How to Explain Why My Friend Can't Receive Communion


I have a friend who isn’t baptized. She always gets frustrated when I tell her she cannot receive communion because she thinks that since she believes in Jesus’ death and Resurrection she should be allowed to receive Him in communion. I don’t know how to explain to her why she can’t. Can anyone help me?


I’ll take a shot. Since she isnt baptized her sins have not been washed away. She has to be in a state of grace to receive communion. Why is she refusing Gods grace by not getting baptized?


Does she believe in each line of the apostle’s creed, “The holy Catholic Church”
Has she gone to confession?
Does she believe in the real presence?


It’s not only necessary to believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, one has to believe that the host and wine are actually and truly the body and blood of Jesus. Not to mention that one needs to be free of mortal sin. Is your friend Catholic? Refer her to St. Paul 1 Cor. 11:26-29,

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.”

Also, the sacrament of Baptism makes her a member of the Church, Christ’s mystical body. It’s not just a silly rite of sprinkling water on a baby. It has important significance.


“Please do not presume that this august privilege is yours to have.”
It’s like jumping in a car and driving because you’ve been in a car all your life. Even the world has certain requirements for certain privileges.


Well, people don’t like hearing they shouldn’t go to Communion in general. :shrug:

Even with a valid explanation, don’t be too optimistic of change in attitude, but you have my prayers. :gopray:


I have always found this guidance from the USCCB to be the most straightforward:


It took awhile for me to realize that I shouldn’t recieve. Oddly I think it was Communion that helped me to believe in the real presence which led me to abstaining until things are taken care of. Remember the bit about God making straight lines out crooked lines or something like that (Chesterton?).

Perhaps you should simply pray for her. You said what needed to be said, it’s out of your hands now.


As she is not baptized, I would suggest that you ask her to attend RCIA to find out more about this guy Jesus, who he really is, and what Communion really is.


That’s a really good idea. A somewhat related idea is to simply recommend books without mentioning the communion issue, maybe something about the mass. Once she see’s what is really going on she may come around eventually.


The reception of Eucharist not only unites us with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ but also with each all of our brothers and sisters professing the Catholic Faith. Someone who has not yet investigated and professed this Faith (or has rejected portions) cannot profess a unity with their brothers and sisters even if they desire to be united to their understanding of Jesus. So it would be, at the least, dishonest.

Remember that in the early church, those “not yet enlightened” were dismissed after the homily. We don’t do this anymore, but that doesn’t mean that we can encourage or separated brothers and sisters pretend a unity that they do not profess.


First of all, she should be able to understand that she inherited sin from the fall of Adam and Eve. In Romans 5:12 it says “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

This sin would make us unworthy to receive Jesus’ body and blood if we are not absolved from it. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 it says “27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 A person should examine himself first, and in this way let him eat the bread and drink of the cup.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Therefore, in order to be free from the bondage of this sin and be worthy of accepting Jesus’ body and blood, one must be first baptized.


She cannot pick and choose among the sacraments for the initiated, nor the order in which they are to be received. If she wants to join in communion with the Church, she ought to ask for real communion with the Church. She ought to ask to be baptized!

This is in the plain meaning of the New Testament–that is, that baptism is necessary. What is she waiting for?


My Protestant friends seem to look upon the Eucharist as Catholics being stuck up, and just wanting to feel superior to them. It’s always really difficult to explain. They like to cite “Jesus said let the little children come to me” and say our communion should be available to everyone. Granted, they don’t believe in the Real Presence, but still…


Even from this point of view, their position makes no sense: They wouldn’t want anyone to call them a Roman Catholic, they wouldn’t listen to what a Roman Catholic bishop or a priest has to say, they don’t feel our obligation to be at Mass every Sunday and Holy Day, but for some reason we are standoffish by saying that receiving our ultimate sacrament of unity is out of place! It is not as if we won’t let them become Catholic! We only ask that they not pretend to be in communion with all these Catholics around them when they’re not!

You want say, “What? You’re saying you want Jesus, but the rest of the Church, not so much? Who’s standoffish, here?”


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