Why are we showing up to Mass as if we’ve just rolled out of bed?

Orange diocese offers guidance for all Catholics on proper reception of the Blessed Sacrament

(image from Orange County Catholic)

If in fact we truly believe that we are receiving the body of Christ, is there any moment in our lives that could be more important? Why, then, are we showing up to Mass as if we’ve just rolled out of bed? Why are we approaching the person distributing Communion thinking of the big game that afternoon? Why are we (I’ve seen people do it) reaching to take the Eucharist from the priest instead of reverently receiving it as the gift that it is?

This Sunday, watch for yourself. And then try to be an example for others.

Direct from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, here is the right way to receive communion:

Those who receive Communion may receive either in the hand or on the tongue, and the decision should be that of the individual receiving, not of the person distributing Communion. If Communion is received in the hand, the hands should first of all be clean. If one is right handed the left hand should rest upon the right. The host will then be laid in the palm of the left hand and then taken by the right hand to the mouth. If one is left-handed this is reversed. It is not appropriate to reach out with the fingers and take the host from the person distributing.

The person distributing Communion says audibly to each person approaching, “The Body of Christ.” This formula should not be altered, as it is a proclamation which calls for a response of faith on the part of the one who receives. The communicant should audibly respond, “Amen,” indicating by that response his or her belief that this small wafer of bread, the wine in this chalice are in reality the body and blood of Christ the Lord.

When one receives from the chalice, the same proclamation is made by the person distributing Communion and the Communicant again responds, “Amen.” It should be noted that it is never permissible for a person to dip the host he or she has received into the chalice. If, for some reason, the communicant is not able or willing to drink from the cup then that person should receive only under the form of bread.

Full story at Orange County Catholic.

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  1. James Kelly says:

    At our church, the Deacon who is 6ft. 6 in. holds the host above his head. I find this extremely disturbing. I do not want to look at his head or face.
    I feel he should hold it just above the Chalice like the priest does. Which way is correct?

  2. Good luck on getting Catholics to dress even halfway properly for Mass. That was a complaint when I entered the Church as a convert. In 1952.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Bless you, Gil! It is such a terrible shame, the lack of respectful dress, and lack of good manners, in America, and in our Church, since the 1960s “hippie” era! No respect at all! Prior to Vatican II, the Eucharistic fast was from midnight, and Catholics went to Confession on Saturdays, to prepare for Sunday Mass. Later, the Eucharistic fast was shortened, to only three hours. We always ate breakfast after Mass. We ladies always wore nice dresses, and carried a mantilla or scarf in our purses, for entering any Catholic church– and used to cross ourselves, out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, when passing by a Catholic church!

      • Linda Maria says:

        P.S. The old Latin Mass was very reverent, beautiful, dignified, and respectful– and keeling at the altar rail to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, was much more holy and respectful! Today’s often-irreverent, modern post-Concilliar Masses, are often a disrespectful, disoriented, noisy zoo! Too much wrongful secular, worldly novelty and experimentation! Catholics are also no longer receiving correct religious training in the Sacraments, including training in eligibility requirements, and proper preparation for reception of Our Lord, in Holy Communion!

        • Bob One says:

          Linda Maria, I don’t dispute your opinion, but how do you know that kids aren’t receiving correct religious training in the ….? Are you a teacher in the CCD program or the parish school? Do you monitor the faith formation process? Have you read the books they use? Or, do you have an opinion based on few facts? I know that the faith formation process today is very different from when I was in grade school, but that doesn’t make it less valid. By the way, the “post-Consilliar Masses” have been around for over fifty years. Two generations know of nothing else. In all that time I have never been to any Mass, save one, that wasn’t just as reverent and holy as the Latin Masses of the 40-50’s. Just different.

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