Receive The Eucharist With Proper Respect

The greatest gift we are privileged to receive is the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass.  Because people receive Holy Communion regularly, we can become lax, and even very sloppy in our reception of this great and wonderful Sacrament.

Within the past couple of months there were two occasions when a consecrated Host was found, one time in one of the holy water fonts and another time in the drinking fountain in the Center Street entrance.  Such abuse of the Sacrament cannot be tolerated.

First of all, I think we need to remind ourselves who it is that we receive: the Body, Blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, our God!  Not even the angels are privileged to receive what we creatures do.  Therefore, I would like to review the regulations set down by the Church for the reception of Holy Communion.

The communicant should stand close enough to the minister of Communion so that they don’t need to stretch their arm out and risk dropping the Sacred Host.

When receiving Holy Communion in the hand, one is to place their left hand in the palm of their right hand (opposite if one is left handed) and make a throne, as St. Augustine says, to receive the King.  Hands SHOULD NOT be placed side by side so that the minister has to guess which hand to place the Sacred Host in.

No one is to “snatch” the Sacred Host from the hand of the minister.  This is not proper practice and presents the danger of the Sacred Host being dropped.  The Sacred Host MUST be placed in the palm of the hand or on the tongue.

When the minister raises up the Sacred Host and says, “The Body of Christ,” the communicant is to say in an audible voice, “Amen!”  If the Sacred Host is placed on the communicant’s hand, the communicant is to consume it immediately in front of the minister.  No one is to walk away carrying the Sacred Host in their hand.  This is to prevent incidents such as were cited above.

Intinction, the dipping of the Body of Christ into the Precious Blood IS NOT allowed by the communicant.  Ministers of Holy Communion have been instructed to cover the chalice if one attempts to do this and let them know this is not an allowed practice.

I ask everyone to take some time to reflect on the great gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Remember, the One whom you are privileged to receive in Holy Communion is the very Judge you will stand before one day.  Let us not take this lightly, but do all we can to safeguard the Most Blessed Sacrament.

— Fr. Dennis, January 21, 2018