How do you receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at Mass?


How do you receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at Mass? This is a touchy subject for most Catholics, as different parts of the world have different disciplines. I think the very first thing we should do here is take a step back and think about what's happening.

Catholics are obliged by Church Law to attend Mass every Sunday, unless they have a condition or situation in which they can be dispensed from the obligation by a priest or bishop. We are also required to receive Holy Communion once a year in the state of grace. All this being taken into account, when you walk up to receive Jesus where are you?

I'm not asking if you are at Church, I'm asking where your head is? St. Angela of Foligno says ,"If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ's love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude." And St. Augustine states, "Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it."

Picture yourself at Mass again, you now reach the front of the line, you are about the have the King of Kings and ruler of the universe enter into your body and soul. The Priest, Bishop or Deacon or The extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion holds up Jesus right in front of your eyes and make the statement, "The Body of Christ!" You agree and say Amen!  Then what happens next is up to you...

On Receiving Jesus in the hand as St. John Paul II says, "Communion in the hand can be carried out with reverence and devotion" but he goes on to state that "... and even though reception on the tongue is no guaranteed symbol of fidelity and humility; Communion on the tongue is, all things being equal, the most suitable manner of reception.

Why is receiving communion on the tongue a more preferable means of receiving Jesus? well let's continue with St. John Paul II ,“By giving the Eucharist the prominence it deserves, and by being careful not to diminish any of its dimensions or demands, we show that we are truly conscious of the greatness of this gift. We are urged to do so by an uninterrupted tradition, which from the first centuries on has found the Christian community ever vigilant in guarding this ‘treasure.’ Inspired by love, the Church is anxious to hand on to future generations of Christians, without loss, her faith and teaching with regard to the mystery of the Eucharist. There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for ‘in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation.’”

And Finally Pope Benedict the XVI made it very clear the way in which he though people should receive the Most Blessed Sacrament. From the official website, "In continuity with the teaching of his Predecessor, starting with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the year 2008, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, began to distribute to the faithful the Body of the Lord, by placing it directly on the tongue of the faithful as they remain kneeling."

Although in many churches you can not knell to receive Jesus, communion on the tongue can be argued as the preferred method in which to receive Your Lord and Savior. And you have this opportunity every day at Holy Mass!


John Paul II, in his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia ("The Church comes from the Eucharist"), wrote in n. 61: