Married couples recieving communion together

Since my Wife has Alzheimer’s I began to guide her up and stand next to her and making sure she received and consumed correctly before receiving myself. (I once found a half of host in her shirt pocket…and it had probably been there soe some months :blush:)

From that point on I stayed close and paid particular attention. Now - when we are able to go at all, we sit in the front pew and receive there.

My point is that there may be any number of reasons for couples receiving side-by-side.


I agree :thumbsup:

Yaaayy for communion rails :slight_smile:

I’ve seen this too!

There is an elderly couple at my parish who do the same thing. The wife receives communion in the hand and stands to the side until her husband receives, then they consume the Host together. I always thought it was rather touching myself, but I cannot see my husband and I doing the same thing. Being a younger couple, I don’t think we have the chutzpah to pull that off. :stuck_out_tongue:

The most precious thing in my life to me is my ability to receive Christ with my husband by my side. I thank God for our parish which allows us to receive at the rail, on our knees, and receive on the tongue.

For many years I dated someone who was not Catholic - he went to Mass with me, but I always went up alone to receive. I knew then that something just wasn’t right. I didn’t realize how wrong it really was until I was married to my husband and started to attend our present parish and receive next to each other.

Certainly, if we get separated it’s not the end of the world, but it does mean so much to me to be totally united with my husband in all ways.

That being said - when we go to my Dad’s parish where they all line up and receive standing, we do not disrupt the line by standing together.


yes I see it all the time, with the devoted wife who guides her husband with Alzheimers to communion–and his reaction of joy when he receives is almost the only response of awareness we see in him any more

In the elderly man who guides his blind wife to communion as he has been doing for 50 years and holds her hands up properly.

in the many spouses who take their wheel chair or walker bound spouse to communion and assist them


the day I start grousing about things like this is the day you can tell my pastor to fire me or retire me as I will have lost my focus on what is important

***I had never seen this done until I moved to a new city and joined my current parish. At the time, the parish was/had been run by a certain order of priests for close to 30 years. They were wonderful priests but too liberal for my tastes. Not only did I witness husband/wife receiving side by side but entire families would spread out in front of the priest, deacon or EMHC’s. This took up extra space and slowed down the receiving by others. It may be okay in smaller parishes but in one as large as mine it makes a big difference in how long Eucharist distribution takes to complete. This order is no longer in our parish and we were sent an amazing priest about 9 years ago. He’s asked over the years that people stay one behind the other in the Communion line but there are many old time parishoners that continue to spread out in front of the ministers to receive. Of course, they are not refused or told to get back in line but others get irritated when it causes a “log-jam”, so to speak. ***

I am all for bringing back the Communion rails but again, in a parish as large as mine it would take a considerable amount of time to distribute the Eucharist. So sad…:frowning:

I think when we are more focused on how long it takes to distribute than the uniting part of being in Communion with Christ, the Saints, the Angels, and each other than we have lost the point and need to reevaluate.

What a wonderful idea!

God bless,

The last sentence of the above quote from “Bendictgal” struck me. So, I re-read Pope Pius XII’s encyclical “Mystici Corporis Christi”. I encourage all to do the same. It’s readily available online - just do a Google search and type in the title of the encyclical. What a beautiful document on the Mystical Body of Christ! It is indeed an uplifting reminder of the boundless love of God for His creatures. The original posting is very united to the topic. If you go to paragraph 82: “By means of the Eucharistic Sacrifice Christ our Lord willed to give the faithful a striking manifestation of our union among ourselves and with our divine Head, wonderful as it is and beyond all praise. For in this Sacrifice the sacred minister acts as the viceregent not only of our Savior but of the whole Mystical Body and of each one of the faithful. In this act of Sacrifice through the hands of the priest, by whose word alone the Immaculate Lamb is present on the altar, the faithful themselves, united with him in prayer and desire, to offer to the Eternal Father a most acceptable victim of praise and propitiation for the needs of the whole Church. And as the Divine Redeemer, when dying on the Cross, offered Himself to the Eternal Father as Head of the whole human race, so “in this clean oblation” He offers to the heavenly Father not only Himself as Head of the Church, but in Himself His mystical members also, since He holds them all, even those who are weak and ailing, in His most love Heart.” We need to remember that we, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, are united. When we sin it affects us all. When we display virtue it also affects us all. We can not be un-united unless we reject and choose to leave Christ’s Church. I hope that you all will take the time to read the entire encyclical. It takes some time but it is worth it. God bless you.

