Receiving Communion

At Sunday Mass I witnessed some people genuflecting before receiving Communion, some people bowed, some did neither. Also some people received the host on their tongue but most in their hands. Some people said Amen after receiving the host, others did not and some people made the sign of the cross after recieving Communion. The question is, what is the correct way to recieve Communion?

You may receive the Body of Christ on the tongue or in the hand. You bow before receiving the Host, not genuflect, and you say Amen before you receive, after the priest or other minister says “The Body of Christ”.
Hope this helps.


From the norms of recieving communion:

  1. The act of Communion, therefore, is also an act of faith. For when the minister says, “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ,” the communicant’s “Amen” is a profession in the presence of the saving Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, who now gives life to the believer.
  1. Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words “The Body of Christ.” The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: “When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost.” (51)

and from the GIRM:

When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

My understanding is that genuflection can replace bowing as a valid form of reverence for the Eucharist.


My understanding is that genuflection can replace bowing as a valid form of reverence for the Eucharist.

Josh is right about genuflecting. No one should be denied communion because they genuflect or kneel.

Didn’t we do this debate in quite clinical detail a couple of weeks ago? :slight_smile:


Of course, it may be more charitable of me to provide a link to said clinical discussion

Though take a deep breath first! :slight_smile:


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