receiving a blessing at communion

Hey all,

so I’m home from college on break and slipped up in my struggle for chastity this week. I couldn’t make it to confession today due to a snowstorm. when I go to mass tomorrow with my family, I will be expected to go forward to receive but I know I should not. My chaplain at school gives blessings to those who go forward with arms crossed, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done at my parish – very rarely, if at all. the priest knows me, and I’m worried I’ll get to the front of the line and he’ll already have the host in his hand. also what should I do if there’s an EM in the line I’m in? Thanks in advance,


Blessings are really not supposed to be given in the communion line at all, so I’d advise against going up altogether if you’re not worthy to receive. In any event, EMHCs are not competent to give blessings and it is to my mind borderline scandalous that they would be expected to do so, so this sounds like even more reason not to go up. There’s not really a point to going up, anyway… the priest’s blessing at the end applies to you, after all, whether you receive communion or not.

“expected to go forward and receive” by whom?

If you know you should not receive, don’t receive. And there are many reasons to not receive that have nothing to do with sin. You might be indisposed spiritually or emotionally, perhaps upset about something and not focused on the Eucharist. You might have inadvertently broken the fast. You might feel a cold coming on and think you are contagious.

I would hope that your parents, if that is who you are worried about, would respect the fact that you are serious about receiving the Lord worthily. When I see a young adult or teen not receive, my respect and admiration go up exponentially.

As far as going forward for a blessing, I think that highlights (rather than obscures) the fact that you aren’t receiving Holy Communion. You go up, cross arms, and the priest gives you a blessing rather than communion, obvious to all the busybodies who watch such things. You’ve highlighted some of the problems with this practice–the priest or EMHC might assume that you are receiving, and start giving you the host, placing you in the even more awkward position of refusing at the front of the communion line. Why put yourself in that position?

My recommendation: stay in your pew, tell Jesus how much you want to receive Him in Holy Communion, and make it to confession ASAP.

Also agree to stay in your pew and make a spiritual act of communion. It’s no one’s business why you choose not to go forward and receive, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. It can be problematic for someone to speculate too much about why someone isn’t receiving–kind of takes their own focus off the Eucharist…:shrug:

If your altar serving in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, and you are not worthy to receive communion you put two fingers over your lips(like your saying shhhhhh) and the priest will then know not to give you communion.

Not able to receive Holy Communion ? Do a Spiritual Communion.

Want a Blessing ? Stick around, the priest will Bless you at the end of the Mass !

Since most families I know get to Church a little early, if Confession is not being heard before or during the first part of the Mass, why not slip into the Sacristy before the Mass (Just go up to the altar, genuflect, and enter the door or entrance to the right of the altar) and ask the priest to hear your Confession. I’m quite sure that he will do it. To make it short, why not write down your sins and how often you did them on a piece of paper ahead of time. This can shorten the time of your confession.
If you do this, you shouldn’t have any problem with your family. As an adult, it is none of your family’s or anyone elses business when and how you make your confession or how often you receive Holy Communion.

Do a Spiritual Communion.

dont you get one of those in a blessing of the priest?

in my Church,the priest blesses about ten to fifteen people a week i the communion line.

just before he gives out communion,he encourages the people in the Church who cannot have communion,to come forward and receive a blessing.

i think this is a brilliant makes people.noticed/wanted.

would i be right to say that the Vatican 2 has given permission(of the Vatican) on these lines to do this.there must me some thing there because i know for a fact the priest would not do this other wise… he is staunch R C.

How this practice got started is anyone’s guess but Rome has never given permission for it. The Communion line is for those receiving Communion, period.

In fact, in a previous document, Rome has said that those who are divorced and remarried without an annulment (those in invalid marriages) are not to receive blessings lest people be given the impression that they are in good standing with the Church. Unfortunately, those are some of the people who go up for a blessing at Communion.

