Communion standpoint from non-catholic view

It has been many years since I have received communion. Due to the length of time I would like to receive communion. I do believe in being part of fellowship in a church, not necessary a member though, to receive communion.

I have been going to a Catholic church for some time, and still struggle every time it comes to that part. I know in the Catechism it reads:

1400 Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.” It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.”

Are Catholics putting themselves on pedal stools? Why can you not receive the bread and wine if your heart is in the right place? Are we less than good enough to receive something that is intended for all because we don’t have “membership” status?

-Ashley W

I think this is a hard vthing to get used to

being catholic is not just about “membership”, we must profess to believe in everything the church teaches

and also, you must believe in the transubstantiation of the eucharist and be rid of all mortal sins or else you cannot receive it. you would literally be profaning the body of the lord.

so someone has to have confessed all their sins, not just be catholic.

it’s not that we’re trying to exclude people but communion is a very serious thing for us. and believe me, there are many catholics who should not be receiving either because they are not properly disposed

as for the thing about the non-catholic churches, well they don’t really believe in the same things when it comes to communion so that’s why it’s different.

I hope this heloped a bit

Catholics aren’t putting ourselves on a pedestal. It also isn’t bread and wine when we receive it. If you don’t understand that, then I don’t see how you can think that your heart is in the right place. It isn’t about membership, it is about totally understanding what you are doing. It isn’t like a protestant communion service.

If it isn’t about membership… um… yes it is. You have to be a part of the church in order to receive it. So I disagree with that statement.

And yes… it is bread and wine, you aren’t drink blood and eating a human like a cannibal.

You should really research what the church teaches about the Eucharist. Especially since you want to participate. :thumbsup:

1Corinthians
27
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.
28
A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.
29
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30
That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.
31
If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment;
32
but since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

“Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, ‘This is My body,’ not, this is a figure of My body: and ‘My blood,’ not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

Please learn and study what you are not only receiving but what you are communicating when you receive the Blessed Sacrament - which is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord … Jesus said “This is my Body …” and 'This is my Blood … " … not a representation, not a symbol but in reality … My Lord is not limited by my powers of understanding and knowledge nor by the physical limitations of this world … Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven on the third day? If so - why do you doubt that He gives us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist - as He promised and as He commanded for us to receive …

Now as to why you are not [yet] able to present yourself to this Eucharistic feast - well your OP illustrates that you have much to learn before you can demonstrate your union with Christ’s Church - the people of faith, the believers, the followers of Jesus … you do not believe and confess the faith that has been handed down to us …

It is out of respect for you, your faith traditions and your station in life that cause this delay - not out of desire to harm or withhold Jesus from you … St Paul tells us that to eat and drink of the Body and Blood unworthily and without recognizing what we receive is to drink damnation. It can cause illness and death …

The respect for your faith tradition - if you merely believe that this is symbolic - attend your Church where they believe that is true - we are not trying to confuse or belittle -

Hey Ashley,

Someone much more experienced than I should really talk to you about this; try asking the parish priest next time you go to observe a mass.

For this reason, I’ll only give a brief outline of an explanation.
The Church does not ask you to go without holy communion because she puts her members on a pedestal; we truly believe it’s for your own sake.

The Eucharist is a gift from God, of God that is like a heavenly bath at one end and a heavenly sword from the other. It cuts down evil while it sanctifies and beautifies good. If a person is in a state of mortal sin (willfully rejecting God’s Church is a mortal sin), one could say that the life of God within him has “flown the coup.” God may have created that person good, but the goodness has been killed.
Really, the offering of our tainted and sinful selves to be in communion with Infinite Goodness is something that the earthly Church never would have dared to consider if God had not explicitly commanded that we do it. This it not at all a painless task either; God’s goodness heals, yes, but by cutting out evil. If we have perverted significant portions of ourselves with sin, this “pruning” could be more like lopping off of limbs.
C.S. Lewis summarizes the sentiment well in Mere Christianity:
Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger…

Yes, the Bible refers to God’s lifesaving cup:

Psalms 115:13: I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:16: The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?
1 Corinthians 10:21: You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.

