The proper way to receive communion

I’ve discussed it with those in charge at my church, and I’ve been given approval to draft an insert for our bulletin on the proper way to receive communion. There was a cut-out in the National Catholic Register on how to return to communion - I wish I’d saved it. As an EMHC, I get very distressed when I see people receive communion with gum in their mouths, they don’t saw “Amen”, they take it from my fingers rather than allowing me to place in it their hands…you get the idea. I was hoping for some input. What kinds of things should I include? Does anyone know of a great website with this kind of information? We really want to go back to the basics here - I was thinking I could probably use something prododuced for childrens’ First Holy Communion. Thoughts??

Could you not refuse to give to those with gum in the mouth??

My advice would be to beg Fr. go over this in Mass - doubt if those who partake while chewing gum are responsible enough to read the instructions…

I agree with kage_ar in having the priest bring it up. Since we will soon be celebrating the feast of Corpus Christi what a great time to have a homily reminding everyone of the greatness of the gift we have in the Eucharist and how to revrently recieve Our Lord. People tend to listen more if it comes from the ambo during a homily, and if your bulletin is anything like ours it is stuffed with so much stuff that people do not always read everything in it. By the way MooCowSteph, I see you are from Baltimore County - my daughter is a student down there at UMBC - Go Retrievers!

I don’t really see my priest doing a homily on it, and since I already petitioned to do an insert, I’m going to go ahead with that. Thanks.

You might begin with the idea that the communicant has fasted for one hour and has nothing in the mouth when receiving. Another of the first things might be to note that a sign of reverence, e.g., a bow, is required before receiving either or both sacred elements. Genuflecting is not favored because it is awkward in a moving line. Unless I’m mistaken, the rubrics include hesitating after one moves away in order to place the Host on the tongue. That is not done walking back to the pew. Joan

[quote=MooCowSteph]I’ve discussed it with those in charge at my church, and I’ve been given approval to draft an insert for our bulletin on the proper way to receive communion. There was a cut-out in the National Catholic Register on how to return to communion - I wish I’d saved it. As an EMHC, I get very distressed when I see people receive communion with gum in their mouths, they don’t saw “Amen”, they take it from my fingers rather than allowing me to place in it their hands…you get the idea. I was hoping for some input. What kinds of things should I include? Does anyone know of a great website with this kind of information? We really want to go back to the basics here - I was thinking I could probably use something prododuced for childrens’ First Holy Communion. Thoughts??
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[quote=MooCowSteph]I don’t really see my priest doing a homily on it, and since I already petitioned to do an insert, I’m going to go ahead with that. Thanks.
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I’ll pray for you. This is a real bind and what you are encountering is a product of bad Christian formation. An insert I believe would help few to think about what they are doing. Does your priest do homilies on the Eucharist in general? If I were a priest that would be the topic at least every third homily and I would probably find a way to relate the others to it.

Also, the USCCB has a nice pamphlet called The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist Questions and Answers (That might not be the title, but something like that) that could go on the rack or in the pews.

Scott

This morning it occurred to me that the real starting place is noting that the communicant must be in the state of grace. Barbara J.

[quote=MooCowSteph]I’ve discussed it with those in charge at my church, and I’ve been given approval to draft an insert for our bulletin on the proper way to receive communion. There was a cut-out in the National Catholic Register on how to return to communion - I wish I’d saved it. As an EMHC, I get very distressed when I see people receive communion with gum in their mouths, they don’t saw “Amen”, they take it from my fingers rather than allowing me to place in it their hands…you get the idea. I was hoping for some input. What kinds of things should I include? Does anyone know of a great website with this kind of information? We really want to go back to the basics here - I was thinking I could probably use something prododuced for childrens’ First Holy Communion. Thoughts??
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Hi

Here’s some info from the US Bishops Site

usccb.org/liturgy/current/intercom.shtml

For Catholics
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

continued

And about the actual distribution

[/font]http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/current/norms.shtml

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[font=Arial]Distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord

  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)

  2. Among the ways of ministering the Precious Blood as prescribed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Communion from the chalice is generally the preferred form in the Latin Church, provided that it can be carried out properly according to the norms and without any risk of even apparent irreverence toward the Blood of Christ. (52)

  3. The chalice is offered to the communicant with the words “The Blood of Christ,” to which the communicant responds, “Amen.”

  4. The chalice may never be left on the altar or another place to be picked up by the communicant for self-communication (except in the case of concelebrating bishops or priests), nor may the chalice be passed from one communicant to another. There shall always be a minister of the chalice.

  5. After each communicant has received the Blood of Christ, the minister carefully wipes both sides of the rim of the chalice with a purificator. This action is a matter of both reverence and hygiene. For the same reason, the minister turns the chalice slightly after each communicant has received the Precious Blood.

  6. It is the choice of the communicant, not the minister, to receive from the chalice .

  7. Children are encouraged to receive Communion under both kinds provided that they are properly instructed and that they are old enough to receive from the chalice.

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usccb.org/liturgy/current/revmissalisromanien.shtml

[font=Arial]GIRM 160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.

The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

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.

  1. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ)

. The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.
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[quote=MooCowSteph]I’ve discussed it with those in charge at my church, and I’ve been given approval to draft an insert for our bulletin on the proper way to receive communion.
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Holy Communion is THE most important thing we have in the Catholic Church. So I don’t understand why this instruction has been delegated to you. Clearly the priest should reserve instruction on this topic to himself.

But if you continue with this task, I urge you to republish (with proper permisson of course) ONLY existing materials from sources such as USCCB. If you add anything of your own opinion (i.e. making the sign of the cross before or after, etc.) you’re not teaching “what the Church teaches” and you’re actually doing more harm than good.

But I really strongly suggest that this is the priest’s job, to set the standard for reception of Communion in his parish. Maybe you should assemble the various USCCB, etc. documents for him, and let him decide what should be published.

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