Receiving Communion

The reception of Communion is a sacred moment.  For a Catholic it is like an ‘altar call’ where we respond to the Lord who instructed us in His Word and gave His life for us on the cross. Your full participation in the Mass is required.  Here are some things to check about your manner of receiving:

  • Be prepared to arrive on time for the scheduled Mass in order to confess your sins and to hear God’s Word.
  • Missalettes are provided for you, if needed for the responses and prayers.
  • Approach Communion with faith and love in your heart for the Lord.
  • Step directly up to the minister.
  • The Body of Christ you receive is broken for your sins.
  • The Blood of Christ that you drink is poured out for your salvation.
  • Cup your hands to receive Him, and hold them high where the minister can see them – OR – extend your tongue with a wide open mouth.
  • Express your belief; Amen!
  • Step to the side and immediately consume the Host; do not walk away with the Host in your hand.
  • Return to your pew and offer a prayer of personal thanksgiving with Him whom you have received.
  • Receiving the Eucharist unworthily will receive the Judgment of God; as St. Paul writes: “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord” and “who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks a judgment on himself”.              (1 Corinthians 11: 28, 30;

underlining added for emphasis)

  • Receive the Blessing of God that is bestowed by the priest upon those remaining in the pews before being sent out to love and serve their Lord.

Wedding Requests

WEDDING REQUESTS –  A gentle reminder to couples who are engaged that the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage occurs within a Church (that is, a community of faith), where it is most likely that the marriage can be supported by a faith community.  Please consult our website for information on wedding requests here in this parish before contacting the office.  Thank you.

Religion Classes

RELIGION CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS Registration for every child and teen in the parish will continue, after all the Masses until September 14th.  Parents need to let us know where and how your child will be educated in the faith in the coming school year.   Forms from last year can be found in the UPPER ROOM located to the right of the church Sanctuary.  Forms for new parishioners can be found in the same location.

Full Participation and Communion at Mass

Dear Friends – Allow me to “firmly but gently explain” that the reception of Communion at Mass is linked to your full participation in the offering of that Mass. I realize that we lose track of time or get interrupted, and on a RARE occasion may run late for Mass. You’ve even seen me on occasion rush in at the last minute to start Mass on time, respecting your schedule particularly for our 12:10 daily Mass.

 

The following article was published in a Liturgy Bulletin and copied in part here with their permission, and my underlining added. It pertains to arriving late for Mass and then presuming to go to Communion without ever hearing the Word (especially, the Gospel), or the entire Eucharistic Prayer, or slipping in during the Our Father or Rite of Peace and then receiving Communion.

 

This article states clearly the guidelines a priest is to observe in light of the Church’s documents, and so I ask for your full participation in the Mass so as to receive the Eucharist worthily and prepared.

 

Communion Outside of Mass

 

Q. At our daily morning Mass we have a parishioner who comes late for Mass every day… Lately some others have been arriving around the time of the Lord’s Prayer. Is there something written somewhere in Liturgy documents about how much of Mass we should be participating in (unless we have genuine excuses) before receiving Communion?

 

  1. Thank you for this enquiry. I must confess that the practice you describe of people arriving when Mass is almost over and demanding to be given Communion puzzles me greatly.

Canon Law #918 has this to say on the matter:
“It is most strongly recommended that the faithful receive communion in the course of a Eucharistic celebration. If, however, for good reason they ask for it apart from the Mass, it is to be administered to them, observing the liturgical rites.” (emphasis added).

The parish priest or another pastoral leader in the parish needs to talk to the people concerned and firmly but gently explain this requirement to them as well as the theological understanding of Eucharist on which it is based.

It is important that people understand that the last part of Canon 918, which allows for communion outside Mass, refers to cases such as the housebound sick (hospitalized, nursing homes, the dying). Even then, communion is given ‘observing the liturgical rites’.

The liturgical rites for administering communion outside of Mass are set out in the official rite entitled “Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass”. The liturgical form to be followed includes greeting, penitential rite, reading of scripture, Lord’s Prayer, communion, concluding prayer, blessing and dismissal, even in the shorter form of the rite.

If people are not present for these aspects of the Mass because they arrive late, then they need to be observed before communion can be given to them. Asking a minister to do otherwise is expecting them to ignore both the understanding of the Mass and liturgical law.

The documents also state clearly that communion can only be distributed outside of Mass ‘for a just reason’. Simply arriving late is not a ‘just reason’, so communion should be refused.

The action of people who expect to receive communion without being present for the whole celebration of Mass indicates:

  • disrespect for Christ present in the Word proclaimed at Mass (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy #7)
  • disrespect for Christ present in the gathered assembly (CSL #7)
  • disrespect for Christ present in the priest preside (CSL #7)
  • a consumer/materialistic mentality because their focus is on ‘getting’ the fruits of the Mass without participation in the ‘giving’ (offering) aspect of the Mass

 

Surely common courtesy would indicate that this behaviour is wrong. If it is rude, disrespectful and insulting to arrive at a dinner party after everyone else has eaten, and for no reason, demand to be fed what everyone else has had; then it is CERTAINLY rude, disrespectful and insulting to do the same thing at the sacred meal of the Eucharist.

©Liturgy Lines @ Liturgy Bisbane, 2014.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I know you will do the best you can, but if our daily or Sunday schedule no longer fits your schedule or plans, and causes you to arrive late on a consistent basis – please refrain from receiving or consider a parish and hour for your full participation at Mass.