Receiving Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist

09-24-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith. Accordingly, it is vitally important that we receive our Lord properly and in a state of grace. I’ve now been here over six months and have observed how people are receiving communion. Without a doubt, a few reminders are in order.

First, some of you are not bowing before you receive the Holy Eucharist. At that moment, we are face-to-face with Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity. The Bishops of the United States have decided that we should reverence our Lord with a slight head bow or kneel.

When the priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion says, “The Body of Christ,” the communicant is to say “Amen.” That is your chance to publicly acknowledge that you believe that the host you will receive is Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity.

To receive communion, you must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church. If you are married, you must have been married in the Church or have had your marriage approved by the Church. You must be in a state of grace, that is, have no mortal sin on your soul since your last confession. Receiving communion with an unconfessed mortal sin on our soul is the sin of sacrilege. If you have an unconfessed mortal sin on your soul, you should not receive communion. When you are in that state and do not receive, you are showing respect for our Lord in the Holy Eucharist and showing that you are heading toward reconciliation with our Lord.

The preferred way to receive communion is still on the tongue. Communion in the hand was granted as an indult. Many who choose to receive on the hand do so improperly. I gave special instructions on how to receive in the hand about three months ago, but many are still not receiving properly. You should put your left hand over your right hand and make a throne for the host. After you receive the host, you should take one step and with your right hand, put the host in your mouth. Do not walk away with the host. Do not pop the host into your mouth with one hand like a vitamin pill. That is disrespectful to our Lord. If you are walking with a cane or carrying a baby, you should receive on the tongue, for safety reasons.

And, of course, after you have received our Lord in communion, you should (if you can) kneel and pray a prayer of thanksgiving for his presence in your life and in your body. Finally, do not disrespect the priest and the Mass by leaving early before the final blessing. Remember, Judas left the Last Supper early...

May we always worthily and reverently receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist!

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson