Let me confess ( if only you could give me absolution ) that I arrive late to Mass, or only just before it starts more times than I would like to admit.
Last night I had dream that I attended a Mass in a different (imaginary) right. It was only Before Mass that each person had the opportunity to place an unconsecrated wafer onto the paten in order to receive Holy Communion later. So, I asked what if someone comes late, but then still presents himself for Communion. You are going to run out, right ? The answer I got was, “If someone you love invites you his celebration (thinking birthday party) would you come to the party with the intention of insulting your host? Would you come with the intention of saying, “This party is not really on the top of my list of things to so, so if I am late it is not a big deal, right ?’”
Obviously there can be some legitimate exceptions that excuse tardiness such as having a flat tire, or maybe saving a person’s life who was in a car accident just ahead of you. But it is hard to excuse an exception that happens on a regular basis.
Some would say that, “We should just be happy the tardy person is present.”
And yes, I am happy he is there. I don’t want to look down on anyone. But, if he is not appreciating it, he is missing something that if it is not corrected it might lead him to quit coming altogether. Do we come to Mass just to fill an obligation, or do we come with a desire to grow in our love so that we might love Him as He deserves – of course that would never be possible, but out of love for Him we can at least try to grow in our love for Him. Do we want to live in Him as He desires ?
When a person comes late for Mass should he still receive Holy Communion?
In my opinion, assuming that he is in a state of grace, yes. If we waited till we are perfect to receive Him, we would never make it heaven.
Is there an emotional need to arrive early in order to adjust one’s mood to prepare ?
Is there a spiritual need to arrive early in order to pray from the depth of our heart ?