Amen, Father


I am a new convert and have a question. In my parish, it is customary when placing the blessed host in the hand of a congregant for my priest to say: Elizabeth, the body of Christ. In other words, he addresses us by name as we come up to receive communion.

I have taken to responding, Amen, Father. I think most people just say Amen.

Is it incorrect for me to address him when I receive?




The response is supposed to be simply, “Amen.” That is what is in the Roman Missal book used to celebrate Mass. I have never heard anyone say anything else. I recommend just saying, “Amen.” However, I don’t think this is a particularly big deal.


In the ordinary form of the mass, the dialogue has the standard form described here:

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.

I recommend staying with the required form. :slight_smile: Just reply “Amen.”


Thank you!


The person distributing Communion** says audibly to each person approaching, ’ The Body of Christ’. This formula should not be altered

This formula should not be altered, right? So…doesn’t that mean not addressing personally those who are receiving Holy Communion?


I’m assuming the priest doest know anyone’s name so he can’t use first names with everyone. Saying that he should limit himself to saying Body of Christ


In my diocese, the bishop has specifically noted that extraordinary ministers of holy communion are not to use any names when saying “the body of Christ”. We are only to say the specified phrase.

Here is an expert opinion on the EWTN site on the matter. I excerpt one portion below.

Thus, naming the communicant is not part of the Roman-rite tradition and as such is not a licit practice. While it might appear a very pastoral gesture, some might find that the interjection of the personal element weakens the proclamation of faith that is inherent in this dialogue.

Note that using the name does happen in an Eastern rite. Their formula that is said is different.


If the priest addresses me by name then it is Christ addressing me by name.

Rules serve the Church and the salvation of souls. If Christ decides to move the priest to say my name so that I have a better chance of being saved, then so be it.

It is not my place to question on who stands in the place of Christ.



We use the formula "Servant of God, (insert name) receives the most precious body and blood of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. If the priest doesn’t know your name, he just omits it. It fits here. It seems to flow. If a priest of the Roman rite were to say, “Babochka, the Body of Christ.” It would seem awkward, an artificial addition. Kind of like when a priest or EEM says “Receive the Body of Christ” or even “Babochka, recive the Body of Christ”.


I’m inclined to think this is the best answer. But then, I was wondering “what if”…What if all the people were responding “Amen, Father” wouldn’t that be drifting too far and allowing a change from what the correct response is supposed to be? In this case, I think it would be a big deal. Maybe this question should be put to an expert in Liturgical matters.


Neither the priest nor the communicant should alter the liturgical words, which do not include the use of personal names.


Only the bishop is competent to approve liturgical deviations, other than selection from the approved list. And even then, he should not do so without due cause, deliberation, and approval from Rome (or if Eastern, the synod of his Eastern Church, as Rome leaves that to the synods for the Eastern Churches in Union).


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