Wife asked why I didn't receive Communion


My wife, who is Anglican, attended Mass with me yesterday and asked after Mass why I didn’t go up and receive Communion. I stammered something about being sick last Sunday and missing Mass and I like to discuss it with the Priest before I receive again. (He was late for Mass yesterday, by the way, and didn’t have Reconciliation before Mass).

What is a better answer? I feel judged by her and it isn’t a good feeling.


Well, I suppose you could have answered a question with a question: “why do you ask”?

You could also just refuse to tell her “I’m a little taken aback that you would ask. I’d prefer to keep that between God and me.” (Might lead to a small argument though.)

If what you told her was the truth, you did just fine.


Although, if you missed Mass because you were sick, that’s not a problem, you didn’t have to skip communion.


Communion is not a right. Saint Paul teaches, without error, that a man must examine himself and so be worthy to receive - else he eat and drink judgment/condemnation/damnation unto himself.

Seems clear enough.

Besides, we are not at the mass primarily to receive the Eucharist, hear good music, an insightful homily or to visit with neighbors and friends.

We attend to comply with Christ’s command and to offer ourselves as totally and completely as we can, to God as living sacrifices. Saint Paul wrote about that as well.

Citations if needed.


If you were sick you are excused from mass. And there is no sin involved and therefore no need to refrain from communion.

Let’s discuss it after mass.

And, then you can explain that there are many reasons that people refrain from communion-- didn’t fast for one hour, feeling like they need confession, or just refraining because you aren’t properly disposed. And that out of charity we don’t “notice” whether others go to communion or not or speculate on why.

well that’s on you. She was just asking a question. You took it as judging. She might have just been curious and not known why people skip communion.


Maybe I’m just thinking on the other side. Maybe she was concerned for you. Maybe she thought that you messed up and that was her way of offering a shoulder to lean on.

Personally, if my wife had to ask, then I feel I messed up somewhere. I tell my wife everything. On the way to church I’ll say something about not being properly disposed. Last time I refrained was due to lying at work to avoid trouble. I knew it was wrong, I knew I needed to confess. I talked to my wife about it that night that I messed up and on my way to mass so she wouldn’t worry about me refraining


I figure that these are things that a husband and wife are able to discuss, even if they’re not both Catholic.


I love you. I would never ask you about your reasons for refraining, I ask you to extend to me the same respect.


^ ^ What she said. Which is a lot nicer than what I said when I was asked this question.

Also, while there is an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday, there is no obligation to receive Holy Communion every Sunday. There is an obligation to receive Communion once a year during the Easter season.


The way you put this makes it sounds like that’s not actually the reason. If this is the reason then you’re good, if it’s not the reason then obviously your wife doesn’t know the reason. If it’s some habitual sin you struggle with, maybe you should talk to your wife about it.

My wife knows the sins I struggle with, so she doesn’t really ask why when I don’t go up. She knows I’m trying to be better, so she doesn’t make a big deal out of it.


It’s your wife. How about you tell her whatever the truth is?


I dunno. I get what you’re saying, but if he does truly want to keep it within the confessional, I think he’s fine to do that too.


Sure, he’s allowed to do that. In which case he could say something like what The Little Lady proposed above.

You know I am big on open communication in a marriage though. I didn’t have this problem because husband wasn’t Catholic and wasn’t monitoring my sacraments (or anything else I did) but I don’t see what could be so awful you wouldn’t tell your spouse though. Unless it’s government witness protection program stuff.


That’d be why I’m reading this thread. It hadn’t occurred to me that this could be an awkward question, and frankly, I’m still not sure what makes it awkward.


Yeah, I mean, hopefully his wife is understanding and they have the dynamic where he feels like he can share with her freely.


Yes being spirituality judged is not comfortable.
Its a character evaluation.
Self image judgement .
Gee I didn’t want to lie Buutt .
Some married men masterbate and that might be a sin.





I can understand your wife. My wife converted to Catholicism upon our marriage. She was not being pressured into it but gladly embracing it. Even though had become a Catholic then, she did have her own pre-Catholic perception with her. And thus, one Sunday she asked me the same question – why I did not receive Communion?

We were young then. I was a cradle Catholic and understanding of others was one of my least qualities. So I did not bother to explain to her. I just said something that we do not necessarily receive Communion during the mass to make it valid. She was hurt by my response and thought that I had committed mortal sin, a reason she knew for not receiving Communion. She felt I was not opened to her.

Non-Catholics can have that mentality about the mass and about receiving Communion.

You, like mine, probably do not have much choice but to patiently to explain to them.

There are many reasons for not receiving Communion, from lack of preparation to mortal sin. Not just mortal sin, it is merely one of the reasons. You need to explain to her your reason for not receiving. In that particular case, it was your doubt whether you were worthy or not, due to being unable to come to mass the week before.

And missing Communion would not make attending mass any less as an obligation.

God bless.


Husbands and wives need not and really should not be confessors to each other. That’s what priests are for. Would husbands and wives discuss with each other what they confesses in the confessional? That’s why I think the question was inappropriate.


Maybe my wife and I have a different relationship than everyone else, but I’d have zero issues telling her my confessions. I do in fact discuss it with her before I go to confession.

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