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Evansville, Indiana
October 16, 1987     The Message
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October 16, 1987

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October 16, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i Question Corner Q&A By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN NC News Service Columnist Question asked about receiving communion in the hand 13 Q. I found the enclosed pamphlet in our church, complaining about Communion in the hand and claiming it is a "profanation" of the Blessed Sacrament. I won't receive on the hand. I went to Maine for my vacation and on 'Sunday went to church there. My friend and I were the on- ly ones who received on the tongue. I felt strange. But that's beside the point. Can you tell me who gave permission to take Communion in the hand? I will take Communion on my tongue until I ,die. --New York A, I have answered this question often over the years, It is my impression that very few people even ask it anymore. It may be helpful to reflect on a few facts about this subject. First, and perhaps most signifi- cant, Communion in the hand was the common way for people to receive Communion for almost the first 1,200 years of the church's life. This means the practice of Communion in the hand has existed far longer than Communion on the tongue. The church took literally Jesus' command, "Take this and eat." They received in their hands, gave the Eucharist to each other, and even took Communion home to family or friends who could not be present at Mass. Later on the church was forced to react to cer- tain heresies which denied the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Part of this reaction includ- ed building up the detailed prohibitions many of us learned about not touching the host with our hands. When I was small in the 1930s we were taught that it was seriously sinful to touch not only the host itself, but even the chalice, paten or ciborium in which the host and consecrated wine were con- tained. We now know that such prohibition did not reflect, as we then assumed, what the church had "always" done and that they involved nothing essential to Catholic doctrine or practice about the Eucharist. The practice of receiving in the hand was reinstituted by the church in the late 1960s, You are free, of course, or should be to receive on your tongue if you wish. There's always that option. Frankly it seems to me rather weird to believe that somehow our tongue is holier than our hand. The incredible fact is that Jesus gives us his body and blood as our spiritual food and drink in the first place. From that viewpoint, at least, to make a big deal out of which part of our body touches the host first appears to me to be supremely ridiculous. Q. I recently sent for and received your brochure on Catholic burial practices. It was helpful but did not answer one question Does the Bible have anything to say about cremation, pro or con? --Illinois A. As we would expect, the Bible has little to say about cremation since this practice was rare during biblical times in Palestine and the surroun- ding cultures. Burial of bodies in natural or artificial caves and tombs was common, though sometimes certain internal organs were removed and burned. As a routine substitute for burial in some cultures cremation came on the scene quite late, perhaps a few thousand years before Christ or later. As I have explained at length at other times, the church's prohibition of cremation about 100 years ago (1886) apparently was based particularly on anti-religious attitudes of groups promoting cremation. In recent years this prohibition hos been lifted since anti-Christian sentiments about it no longer seem to apply. The church, however, still ex- presses a preference for burial as more consistent with Christian tradition and perhaps a more reverent vay of honoring the human body after death. A free brochure explaining Catholic regula- tions on membership in the Masons and other organizations is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Parish, 704 N. Main St., Bloom- ington, Ill. 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. Copyright (c) 1987 by NC News Service Continued from page 6 American Cancer Society For more information, call 424-8281. Religious life Holy Family Church Pre-Cana session, Sunday, Oct. 18, 12:30-7 p.m., 950 Church-Ave., Jasper. SPRED MASS, Sunday, Oct. "18, 9:30 a.m. at St. Theresa Church, Evansville. Msgr. Leo Conti will facilitate this day of prayer and reflection. Cost is $8/person which includes lunch. For reservations, call the Activities Dept. at 424-5536. "Turn Your Heart Towards Home" videotape series, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7-8 p.m. in the cafeteria at Holy Redeemer Church, 918 W. Mill Rd., Evansville. The programs feature Dr. James and Shirley Dobson. Part four. Fall prayer days begin Tues- "Chickens, Eggs and Other day, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sar- Questions" is the title of Father to Retreat House, Evansville. Donald Dilger's series of lec- I JASPER SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE ture/discussion sessions on the Gospel of Matthew, Thursday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-noon or 7-9 p.m. at the Catholic Center, Evansville. For more informa- tion, call the Activities Dept. at 424-5536. The remaining five sessions will be held Oct. 29, Nov. 5, 12 and 19. Marian year retreat, Oct. 23-25 at Sarto Retreat House, Evansville. Sponsored by the Legion of Mary. Father Sylvester Loehrlein will be retreat master. Cost is $55. Commuters pay $3 a day plus mealsl Make reserva- See BULLETIN BOARD page 15 CALL 424-5536 TO GET YOUR BUSINESS OR SERVICE LISTED BELOW! Buehlers I.G.A. "THE THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S SOURCE OF SAVINGS" QUALITY FOODS and MEATS Also Huntlngbur9 and Oakland City KREMPP LUMBER CO. WHOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6838 JASPER BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th North Chapel, 33rd Newton ::: : :::::_:_: -:: ::::::::::: ====================== -L | | . -- _ -. _% KUNKEL INSURANCE AGENCY 811 NEWTON 482-4556 CHRYSLER - PLYMOUTH - DODGE STERNBERG, INC. 1202 THIRD AVENUE JASPER 24 HR. WRECKER SERVICE DAY: 482-5125 NIGHT: 482-2864 JASPER-HUNTINGBURG Car Wash Centers 3 Automatics 12 Self-serve Bays JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE I Ph. 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER dippels ' "q I._L__tt ................. g -- (HWY. 162 - LITTLE KY. RD.) Golden jubilarians Mr. and Mrs. Julius Krack of Evansville will celebrate their fifo tieth wedding anniversary on Oct. 25 with a Mass of Thanksgiv- ing at 1:30 p.m. at Resurrection Church, Evansville, followed by a reception for. friends and relatives. Mr. Krack and Bertha Dick were married Oct. .5, 1937, at St. Boniface Church, Evansville. They are the parents of two children, Delores Folz of Evansville and Jerry of Newburgh. They have eight grandchildren and three grandchildren. 99  ,.:'_ONTINUING C00ARE CENTER -( W L'hhl/al u Avenue 47  V26 71 :