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Eli Bandala wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is it true that receiving the Host by hand was initiated by Masons?
  • Also, do Masons believe in Jesus Christ?

Thanks!

Eli

  { Was receiving the Host in the hand initiated by Masons and do Masons believe in Jesus Christ? }

Mary Ann replied:

Eli —

The changes in the Liturgy of the Mass were partly brought about by Cardinal Bugnini, who was credibly rumored to be a mason, but communion in the hand was not one of those original changes.

In itself, it is not bad or wrong, though it could conceivably be the kind of thing a mason would want to do, thinking that it would lessen a sense of reverence. The reality is that the Mass is valid and the practices are approved, and a well-catechized Catholic is not scandalized.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Hi, Eli —

Receiving Communion in the hand is an ancient tradition. It predates Masonry. In many cases, it may also predates receiving on the tongue.

I prefer to receive on the tongue however, objectively speaking, there is absolutely nothing holier about receiving on the tongue over in the hand. If you think about it, we sin more often with our tongue then we do with our hands.

That said, those receiving in the hand could, for the most part, make a better effort to show more reverence in their action but the lack of outward reverence is probably more related to a lack of understanding, than to whether one receives the Host in the hand or on the tongue.

Unfortunately, too many Catholics have not been properly evangelized, let alone thoroughly instructed in faith. Far too many don't realize that they are actually receiving Jesus Christ in a real and Sacramental way. They have a watered-down understanding of the Eucharist, therefore, it would follow that they don't show reverence when receiving the Blessed Sacrament, but that could be said for communicants in general, no matter which way they receive.

I forget which Early Church Father said this, but one of them put it along these lines:

When receiving the Communion, we should make an altar with our hands.

So, you see, receiving in the hand is not some newfangled idea. Nevertheless, it is important that we show reverence.

Finally, with respect to whether Masons believe in Christ: Masonry is a syncretic religious system which seeks to unite many beliefs. Individual Masons may personally believe in Jesus the way other Christians do. This is especially true of rank and file members who simply belong a lodge for social/business reasons. I think it becomes more difficult to retain a true Christian identity as one climbs the Masonic hierarchy. Masons have secret ceremonies and teachings which are only made known to those who achieve a certain rank or level. To that extent, Masonry qualifies as a cult aberrational group, and is most definitively an institutionalized heresy.

I hope this helps,

John D.

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