Where to look when the Eucharistic minister says "body of Christ"

As some of you might now I’m recently back to the Church after being away for 16 years. When I get to the front of the line to receive the Eucharist, where am I supposed to be looking when I say “Amen”? With my head bowed looking at my cupped hands, or with my head up looking into the eyes of the Eucharistic Minister? Thanks! :heart:

I would say ‘neither’ - look at the Host.
By the way, no offence intended, but I hope you didn’t really mean cupped hands - may I ask on behalf of EMHCs everywhere, please put your hands almost flat (one on top of the other) as it makes it so much easier to place the Host.?

Or better yet, avoid the chance of consecrated particles falling from your hands and receive Jesus on the tongue. And … welcome home!!!

I second this. Looking at the host is a good idea too. God bless! :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t receive on the tongue with a Eucharistic minister/EMHC. Priest/deacon, yes.

+1, and if these things concern you and make you nervous, Cavaille is probably right too. Both ways of receiving are allowed.

The focus is the words said to you “The body of Christ” and your response to the minister of Communion’s word “Amen”. Either looking at the minister(lay or ordained) or the Host is acceptable.

Wow! A question about eye contact, nothing about COTT or CITH, and we got to the third comment and already we’re off any running about the two methods.

I think that is a new record for CAF!

If he were introducing you to someone, you would look at the one you were being introduced to. The same would seem to apply here.

“Is acceptable”? Does that mean it is codified, or either is acceptable to you? No offense intended, but I always like to learn Church teachings.

I look at the Host.

[quote=VanSensei] Quote:

Originally Posted by Cavaille-Coll

Or better yet, avoid the chance of consecrated particles falling from your hands and receive Jesus on the tongue. And … welcome home!!!

I wouldn’t receive on the tongue with a Eucharistic minister/EMHC. Priest/deacon, yes.

On your knees in front of a priest is the preferred method. There is no “Amen” while on your knees.

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Attached is a document I found online. You will notice the detail of receiving and no where is it mentioned where to focus ones eyes. Therefore, one can look at the minister of communion and/or the host. It is NOT codified, but it is mentioned in the guidelines if you receive on the tongue the following order: After the minister holds the Host in front of you and says The Body of Christ and you respond Amen, tilt your head backwards, close your eyes, open your mouth and stick out your tongue.

I hope this helps you in understanding that there ARE people on the site who do know a little something, however imperfect is their understanding.


Thank you. And, accept my apologies for any unintentional offense I inflicted. Pray for me as I will for you.

Humbly yours.

No worries.

Perhaps “appropriate” would have been a better choice of words than “acceptable”.
One thing that can be confusing is that in some areas the Church is very clear in actions, gestures, etc., and in others says nothing or speaks in generalities. In those latter cases there is room for local customs and personal rituals of devotion that need to be understood as personal preferences. Because we choose one ***allowed ***preference over another for ourselves does not make the other option or options bad … or the people who choose to observe them less “holy” or less “Catholic”

I am also a Eucharistic Minister of many years. I distribute the Host (or Chalice) to many. Some receive the Host on the tongue, some in the hand. True, it’s easier (& more proper) to hold the hand flat with the other hand below it.) As for receiving on the tongue from a Eucharistic Minister (or Priest/Deacon), we are taught a technique which prevents us from touching the tongue or lips of anyone, and we do wash our hands prior to Mass. (So do the Priest and Deacon – I mean with soap & water) – prior to even starting the Mass. Therefore, we are not likely to spread any bacteria (or virus).

I’ve noticed most people look at the Host, but a few either look at their own hands or make eye contact – seems to be a personal thing, perhaps shyness or not sure what to do. Looking at the Host would be the most proper. I always receive on the tongue. I’ve spoken to some in my Parish who WILL NOT receive from the Chalice – even from a Priest. They’re afraid they’ll “catch something” (a cold or flu), and also won’t use the Holy Water font, because other fingers have been there before them. I have never “caught” anything from receiving from the Chalice or blessing myself from the Holy Water font. I’ve always believed that the Lord would not allow such a Holy Rite to pass germs! Certainly I never have!:slight_smile:

Maybe you should be more obedient and avoid liturgical innovations. You must say amen when receiving communion during the Ordinary Form of the Mass. On then tongue or not, kneeling or not does not dispense you from following the rubrics. You are to be silent when receiving communion during the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

I am now confused! What is the difference between the “Ordinary Mass” and the “Extraordinary Mass”? Does this refer to Mass in Latin (Tridentine Mass? Do those who attend the Latin Mass not say “Amen” when receiving the Holy Eucharist? Why not?

Also, a city about 150 miles from me is offering a special “Vatican Liturgical Mass”, one afternoon at 2 p.m. Is this the same as the Latin Mass? Just what is it? The Bishop (who IS Roman Catholic) is offering this Mass as a special occasion in mid-October, with a Rosary following at 6 p.m. I think it’s being done on Oct. 12th. Perhaps something to do with the Fatima remembrance?

The Ordinary Form can also be said in Latin, and I’ll bet most wouldn’t know the difference between a Latin OF and the EF. I guess the rule would be if you hear only the “Corpus Christi,” you would respond “Amen.” Do as everyone else does if in doubt.

Incidentally the “Corpus Christi/Amen” became the rule in 1964 so the 1962 Missal (EF) wouldn’t have it as the communion formula.

Thanks. I had forgotten that the OF was in Latin for a short time; so associated the Latin phrase with the EF.

I heard, don’t know if it was true or legend, that at least one person responded to “Corpus Christi” with “Texas”.

A city which didn’t go vernacular? :slight_smile:

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