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I was watching a video on youtube that showed Orthodox from Georgia (the country not the state) closing their mouth around the spoon when receiving eucharist instead of keeping mouth open and letting priest flip it in there.

Is this pretty common?

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Can you post a link to the video?

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Originally Posted by Dave in McKinney
Is this pretty common?

I couldn't say for sure, but I noticed this a lot in videos of Divine Liturgies in Eastern Europe, as well.

I'm hoping some of our more knowledgeable contributors can comment more specifically on this phenomenon.

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Originally Posted by newyorkcatholic
Can you post a link to the video?

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=A37w4TNfs3k

Last edited by Dave in McKinney; 02/15/12 01:22 AM.
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Closing the mouth around the spoon is the way I have always seen it done. Why would you not close your lips?

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Originally Posted by Dave in McKinney
Is this pretty common?

The Orthodox in Bulgaria also receive, closing their mouth around the spoon.



Video from Jordan:

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
Closing the mouth around the spoon is the way I have always seen it done. Why would you not close your lips?

LOL--I never thought about it, but I guess we Orthodox do--otherwise there is a chance of it being spilled?

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I know a Gk. Cath. priest here in N. America who detests the practice of closing lips around the spoon, so if someone does it, he always "clacks" the spoon against their teeth. Can't say I recommend his way of handling it...

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I've understood the practice here in US at least at Byz Cath and UGCC to be to open mouth and let the priest drop it in??

Last edited by Dave in McKinney; 02/15/12 04:49 PM.
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In my OCA parish I've noticed both. Some open wide, some close the mouth around the spoon.

As a BC, I remember being instructed at First Communion to open wide and the priest would drop the particle in. Everyone I saw take communion did it that way.

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Originally Posted by Etnick
As a BC, I remember being instructed at First Communion to open wide and the priest would drop the particle in. Everyone I saw take communion did it that way.

Likewise, I've heard these instructions repeatedly over the course of my lifetime in the BC Church. The typical instructions of our priests, at weddings or when we clearly have a number of guests present, normally assume familiarity with Latin Catholic practice (on the tongue, not in the hand) and typically go something like this:

"The Eucharist is given in both species, in the form of a small cube of bread saturated in wine and water, and administered via a small spoon. When receiving the Eucharist, tilt your head slightly back, open your mouth widely, do not extend your tongue and do not attempt to say 'Amen' after you have received. When done correctly, the spoon should not come in contact with your mouth, and thus there should be no personal health concerns."

That said, similarly to the experience of other posters, I have seen many faithful close their mouth when receiving in Divine Liturgies celebrated in our sister churches overseas. I have no idea why that might be the case.

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Originally Posted by Curious Joe
"When done correctly, the spoon should not come in contact with your mouth, and thus there should be no personal health concerns."

That said, similarly to the experience of other posters, I have seen many faithful close their mouth when receiving in Divine Liturgies celebrated in our sister churches overseas. I have no idea why that might be the case.

The mere idea of "personal health concerns" in regards to the Blood and Body of Christ is repugnant to the point of being heretical.

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
The mere idea of "personal health concerns" in regards to the Blood and Body of Christ is repugnant to the point of being heretical.

What would the heresy be?

I am going to use Thomistic language here, but the accidents of bread and wine remain even if the substance is changed, and so germs can still be transmitted by these accidents, and certainly by the spoon.

I'm sure others can find way to express it that makes more sense from an Eastern point of view.

To take another example, someone with severe celiac disease can have a reaction after receiving, even though it's not bread anymore, it's Our Lord.

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
Originally Posted by Curious Joe
"When done correctly, the spoon should not come in contact with your mouth, and thus there should be no personal health concerns."

That said, similarly to the experience of other posters, I have seen many faithful close their mouth when receiving in Divine Liturgies celebrated in our sister churches overseas. I have no idea why that might be the case.

The mere idea of "personal health concerns" in regards to the Blood and Body of Christ is repugnant to the point of being heretical.


I agree.

While I know it's none of my business, I've noticed an older couple in my parish that haven't taken communion in the five years I've been there. I'm thinking they must be afraid of "germs". Otherwise, what could have anyone done that was that bad to keep them from the eucharist for so long.

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
Originally Posted by Curious Joe
"When done correctly, the spoon should not come in contact with your mouth, and thus there should be no personal health concerns."

That said, similarly to the experience of other posters, I have seen many faithful close their mouth when receiving in Divine Liturgies celebrated in our sister churches overseas. I have no idea why that might be the case.

The mere idea of "personal health concerns" in regards to the Blood and Body of Christ is repugnant to the point of being heretical.

I can't necessarily say that I disagree, but I've heard it more than once ...

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