Why do no Orthodox or any other early Apostolic splinter churches have Hand Communion ?
Finally an orthodox Christian from St. Mary Magdeline blog answers:
That's the way they have always done it!
Doesn't that just make sense? Why else would they resemble pre Vatican II Roman Catholics in this regard? The only logical explanation is that Communion on the tongue had to have been the general practice of the Catholic Church at whatever time the split of each group occured. In the case of the Copts, Armenians, and Nestorians....we are going back way into the 400s. Any other explanation means that separate churches, each one antagonistic to all the others, all independenty decided to introduce the same identical innovation. [here we count Communion directly on the tongue as the 'innovation']
Hence, in k.c.'s opinion, the oft repeated axiom that: "Hand Communion was commonly practiced in the Catholic Church up until the year 1000": is a big, fat, lie!
listen to Scott........
I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and to my limited knowledge Eucharist given in the hand has never been a widespread or accepted practice in the Church. Certainly we Orthodox – Eastern or Oriental - would be horrified at the thought nowadays. St. Basil the Great in the 4th Century wrote very clearly that the practice was only justified during times of persecution, presumably because priests might not be available to distribute the Eucharist in person. The text implies that to receive in the hand under other circumstances, outside of persecution, would be a grave fault. Other references from the first millennium, including references from the Western Church, support the conclusion that the normal and accepted manner of reception of the Holy Eucharist was in the mouth, given by a spoon, as it is still today in the East, and in Eastern rites in communion with the Roman Catholics.It appears that only St. Cyril of Jerusalem (also 4th Century) mentions reception in the hand as if it might be an accepted and legitimate practice, and this is the passage that is typically trotted out as evidence from this early period.In other words, to answer the question, my belief is that the Eastern churches didn’t “abandon” the practice. I think the likelihood is that they never particularly condoned it, but allowed it as a necessary evil during times of extreme persecution. It became unnecessary after the Peace of Constantine in 313, as another contemporary reference appears to indicate.Here is a link with further information. http://www.catholic-pages.com/mass/inhand.aspI’m sorry I don’t have more information from the Orthodox point of view. It has never occurred to me that such a practice might have been legitimate at any time in the history of the Church. I will certainly look deeper into the history of the practice, particularly its history in our Church.....