Some positive reminders on the appropriate reception of Holy Communion according to the teaching of the Church ( in response to a number of queries and questions from parishioners)
- In England & Wales, the faithful are free to receive both the Host and the Chalice at Mass. However, to receive the Host only is, of course, to receive the entire Christ.
- Receiving the Host on the tongue is the customary and time-honoured tradition of the Catholic Church.
- Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is permitted in England and Wales. Great care should be taken to receive the Host reverently and in a dignified and appropriate manner. The Host is received into the hands, palms-upward, the other hand making a ‘throne’ for the Host. It is not appropriate to ‘reach-out’ for the Host or to ‘pick’ it from the hands of the Priest.
- The response, on receiving the Host or the Chalice, is ‘Amen’ (and not thank you!). The Host is consumed immediately, in sight of the Priest. It is never appropriate to wander away with the Host un-consumed.
- You may, if you wish, kneel to receive Holy Communion.
- Catholics were always set-apart by their special reverence for the Body & Blood of Christ; genuflections were common and seen as an identifying mark of a Catholic; silence was kept during Holy Communion; kneeling after receiving Holy Communion and making an act of thanksgiving was usual. Is this still the case?
- Catholics are not free to receive ‘holy communion’ in non-Catholic churches.
- Non-Catholics are not free to receive Holy Communion at Mass.
- Catholics out of communion with the Church are not free to receive Holy Communion until after Sacramental Confession.