Wednesday, 28 May 2008

On receiving communion

In recent times we've seen a few important moves to reinforce the doctrine of the Real Presence.

First, late last year, the Vatican urged bishops to promote Adoration in every diocese "for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests." As an aside, I'd be interested in knowing how many Australian dioceses have put this into practice:

Secondly, in Australia, there are the new rubrics for the Ordinary Form, requiring communicants to bow as a gesture of respect before receiving (although the accompanying attempt to dissuade reception while kneeling sends a rather mixed message).

Thirdly, we have seen a renewed encouragement for reception on the tongue while kneeling, most notably through the Holy Father's actions on Corpus Christi.

The next element needed, though, is surely to tackle the problem of those receiving without the proper dispositions.

On this front, Fr Finigan has posted a useful notice he composed for his parish bulletin. It reads as follows:

"....we should remember that to receive Holy Communion, the following are required by the Church:

To be a Catholic in communion with the Church and to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

To be living in accord with the teaching of the Church and, if married, to be married according to the law of the Church.

To be in a state of grace, free from any deliberate grave sin that has not been forgiven through the sacrament of Confession.

To have fasted for at least one hour before Communion.

To have prepared prayerfully to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

Nowadays, some Catholics only come to Mass every few weeks. In such a case, it would be necessary to go to confession and form a firm resolution to attend Mass every week before receiving Holy Communion again."

He also notes the possibility of making a spiritual communion instead, and provides a suitable prayer to assist this. What an excellent list!

The full text can be found here:


Bob Catholic said...

Nice post!

Have you put the information about "CATHOLICS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNEEL TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION" into a post (that I have somehow missed)?? I would very much like to link to it.

Terra said...

Thanks Bob - put it down to my newness to blogdom! But I've now put it up as a separate post (you can still find it in the sidebar, just further down the page for the moment).