Thank you (and all who have responded so thoughtfully)

WE are still young-ish and in good health thank the Lord.

I do tend to get side tracked about the little things that bug me during mass. I guess short of serious litugical abuse I could mellow out a bit :rolleyes:

Puzzleannie…I’m still in awe of how long you have been part of this website, and the number of posts you have submitted. God bless you!! In one short concise sentence, you have helped me, and if all of your 47,000+ posts and replies have done that for someone…WOW.

Thanks again

But I don’t think this is what the OP is talking about.

We’ve had threads before where people talked about proclaiming their unity as a couple by going to receive side-by-side and consuming at the same time. That is totally putting the focus on the wrong thing during Communion. You don’t receive Communion as a couple – if ever there was a just you and Jesus moment that would be it. Yes, it’s in the midst of a communal moment but it’s still you and Jesus, one on one.

I know people that do this…my aunt and uncle do this… But my husband and I talked…it’s not for us…

With all due respect, I stand by what I wrote. This actually does not conflict with what the Holy Father wrote. We are in a communion with the Church. However, receiving Holy Communion is an individual act and a very personal one because it is our individual encounter with God. Pope Benedict XVI noted in his homily during WYD in Cologne, that God wants to touch us, to kiss us, in Holy Communion. Holy Communion also prepares us for the final judgment when we will have to choose whether or not we want to accept God’s invitation to join Him in the heavenly banquet.

I can see a good reason for receiving side by side. For the couple, through the sacrament of marriage are no longer two but one. They are the image of God on earth. So I have no problem with that witness to the sacrament of Marriage.

The only problem might be, as I have seen, one of them might receive the cup, and pass the cup to his spouse. This would be an abuse, as no-one in the communion line is authorized by the presider to distribute communion, even if they are an EMHC, a Deacon, a Priest, or a Bishop. The cup is received by those who will distribute from the priest and they are the only one’s authorized to distribute the Body and Blood.

Then again, didn’t Jesus say that spouses are of one flesh? And through Communion this one flesh becomes one with the Body of Christ? I don’t see how the focus is misguided here.

By that logic only one spouse needs to receive. :eek:

There is confusion on the different types of union here.

  1. Each person, individuallly, is united physically with the Sacramental Body and Blood of Christ when receiving Communion.

  2. A husband and wife are united Sacramentally in marriage as one body.

  3. We are all united mystically with the Body of Christ that is the Chruch.

Each is a unique relationship and blurring them is not productive.

This is the **PERFECT **time to blur these unions. We are united through the one bread. It appears as many hosts, but there is one bread. There are two people, but only one flesh. There are three people, but only one God. The intent of communion is to have one Church, One Body, One Christ present before God.

Only one spouse may **NEED **to receive, just like only one person in the community **NEEDS **to receive (the priest) but all are encouraged to receive as a fuller sign of our unity.

… which is why I don’t hold hands at the Our Father… Because the perfect sign of union is at communion.

The bolded is not theologically sound. If one spouse receives Communion, only one spouse receives Communion. In order for both to commune, both NEED to receive.

Only the priest needs to receive Communion to make a Mass valid. But if a person does not physically receive, he or she has not received the Sacramental Body and Blood of Christ. It’s much more than just a fuller sign. It’s a Sacramental reality.

This quote from Christ comes to mind from the Gospel of Luke;

[34] And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: [35] But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives.

Now, here on earth, we’re in union with one another as one flesh through the sacrament, and as two pillars side by side yet each as an individual in which one cannot exist with our the other. As individuals, IMO, we should receive separately.

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