Not taking communion


#1

I am a member of a parish where the vast majority of churchgoers receive communion every week. For several reasons (including the fact that I have sinned without going to confession), I won't be receiving communion this week. Do I just sit in my pew? Or do I kneel and pray? What is the proper procedure?


#2

Just kneel and pray. Remember that even when we do not receive that we are still in the visible presence of our Lord (exposed in the Eucharist which is being received by others).

You might try and sit closest to the isle in your pew so that you can easily let others through who are receiving. Then just step back in and kneel and pray.

That’s my advice. Good on you for honoring the Eucharist. I hope you make time for confession asap. :thumbsup:


#3

You can either just sit in your pew or you can receive a blessing by going up to the Priest or EMHC and cross your arms over your chest making an X. I would advise getting a blessing from the Priest then doing a spiritual Communion while you kneel in your pew afterwards. It is better, I think, then not getting a blessing at all.:slight_smile:


#4

Since I am not Catholic yet, I cannot receive. But I pray two prayers while remaining kneeling in the pew, as others go forward to receive:

First, that all those in the Communion line will receive much strength and grace for the week ahead, and that they will realize and appreciate what a great blessing it is to be able to receive Christ in Holy Communion.

Second, that Our Lord will grant all of us who cannot receive (for whatever reason) Spiritual Communion and graces, also.

Here is a good prayer for Spiritual Communion:

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/blsac4.htm

:gopray:


#5

[quote="RedDuke50, post:3, topic:297920"]

You can either just sit in your pew or you can receive a blessing by going up to the Priest or EMHC and cross your arms over your chest making an X.

[/quote]

  1. Catholic faithful who are physically able to kneel do not sit in their pews during communion, regardless of whether they're receiving or not.

  2. Everyone receives a blessing at mass simply by attending. Every mass is closed with a blessing by the priest over the congregation. Going up to the priest and crossing your arms to receive a blessing during the distribution of communion is redundant.

  3. EMHC's cannot bless people. We do not receive blessings at mass from laity. Any such practice is forbidden.

A citation from 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). **

Hope this helps


#6

Have you observed what people usually do upon returning to their pews after receiving communion in your parish? If you behave likewise, this will be suitable. :slight_smile: In my parish they kneel before communion, and after receiving they kneel until the priest returns to his chair (this is after he does all the purifying and folds up the corporal and stacks the paten on the chalice). So, when not receiving, I would kneel just like that.

However, you are not obligated to keep kneeling until the priest returns to his chair. That is not in the rules. I am advocating blending with local custom, since that varies. You are free to sit before then.

Regardless of posture, spend the time in prayer. :thumbsup: Utilize the act of spiritual communion posted previously.


#7

[quote="RedDuke50, post:3, topic:297920"]
You can either just sit in your pew or you can receive a blessing by going up to the Priest or EMHC and cross your arms over your chest making an X. I would advise getting a blessing from the Priest then doing a spiritual Communion while you kneel in your pew afterwards. It is better, I think, then not getting a blessing at all.:)

[/quote]

And away we go... :popcorn:


#8

Let the “games” begin…!:popcorn:


#9

Please, oh please no. Not again. LEt's not run down that rabbit hole again. Someone just give the poor soul a link to a 30 page thread about blessings at Mass and let us stick to the OP's question.

The answer is: simply stay in your pew and make a spiritual communion and resolve to go to confession asap.

As an aside, if you see someone staying in the pews, you do not know if they are:

1) Non-Catholic and respecting the Church's law about who can receive Communion

2) Someone who missed the required fast before receiving

3) Someone who has already received twice that day

4) Someone who is not spiritually disposed to receive (serious sin, married outside the church, divorced and remarried without an annulment, left the Church for another denomination, etc....)

I say this because we can automatically presume that people in the pews are in serious sin. That is not so, and it should not be something that we worry people are presuming on us if we refrain from going up. It is a private matter between you and God and no one should be coming up to you to ask why (unless it's your confessor).


#10

[quote="RedDuke50, post:3, topic:297920"]
.........or you can receive a blessing by going up to the Priest or EMHC and cross your arms over your chest making an X.

[/quote]

Why give this advice since it's completely controversial and some priests are trying to discourage it?


#11

[quote="Windmill, post:9, topic:297920"]

The answer is: simply stay in your pew and make a spiritual communion and resolve to go to confession asap.

As an aside, if you see someone staying in the pews, you do not know if they are:

1) Non-Catholic and respecting the Church's law about who can receive Communion

2) Someone who missed the required fast before receiving

3) Someone who has already received twice that day

4) Someone who is not spiritually disposed to receive (serious sin, married outside the church, divorced and remarried without an annulment, left the Church for another denomination, etc....)

I say this because we can automatically presume that people in the pews are in serious sin. That is not so, and it should not be something that we worry people are presuming on us if we refrain from going up. It is a private matter between you and God and no one should be coming up to you to ask why (unless it's your confessor).

