With the resurgence in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Catholic tradition in general, here’s a question that has had come up in recent years: are Catholics supposed to avoid chewing the Eucharistic host in their mouth?
Maybe you’ve heard people say “you shouldn’t chew the Eucharist like bubble gum,” or claim that it’s sacrilege to chew the Eucharist rather than let it dissolve in your mouth.
Yet that vast majority of Catholics do chew the host. What is a faithful Catholic to do?
Here are the facts
The Church doesn’t have a position on whether a Catholic chews the Eucharist or not. The idea you shouldn’t chew the host appears to have been a pious practice of some Catholics before the Second Vatican Council, which is where people are getting the idea that you shouldn’t chew.
But not chewing has never been required or – from what I can tell – even officially encouraged by the magisterium of the Church. This doesn’t mean you can’t avoid chewing, it just means you don’t have to.
What is required by the Church is that Catholics receive communion reverently. This means bowing before receiving, saying “Amen” in respond to “the Body of Christ,” and receiving either on the hand or tongue.
This is because the Eucharist is not ordinary food and drink but is Jesus Christ himself!