Reception of Holy Eucharist

02-03-2019Weekly ReflectionDeacon Ed Wendt

I have been witnessing some very interesting postures and reception of the Holy Eucharist at Communion time and it is quite disturbing.

The Roman Missal is very clear on how we the faithful are to receive our Lord at Holy Communion. The Communion Procession is a profoundly religious action and it tells us something about the way in which we should participate in this procession. "We are the Body of Christ, moving forward to receive the Christ who makes us one with himself and with one another. Our procession should move with dignity; our bearing should be that of those who know they have been redeemed by Christ and are coming to receive their God!" In the United States, the body of Bishops determined that Communion should be received standing, and that a bow is the act of reverence made by those receiving.

Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue. If Communion is received in the hand, the hands should first of all be clean. If one is right handed the left hand should rest upon the right. The host will then be laid in the palm of the left hand and then taken by the right hand to the mouth. If one is left-handed this is reversed. It is not appropriate to reach out with the fingers and take the host from the person distributing.

The person distributing Communion says audibly to each person approaching, "The Body of Christ." This formula should not be altered, as it is a proclamation which calls for a response of faith on the part of the one who receives. The communicant should audibly respond, "Amen," indicating by that response his or her belief that this small wafer of bread, the wine in this chalice are in reality the body and blood of Christ the Lord. When one receives from the chalice, the same proclamation is made by the person distributing Communion and the Communicant again responds, "Amen." It should be noted that it is never permissible for a person to dip the host he or she has received into the chalice. If, for some reason, the communicant is not able or willing to drink from the cup then that person should receive only under the form of bread.

We the faithful need to take great care that no one ever walks away with the Holy Eucharist - either in their hand or in their pocket. If they don't consume the Host as soon as Father or the EMHC places the Host in their hand and they walk away, they are to be stopped IMMEDIATELY and asked (nice and politely) to consume the Host. If they refuse to eat the Host or look confused, ask them to give you the Host. If they say that they're taking the Host to the pew to eat it and pray, don't let them. They may not keep the Host to take to their pew or to their home for any reason. The Communicate is not allowed to share the Host with anyone. I have seen adults walk away with the Blessed Sacrament and break it and give it to their little children. This is not acceptable.

Pray that our eyes and hearts will be open to the Sacredness of our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.

Deacon Ed