[/quote]

Thank you for this post! I recently read an article that suggested we no longer use ushers to direct the faithful to communion by rows. Sounds like chaos, but it was recommended to take the pressure off those who, for whatever reason, do not go to communion but are left conspicuously alone in the pew.


#12

I thought only Priests could bless you. Anyways, I’ve done this and it’s powerful. I’m reminded that it is I who chose to sin. Being so close to Jesus (in the firm of the Eucharist), but not being able to join him is sorrowful. Kinda a mini reminder on what it’s like being separated from God. One time I cryed because it was such a stupid sin that separates me from him.


#13

Is this truly such a widespread issue in the US? I’m in the Us but go to Spanish Mass and more than half the people don’t receive. When I’ve been in other countries that’s also been the case. Why has this occurred in US parishes? i’m very curious to know.


#14

Frequent, even daily communion, is encouraged because it helps us to resist temptation, increases the love of Christ in our hearts and will even forgive our venial sins if received with the proper disposition. To go to a banquet and not partake of the food, in my estimation, would be more odd - why would anyone not want to receive?

Of course frequent confession is also encouraged (at least in our parish it is) as a means to live more fully the life that Christ intends us to live. (Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.)


#15

I’ve sat through communion several times in the past due to being unable to go to confession.

If you never done it before, it’s easy to feel that all eyes are watching and judging you. However, let those old folks stare you down. It’ll help you to better appreciate the sacrament you want to receive, and see others who sit down in the same light as you.


#16

[quote="RedDuke50, post:3, topic:297920"]
You can either just sit in your pew or you can receive a blessing by going up to the Priest or EMHC and cross your arms over your chest making an X. I would advise getting a blessing from the Priest then doing a spiritual Communion while you kneel in your pew afterwards. It is better, I think, then not getting a blessing at all.:)

[/quote]

Going up in the line for a blessing is good, and either way, the priest blesses everyone just before the Missa.

Sometimes it can be an issue of embarrassment, in a small parish where everybody is familiar to everyone else, i.e. what will people think I've done, if I just sit in the pew? It's probably less noticeable, in this case, to go up and discreetly receive the blessing. Either way, though, who cares what people think? A fair number of the people receiving communion on any given Sunday are probably overdue for Reconciliation themselves!


#17

[quote="Tigg, post:14, topic:297920"]
Frequent, even daily communion, is encouraged because it helps us to resist temptation, increases the love of Christ in our hearts and will even forgive our venial sins if received with the proper disposition. To go to a banquet and not partake of the food, in my estimation, would be more odd - why would anyone not want to receive?

Of course frequent confession is also encouraged (at least in our parish it is) as a means to live more fully the life that Christ intends us to live. (Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.)

[/quote]

There are different reason not to receive communion even when in an objective state of grace. For example the individual understands that he has not the proper predisposition at the specific time. Perhaps the faithful has the impression that reception of communion during Mass is turning into an automatic act that detracts from the proper understanding of the sacrament. Last night I went to the my second Mass for the day and I chose not to receive communion, I realize that sometime I start to loose sight of the depth of the sacrament and that it would good for me to miss it. Sometime we realize how something is good when we do not have access to it and we start to miss it.


#18

[quote="RedDuke50, post:3, topic:297920"]
.......... I would advise getting a blessing from the Priest then doing a spiritual Communion while you kneel in your pew afterwards...........

[/quote]

I think that this is a very bad suggestion and seems to indicate a lack of understanding in sacramental theology. People already get a blessing at Mass and getting another one seem to turn more into a feel good superstitious act than anything else. I am saying that especially when it is suggested in lieu of spiritual communion, our final goal as Christians is to be in complete communion with God and suggesting to disregard a partial (e.g. spiritual) communion with Christ goes against the purpose of the Church.


#19

Many Americans I know, including those in my own family, have a sense of entitlement about receiving Holy Communion. They believe everyone should receive Holy Communion, even if you’re a nonpracticing Catholic or a nonCatholic. I have many family members who have rejected the Church, her teachings, and any moral authority it claims. They will openly speak against the Church with pride. But they receive Holy Communion at every funeral and Mass I see them at. And if the priest makes an announcement that only practicing Catholics are to receive, that comment will be criticized at length at the reception after the Mass. It really doesn’t make logical sense.

However, I have recently moved into a parish with many immigrants from the Caribbean. There, it’s no big deal for people to not receive Holy Communion. I see a sense of respect for the rules the Church makes, even from people who might not be practicing the faith. I have no reason to believe my American parish is less sinful than my Caribbean parish.


#20

[quote="lllj, post:1, topic:297920"]
I am a member of a parish where the vast majority of churchgoers receive communion every week. For several reasons (including the fact that I have sinned without going to confession), I won't be receiving communion this week. Do I just sit in my pew? Or do I kneel and pray? What is the proper procedure?

[/quote]

You can kneel or sit in your pew and pray. It's nice to be aware of others around you so you can let them in or out of the pew easily. If it throws someone off and they poke you or something, just tell them you're not receiving.


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