There is an aspect of the Communion-in-the-hand discussion that I feel has been overlooked and so I would like to address it.
One of the results of the increase in Communion in the hand has been a proportional decrease in the use of patens that catch Communion particles during distribution. It is very easy, in the transfer of hosts to the communicant’s hand or mouth, for a small piece of Communion to fall, and it is the minister’s responsibility to make sure It is caught.
When I’ve acted as an Extraodinary minister of Holy Communion, without a server and paten, I’ve tried to use the ciborium as a kind of paten itself. It isn’t at all difficult to make sure that the ciborium is constantly underneath the host as it is transferred to the communicant, held under my hand and also under the chin or hands of the communicant, but I’m somewhat amazed at how many times this easy precaution is not taken.
Nought the precious gift divideth.
Breaking but the sign betideth.
Jesus still the same abideth,
Still unbroken doth remain.
(Corpus Christi Sequence)