Questions about Communion...

I am a candidate in the RCIA who is set to be confirmed around Easter. I will also have my first Communion then. But, I have recieved Communion at Catholic churches before (sometimes, even before I believed transubstantiation, though I think that taking the sacrament influenced that. I did take it a few times when I did believe, and had a wonderful revelation of Christ’s love.) Does this change anything? (I have stopped taking Communion now, to not risk sinning against the Body and Blood of our Lord)

Also, last Mass, I joined the procession, with the intention of receiving a blessing from the distributor. When I got to him, I had my hands in the proper position, but he was unresponsive, and gave me the consecrated Host. I took it and ate it, as not to be rude. I just was not ready to recieve it at that point, mentally or spiritually. I believed it was the Body, but I could not take it in because I was so anxious.*I am anxious that I have sinned. What should I do?

The only thing that has changed is that you should not have been receiving communion and now you are not. That’s a good thing!

Also, last Mass, I joined the procession, with the intention of receiving a blessing from the distributor. When I got to him, I had my hands in the proper position, but he was unresponsive, and gave me the consecrated Host. I took it and ate it, as not to be rude. I just was not ready to recieve it at that point, mentally or spiritually. I believed it was the Body, but I could not take it in because I was so anxious.*I am anxious that I have sinned. What should I do?

Were you at your own parish or were you visiting someplace else?

The reason I ask is that if you are at your own parish you should do whatever you have been instructed to do at communion time. If they have instructed you to go up for a blessing, then that’s what you should do. If you’ve been instructed to stay in your pew and make a spiritual communion, then you should do that.

If you normally go up for a blessing in your own parish, you should be aware that in some parishes this is discouraged and you shouldn’t assume that blessings are given unless it specifically stated. Then you stay in your pew and make a spiritual cmmuion.

As far as receiving communion, until you have been received into the Church, made your profession of faith, and are actually Catholic, do not receive communion at all. If there is a misunderstanding, as it appears there was, tell the extraordinary minister that you want a blessing, not communion. It is not a sin to speak in the communion line. It is a big problem to receive communion when you should not.

Excellent response!:thumbsup:

Indeed.

And it’s probably easier to keep your head bowed and eyes closed. Otherwise by watching others receive, you might feel left out and you shouldn’t. Just a suggestion, though.

Assuming that this is your normal parish, and that you ordinarily go forward for a blessing, I would mention it to the priest or to your RCIA director (if they are not the same person). It was an issue with one of the RCIA members in our class at the beginning of this year (the rest of us had no idea what he was even talking about). It provided an opportunity for our instructor, who is also our priest, to explain the blessing and to advise us that we are welcome to come forward, but that we should be sure to get into the line where the priest is distributing the host. If need be, we even wait if our “normal turn” would have us going to one of the Extraordinary Ministers.

Communion lines are not for blessings. They are for those who are to receive Communion only.
Catholics in a state of grace and properly disposed may join the Communion line to receive.
Non-Catholics and Catholics in a state of mortal sin or not properly disposed are to remain in their seats.
Everyone gets a blessing at the end of the Mass. There is no need for anyone to join the Communion line for a blessing. I know some priests think its okay but the Church does not.

I understand this is the position of some on this forum and in the Catholic community. I prefer to follow the direction of my priest. That is also why I directed the poster to their priest.

Actually you should be following the Church’s position rather than an individual priest.

And I trust my priest not to lead me astray in that regard.

Good advise, especially in light of Paragraph 22, Sacrosanctum Concilium (Vatican II) which states, “Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.”

Yet even the Pope Emeritus has recognized the advantages of giving blessings to those who don’t receive communion. He is revising his “complete works” of theology and has recently added this to a section on communion for the divorced and remarried (see here):

I would like to add another practical suggestion. In many countries it has become customary for persons who are not able to receive communion (for example, the members of other confessions) to approach the altar with their hands folded over their chests, making it clear that they are not receiving the sacrament but are asking for a blessing, which is given to them as a sign of the love of Christ and of the Church. This form could certainly be chosen also by persons who are living in a second marriage and therefore are not admitted to the Lord’s table. The fact that this would make possible an intense spiritual communion with the Lord, with his whole Body, with the Church, could be a spiritual experience that would strengthen and help them.

At the local Spanish Mass, young children tend to sit up front. At communion time, most go into the communion line and most go for the blessing. I presume many haven’t received their first communion. The rest of the congregation sits in back, and half of them don’t go up for communion or for the blessing.

Do you really need to bring this up whenever this issue comes up? It is diocese by diocese and even parish by parish.

the church, to my knowledge, does not forbid this practice and my priest and bishop seem to allow it.

This is sensible.

The Internet is a good place to get into interesting discussions, but we do not receive instruction from total strangers who are anonymous on the Internet - we receive it from our priests. Follow whatever you are told by your priest in your territorial parish, and don’t get distressed about those on the Internet who disagree. :slight_smile:

Yes this has to be addressed and whenever someone brings up the subject of blessings I will comment. Just because it is allowed by some priests does not make it right.

Allowed by the church you mean…

Just because it is allowed by the church does not make it right…:shrug:

It is not allowed by the Church. It is allowed by some parish priests. These two are not the same.

I have read all of the information posted here (and elsewhere) on this subject. I think the best that can be said is that opinion is divided, that there is no clear authoritative statement on either side (as clearly demonstrated by the Pope Emeritus’s statement given in this thread), each side has sound reasons to support their positions, and that individuals on both sides are passionate about their respective positions. This is why I feel, and have decided, that it is an issue on which my best course of action is to follow my priest’s guidance.

I’m guessing if the priest accidently sneezes or clears his throat during the mass you’d claim that’s forbidden too.

Sarcasm is forbidden under the forum rules.

Let’s go through the issue again.

See the link to the letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship on the subject of Blessings at Communion.
Yes this is a letter and has no legal weight. However, within the letter it refers to** existing Church discipline** regarding non-Catholics and Catholics who are not in a state of grace"

" the Church’s discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing"

ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur263.htm

Then we have the GIRM which sets out the instructions for everything that is allowed at Mass. By default if the GIRM does not mention it then it is not allowed. It does not say Catholics in a state of mortal sin, Catholics who are too young to receive, or non-Catholics may receive a blessing.

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