Going to my first Mass tomorrow, question on the Eucharist. Need answers NOW

Ok I need to make this quick. I’m going to be going to my first Mass tomorrow. Our Lord Jesus has lead me down the path to truth. Thank you Jesus! This is the breakthrough I needed, He answered my Novena:)! My mom finally let me go to Mass with one of her Catholic friends…

Anyways, about the Eucharist I need answers quick because I’m going to be going to the early morning Mass and I need to get to bed soon. (I live in hong kong its almost 10:00 PM)
My mom’s friend told me that since I was baptized and I am a practicing Christian she said I could receive the Eucharist. I told her that I haven’t received the Sacrament of confirmation and I’m still technically protestant because I haven’t been received into the Church. She said that it was ok since I’m planning on converting anyways. This might be my only chance until I am an adult! (I’m only 14) I pray everyday that I will be able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist and this is finally my chance… But… Should I take it?

Thanks all, God bless.

NO, you should NOT receive Communion, unless you have gone through the proper faith formation classes or RCIA. Also, even Catholics should not be receiving the Eucharist unworthily, so the likelihood is that you’d need to go to Confession first, since you cannot receive with sins on your soul.

Your mom’s friend is not correct.

You should refrain from receiving the Eucharist until you are received into the Catholic Church.

I don’t recall myself saying “take communion”:slight_smile: I said “receive the Eucharist”:slight_smile:

Ok, so should I go to confession first?

Ok, should I stay at my seat or go up and cross my arms and receive a blessing?

You should stay in your seat when you are at Mass. Do not receive Communion until after you have gone through the instructions and after you have been received into the church. This is usually done at the Easter Mass.

Blessings are for Easter Mass? My mother’s friend’s daughter goes up, but instead of receiving crosses her arms and gets a blessing because she isn’t baptized yet. Would it be ok for me to cross my arms also? Thanks:)

No, it wouldn’t. There is no blessing at Communion-time (not now, and not at the Easter Mass). If you aren’t Catholic yet the only correct thing to do at Communion-time is to remain in the pew and not to go into the Communion-line at all. Anyone who tells you to go up for a blessing, or to go up in line and cross your arms is telling you to do something which the Church forbids.

I’m sorry, I’m hearing 2 entirely different things from Catholics. I have been told by Catholics here on Catholic answers that I can go up but cross my arms. While you tell me to stay at my pew. Are we talking about the same parts of the Mass? I’m not very familiar with parts of the Mass:) I’ve been told this in a private message.

“Go to Mass, participate, but when it comes time to receive Communion, go with your hands crossed over your chest, and that will tell the priest or Eucharistic Minister, that you aren’t receiving Communion, and he will bless you.”

Welcome to the forums and welcome to the Church. Your best course of action is to remain in your pew and make a spiritual act of Communion, asking Jesus to come spiritually in your heart.

Unfortunately, you may not go up and cross your arms to receive a blessing. Here is a statement made by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:

  1. 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.
  1. 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; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. **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).

Your situation, as I read the letter, falls under the fifth observation. While there may be some parishes that do this, this is, sadly, a well-intentioned, but, misguided effort at inclusivity and should not be done. You will receive a blessing, as will everyone else, at the end of Mass.

Just because you were told in a PM to go up with your arms crossed, that does not mean that it is legitimate. We need to follow what the Church says. In this case, while there will be some who will harp on the words “under study”, the CDWDS gives five solid reasons why this particular action should not be done.

Fr. David has given you good advice, in light of what the Vatican has said.

My friend, your sister has been given misguided information. She, too, would fall under the fifth observation issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This Congregation is designated by the Holy Father as being in charge of all things pertaining to the Mass and the Sacraments. Their statements need to be respected and obeyed, as they come directly from Rome.

The Easter Vigil is the traditional time for candidates (Protestant converts) and the Elect (those who have not yet been baptized) to be received into the Church. In your case, you would be confirmed and then receive Holy Communion. In your sister’s case, she would be baptized at that point, confirmed and be able to receive Holy Communion.

