HOLY COMMUNION GUIDELINES
As you participate in the most holy celebration of Mass, we are blessed to receive the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist which unites us in Holy Communion with him. Let us consciously consider the guidelines of Holy Mother Church which leads us to receive Our Lord in the state of grace (without the impediment of mortal sin). Sin is the only thing that keeps us from communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Tips for Reverence
Our Lord, Jesus Christ is present in this most holy celebration and we come to honor and join him, his sacrifice, and his victory over sin and death, for us.
- In everything you do at Holy Mass, have respect, reverence and thankfulness for the many gifts you receive through grace at every moment you receive them.
- Be on time, be respectful of others, and be present. Prioritize this time with Our Lord. Focus on what brings you to Mass and the graces you can only receive if you are present.
- Be considerate of others as we are all there to worship together. Avoid distractions to yourself and others that keep us from worshiping together.
- Be prepared to receive Holy Communion. You must be free of mortal sin in order to receive the Sacred Eucharist. Only sin can separate us from God. The Lord waits for you through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please see the Confession Schedule for times.
Guide for Receiving Holy Communion
On November 14, 1996, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the following guidelines on the reception of Holy Communion. The guidelines seek to remind all those who may attend Catholic liturgies of the present discipline of the Church with regard to the sharing of Eucharistic Communion.
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (Canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
For our fellow Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn. 17:21).
Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 Section 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (Canon 844, Sec. 3).
For those not receiving Holy Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.
Devout: Displaying reverence or piety.