AFRICA: Archbishop Lwanga of Uganda bans receiving of Holy Communion in hands in new decree on Eucharist.

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In a communication released on February,1, Archbishop Lwanga said the new decree stemmed from liturgical and canonical norms of the church that require him by law to fend off abuses in the liturgical life of the church.

“Henceforth, it is forbidden to distribute or to receive Holy Communion in the hands. Mother Church enjoins us to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor. Due to many reported instances of dishonoring the Eucharist that have been associated with reception of Eucharist in the hands, it is fitting to return to the more reverent method of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue,”Lwanga’s communication reads.

The Kampala Archbishop Diocese further reaffirmed that those cohabiting and are involved in “grave” sins are not allowed to take Holy Communion but also warned that Eucharist should not be celebrated in their homes as has always been the nom.

Priests

In the communication, Archbishop Lwanga warned also decreed that in celebrating and administering Eucharist, priests and deacons are supposed to wear sacred vestments as prescribed by the rubrics and that is strictly forbidden for any priest who is not vested this official wear to take part or assisting in the distribution of holy communion.

“He should also not sit in the sanctuary but rather take his seat among the faithful in the congregation,”Lwanga said.

He, however, noted that the decrees are meant to streamline the celebration of the Holy Eucharist but also curb that Archbishop Lwanga said had begun cropping up in the celebration of the mass.

“These norms are to be followed with immediate effect,” he said.

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