Why Do Catholics... (WDC)

Hi Everyone,

I just sent my first question in but it has to be approved and may or may not be answered. I didn’t realize I posted it in a different section.

Also first off I just joined the site today (i’ve seen posts in the past). I was baptized as an infant but my family only went to church on the holidays (unless I was with my grandparents). So after going to a few different catholic churches on and off for many years (from moving and just life)I ended up back at my old catholic church that my family would attend periodically (which feels like home). After meeting with my Fr. and Deacon I’ve decided that want to join the church (after attending weekly service for the past year and a half, reading the catechism and am in the process a 2nd time, doing daily prayer) and I am now going through the RCIA process.

  1. WDC form the cross on their forehead, chin and heart (towards the beginning of service when talk about mark or luke I believe)?

  2. What do you suggest to do during mass. Since I can’t take communion I just sit toward the end of the isle and as people take communion I just stand there or quietly move out of the isle until my section is back. I’ve had a few members ask me why I don’t take it (since they’ve seen me attend service for a while). Is there anything I can do? It’s just awkward and I just can’t wait to participate.

  3. How long does that process take? I’ve read that some people have taken weeks to a few months and others years to complete the process. I just know that I am ready and I don’t want to wait 6-8 months to complete. I’m not trying to rush the process but I just feel i’m more ready then others. I know that there are tons more questions that I have and will learn about during my process (WDC certain things)

I know I’m going to have tons of questions and I forget to ask during RCIA meetings.

  1. I asked the same thing when I was in RCIA. :smiley: They explained it to me, but I forgot exactly why Catholics do that.

  2. Instead of taking communion, you could go up to the priest with your arms crossed and the priest will bless you.

  3. I started in September 2015 and ended up being confirmed Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. In my diocese, though, it’s a pretty formal process – you almost have to go through the full program to become a Catholic. The instructors really want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. (Not that its a bad thing!)

I think if you are dying or seriously ill, they will expedite the process and you don’t have to do RCIA. But that’s an extreme case.

Thank you Alex I just got the answer. For question 1. I didn’t know that I could get a blessing from the Fr. during communion. 3. I understand it’s a process and not that I am trying to speed things up but I just know I am ready (more so then others).

Thanks for answering my q’s

Don’t assume you can. Everyone receives a blessing after communion, from the priest. The communion line is for communion.

It became a practice that priests would bless the young children who walked or were carried alongside as their parents went to communion. Somewhere along the line adults who were not able to receive (for whatever reason) got the idea of getting in line too. Honestly, not entirely sure where people got this idea. But, in some places, priests actually invite (and in other places, tolerate) people coming up in the communion line who are not receiving communion, and some will indeed impart a blessing. But, this is not part of the Mass, but sometimes people do it anyway.

At a minimum I suggest you ASK your priest beforehand, so as not to be embarrassed if your parish is one that follows the mass guidelines and does not impart blessings in the communion line.

As you make the sign of the cross you say (to yourself) “may the words of the Gospel be on mind , on my lips, and in my heart.”

From the General Instructions of the Roman Missal:
134. At the ambo, the priest opens the book and, with hands joined, says: Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you), and the people respond: Et cum spiritu tuo (And with your spirit). Then he says: Lectio sancti Evangelii (A reading from the holy Gospel), making the Sign of the Cross with his thumb on the book and on his forehead, mouth, and breast, which everyone else does as well. The people say the acclamation: Gloria tibi, Domine (Glory to you, Lord). The priest incenses the book, if incense is used (cf. nos. 276-277). Then he proclaims the Gospel and at the end sings or says the acclamation: Verbum Domini (The Gospel of the Lord), to which all respond: Laus tibi, Christe (Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ). The priest kisses the book, saying quietly: Per evangelica dicta (Through the words of the Gospel)."

What I did was sit on the end, stand up, step out, let everyone out, and then sit back down and resume kneeling.

It takes as long as it takes. You are baptized. You are already a Catholic. You need to complete your sacraments of initiation and continue learning the faith. Learning about the faith in the class portion of RCIA is great. But as far as completing your sacraments, I suggest you talk to your pastor because since you are already Catholic that should not take overly long.

Thank you I defiantly will. I’ve never seen anyone do that typically they receive communion at my service. I would hate to embarrass myself. I’m just ready for it and just don’t like waiting for the process. I completely understand why the RCIA is there and how it works. I’m just ready that’s all.

Thank you again.

Every Catholic Church I have been to allows adults to be blessed in the communion line. Then again, every Catholic Church I have been to was in the Diocese of Shreveport. So maybe the Bishop made the decision to allow it. Not sure.

I do know, however, that I asked the same question to the director of RCIA that the OP did. The RCIA director, who is also a deacon, said that I could always go to the communion line with my arms crossed and receive a blessing.

But, then again, perhaps it is different in other parts of the country/world.

As you are already Catholic, and ready for it, as your priest about making your first confession and first communion as soon as possible.

Confirmation might be with other adult Catholics with the bishop, or your pastor might be delegated permission to confirm you when he confirms those being received into the Church.

It’s not in the rubrics. Yes, some places do it, or tolerate it, or whatever. It comes up often. on these boards. Here’s the sticky note:


Thank you everyone I know I will have many more questions to come (some I’l get answered in RCIA) and some that I forget to ask or just am curious about.

Well, that’s more confusing than helpful.

Forehead = mind; chin = voice; heart = feelings, where we most need the grace of God.

I think **Alex **answered this one best.

The waiting period is part of your penance. God does not normally hurry things up in this life for our convenience.

