Is it wrong to turn one's back on the sanctuary?


I have a simple question. In my church there is a main aisle between the 2 sets of pews, and 2 smaller aisles on either side of the main church building. When I went up to take communion I walked back to my seat down the main aisle, so I had my back to the altar on the walk back. My friend however said I should have walked down one of the sides and back up the main one, like I’d made a terrible faux pas.

Does she have a point? Is it OK to walk back to my seat directly or should I take the long, more ‘respectful’ route? (this seems a bit ridiculous to me). I am still quite new to the Church (ie a month) so I suppose I may not have picked up on this unspoken rule, if there is one. This isn’t an issue of ‘traffic flow’ as the Church wasn’t that full.

I hope the question makes sense, thanks.


You had the Blessed Sacament within your very body. At that moment you were a living tabernacle. Your friend’s comment is way off the mark. By the way, we RECEIVE the Eucharist. It is given.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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