From the Offices of Faith Formation & Liturgy
In 2002 the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal was presented to Pope John Paul II and the Church. The Roman Missal is the book that contains the prayers and instructions on how Catholics celebrate the Mass.
It is the big red book that the priest uses on the Altar. Each edition of the Roman Missal has an instruction booklet which is called the GIRM or “General Instruction on the Roman Missal”.
The GIRM or General Instruction on the Roman Missal gives us guidance on how one is to receive Communion.
In 1969, Pope Paul IV gave permission to receive Communion in the hand. The reception of Communion in the hand is a return to a traditional practice given to us by St. Cyril of Jerusalem in 348.
When you approach Holy Communion, make the left hand into a throne for the right hand, which will receive the King.
Then with your lower hand, take the consecrated Host and place it in your mouth.
The option to receive by hand or by mouth is entirely up to the communicant and should always be done with respect toward the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
The GIRM or General Instruction on the Roman Missal tells us that when we receive Jesus’ Body and Blood in the United States we are standing which is the norm.
We are also instructed that the proper gesture when receiving Holy Communion in the dioceses across the US is a bow of the head.
The Communion minister presents the consecrated bread or wine, the communicant bows their head before the specific element, responds “Amen” and receives Communion.
The Hebrew word AMEN is an affirmation of faith in which the communicant is saying, “I believe”.
The GIRM or General Instruction on the Roman Missal tells us that Intinction is a form of Communion where the Communion minister dips the consecrated bread into the consecrated wine and then ministers it to the communicant. Intinction is not offered in the Diocese of St. Petersburg due to logistics. The Bread minister and the cup minster would have to be next to each other and a paten (small plate or tray) must be used which does not allow a communicant to receive by hand. The practice of the communicant taking the host and dipping it into the cup themselves is not permitted by the Church.