I’m very confused and distressed over this because I’ve read accounts of other Catholics being reprimanded by a priest ‘for’ making eye contact, but this past Sunday the guest priest literally stopped the line and stared at me for a solid ten seconds until he finally said ‘I have to make eye contact with you’, it was really embarrassing. Afterward he made a point to bring it up (not mentioning me specifically) saying that “some of you may have noticed I held out on you until you made eye contact”, clearly this is important to him, but like I said I’ve heard of other Catholics being told off ‘for’ making eye contact with the priest at Communion. I was looking at the host and trying not to sniffle (allergies) as I recall. I just feel like unless a person is doing something that disrespects or invalidates the Eucharist, a priest shouldn’t make a point of reprimanding the parishioner. It was distressing and distracting, when I consumed the Host I was thinking about Christ, I was thinking about how I’d been told off like a school boy. Can anyone tell me which if either is Church doctrine? Are we or are we not supposed to make eye contact with the priest when receiving Communion? Thank you, God bless.
There is nothing in the Church’s liturgy documents that demand or forbid eye contact during the distribution of communion.
Any priest who demands or forbids it is in the wrong. The celebrant may not add obligations or make up his own rules, the Mass belongs to the Church and not the priest.
Code of Canon Law:
Can. 846 §1. In celebrating the sacraments the liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be observed faithfully; accordingly, no one is to add, omit, or alter anything in them on one’s own authority.