In preparation for Corpus Christi…

Some positive reminders on the appropriate reception of Holy Communion according to the teaching of the Church ( in response to a number of queries and questions from parishioners)

  • In England & Wales, the faithful are free to receive both the Host and the Chalice at Mass. However, to receive the Host only is, of course, to receive the entire Christ.
  • Receiving the Host on the tongue is the customary and time-honoured tradition of the Catholic Church.
  • Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is permitted in England and Wales. Great care should be taken to receive the Host reverently and in a dignified and appropriate manner. The Host is received into the hands, palms-upward, the other hand making a ‘throne’ for the Host. It is not appropriate to ‘reach-out’ for the Host or to ‘pick’ it from the hands of the Priest.
  • The response, on receiving the Host or the Chalice, is ‘Amen’ (and not thank you!).  The Host is consumed immediately, in sight of the Priest. It is never appropriate to wander away with the Host un-consumed.
  • You may, if you wish, kneel to receive Holy Communion.
  • Catholics were always set-apart by their special reverence for the Body & Blood of Christ; genuflections were common and seen as an identifying mark of a Catholic; silence was kept during Holy Communion; kneeling after receiving Holy Communion and making an act of thanksgiving was usual. Is this still the case?
  • Catholics are not free to receive ‘holy communion’ in non-Catholic churches.
  • Non-Catholics are not free to receive Holy Communion at Mass.
  • Catholics out of communion with the Church are not free to receive Holy Communion until after Sacramental Confession.

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