• HISTORY AND LITURGY/2

    Communion in the hand: a Protestant attack on the priesthood

    The practice of receiving communion in the hand, which was “neutral” in the Patristic age, was adopted by the Protestant reformers with a clear doctrinal connotation. According to Martin Bucer, who promoted the Anglican “reform” in the 16th century, the practice of not giving communion on the hand is owed to a Protestant rejection of two Catholic “superstitions” – the “false honor” that is claimed to be attributed to this Sacrament and the “perverse belief” that the hands of the ministers are more holy than the hands of the laity as a result of the anointing they receive in the rite of ordination. From this moment on, the act of receiving Communion on the hand has a markedly polemical significance which attacks the Real Presence and the priesthood.