“This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” – Luke 22:19 –
It is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action. The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament in which we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
Rules for receiving Holy Communion
For Catholics, here are some reminders about receiving Holy Communion at Mass.
- Fast for one hour before receiving – no food or drink except water or medicine.
- Be in the state of grace (free from mortal sin) before receiving.
- Receive Holy Communion at least once each year during the Easter season.
- Receive no more than twice per day, the second reception must be at a Mass.
Receiving Holy Communion with Reverence
- Make a bow or genuflection to Jesus BEFORE coming face to face with the priest, (our Lord still sees you).
- Do not pause at the first pew to decide which line to choose. Keep the lines moving.
- To receive in the hand, hold your hands out flat, one above the other, with palms facing up, then take one step to the side and consume the host in the minister’s presence, otherwise the priest may call you back.
- To receive on the tongue, keep your head level, open your mouth and hold your tongue out, resting it on your lower lip. The goal is to provide a stable horizontal surface for our Lord to rest on. Holding your tongue out too far does not provide a horizontal surface, but rather a round or vertical one.
- If kneeling, you must be able to do so without losing your balance or distracting others.
- When receiving, do not move toward the host or try to take it. Be still and passively receive the host.
- After the minister says “the Body of Christ” reply “Amen” which means “I believe.”
- After receiving, direct your attention to Jesus within you, rather than his presence in the distant tabernacle.