Pastor's Corner 060213

posted May 29, 2013, 10:22 AM by Music Director

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord’s Body and Blood (“Corpus Christi”). The Eucharist is not only the center of Catholic worship but of Catholic life itself.  It is the sacrament that makes visible our unity with Christ and one another.  It is the food that strengthens us to live as the Body of Christ in the world, walking in His footsteps, carrying our crosses as we journey together through this life to eternal union with Jesus, Mary, and all the saints, including one another.  By its very nature then, the Eucharist is communal.  That’s why we call it Holy Communion, and why the instructions on how to receive it are so specific and good to review at this time.

               To legitimately receive the Sacrament one must:

1.  Be a baptized member of the church who has made an official First Communion.  Some parents have been seen breaking off a piece of the host and giving it to an underage child.  This should never, under any circumstances, be done!  It is also not proper for non-Catholics (except Eastern Orthodox Christians) to receive the Eucharist except under special, pre-arranged circumstances.

2.  If married, the marriage must be legitimate in the church.  Any baptized Catholic married outside the church without an official dispensation is not permitted to receive the Eucharist until the situation is resolved.  If you are in such a situation (e.g. divorced and remarried in a non-Catholic ceremony) kindly contact one of the parish priests as soon as possible so we can explain the problem and help you to resolve it.

3.  Be properly disposed.  This includes spiritual preparation by fasting from everything except water and medicines for 1 hour before receiving (this includes chewing gum!)  If in a state of serious (“mortal”) sin, refrain from the Eucharist until sacramental absolution is given through the Sacrament of Penance (“Confession”).  Otherwise, communion becomes a false sign of unity, which in reality has been seriously broken because of that sin. 

               The proper procedure when receiving Holy Communion:

1.  Bow your head when standing directly in front of the minister when s/he says:  “The Body/Blood of Christ.”  Do not do this when someone is in front of you! 

2.  Say aloud “Amen” before taking the host or chalice.  This is not optional!  Rather, it is your ratification, your statement that you truly believe what you are receiving is exactly what it is.  Do not say “thank you” or anything else!

3.  Let the minister place the host in your open hand or on your tongue.  Do not grab at it!  Rather, place your open left hand in your open right hand and extend both out toward the minister.  Or open your mouth wide and extend your tongue fully.  Oral hygiene before leaving home would be greatly appreciated!

4.  When receiving from the chalice, follow steps 1 & 2 above, then take the chalice from the minister, take a small sip, and return it to the minister.

5.  Be sure to step up close to the minister so that s/he doesn’t need to reach out too far with the host or chalice, which could cause them to be dropped.  If you do drop the host, allow the minister to pick it up and give you a new one.  If you drop the chalice, please step away and allow the ministers to clean up the spill.  You may go to another chalice station if necessary.

5.  While processing to the Communion stations and while returning to your seat, do not stop to talk to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary!  Use this time to focus on the mystery of the Eucharist and give thanks for its many blessings.  This personal act of thanksgiving is extended until all have had the chance to receive and the remnants have been placed inside the tabernacle.

By carefully following these rules, we better express our devotion to Christ and unity with Him and one another in this most blessed, holy and precious Sacrament.



In His Love,

Fr. Mike