Eye contact with Priest

Ok, so for my entire life I never paid attention to whether I was looking at the priest or the host while receiving eurcharist. I would do both, but it was never an issue for me. Until about 2 years ago I visited another church and the priest took the time out of mass to scold me for making eye contact with him and said something along the lines of blasphemy. I can’t remember all what he said because I was so mortified. I didn’t even know this was wrong. It was a traumatic experience and now every time I receive the eurcharist I’m pretty much terrified of “doing it wrong”. At my new church I’ve noticed out of the corne of my eye, the priest smiling at me while giving the host ( I don’t dare look at him) but now I’m so confused. Why is he trying to make eye cont at with me if this is some sort of abomination? I’m really tired of feeling so anxious and confused about something that’s suppose to be so sacred and beautiful. Can someone please clarify for me what this is all about. Thank you.

Look at the Host and see Jesus looking back at you.
If you smile, smile at Jesus who is looking at you with love.

You can close your eyes if you like, this would avoid the problem.

Don’t worry about where you are looking. I don’t understand why it would be a problem if the priest thought you were making eye contact with him. Look where you want but I wouldn’t try and get into a staring contest with the priest during the consecration. :smiley:

My advice would be to forget this incident with the priest and move on with your life

I’m not sure why the priest would object to your making eye contact with him. I’m an EMHC, and we were trained to make eye contact and smile at those who were receiving.

For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

I have never heard anything along the lines of what your previous priest said. I would try to put his words out of mind. He seems a bit over zealous. I do usually just look at the host, but when it is held at head height it is hard to not notice the person holding it. Please do t allow one encounter to worry and upset you - especially years later. Simply bask in Jesus’ love when you receive.

I don’t know if any Catholics are aware of it but there’s a partial indulgence of looking at the consecrated Host and saying “Meus Dominus et Meus Deus” (My Lord and my God.)

Perhaps a case for “ad orientem” worship can be made here? :slight_smile: Just saying.

You are meeting Jesus Himself. Focus on Him by looking on Him. Looking at the priest or the priest calling you by name is changing the focus.

I say that at the elevation during the consecration.

I’m wondering if it just isn’t a practical matter… not of ad orientem but of communion in the hand. If you’re looking at the priest rather than the host, perhaps he feared that you would accidentally drop the host which would be the source of the “blasphemy” he spoke of, because you weren’t looking at what you were doing. I don’t see how ad orientem would affect where the faithful look when receiving.

Since there’s usually a lot of commotion in the reception line, not to mention a hymn being sung, I watch the priest’s lips for “Body of Christ” or “Cuerpo de Cristo.” At least I want to get the “Amen” right. :slight_smile:

I don’t see how ad orientem would affect where the faithful look when receiving.

Addressing the consecration and the rest of the canon, eye contact would not be a problem in the “ad orientem” position.

I think that looking at the priest is as proper as looking at the host. For at this time, more than any other time, he is acting in Persona Christi, as the person of Christ. For when Jesus offered the bread and wine at the last supper would it be ok to look at the high priest (Jesus) or at the Host?

Any time a priest is acting sacramentally, it is Christ who is acting.

The priest says “I absolve you” not He absolves you
The priest says “I baptize you” not He baptizes you

I don’t know why anyone would train you to do that! You should not be smiling at the person receiving, or making eye contact. You are there only to give the people Holy Communion. They should be looking at the Host. They should not be looking at you - it’s not a social occasion.

You should be looking to see whether they are intending to receive in the hand or on the tongue, and making sure you do not drop the Host. You should be aware, if they are receiving in the hand, that they actually consumed the Host.

Maybe I’m missing something here but what does ad orientem have to do with eye contact with the priest in the communion line or at the communion rail, when presumably the priest is facing the communicant?

Of course we pay attention to how the person wishes to receive, where his/her hands are, etc. It’s neither inappropriate nor difficult to smile briefly while doing so. It is, after all, a joyful occasion.

I don’t think it has anything to do with it. I’m pretty sure that was in reference to the elevation during the Consecration. —about which the OP seemed most concerned.

=HoneyBea;11686394]Ok, so for my entire life I never paid attention to whether I was looking at the priest or the host while receiving eurcharist. I would do both, but it was never an issue for me. Until about 2 years ago I visited another church and the priest took the time out of mass to scold me for making eye contact with him and said something along the lines of blasphemy. I can’t remember all what he said because I was so mortified. I didn’t even know this was wrong. It was a traumatic experience and now every time I receive the eurcharist I’m pretty much terrified of “doing it wrong”. At my new church I’ve noticed out of the corne of my eye, the priest smiling at me while giving the host ( I don’t dare look at him) but now I’m so confused. Why is he trying to make eye cont at with me if this is some sort of abomination? I’m really tired of feeling so anxious and confused about something that’s suppose to be so sacred and beautiful. Can someone please clarify for me what this is all about. Thank you.

And he was right to do so:)

The priest id the PRIEST; the Sacred Host is OUR God. Amen!:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick

The plain fact of the matter is that you did nothing wrong. There is no Church doctrine on this. Just forget what that priest said. It’s troubling you and it shouldn’t be. Maybe talk to a priest about it. It sounds a bit scrupulous. :wave:

Never mind. I totally missed the point of the first post.

More people than not make brief eye contact with me when I am distributing Communion. If the priest actually told you that doing so was blasphemy, not only do I believe him to have been wrong, but it was an abusive statement toward you. As others have noted, there is no Church teaching on this, and he cannot make one up and bind you to it. Please be at peace.

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