What does it take to receive Holy Communion?

I have been Catholic my whole life, so I ‘know everything’ << that’s sarcasm :stuck_out_tongue:

I received my First Holy Communion when I was in the second grade, and my catechism lagged after that.

I didn’t realize until a few years ago that I was not to receive Communion in non-Catholic churches, and that non-Catholics are not to receive Communion in our church (you wanna go? Go ahead. Just say ‘Amen’ when they give you the Host - who knew?) :rolleyes:

There is a website that I love that had, what I thought, was really good information on Catholicism: Fisheaters

Today, when looking for some information, I found the following passage

First, a definition: “Holy Communion” is the reception of the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist) that has been confected by a priest during the Holy Mass. The Blessed Sacrament may only be received sacramentally by one who:

is a living human being

is baptized

has proper intent

has fasted the proper amount of time: 3 hours is the 1962 practice that most traditional Catholics follow (some follow the older practice of a 12-hour fast); 1 hour is what we are canonically bound to by the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Viaticum – the “Food for the Journey” given during Extreme Unction – may be given at any time.

is in a state of grace, i.e., is not in a state of mortal sin. If one is in a state of mortal sin, he must go to Confession first lest he sin further as St. Paul warns in I Corinthians 11:26-30:

What I don’t get it: it appears from this that as long as one has received Baptism, they can have Communion

But if a person received a Trinitarian Baptism, they are not re-baptised when they enter the Catholic Church… so one who was Baptised in a Protestant chuch can, by this, receive Communion.

I want to disagree, but where do I find information to contradict it… or is it in fact correct as it is written? :frowning:

I’m so confused. :eek:

a) 99% protestants would not have the right intention when receiving Holy Communion, because they would be intending to symbolically receive Jesus, not to actually. In the rare situation (such as a very high Church Anglican) where a protestant does share the faith of the Church in transubstantiation and he cannot attend his own Church he may, with the Bishop’s approval receive the Eucharist.

b) Protestants are not a state of grace (excepting perhaps infants/mentally disabled) - hence the need for confession when a protestant can be received into the Church. To be objectively in a state of grace, one would need to be Catholic.

That doesn’t mean, by the way, that all protestants are going to hell; it simply means that if they go to heaven, which we have reason to hope at least some of them will, they go by means known only to God.

The writer is assuming that the individual in question is a Catholic. They probably have a separate section dealing with non-Catholics.

But if a person received a Trinitarian Baptism, they are not re-baptised when they enter the Catholic Church… so one who was Baptised in a Protestant chuch can, by this, receive Communion.

In order to have one’s baptism “accepted in the Church” one has to make a Profession of Faith. This is included as part of the Sacraments of Initiation for persons entering the Church from non-Catholic Christian communities.

Adult converts are generally also required to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation before receiving their First Holy Communion in the Church (this can sometimes be waived for pastoral reasons, if it isn’t possible to Confirm them on the same day that they make their Profession of Faith).

I disagree with Crown of Thorn’s assertion that Protestants are not in a state of grace. Nowhere does the Church teach this.

To answer your question, you must remember that fisheaters.com is an informational website run by a couple of lay Catholics who are trying to promote the faith. That does not guarantee that each and everything on the site will be articulated with a comprehensive theological explanation, or even that the information is correct. On this point, I think fisheaters.com is at least mostly correct (although I don’t think the phrase “proper intent” is probably the best way of putting it).

A better source of information would be the documents of the Church. Here’s the relevant section from the Code of Canon Law: Canons 912-923

Note that all of the above needs to be read in the context of canon 844:

Can. 844 §1. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments licitly to Catholic members of the Christian faithful alone, who likewise receive them licitly from Catholic ministers alone, without prejudice to the prescripts of §§2, 3, and 4 of this canon, and can. 861, §2.

§2. Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided, the Christian faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

§3. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.

§4. If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.

§5. For the cases mentioned in §§2, 3, and 4, the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops is not to issue general norms except after consultation at least with the local competent authority of the interested non-Catholic Church or community.

I agree!

But… if a person were to read that in a publication at the church, and esp if they don’t know any better, what would be in this information (from FishEaters, mind you) that would suggest that NON-Catholics SHOULD NOT be going to communion? :o

I know that it’s correct, but it’s SERIOUSLY lacking, but I’m not sure why. What needs to be corrected to make this correct information accurate? :confused:

Canon 844

So what do I need to do to the information on FishEaters to make it correct?:wink:

Or, what exactly is not ‘right’ with the Fish Eaters?:rolleyes:

(What’s wrong?):blush:

Here’s my perspective from my situation–I asked the question of Father when I came back to the church.

I was baptized Catholic and received First Communion. Then was away from the church. I needed to go to confession before I could participate in Communion again. For me–this was my first confession. I did wait several weeks before I did that–to examine my concience.

My husband was baptized Catholic but raised Protestant. He never had his first communion. He has to wait and go through the RCIA classes in the fall–then he will be confirmed and have his first communion. He hates to wait but sometimes this is what is best for us.

Hope that helps!

