Question on Communion

Hello all. I’ve been a Catholic for 40+ years now and have been lazy in my faith. For the longest time I’ve went to Mass, absorbed the homily, grabbed my Sunday ticket and head out the door asap. I wasn’t getting anything out of mass. Simply just going through the motions.
In the last year and a half I’ve dove deep down into our faith and tradition. I come to Mass early hoping to get a prayer or two in before the pre-mass chattering begins. Reconciliation every two weeks, and a renewed approach to the Eucharist with deserving respect.
Before I would stick out my hands, have God plopped into my palm and picked up with my fingers with no regard to their cleanliness. Being a father to a young son Im sure I’ve wiped a snotty nose or two without any concern to what I would be receiving at communion.
When my son was old enough to make his First Communion I felt he was lacking the understanding of about what he was about to recieve. His religion class was made up of lay people who have recently converted and for the most part didn’t fully comprehend this sacrament imho.
Being the parent I felt it was my duty to instruct my son on the Eucharist. What the sacrament was and how it should be recieved.
I’m sure this subject has been debated time and ahain especially on a Catholic forum. And I’m not here to come across as “holier than thou”. But I do have a legit concern/question which I feel somewhat embarrassed having to ask.
With our priests acknowledgment, my son and I have been granted the oppertunity to recieve communion on the tongue and kneeling using the first pew during the weekday mass. Thursday being our only weekday mass and with only a handful of parishioners that actually attend we found that this was the best oppertunity to recieve communion in this way.
Sunday Mass the front pews are used by the elderly or others who are disabled. So receiving while kneeling wasn’t really an option.
So to my question, is this acceptable in the church? Am I committing a sin by not receiving communion at all on Sunday and only receiving it on the weekday mass? Thanks for any direction you can provide. Blessings

Dear SJames, I have to ask you more about your situation. If you wish to receive Jesus by mouth why couldn’t you walk up and kneel in front of Jesus instead of in the front pew? Do you have any physical restriction for doing that? You could if you would prefer that especially as your Priests understand this is important to you. If you wish to receive in your pew you might ask for that before the Mass and the Priest or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist might accommodate that request. As for receiving, You say that you have no regard to the cleanliness of your hands I would say to you that you could wash your hands or carry hand sanitizer to clean your hands before receiving Jesus. I would also point out in scripture Matthew 15 about what makes you unclean is not about washing your hands. I would tell you that it is best that you receive as often as possible, that would include at weekday masses. Its our spiritual food so why deny yourself receiving Jesus who will strengthen you when you go out about the day? We are Eucharistic people…:slight_smile:

No, it’s not a sin.

There’s no requirement to receive Communion at Masses we attend… although we are certainly encouraged to do so, if we’re properly disposed to receive.

I can’t imagine saying to myself “I’m going to go to Mass, and even if I’m in a state of grace, I’m not gonna receive on Sunday”… but to each his own. :shrug:

Listen to this audio set by Servant of God, Fr.John Hardon SJ on the Real Presence in the Eucharist, Im sure you wont be disappointed.

therealpresence.org/archives/MP3/RP0012000.htm

Yes. Although the faithful are encouraged to receive Holy Communion as often as possible and are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, they are only obliged to receive Holy Communion once a year.

According to the Code of Canon Law:
Can. 920 §1 Once admitted to the blessed Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.

§2 This precept must be fulfilled during paschal time, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year.

If you watch the Mass on EWTN, various people will genuflect and receive kneeling while in the regular communion line. You should not need to be in a front pew.

Am I committing a sin by not receiving communion at all on Sunday and only receiving it on the weekday mass? Thanks for any direction you can provide.

As others have noted, there is no obligation to receive Communion at every Mass we attend.

@Karen Yes, I do have half a dozen degenerative discs which make it a struggle to go down on both knees with forward support. Receiving from an Extraordinary Minister for me is out of the question. Theyre hands are not anointed to handle the Body of Christ.

@LittleFlower I thank you for the audio link. I will definitely give it a listen.

@Todd Thank you for the Canon Law reference. I did faintly remember something about the Easter obligation but for some reason thought it pertained to Reconciliation. Thank you for clearing that up.

Many thanks to all the others who took their time and effort to leave a response.

Blessings

SJP

Yes, it has been brought up many, many times…and each time it has been pointed out rather clearly that the sentiment below is at odds with the current teaching of the Church on this issue.

Thank you for reassuring my assumption.
Blessings

SJP

Neither are deacons’, but they’re ordained. Would you refuse to receive the Eucharist from an ordained deacon?

In any case, this is a red herring, albeit well-intentioned. Priests’ hands aren’t ordained “to handle the Body of Christ”; they’re anointed “to offer sacrifice to God.”

Yes. I would refuse from a deacon. I would simply cross my arms and await his blessing.
Being fond of St. Thomas Aquinas I though this may help give some insight to my intentions.

St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest minds the Church has ever known, writes the following regarding the Blessed Sacrament: “Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament [the Blessed Sacrament], nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone to touch it, except from necessity, for instance if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency” (SummaTheologica, III, Q. 82, Art. 13).
As Michael Davies observes, “Unless we are to believe that the Holy Ghost abandoned the Church for 1,000 years [the 1,000 year period from the time of the 10th Century, when Communion in the hand was forbidden], we must accept the fact that, under His guidance, a tradition evolved that only the consecrated hands of a priest could touch the Host; we have the witness of St. Thomas Aquinas that, by the 13th century, it was firmly established that not even a deacon could do so under normal circumstances.” (Privilege of the Ordained, p. 16)

.

If you feel that way before Mass you could ask the Priest to give you communion at your pew, sit in the front pew because of your health condition or at least talk with the Priest about it. The Priests I know love to offer the Eucharist to us. IMO letting these things prevent you from receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Christ is a tragedy and I believe you might find a way if you really need Him… God bless…

Thank you. Your input is much appreciated.
My questions and concerns has been answered. If a moderator would kindly lock this thread that would be appreciated.

OK… fair enough. And yet, Aquinas himself refutes your assertion here – look a bit further in III.82.13; in his reply to objection 1, he writes, “The deacon, as being nigh to the priestly order, has a certain share in the latter’s duties, so that he may dispense the blood; but not the body, except in case of necessity, at the bidding of a bishop or of a priest.”

So, if the deacon is distributing the Eucharistic bread, he is clearly doing so at the request of the priest celebrant. Therefore, according to Aquinas, he may do so licitly, and you may receive the Eucharist from him. That is, from a man who has not had his hands anointed. In other words, Aquinas is saying that the anointing of the hands is not a hard-and-fast requirement for distribution of the Eucharist.

St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest minds the Church has ever known, writes the following

And, of course, let’s take it one step further: authority in the Church doesn’t belong to great theological minds, nor does it belong to those later declared saints, nor even to those later declared “doctors of the church.” Rather, authority belongs to the pope and the college of bishops. If they instruct that it is licit to receive from a lay extraordinary minister of holy communion – even if St Thomas thought otherwise – then clearly, it is licit.

However, I understand that you have your personal preferences; I’m not trying to get you to abandon them. Simply, I suppose, just to realize that they’re just ‘preferences’ and not what the Church truly commands of us. :shrug:

Blessings,
G.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.