Today we will celebrate the Mass and we warmly welcome you into God’s house on this solemn occasion. During the Mass it is important for you to know the guidelines which we follow with regard to the reception of Holy Communion, the real presence of Jesus.
FELLOW ROMAN CATHOLICS
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, Catholic participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. One who is conscious of grave sin should not 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. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all Catholics.
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”. 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.
FOR THOSE NOT RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION
- PRAY • 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.
- SING • We invite you to remain seated or kneel and join in singing the Communion song with the rest of the worshipping assembly.
- BLESSING • Those who wish to receive a blessing from the celebrant are invited to come forward during the Communion procession with their arms folded across their chest as a sign they will not be receiving the Eucharist.
VISITORS AND NON-CHRISTIANS
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we can not admit you to Holy Communion, we ask you to offer your prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family. As a sign of respect for our beliefs and Catholic tradition, we trust that you will honor these guidelines and return to visit us often in the hopes that one day we will meet in full communion with the Lord in heaven.