How do you prepare to receive Holy Communion?


How do you prepare to receive Holy Communion?

Of all the gestures, actions, decisions, operations, motions in the life of the human person, by far the greatest (beyond comparison) is to receive Jesus, the Lord and God into the very depths of your soul in the greatest of all Sacraments: Holy Communion.

The Bread of Life, the Bread of the Angels, Corpus Christi, food for the journey, energy and strength on the Highway to holiness, Our Comfort, Friend, Guide, Light, Support and fortitude, spiritual manna, Our eternal life—all of these and many more can be mentioned are short names, titles or descriptions for Jesus, truly present in Mass  in Holy Communion. We can call it the “Sacrament of Sacraments.”

Nobody on earth could ever compare one Holy Communion to any other created reality. However, reflect on this: the entire created universe from the stars, planets, immense oceans, and lofty mountains, and starry skies, as well as all of the fish in the seas and animals populating the earth cannot equal even one, just one Holy Communion.


Our preparation starts before Mass even begins:

Read the readings, collects, and prayers for the day. Pray the Rosary on the way to Mass, go to confession (usually every other Sunday),) and pray the Prayer of St. Ambrose before Mass.

During Mass, more specifically during the Eucharistic Prayer, I will pray the Domine Non Sum Dignus prayer. At the elevation of the Host and the Chalice, I will strike my chest saying "My Lord and My God!"

I receive kneeling and on the tongue, with my eyes closed. I do not chew the host, but let it rest on my tongue.

I go back to my pew praying, "Come Holy Spirit, engulf me in the flame of God's love." And I pray the Prayer of St. Bonaventure After Mass before the closing prayers. If there is time, I will pray the Anima Christi.

After Mass concludes, I pray the Leonine prayers after Low Mass, regardless of the type of Mass, Prayer to the Blessed Virgin After MassPrayer to St. Joseph After Mass, and sometimes my own ad hoc prayer for whatever I need.

Many times, I will pray a Rosary on my drive home, but not every time.

This formula has proven very fruitful and edifying to me!

We should be overflowing with joy and gratitude for the most sublime gift of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is truly and substantially the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. There is no greater action we can possibly do while we live on earth than to receive the Eucharist worthily. Jesus’ promise for receiving Him frequently and worthily should fill all of us with immense joy. Jesus consoles us with these words:  “I am the Bread of life. Whoever eats my Body and drinks my Blood will have everlasting life and I will raise Him up on the last day.” (Bread of Life discourse: Jn. 6: 22-71) Heaven is ours if we receive Jesus here on earth with faith and burning love!


What do you do to prepare?