But we see this cup in a different light elsewhere:

1 Corinthians 11:27: Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
Revelation 16:19: But God remembered great Babylon, giving it the cup filled with the wine of his fury and wrath.
Revelation 14:9-10: Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, will also drink the wine of God’s fury, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb.

Naturally, the Church recommends a conversion, cleansing, and redemption of self before being in communion with the everlasting creator of the universe.

Now, would a thunderbolt strike you down immediately from heaven if you were to try tomorrow? Maybe not. But would would you have a sense of nonchalance or indifference at the occasion? Apathy? Numbness? One could even say… Deadness? Nothingness?

Again, my recommendation would be to talk to a priest or a deacon about this, not some random guy on the internet trying to flex his weakling apologetical muscle (that would be me). :D.

Hope this helped,

-Greg

It’s not technically membership because we would allow Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and members of the Assyrian Church of the East to receive.

They all (like Catholics) believe in Transubstation. We believe that during the Sacrifice at the Altar, the substance of the bread and wine is transformed into the literal Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, with the accent of bread and wine.

We do not believe it is symbolic. We believe its real. That is why we adorate the Blessed Sacrament. We believe that Jesus is physically (not just spiritually) present in a consecrated host.

This is also why Catholics are supposed to marry inside a Catholic Church. That way Jesus can physically be at our wedding, not just spiritually via the Holy Spirit.

I recommend picking up “Catholicism for Dummies” from the For Dummies series (it was written by a Catholic Priest who is often on EWTN).

Also check out these links:
catholic.com/quickquestions/isnt-the-eucharist-just-symbolic-since-jesus-could-only-sacrifice-himself-once

catholic.com/tracts/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

catholic.com/tracts/the-real-presence

catholic.com/browse/all/Eucharist/all/all

God Bless

I think it helps to remember that our actions have meaning. In Japan for example, if someone wears shoes in the house, that is a sign of disrespect. If I went into a Japanese friend’s house, I would take off my shoes then. If I didn’t, they would not let me eat there. By doing that, does that mean they think they are better than me? No. In their tradition, wearing shoes means something. It means I disrespect them. Now for me, I don’t happen to see shoe wearing that way. For me, shoes are just shoes, they don’t mean anything. But I can’t expect my Japanese friend to see shoes my way, because guess what? I’m the one coming into their house. If wearing shoes is a sign of disrespect to them, I won’t wear shoes.

It’s the same way with Catholics. For Catholics, in going up to communion, you are proclaiming ‘I believe all that the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims is revealed by God’ and thus, you don’t want to do that unless you mean it and have been received into full communion by the Church. That’s the reason the Church restricts communion to Catholics. That’s it. That’s what our tradition is.

Now to you, communion might not have such a weighty meaning. Just like to me, wearing shoes in the house is not that big of a deal. But to the Japanese, wearing shoes IS a big deal. To you the Eucharist is just a piece of bread. But to us it’s not. Communion is a big deal for us. It is Jesus himself! And receiving him means believing in everything he teaches through the Church.

When you visit someone else’s house, it’s just common courtesy to respect their beliefs and customs. Going to someone’s church is the same thing. You may not agree with the Church’s belief about the Eucharist or what receiving communion means, and the Church isn’t asking you to. All we’re asking is for you to acknowledge and respect it.

If you don’t believe the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, and if you don’t believe all that the Church teaches, then please don’t come up for communion. Not because we think you are inferior to us. We just don’t want you to be put in a position of saying something with your actions you don’t actually believe.

Read John6, 45 on. Christ addressed this apprehension regarding drinking His blood and eating His flesh.

Those Jews who could not accept it, left Him. Christ, surprisingly, did not run after them saying they misunderstood because He had said exactly what He meant and they heard what He said. For Catholics, the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ.

