I copy from an old English Catholic book this precious specimen of superstitious trifling.

The composition of body in receiving.

1. Let the hands be held before the breast, not lifted so high that they may hinder the priest.

2. Let the head be conveniently lifted 59up, and inclined unto neither side, that without difficulty the mouth may be reached.

3. Let the eyes be shut, or bent downward; for it is unseemly at that time, either to look upon the priest, or to turn the eyes otherwhere.

4. Let the mouth be altogether quiet, without any reading or moving of lips, reasonably open, and not gaping.

5. Let the tongue touch the side of the lip (not too much put forth) that it may receive the host and bring it into the mouth, and that being reverently held so long that it be moistened, it may be let down into the body. For it is not to be chewed with the teeth, nor to be brought to the roof of the mouth, but to be swallowed (if it may be) before the ablution.

6. Let the whole body be erected and quiet without any motion. Sighings, blowings, groanings, knocking of the breast, exclamations, vocal prayers, and other like things, which oftentimes bring 60danger either of the fall of the host, or of the touching of the teeth or lips, in the time of the holy communion, are to be omitted.

7. Finally, for the space of a quarter of an hour after receiving, let spitting be avoided; which, if it cannot be, at the least it is decent to spit where it may not be trodden on.

The Societie of the Rosary.


Icon for the Public Domain licence

This work (Omniana by Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge) is free of known copyright restrictions.

Share This Book