RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION
RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION AT
The most important element in the spiritual renewal of a Christian is the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It is the one sacrament that transcends all other sacraments. When we receive Holy Communion we receive Jesus Himself into us.
The Greek word for Thanksgiving is "Eucharisto". We refer to Holy Communion as "the Eucharist" and offer thanksgiving to God for this great mystery whereby God not only sanctifies the bread and wine, but also changes them into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
May I receive Communion?
If you are a practicing and communing Catholic in good standing with the church (confessed recently and as needed, kept the appropriate Communion fast, married in the church if applicable, all the usual stuff) then you are welcome and encouraged to receive the Eucharist. Those who belong to the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are urged to follow their own church’s guidelines; our church does not object to them receiving if they present themselves.
If you are not Catholic or you are Catholic but are not properly prepared to receive, we encourage you to join us in prayer at that time for Christian unity. At the time of Holy Communion you may also come to the front and receive a blessing from the priest by placing your right (or left) arm on your shoulder.
I heard you have different practices for fasting and about communing children. How does that affect me as a Roman Catholic visitor?
You continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Roman canons and the Roman bishop wherever you go, so the same rules apply to you whether you’re in a Roman Catholic parish or an Eastern Catholic one. If you or your children may commune in your home parish, you may commune at St. Nicholas, too. You don’t need a reason or special permission to attend our church and doing so fulfills your Sunday/feast day obligation.
How do we receive Communion?
- •We don’t bow or make the sign of the cross as we approach the chalice, but cross our arms over our chest in an X to keep them out of the way. We don’t want to accidentally send the chalice flying.
- •If you want to, you may tell Father your Christian/Baptismal name as you approach.
- •Look up toward the ceiling and open your mouth like a baby bird. That’s all there is to it.
- •Don’t stick your tongue out. This is the most important one to remember.
- •We don’t say anything after we’ve received.
What if I’m medically unable to receive the Precious Body of the Lord as Holy Communion?
You may ask to receive only the Precious Blood of the Lord. Please alert the Priest before Liturgy begins.