By your statement telling us it is bread and wine, you aren’t ready because you haven’t accept His teaching on this. It is His body and His blood. It is no longer bread and wine.

Read and let me know what you think. :thumbsup:

Greetings and blessings to you Ashley

I believe if you re-read what you have posted above you may begin to see you have answered your own question. You have differences and you are quite welcome to them. The Church has it’s own teachings and must protect them at all costs. Surly you can respect this.

BTY you are already a member, in a sense. If you would like to become a full member we would certainly love to have you participate in all the sacraments. :thumbsup:

Peace!!!

If you’d like to partake of communion in a body of believers, and you don’t believe in Transubstantiation, why not find a church that you believe aligns with biblical practices and go there? Meaning, transubstantiation is a defining belief in the RCC, and if you don’t agree that it is biblical, why attend a Catholic Church? Not saying you can’t, you absolutely can, but is this a teaching you are struggling with?

As to “closed communion” I do agree with your POV in that communion was never meant to separate brothers and sisters in Christ, and in fact Paul comments on that very fact. The Didache, an early writing connected to the church used Baptism as the mark for communion; if one had been baptized, then one could break bread with their siblings in Christ. It remains one of those issues that is troubling to me, esp. since any fellow brother or sister can commune with me, but not me with them, in other words, those are the churches with “closed communion.”

The bible also teaches that he who receives unworthily commits a sin. What makes you worthy is being repentent of our sins and confessing to God’s representative the priest. We are not on a pedestal we are sinners.

There are better ways for you to disagree with practicing Catholics on what the Catholic church teaches, if I may be so bold. It isn’t about “membership”. You use the term too loosely. Even if one is Catholic, they cannot partake in the Eucharistic Table simply by virtue of being a Catholic. If someone is not a Catholic, they should not receive communion. But here is what many non-Catholics fail to understand about the church-I as a practicing Catholic are not given a “free pass” to receive. I can be kept from participating in communion just as much as anyone else. I must do certain things to properly prepare myself to receive before doing so. I have taken several steps that non-Catholics have yet to take, but the same path I have taken is available to them. We must be properly prepared to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist by first being prepared to receive it through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation first. It isn’t that I or anyone else is on the “pedestal” you suggest we are on. We are just at a different place in our journey of faith in the Catholic Church. And even after receiving the other preparatory sacraments, I must still go to confession to be free of sin before receiving. It isn’t like once I join the church, nothing more is ever asked of me. It is an ongoing process.

The second part of your response is offensive to the Catholic faith. All your post says to me is that you are not ready spiritually at this moment to receive Christ in the Eucharist. You said in your original post, that you’ve attended the Catholic Church for some time. I would assume that you’ve been attending Mass without already receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Quite possibly, you’ve not yet received the Sacrament of Baptism? If you are at that point in your faith journey, there is a proper order to prepare yourself to receive. I have been where you are. I was attending Mass for quite some time before my conversion to the Catholic faith. Initially, I failed to understand the importance of waiting until I fully understood the Sacred Mystery that I longed to participate in. Patience helped me understand what I was doing. I would be less a person, and certainly less a Catholic, if I participated in the Sacred Mystery without first understanding what I was doing. If you were to participate now, you wouldn’t be as prepared as you should be to participate. I think you may very well get there. I sincerely hope for you to one day participate in the Mystery. But looking at your post, you simply aren’t there yet. That is not meant to be offensive-with the proper attitude and preparation you may get there. Hopefully, the day will come when you are properly prepared, so you may look back on your thoughts right now and see the errors in your current state of thought.

Yes, but Saint Paul was an Apostle and Bishop in the Catholic Church. In his letters, you have to be keenly aware to who he was writing to and the context.

