Communion Question...

This is in regards to my daughter. She received her first Communion this morning and she had problems with the host, she started gagging to the point where I thought she was going to be sick and I had to take her out. Her mouth is very tiny and the host as small as it is filled her mouth, she also has a really bad gag reflex and sensory integration issues.

I knew she had to consume it and I couldn’t let her spit any of it out, by the time I got her outside it had mostly dissolved and I managed to convince her to swallow the last little bit but by that time she was in tears and she is scared to death to do it again next week.

So my question is this. Is it possible for her to receive a partial host instead of a whole one?

I am planning to ask Father this question myself but was curious to know if any of you here might have any ideas to help her not be so afraid next Sunday. I am just starting RCIA so I’m not quite sure on the rules for receiving.

Priests often, if they are short of hosts, will themselves break some up into smaller fractions, so it shouldn’t be a problem for him to do so.

Another possible (and probably easier) solution, if your parish offers the Chalice, is that she can receive from the Chalice alone. But discuss it with your priest even so, so that he knows what will happen.

Does she know that she is allowed to chew the Host?

Yes, of course, speak with the pastor. You will have to arrange to go to a specific Minister who should be notified ahead of time. Maybe a special sign could be arranged.

Could you ask your priest for a few unconsecrated hosts so she can practice at home? I wouldn’t usually recommend this, because of the confusion it might cause (some children might think it was really the Body of Christ), but if you are very careful to explain that it is JUST BREAD and has not been consecrated yet, it might work.

And it’s perfectly OK to chew the host; make sure she is not trying to swallow it whole.

And make sure she has a drink of water right before Mass so her mouth is not too dry.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful answers. My daughter will be so relieved to know it is possible for her to receive a smaller host.
She is aware that she can chew it and I did try to get her to chew but she was already starting to panic and when it gets to that she just doesn’t hear what anyone is telling her.
We always sit on the side of the church where Father serves so I don’t think it would be a huge deal for him to arrange for her to have a broken host.
My non Catholic sister in law suggested taking a lollipop in for her to lick right before she receives but I somehow think that that would break the one hour fast.

The rulings of fasting are that water, and medicine does not break a fast. So if part of the issue is that she does not have enough saliva in her mouth, it would be permissible, in fact even more than permissible, it may be needed. What you may wish to do however is sit in the back of the church or somewhere that she is less obvious when she does it, as someone who does not know what the reason for her taking a sip of water or other substance just before communion is.

Continuing in Filioque’s perspective, there would be absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter taking a drink of water right after receiving Holy Communion either.

It’s a good idea to talk to your pastor about it. Your daughter has a legitimate need here that he should be made aware of and that should be addressed. If Father can be made aware of your daughter developing a potential fear of receiving Holy Communion I believe he would do whatever is possible to rectify the problem.

Sometimes, it’s the composition of the hosts themselves and not so much the mouth size that is the problem. I have, on occasion, received a host which was extremely thick and dry and seemed to cleave to my palate as soon as it was placed on the tongue.

For our long term and palliative care patients, we are able to obtain a host of special consistency which is very thin and dissolves quickly and easily. It’s a real blessing to those who encounter difficulty consuming the type of hosts which most parishes regularly use. With the patients who suffer from dysphagia (unable to swallow - or only with extreme difficulty) I’ll commonly give them a morsel of Holy Communion not any larger than the size of, say, the lead tip of a sharpened pencil.

The Church never intended for your daughter to go through what she did today.

Here’s a little excerpt taken from paragraph # 8 of Inestimabile Donum, the blue text should be of interest to you:

Inaestimabile Donum
Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery
Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship
Approved and Confirmed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II April 17, 1980

8 …The preparation of the bread requires attentive care to ensure that the product does not detract from the dignity due to the Eucharistic bread, can be broken in a dignified way, does not give rise to excessive fragments, and does not offend the sensibilities of the faithful when they eat it. The wine for the Eucharistic celebration must be of “the fruit of the vine” (Lk. 22:18) and be natural and genuine, that is to say not mixed with other substances …]

I would say, your daughter’s case even surpasses “offending the sensibilities”.

…Will be saying some prayers for you and you daughter Tracy24.

God bless you and those dear to you :slight_smile:

Recently my daughter was suffering from laryngitis after a Saturday night concert, so I told her she could take a bottle of water in to mass, this is allowed without violating the fasting rules. It prevented her from having problems swallowing the host as well.

Your daughter can receive only blood if she would rather.

Oooh, looks like others have already answered.:thumbsup:

Also there is nothing wrong with keeping a small bottle of water with you for her to take a drink from (after swallowing the Host) after returning to her pew. Just do so in a inconspicuous manner.

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