Did I disrespect the Eucharist or did the Priest disrespect me?

Hello everyone,

I will get right into it. So, I went up for Communion and went to kneel but I crossed my arms to show that I am asking for blessing in lieu of reviving Communion because I was NOT in a state of grace. I thought this was a common practice in the O.F.* In any case, the Priest said “The Body of Christ” and I felt awkward because again I had my arms crossed. Anyway, the Priest said “Do you want Communion?” and I said “No”(I should have said “No, because I am not in the state of grace”) but that should not matter because…I had my arms crossed.

Anyway, it ended with a look of great disdain from the Priest and telling to “Go”. Now then, did I disrespect the Eucharist or…did was this just a rude Priest? May I add, I do know this Priest fairly well… Also, there where some minor abuses during the Mass, such as the Priest joking at the beginning of Mass about “These are not Pink, They are Rose!”…and asked the congregation to “touch their ears, mouth and eyes” to see how we should love our bodies…

*When I to attend the O.F, which is about 40% of the time, at other parishes, this is not an issue…

If you are not prepared to receive you should not go up for communion. Having your arms crossed has nothing to do with it.

It was confusing not “disrespecting.” The communion line is not the place for conversation or private blessings. Tell the priest you are sorry and then let the matter rest.

I was not asking for a personal or private conversation. I have seen many people and I have walked with my arms crossed many times before, and it was not an issue. Did the Holy See recently issue a policy change regarding this?

I will share my thoughts with you Mrs. Sally… when I die I hope all the non catholics in my family go through the communion line AND have their arms crossed AND seek a blessing from the priest.

That is a standard and common practice. It is alarming that the priest did not recognize it; in fact, I personally doubt that he was unfamiliar with it but there is a personal or private position of the priest at issue here.

However, I would also personally be weary of being too judgemental of yourself. Only God can know with anything like infallible certainty who is and is not in a state of grace:

Sorry Sally, but this is wrong on many levels. The only accurate part is that it may have been confusing, and the OP probably should let it rest, but coming to the Lord’s table for a blessing is quite acceptable, and there is no need for apologies from either party:shrug:

It could be confusing to the priest because Eastern rite catholics use this posture to go up and receive communion. And coming up for a blessing when not receiving communion is not the standard thing at all churches.


Well, I had never even seen this practice with people going up in the communion line with crossed arms till very recently. Then, I had to asked someone what that was all about. Someone explained these people wanted a special, individual, blessing. So, I even had some children who were learning about God and encouraged them to go up and get blessed, as well.

Since then, I’ve learned we really aren’t supposed to be going up for individual blessings, that though it’s a custom now in some place. We are not to get special individual blessings, that we will all get the same, general blessing at the end. So, going up for an individual blessing really isn’t necessary.

The communion line is for people to receive communion. It’s hard on priests, like that one, because he had already said, “Body of Christ”.

I don’t think he even was prepared how to politely handle that situation. It must have been terrible for all involved.

Well, it’s confusing of late due to all these places which are offering it and other places which are not, but I think the ones who are offering this aren’t really supposed to.

It’s also sort of like with the sign of peace. They encourage us to treat others equally, in mass, at least. So, we’re really not supposed to give one person a handshake, another a kiss, and another a hug, because it puts each person on a different level.

If we use a handshake, then everybody’s to get a handshake.

I remember one priest started having a line for these special, individual blessings, with the Blessed Sacrament, and it finally ended up with everyone present going up in line, and it was more tiring on him, since the Blessed Sacrament can get very heavy!

So really, we’re all supposed to get the same blessing at the end, without anyone getting special blessings in between.

I will give you that but this was an Latin Rite O.F Mass…and I the Priest knows that I am a Latin Rite Catholic. But from all of the churches that I been too, crossing arms has been a common practice.

The communion line is only for communion. The Holy See does not even permit blessings for non-communicants. My pastor never gives blessings. He just tells those that are not receiving to just not come up. The practice of giving blessings arose in the 80s, and the Holy See has never sanctioned it.

Note, just because it is a “standard and common practice” does not mean it is licit. Take hand-holding at the Our Father. It is widespread, but it is liturgical abuse.

Really, because here is thread on this website talking about this issue: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=252922

I think the apologist once addressed this on the forum when someone asked what the crossed arms were about. I think he said the communion line was for people receiving communion.

As to the blessing, he discouraged people from going up and getting individual blessings from the communion line, saying there would be a general blessing of everyone at the end which would be sufficient.

Well…I will contact the priest and apologize, becasue it appears that I was in the wrong… I am now if what I did would be considered blaspheming or disrespect the Eucharist…

I just got to ask those who think this is not the thing to do…what about children who have not received the sacraments of reconciliation or communion? In our parish they are welcome to come to the altar and receive a blessing from the deacon or priest.

As a eucharistic minister we have been instructed to not provide a “blessing” but rather acknowledge them and they be on their way. As it happened to me on one occasion and I merely said “peace be with you”.

In the whole realm of things, what would Jesus want you to do?

This thread has over 300 posts. Why? Because it is a very contentious topic. In fact, I am sure you could find many, many threads on the topic.

The point being, there are many parishes that say if you aren’t receiving Communion, don’t get in the Communion line. And I have to say, although I have seen many parishes give blessings in the Communion line, I have never seen anyone kneel while in the Communion line, to receive a blessing.

I am sure the priest was pretty confused.

Since you don’t receive a special, separate blessing at the EF, don’t worry about not receiving one at the OF.

Very true. In every missal I have seen it states (usually on the inside cover) to say a spiritual communion. A blessing is given to all at the end of Mass.

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

It would be my guess that the kneeling threw him for a loop too.

Wow, I really wish folks would read the sticky notes at the top of these forums - there’s one that specifically addresses this issue. The communion line is for communion, not for blessings. Here’s an excerpt from the sticky (my bold emphasis added):

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disciple of the Sacraments acknowledges receipt of your kind letter of 13 August, 2008 and would like to thank you for your interest and suggestions. This matter is presently under the attentive study of the Congregation.

For the present, therefore, this Dicastery wishes to limit itself to the following observations:

The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.

Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; can. 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).

Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands – which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here – by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.

The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, n. 84, “forbids any pastor, for whatever reason to pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry.” To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.

In a similar way,** for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church’s discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing.** This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin).

People have all sorts of personal forms of piety when they go to communion, including crossing their chest with their arms. There is a fellow in a neighboring parish that always receives communion in this manner.

Though it had been common in the past until the regulations abolished going up for a blessing, the priest probably assumed you were using your own devotional posture. I am glad to see that he at least asked you if you wanted to receive, rather than just bless you. If he is holding the hosts, it can be difficult to perform a blessing at this time, and you should not have entered the communion line.

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