St Paul would never condone communion with someone who did not believe that they were literally partaking in the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Just like the Jews believe that only a person who had no unrepented sins on their conscience and believed in the awesome power of God could look inside the Arc of the Covenant; we believe that if you receive the Body and Blood without confessing your mortal sins, a new mortal sin is being committed. Even after confession, we are still not worthy, but we do partake because The Lord asked us too. Before communion, we all say “Lord, I am not worth to enter under your roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” This is something we deeply believe, but we cannot have mortal sin on our conscience; if so, we must partake in the Sacrament of Penance first.

Now… With this said, we Catholics do have a problem. That is too many self identifying Catholics do not believe what the Church teaches and receive when they should not. They do not believe in the Real Presence or they do not understand the mortal sins of sacrilege and scandal. Every week, there are a number of Catholics who should not be receiving communion on Sunday due to lack of understanding (most of them) or an act of defiance (minority).

I hope this is helpful

God Bless

Paul was an Apostle of Christ going out to the Gentiles to teach them the gospel, and there was no Roman Catholic Church at the time, though there was the catholic church, made up of all believers. Yes, I understand that is not what is taught in the RCC, but obviously not all Christians are a part of the RCC, and hence we don’t believe the same on all doctrinal points. From reading the OP, they aren’t a part of the formal Catholic Church at this time, which is why I’m speaking with them as a fellow non-Catholic.

St Paul would never condone communion with someone who did not believe that they were literally partaking in the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul didn’t teach nor hold to transubstantiation. I don’t wish to argue it but at this point, the OP is struggling with the ideas presented and obviously doesn’t believe in transubstantiation either.

Now… With this said, we Catholics do have a problem. That is too many self identifying Catholics do not believe what the Church teaches and receive when they should not. They do not believe in the Real Presence or they do not understand the mortal sins of sacrilege and scandal. Every week, there are a number of Catholics who should not be receiving communion on Sunday due to lack of understanding (most of them) or an act of defiance (minority).

I hope this is helpful

God Bless

I see Paul teaching that the manner in which we partake needs to be in a worthy manner, as the word he uses is “unworthily” that is an adverb modifying the manner of partaking (not the person partaking, which would be “unworthy”). The Corinthians were eating in groups and leaving others out, even to the point of eating all the food that was at the feast before others could get there. They were splitting the body of Christ (the church). When they ate and drank they were not discerning the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:29)… the body of believers. Some were drunk and some were starving, and they split themselves, hence Paul’s condemnation. They were not acting as Christians should and hence profaning the Lord Himself, as we are the body of Christ.

Hi Ashley,
I think you need to ask yourself why you even want to take in holy communion in the first place. Why the need to take communion if you don’t believe He is present? You are clearly being drawn by the holy spirit to the Catholic faith. The holy eucharist is not only symbolic, it is the body and blood of Christ. You may not be consuming a piece of flesh visibly, or drinking actual blood- but God is present in the Holy eucharist- you are consuming Him. Do some research on miracles of the Eucharist- there are plenty on the internet- amazing stories:) The Catholic faith is not a club, we don’t close our doors to anyone. The doors are wide open and we invite anybody in- no membership required. But to receive the holy eucharist, you have to ready yourself. You have to cleanse yourself of your sins through confession. in order to welcome Him into your body, you have to be as clean as possible.
You are clearly being called, please do your best to answer that call. Go to church, talk to a priest, study the catechism, read your bible, pray for clarity. For now, take part in the procession to the front with those receiving communion but refrain from taking communion, cross your arms over your chest and allow the priest to bless you. Jesus loves all of his children, and he’ll go with you that way as well. I promise you, you’ll eventually find the answers you are searching for if you give yourself a chance to LOOK for Him.

my prayers and thoughts are with you!

In the Eucharist we receive the Risen Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, whether we receive a crumb of the consecrated Bread, or a drop of the Precious Blood.

What an awesome gift!

I don’t know where the OP went but some good replies on this thread. In case he/she returns, the Bishops’ guidelines are another good go-to resource for explaining this issue.

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/guidelines-for-the-reception-of-communion.cfm

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