Should an EM make eye contact when distributing the Host?

As an Extra-Ordinary Minister, I had a fellow parishioner tell me they were offended that I didn’t make eye contact with them when I distributed Holy Communion to them. I told them I was sorry and explained that I always did my best to have the Host be my focus as I proclaim, “The Body of Christ”. Then I look toward the communicant to determine if they will be receiving on their tongue or in their hands. I also stated that I thought it would be where the communicant’s focus would be as well. But the information wasn’t received well. :frowning: They indicated their desire for me to notice them and to smile. That if Jesus was sharing His Body with them, they were sure He would look them in the eye and smile. (at least that was their hope…)

I did mention the issue to my pastor, who didn’t indicate one perspective was more correct than another…

So, I’m just wondering what other EM’s and communicants thought. I feel that the distribution of Holy Communion is the biggest privilege I will ever participate in. I certainly want to do this properly.

Thank you!

Dear friend,

Your answer was right on. The communicant should have his or her eyes on the Lord and not on the minister. The Lord shared His body—not by smiling, but by dying. Receiving the Lord is about encountering almighty God–and not about making eye contact with those around us. We don’t go to Mass to feel good about each other; we go to Mass to worship the Father through the Son’s sacrifice on the cross and to express our gratitude and love. Nothing is more profound than that.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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