Here, after a spate of people running off with the Sacred Host, or the Host was found discarded, I moved the front row of pew kneelers forward and started giving Holy Communion there, rather than giving people Communion in a queue. It gave people more time to be a little more leisurely at Communion. People are free to receive Holy Communion kneeling or standing, in the hand or on the tongue. It is quicker, if people receive on the tongue I can pass on, if they receive in the hand, I can wait until the host is consumed. It is quite remarkable that when given the option people choose to receive kneeling and on the tongue. It is those of a certain age who tend to receive in the hand, or children at school who are told this is normative.
There is a certain power in the reception of Holy Communion in the traditional manner of the Western Church: kneeling and on the tongue.
I had an Indian priest staying with me and his bishop came and arranged to spend the weekend appealing for money in the local parishes. I had had to speak very sternly to him after he celebrated Mass here, he more or less made up his own Eucharistic Prayer, which barely reflected the Church's understanding of the Holy Eucharist, I think he had done his post-grad studies in Germany. In the evening we had a reception for some of the leading Indian Catholics in Brighton.
I am sure the Bishop was not in favour of the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue but he took great delight in giving tit-bits to the more attractive young women, insisting they didn't use their hands. I could understand why a young non-Catholic husband muttered darkly about 'punching his lights out', after the bishop had given his wife a third piece of honey coconut cake, I think it was the licking of his fingers by her, that he insisted on, that finally upset her husband. I managed to persuade him to take her home rather create an unpleasant scene.
Feeding someone in this way is an act of deep intimacy, it is the act of lovers and of parents of small children. It highlights in a very powerful way trust and union, it is an almost perfect sign of the intimacy of Holy Communion. It calls for an act of trust from the the recipient, in the sense of, "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Or a scorpion if he asked for an egg? ..."
Without any good reason, except the very nature of the intimacy of the relationship of Jesus and his disciples and the nature of the gift he was giving, I can quite easily believe that Jesus himself fed the disciple the Holy Eucharist directly into their mouths. It simply says a lot more about the nature of the Eucharist than handing something round on a plate or picking it up themselves.