Receiving the Eucharist?


I went to mass today, and got in line to go receive the Eucharist as usual. When I got to the priest he said “[Name], the Body of Christ”. This struck me as odd, as I much rather preferred “The Body of Christ”, without my name being mentioned beforehand. Just wondering if this is kosher or an abuse?


Saying the name of the communicant is a trend I mostly see among EMHCs. I rarely see it among priests.

It is an abuse to say the communicant’s name.


Definitely inappropriate to say this when distributing communion.




Both the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics acknowledge the communicant when distributing the Eucharist. Don’t the Roman Catholics know who they are distributing to?


Because it isn’t prescribed and it might have further implications about the intentions of those who do it.


Because we have to follow the Roman Missal exactly. The words are “The Body of Christ” and we cannot change that on our own.

It isn’t that the words themselves are somehow wrong. The words for Communion are different in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. Neither is right or wrong, and there are perhaps other forms that might be just as appropriate, maybe even ones that no one has yet composed. Yet, we must always follow the text of the Mass as the Church has given it to us.

Since the only option in the Missal (Ordinary Form) is to say exactly the words “The Body of Christ” then, that is what we must do. Anything else, any other change in the words, would be presumptuous. We can make suggestions (through various channels) that the Church change the text, but to do that on our own is an abuse.

The practice in the Eastern Churches is to call the Communicant by name; at least “most” of the time. The Eastern rubrics don’t operate quite the same way that the Roman ones do. Most of the time, a name “should” be used, but if the priest doesn’t know everyone’s name, well, then he just can’t (unless the deacon helps him). The point is that when we see it done this way in the Eastern Liturgies, it’s perfectly legitimate. It just illustrates the fact that there is no one “right” way to do it, but that decision is not something to be made by the local priest, deacon, or EMHC, and not even the local bishop. In order for another form to be used, that form would first need approval from Rome.


Not always.




A emhc said to me " this is Jesus, the body of Christ". Is this wrong?


Thank you for that thorough explanation.



Yes. We are to use only the words prescribed in the Missal. “No one, even if he is a priest” has the authority to add, change, remove, anything from the Mass, and that includes the exact wording.

Obedience is such a neglected virtue!


I have eerienced just the opposite. I found it is more common among priests, mostly those ordained in the late 60’s-80’s. At EMHC training in our diocese they are told not to do this and explained why.


It’s not that the words are wrong, but saying those words at that moment is the wrong thing to do.


I don’t know about abuse, but it seems like preferential treatment to me. I don’t know if there’s a book on communion etiquette but it sure seems we could use one. :slight_smile:


We do have one. It’s called the Roman Missal, including the GIRM.

The problem is not lack of a book, it’s failure to follow it. :shrug:

Having said that, though, the Eastern Churches do mention names and they do pretty well with that–they also have certain techniques to deal with new and visiting priests (sometimes the deacon will mention the actual name when the priest distributes, or a visiting priest will just skip the name for everyone). The difference is that most Roman parishes are bigger, and the use (over-use) of EMHCs makes this impractical for us. We have a hard enough time getting things right with the more simple form in the Ordinary Form Mass. Imagine if some big parish had to say to all 40 of their EMHCs “you must know everyone in the parish by name.” I shudder to think…


Indeed. And what if they get your name wrong or mispronounce it? Are you supposed to correct them? Before or after the “amen”? :o


I am so glad God knows each and everyone of the hairs on my head.

Maybe the need for EMs is a symptom of something wrong in the church. Maybe there should be a proliferation of smaller churches, each with its own pastor/priest to shepherd a smaller flock. I would not mind a Catholic church at every corner. I would not mind if all the churches in my little town were all Catholic parishes. I’d be sure to be able to speak with a priest then :smiley:

Pray for more priests.


I remember many moons ago, when I was young (in the late 80’s) where we in the congregation were asked to say our name to the EM as we approached, then they would then say to us, “[name], receive the body of Christ” or some such thing. Even then, as a child (in my teens) this did not feel or seem right to me.


You had hosts with your name on them? :eek:

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