Received the Eucharist. Sin?


#1

I was out of town this past weekend, and so I went to a local Jesuit parish for mass. I walked up planning not to take communion, hands over my chest, the whole deal (not in a state of grace), but the priest wouldn't have it and insisted on having me take the Eucharist. I just reacted and took it. Was this a sin?


#2

Under the circumstances you may not be culpable for the sacrilege, but I'd still mention it at your next confession, including the circumstances you told us.

Incidentally, the crossing arms and "receiving a blessing" is not an official part of the liturgy or even a traditional custom. It is a widespread practice which we are by no means bound to observe, and in my opinion, shouldn't, given the danger you just illustrated. It's safer to just stay in the pew if you're not receiving.


#3

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:1, topic:322579"]
I was out of town this past weekend, and so I went to a local Jesuit parish for mass. I walked up planning not to take communion, hands over my chest, the whole deal (not in a state of grace), but the priest wouldn't have it and insisted on having me take the Eucharist. I just reacted and took it. Was this a sin?

[/quote]

That is something you will have to talk over with your confessor when you next go to confession which I hope will be this week.

If you aren't going to receive, don't get in line. That will remove the temptation. Linus2nd


#4

It wasnt temptation I just didn’t know what to do in the situation.


#5

How did this widespread practice begin? I have heard people note it was to help persons married to a non Catholic Spouse, that one could receive Communion and their spouse come with them and receive a “special blessing” as one priest says here in
Iowa

Is this correct or is there some other reason?

Thanks,
Mary.


#6

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments - On Giving Blessings During the Communion Rite

Although that was an answer to a private query, it is commonly understood to be the general answer .

The simple rationale is that the priest's blessing at the conclusion of the Mass includes everyone , and that the communion rite is not to be interfered with by other rites.

That being said, Fr. Z has an interesting article on this subject :

Why a Priest Won't Give Communion Blessings


#7

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:4, topic:322579"]
It wasnt temptation I just didn't know what to do in the situation.

[/quote]

But again, if you hadn't been in the communion line, it wouldn't have been an issue. Everyone there receives a blessing at the end of the Mass anyway.


#8

Father Z’s article also mentioned how the row by row communion can more or less force someone into a communion line - particularly if whoever is in charge is purposefully cotinuing the unapproved practice of having everyone come forward and those who do not feel themselves well disposed to receive Holy Communion to come anyway, cross their hands over their chest and receive a blessing.

I think other factors that contributed to this psychological pressure to go forward even if you shouldn’t are

a) row by row Communion processions and
b) the reduction of the Eucharistic fast to only one hour before Communion.

By conducting row by row communion in a parish this way , a well-meaning pastor could possibly be interfering with the working of his parishoners’ private consciences.

Even Fr. Edward McNamara in this EWTN response to Communion Blessings by both ordinary and extraordinary ministers , while considering some aspects a little more openly, didn’t have too many words of commendation for the practice of orderly row by row communion lines. When considering the idea of a non-communicant being singled out in the view of others, he says:

In some cases a blessing might help such people attend Mass by avoiding an embarrassing moment. But it could also have exactly the opposite effect by singling them out for a blessing when others receive Communion. Likewise, this situation is more often than not provoked by the bad habit in many parishes of insisting on an orderly pew-by-pew communion procession when a bit of confusion would be enough to help such people pass unnoticed .

What we fail to understand in our frailty is that a person who refrains from Holy Communion according to their conscience, is a good source of edification to all of us ; he /she provides us with an occasion of practicality to pause and ponder the state of our own soul and of Who it is who actually comes to us in person at this moment . They are showing our loving Lord a profound respect in the Blessed Sacrament. And it is they who also add so much meaning to “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof” , and who subsequently remind us that the sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing.

I can’t find it now, but when researching these questions I came upon a comment in the form of a question, which was phrased in a way that we should ask ourselves : Just how is it that today we have such an abundance of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, while not that many of us are benefitting from frequent Confession , if any Confession at all ?

:hmmm:


#9

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:2, topic:322579"]
the crossing arms and "receiving a blessing" is not an official part of the liturgy or even a traditional custom. It is a widespread practice which we are by no means bound to observe, and in my opinion, shouldn't, given the danger you just illustrated. It's safer to just stay in the pew if you're not receiving.

[/quote]

I do not like Latin Catholics using this gesture to signify that they will not receive the Eucharist for the simple reason that it has the opposite meaning among many Eastern Catholics. When Byzantine rite Catholics receive the Eucharist, they are instructed to cross their hands on their chests. For example:

If a Latin parish really wants people who will not be receiving the Eucharist to come up for a blessing, a different gesture should be used to indicate this.


#10

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