Remember, once you are in, it’s literally for ever. :slight_smile:


I do believe that going through the RCIA process is a good thing, and you can continue to your study in the faith by purchasing materials from Catholic Answers, Ascension Press and many good Catholic sites.

If your local priest wanted you to through this process before receiving communion then you probably should. If you were baptized as an infant like you mentioned you should go to confession, and then you could receive the Eucharist.

This isn’t the least bit true.

. For an already baptized Catholic to meet the requirement to complete their sacraments of initiation, it is quite simple. Those who are properly disposed can go to reconciliation and begin receiving communion after discussing with their pastor. They can continue to receive instruction and be confirmed with the RCIA candidates if the pastor has faculties or by the bishop. They should not be unduly delayed after they have received instruction.

The OP, baptized as a Catholic, is already “in”.

I was in the same situation when I wanted to come back into the Church. I had a meeting with the RCIA director and explained the situation. Then I had an interview with the pastor and he told me I could begin receiving communion at the next Mass. Of course, I had to wait for Confirmation. Maybe your pastor will allow you to do the same, if you are already certain you want to go ahead with the Sacraments. There’s really no canonical reason why you can’t receive the Eucharist if you understand it fully and are properly disposed.

…welcome back Home!

…the reason why it takes time is so that, as an adult (teen) your Confession of Faith is based on knowledge and understanding of the Faith (as an infant, it would be the responsibility of parents and God-parents to teach and inform the child as he/she matures both chronologically and in the Faith); in the absence of such wealth, the Church wants every RCIA candidate to acquire as much of that missing wealth as possible in a comprehensive learning campaign which is condensed to a moderate amount of time… you may speak directly with the Rector of your parish and he may (if you are a quick learner) expedite your time (though I do not know of precedents).

…as far as not being able to receive the Holy Eucharist, you can speak with the Priests and ask them to allow you to receive a Blessing (many parishes allow this) instead of the Eucharist and Blood–your inclusion, by receiving the Blessing, may remove some of the anxiety that you feel when celebrating the Eucharist.

Your questions are all welcomed!

Maran atha!


Didn’t read all the posts, so forgive me if I’m repeating what’s already been reported BUT …

At the point of the mass where the Gospel is to be read, the congregation STANDS … and to themselves say the prayer

[size=]… may the word of the Lord be

… on my mind (making a sign of the cross with their thumb on their foreheads)

… on my lips (making the same sign on their lips) and

… in my heart (crossing their hearts in the same manner)

… a full body prayer to remind oneself to listen carefully to Jesus’ own words and accounts of his life … and to think and learn … share with others … and make it a part of the growing love relationship Jesus is inviting them to.[/size] :slight_smile:

excerpt from NEWBIE:

  1. What do you suggest to do during mass. Since I can’t take communion I just sit toward the end of the isle and as people take communion I just stand there or quietly move out of the isle until my section is back. I’ve had a few members ask me why I don’t take it (since they’ve seen me attend service for a while). Is there anything I can do? It’s just awkward and I just can’t wait to participate.

At a Catholic Communion service I’m involved with as part of a Catholic Detention Ministry, we allow anyone to ***attend *** (per Jesus’ 'go and teach the nations … ’ invitation and Great Commission). Before communion we invite those Catholics who have received their first communion and are in a state of grace to come forward to receive the Eucharist. This DOES sometimes seem to “interrupt the unity” of the service a bit (as it must) – but just AFTER communion, and before the ending prayers … we often together say an approved Catholic “Spiritual Communion” prayer together.

This is the prayer:


Act of Spiritual Communion

*My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul.

Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart.

As though You have already come.

I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You;

never permit me to be separated from You.*

It would seem to me to be a wonderful meditation during that time you are awaiting that even more special union with Jesus.

We sometimes remind those children anxious to receive their first communion (but cannot immediately) … that while the apostles themselves had to wait three years before they received THEIR first communion at the Last Supper … it can now be done in about one year (once they have started RCIA in their parishes … our ministry is to kids who are only with us a short time, weeks. Too short to complete their sacramental prep).

It is a prayer which can be said by those who have already received their first communions (on days when they’d love to attend a daily mass but can’t for instance).

And in our service many of those who’d JUST received communion sometime join the rest in saying the prayer … for that moment of unity. And communion.

Done reverently the prayer will emphasize what a communicant should be doing after reception of the sacrament … speaking to and listening to Jesus, expressing deep belief, and taking another step toward becoming one with Him … as He desires.

I don’t see any reason you couldn’t take the prayer with you and speak to the Lord at that time … in preparation for your first communion later. It might be a step up from the awkwardness about those waiting-for-communion moments in the meantime.

:slight_smile: - Bless you!

The cross is traced on the forehead lips and heart before reading the gospel (Matthew Mark Luke or John). It’s prayerfully indicating that Jesus is on our mind, lips and heart. The sign of the cross is made at the beginning of mass which is slightly different, but uses the words of Jesus in Matthew 28

One should only take Eucharist in a state of grace. Most people who refrain for whatever reason just let people go by and pray. You can move enough for people to comfortably move past you, then perhaps kneel and pray. The act of contrition is a good one at the time. The Lord is still present so keep that in mind.

I feel it’s rather inappropriate for people to ask the reasons you did not receive. I heard a priest once say the following on the radio- it is troubling that the Eucharist lines are much longer than the confession lines. In other words, some folks ignore (or are unaware of) the state of grace and RCC formation requirements

For #2 I would invite Jesus into your heart during communion. You don’t need to go up for blessing to do that.

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