Please wait, Oumashta :hug1:

Who Can Receive Holy Communion?
"Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist* is a sign of the reality** of the oneness of faith,** life**, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Communion. Eucharistic sharing in** exceptional circumstances** by** other** Christians requires permission according to the** directives **of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. . . . " *

Scripture is clear that partaking of the Eucharist is among the highest signs of Christian unity: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). For this reason,* it is normally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive Holy Communion**, for to do so would be to proclaim a unity to exist that, regrettably,** does not. ***
Complete article

In some parishes this is permitted and sometimes encouraged, however it is discouraged by Rome, the parishes are incorrect in promoting this action.

You might indeed hear 2 different things from individual Catholics, but the Catholic Church only tells us one thing: that these blessings are not to be done. That’s what the Holy See said when Catholics wrote to Rome and asked the same question–and that came in the form of an official response from the Pope’s representative. When there is a conflict between what individuals say on their own authority, and what the Church tells us about how the Mass is to be done, we should be obedient to the Church’s liturgical laws and not to someone’s private opinion.

The information that someone sent you in a private message is in conflict with what the Church tells us happens (or in this case, does not happen) at this point in the Mass.

Remember, at the Easter Vigil you will be able to go forth in the Communion line and you will receive the Body of Christ. That’s the most important thing to remember, above all else. In the meantime though, there’s no substitute for receiving Communion by doing something that the Church forbids.

First, let me apologize. I read your initial post very quickly, and I read “should I take it” at the end of your post, and assumed you were talking about Communion. As soon as I caught my error, I edited my post. I apologize for the unnecessary correction.

In the Catholic Church, each of the sacraments, especially the sacraments of initiation, require a period of instruction so that people know not only how to properly perform them, but WHY they are performed. Further, the church wants them to have a complete understanding of the faith before joining the Catholic Church. Normally, the process for this is RCIA - the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. RCIA classes usually last from September until the Easter Vigil, and go over the basics of Catholicism. At the Easter Vigil, you would then be received into the church and receive ALL of the sacraments of initiation: Baptism (or Confession, if you’ve already been baptized), First Communion, and Confirmation). The Catholic Church takes its sacraments seriously, and it doesn’t want people joining the church without FULLY understanding what our religion entails.

As far as crossing your arms and going up for a blessing… it’s VERY common. However, it is technically wrong, and the church has been trying to stop this informal tradition recently. The reason it’s wrong is threefold. First, it isn’t necessary to go up for a blessing, as EVERYONE receives a blessing just before the conclusion of Mass already. Second, only the priest is able to give blessings, and often, there are laypeople giving out Communion. They are not authorized to give blessings, and this has caused confusion. Third, remember that there’s NOTHING wrong with not receiving Communion at Mass. Even Catholics are only required (as a minimum) to recieve Communion once per year, at Easter. If a Catholic hasn’t had the opportunity to go to Confession, and they have a mortal sin on their soul, they are supposed to refrain from Communion. Sadly, many people go up anyway, however.

You can make a spiritual communion, which, simply explained, is saying a prayer expressing your belief in Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Here’s the prayer that I learned as a Protestant before becoming Catholic:

“I believe that You, O Jesus, are in the Most Holy Sacrament. Come into my heart. I embrace You. Oh, never leave me! May the burning and most sweet power of Your love, O, Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech You, absorb my mind that I might die through love of Your love, Who were graciously pleased to die through love of my love.”

It’s a prayer of St. Francis.

Catholics who have not been to Confession and been absolved of mortal sins may also make a spiritual communion.

Or if you are unable to attend a Mass due to illness, you can make a spiritual communion.

Oh thank you:) Thank you all so much! And thank you for pointing out about what the Church said. I’ll stay in my pew then:) I’m so happy! I’ll be going in 20 minutes! Oh I can’t wait! I’ve been waiting for almost a year. A year of nothing but praying to Jesus and His mother for help. Thank you Jesus, thank you Mary for your intersession.

God bless you! Let us know how it went.

Dear Oumashta,
I know that you have already left for Mass this morning but something has been bothering me. I’m not sure why you have written that today might be your only chance to receive the Holy Eucharist until you are an adult. I know that there has been persecution of Catholics in China and I was wondering if there has been some persecution of the faith where you live. We in the United States have not suffered this kind of persecution. The Church does grant permission in extreme cases for non-Catholics to receive Communion as long as they share our belief that the Eucharist is really Jesus (body, blood, soul and divinity) See Code of Cannon Law 844 #4
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2T.HTM Talk to the priest at the church and follow his directions. I thank God for leading you to the Catholic Church and may God continue to bless you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.