You make a spiritual Communion by asking Jesus to come into your heart even if you can not receive Him physically. It’s not something that’s given to you by the priest.

im curious to this line…

It’s not something that’s given to you by the priest.

does the priest give you the body of Christ then in communion?

does the priest forgive you for your sins?

does the priest give you baptism/Christening?

i think Jesus gives you these through the priest.

if so,the blessing does aswell,doesnt it?

The blessing is given by the priest - at the end of Mass. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to go up in the Communion line for a blessing. It is not appropriate at all. The Communion line is for receiving Communion, nothing else. The Church has never given permission for this. Unfortunately, this starts with individuals deciding that they are going to do this, the priest does not want to make a fuss and turn them away, and never does anything to stop it. Even good priests can be cowardly when it comes to correcting things that should not be done. So many people get offended at the least thing these days. If the Church has not approved it (and it hasn’t) then it should not be done. There is a time and a place for everything. We should obey the Church.

I am an Eucharistic Minister in my church and it is expected that people should come up with arms folder for a blessing during holy communion. I am permitted to bless them by the priest who has instructed us all to say ‘god bless you’.

He is a canon lawyer too and takes matters of the church very seriously indeed.

im from the U K must be only in the U K it must be done then?


Never been abroad for a catholic mass for years. Our priest is a stickler for doing things by the book. He even had a hand in the new mass changes that happened last year!!

Folks can explain and defend “going up for a blessing” all they care to, but it is in fact a novelty that was NOT introduced by Rome.

The traditional Catholic practice is to do a Spiritual Communion if one can’t receive for whatever reason.

Again, the priest blesses everyone at the end of Mass. Why would one feel the need to be blessed twice ?

The priest at our parrish also blesses those with arms crossed. In class it was suggested we get in Father or Deacon’s line if we wished to approach the altar, so I usually sit in the same area so it’s not a distraction from the Holy Spirit’s work in the Mass. I’m a bit concerned about this now that I’ve read so many posts in this thread about it being improper. I’mstudying the catechesm, is it in there about the communion line?

thats not the point of what im trying to make/say.

to look at the attendances of people in the U K Catholic Churches it is dwindling to say the least…and other denominations aswell.

now in the last 6/7 years i can see a lot of people converting or having their children baptised/Christened in the Church i attend.

these people have been touched by the Holy spirit i believe in the actions of the blessing of the priest,the acceptant of the family(Church congregation).and most of all witnessing that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and wine. a lot of other contributions aswell i should imagine…but the blessing has played its part…

now the Church(Rome,Vatican)does not say it disagrees or agrees with this,it is still in council…

this is in the sticky at the top of the page…

so really no one has the right to condemn any body for this…

its about a personal relationship with Jesus… some time more often than not,the Catholic faith is caught not just start of with…

A Spiritual Communion example :

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.


One can do it in their own words.

thats fine to some body who knows about how to go about things…

what about those who dont and are thirsty for healing through touch?there is no grater love.

Yes, please read it.

…Recently, however, a document has appeared in several Internet sources which indicate that the Holy See is tending toward a negative view of the practice. The document is a letter (Protocol No. 930/08/L) dated Nov. 22, 2008, sent in response to a private query and signed by Father Anthony Ward, SM, undersecretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

What is happening here is a novelty that someone thought “would be nice” is introduced into the liturgy. Soon, we have a monkey see-monkey do reaction. Others start doing it. “Fr says it’s ok, so it must be”

Changes to the Liturgy, are not introduced in this manner. It simply doesn’t work that way. There are men in Rome who have given their life to the service of Holy Mother Church, who have studied long and hard, and who are entrusted to safeguard the Liturgy, and make changes as they see fit after much discretion.

What we think as laity and parish priests doesn’t matter. Look at it this way. The moment of Holy Communion is one of the most important acts we make as Roman Catholics. This excuse of " what will people think if I don’t go up to receive ? " is silly. Actually, by going up for a blessing, one is placing him/herself front and center for the entire congregation to see ! The number of people noticing one isn’t receiving is increased.

What do I think when I happen to notice someone isn’t going up for Communion ? I think I’m seeing a display of piety and respect for the Blessed Sacrament that will please God the Father.


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