away from the priest for the next person to step forward.
4. Remove your right palm from under your left palm which is containing the Communion.
5. Pick the Communion with your right hand and reverently place it in your mouth.
6. Look out for any particles of Communion that remain in your left palm and on your right hand you used to pick the Communion.
7. If there is any, then reverently lick them.
8. Go to your seat and offer your personal prayer after receiving Communion.