If the church has missalettes, there should be a notice printed in it somewhere about guidelines for receiving Communion. Someone here probably will add it to the thread soon. It’s from the Bishops and is supposed to be in every church.

Betsy

Nothing is wrong with them necessarily. It’s just a general word of caution about any Catholic website.

In what you posted, the phrase “has proper intent” as a condition for receiving the Eucharist gives me pause because it’s a bit ambiguous. Canon 913 says “The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.” Perhaps that’s what they’re alluding to.

If I were to get nit-picky, I also take issue with them listing “3 hours” first under how long to fast. The Code of Canon Law that is currently in effect states that our obligation is “one hour” (can. 919). And yet they mention that secondarily as if to say that Catholics really need to still be fasting 3 hours. IMHO, this will either confuse people or lead them to adopt a “I’m-a-better-Catholic-than-you-because-I-fast-longer” mentality.

Fisheaters.com is specifically written from a self-described “traditionalist” perspective (though I dislike the way that descriptive modifier is often used, as it is more theologically accurate to say that all Catholics are traditional Catholics because we uphold Sacred Tradition). That’s not a condemnation, it’s simply an observation of the viewpoint they’re writing from. It’s good to be aware of those sorts of things.

I don’t think you would find it worded like that in Church. The official document that you find in most parishes makes it abundantly clear that the appropriate action for a non-Catholic Christian to take during the distribution of Holy Communion is to remain in the pew and pray for Christian unity.

There are those who will simply decide that they don’t have to be bound by the Church’s laws, and will receive Holy Communion anyway - there are very few arguments that will dissuade them from doing so.

[Heavy Sigh]

Yes, in church are the Guidelines for the Reception of Communion :slight_smile:

But when searching the internet, if I happen across a website, I am not in church, and so I don’t have that handy

If I happen across a website that has usually accurate, well written information, I have no reason to look for the missalette with the Guidelines for the Reception of Communion

The point I’m making is that I came across this passage. As a person of at least average intelligence who believes I speak fluent English, and I happen to also be familiar with the guidelines for the reception of Communion.

I went to the page, and I see something that is unclear. I realize that it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong. But I can’t put my finger on the ‘well, they got thus and such’ to point at so that I can say to another person who may not be familiar with the guidelines that this is not right.

Why would Fish Eaters, who is usually correct, clear, accurate, and a source I have used many times as a reference mess up on this? :confused:

When this happens, how do we react when someone, probably well meaning, but obviously misinformed, points to a passage such at this to say it’s ok for non-Catholics to receive Communion?

The point is: it STATES that if a person has received their Baptism, they may receive Holy Communion.

As a person who is familiar, but don’t necessarily know the correct reasons and terms, I was under the impression that I person must have received, Sacramentally, their First Holy Communion in order to properly receive Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

The question is not ‘what are the guidelines?’, or ‘where do I get the guidelines?’:eek:

Thank you all for your help in this matter.

OH, okay, gotcha. :slight_smile:

How I might reword it would be to say, "A person whose Trinitarian baptism has been accepted in the Catholic Church … " which takes place when the adult convert makes his or her Profession of Faith just prior to receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion.

When this happens, how do we react when someone, probably well meaning, but obviously misinformed, points to a passage such at this to say it’s ok for non-Catholics to receive Communion?

Easy - simply point out to them that the Church is not bound by the wording found on a web site, but rather, by the wording found in her own Canon Law, which states clearly that only Catholics in good standing may receive Holy Communion.

As a person who is familiar, but don’t necessarily know the correct reasons and terms, I was under the impression that I person must have received, Sacramentally, their First Holy Communion in order to properly receive Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

And must make a Profession of Faith and (normally) receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, prior to receiving First Holy Communion - all of this is spelled out in Canon Law and in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults - iow, in the official documents of the Church.

when the minister says “the Body of Christ” and you say “Amen”, saying “Amen” means you affirm and believe that what you are receiving is the Body of Christ (same goes for the Precious Blood)

if you do not say Amen, the minister cannot give you the Eucharist. our parish priest had a rant about this during one of his Homilies, explaining to people that you cannot be given communion unless you say Amen

While this may be a practice that you and your parish follow, there is NOTHING that states a person must say ‘Amen’ in order to receive Communion. :thumbsup:

I wish it was, but it is not :mad:

What about those people who are mute… or who don’t speak English (or whatever the vernacular is of that community)?

I have a friend who REFUSES to say Amen when she gets to the chalice. I threaten to pinch her after Mass, but as a person who is not the priest, I can’t refuse her. Besides, there is nothing that says that the priest can refuse her (or anyone) Communion for not saying ‘Amen’ :o

really? my priest says so, and he’s very learned in Church teachings and law. he’s very strict in fact

if you’re mute, there is a sign language for that i believe. i should have paid more attention so i can be sure, i went to a Catholic college that has a program for the hearing impaired

i think Amen is universal. even in Filipino we say “Amen” (ah-men) which we learned from the Spanish, so i would believe Spanish would also say ah-men. i’ll try to ask a Chinese friend of mine what they say during Chinese mass

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