Thank you for continuing the process of your child’s faith information. Preparation to receive First Reconciliation and First Communion is a consecutive 2-year program which begins when your child enrolls in the Elementary Program. Children beginning sacramental preparation after the first grade must attend the RCIC Program, which is also a 2-year program. Please contact our office for more informtion:
Timothy Rodrick, OP
Director, Religious Education
Instructions Regarding the Proper Disposition for Holy Communion
In the Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, issued on March 25, 2004 by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, we will find concrete instructions on certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist. With the regards to the proper disposition in receiving Holy Communion, here are the instructions written in articles 90, 92-94:
[90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognition of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.
By saying due reverence, we are therefore instructed to do a reverential bow, i.e. a deep bow before we come forward in front of the minister to receive the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ in holy communion.
[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognition of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.
This article specifies that receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is still the norm even though communion on the hand has been allowed. It is also states very clearly that the Host should be consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister and not while walking away from the minister. The proper way of receiving communion on the hand is to place your left palm on top of your right palm while raising both hands in front of your face as if presenting them as a throne for the King of Kings. Then after receiving the sacred host on the hand, the communicant steps aside on the side of the minister and reverently places the sacred host on his/ her tongue only. After he or she has done so, can he/ she start walking towards the cup of the blood of Christ.
[93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.
[94.] It is not licit for the faithful “to take . . . by themselves . . . and, still less, to hand . . . from one to another” the sacred host or the sacred chalice. Moreover, in this regard, the abuse is to be set aside whereby spouses administer Holy Communion to each other at a Nuptial Mass.
In order to avoid confusion and in the interest of promoting reverence to the Lord in Holy Communion we are providing you these articles, which clearly state how we should properly receive the Lord in holy communion and why we are restoring the use of communion plates during holy communion. For better understanding of these and other instructions, you may do further reading of the document by going to Vatican.va or by simply typing Redemptionis Sacramentum on the web search box.