Proper Reception and Reverence for Holy Communion

Feb 25, 2015

St. Cyril of Jerusalem , writing around 370 or 380 had this to say about receiving Holy Communion:

“In approaching therefore, come not with your wrists extended, or your fingers spread; but make your left hand a throne for your right, as for that which is to receive a King.  And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, ‘Amen’.  So then, after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the holy body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members.”

I’ve been told that some, not here, thank God, have found the Sacred Host in pews, in missalettes, hymnals, on the floor and even in discarded gum.  I have heard that, unfortunately, here at St. Patrick there have been instances of adults taking the Host and sharing it with their children; this is just plain wrong.

In 2004 the Congregation for Divine Worship had this to say:

“Special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister (of Communion), so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand.  If there is a risk of profanation, then Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

Should you happen to see someone drop a Host on the floor, or—God forbid— take a Host and not put it in her or his mouth, you have an obligation to tell either the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or the priest.  As you may know Sacred Hosts are used in Satanic and other rituals.  As St. Cyril said, guard the Host as your most precious possession for it is the Body and Blood of Christ.