How may I receive Communion?

I was raised a Catholic but strayed from practicing my faith fully through high school and college and, for many reasons, years after graduating. In the meantime my girlfriend and I have built a life together in a loving, monogymous relationship that has lasted 15 years. About three years ago I resumed the full practice of my Catholic faith and come into full communion with the church, which includes asking my girlfriend to marry me and starting the sacramental process through the church. We have met with a parish priest and went through the Engaged Encounter weekend, and my girlfriend (who was raised Presbyterian) even seriously considered going through RCIA to become Catholic. However, when it became known by the head of our parish RCIA program that my girlfriend and I are living together that set off some red flags and it was strongly suggested that I stop receiving communion and relinquish my ministry as a lector at mass. While I am not happy about this at all, I do recognize that there are rules we must follow and accept this. But ever since my return as a fully practicing Catholic I have attended mass several times a week and the Eucharist is extremely important to me. Ever since I’ve had to stop receiving communion I’ve had a profound sadness and bouts of depression and anxiety. Our nuptuals won’t take place for a few months but I’m not sure I can last that long without the Eucharist. Is it impossible for soeone in my position to take communion…even sparingly after confession?

Hi,

I would hope that the reason you are not allowed to receive Holy Communion has been explained to you. It’s not just a matter of keeping some arbitrary rules. The fact is that the Church does not recognize the validity of your current marriage and so every time you have relations you are committing a mortal sin. If you live in a celibate way until your marriage is blessed, then you may go to Confession and receive Holy Communion right away.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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