Fr. Finigan looks at “routine” Communions

His Hermeneuticalness, my friend the soon-to-be-moving Fr. Tim Finigan has a great post on an important topic.  HERE

He brings up the point of receiving Holy Communion in such a way that it becomes “routine”.

I suggest that people examine their consciences thoroughly when preparing for Communion.  Really look at your state of soul.

Also, use Spiritual Communions.

The other day in Louisville I spoke for a while about practicing what we need to do to develop virtues.  I think the same can apply to preparing to receive Communion: we can ready ourselves through Spiritual Communions, which can be made at anytime and anywhere, and also by those who are unable to receive for one reason or another.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ichabod says:

    As an aside, Fr. Finigan says, “After explaining that it is practising Catholics, living in accord with the teaching of the Church and attending Sunday Mass every week who go to Communion, I added that there are always plenty of people who, for various reasons, cannot receive Communion and so there is no need to be embarrassed about remaining in the bench. My hunch was correct: at those public occasions, if you do not explain that there are required dispositions for Holy Communion, people will come up simply to be polite, in case it might be rude not to.”

    I’ve seen priests at funerals, weddings and the like say something like “Reception of Holy Communion is reserved for Catholics in a state of grace; however, we are a welcoming Church and we thank you for your presence. Everyone is a child of God. So, if you would like to come forward with the communicants and receive a blessing of thanks, hospitality and respect, please simply cross your arms and we will bestow upon you a blessing.”

    I apologize if you have addressed this before, Fr. Z, but is this practice kosher? (so to speak :)

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Attending all types of celebratory Masses, such as Christmas, Easter, weddings, funerals, ordinations in the past several years. I have never heard a priest remind people that they have to be Catholics in good standing to receive the Eucharist and that non-Catholics cannot receive.

    At a huge Mass in the past few months, the bishop was about to give out Communion when the priest con-celebrating whispered to him that the people standing there waiting were not Catholics.

    Why cannot teaching on the proper preparation for Communion be given in sermons? I have never, ever heard a sermon, even from a TLM priest, on receiving in a state of grace and not receiving in a state of mortal sin. Never!

    I think some good teaching from the pulpit on how all who received Christ in the Eucharist should prepare.

  3. jacobi says:

    In the post-Vatican period there has been a collapse amongst practising Catholics in belief in the doctrine of the Real Presence, because of the lack of Religious education and indifferent practise during Mass,

    Many argue that this was the intention of liberal/Relativist reformers in the 60s/70s. If so, they have been very successful.

    Associated with this is the disregard of, or effective denial of, the very concept of sin.

    As Catholics we are required to be in a state of Grace, to have observed the required fast and be otherwise properly disposed before receiving. Such conditions are ignored by probably 80% of Catholics, not to mention visiting non-Catholics at a typical Sunday Mass

    This is now a major scandal in the Church and the blame lies with the clergy who simply no longer have the authority or courage to stand up in church and explain this. As such they are complicit in the Sacrilege which takes place every Sunday before their eyes as they give the Sacred Host.

    Remaining in the pews now, far from being a matter of embarrassment, is perhaps now an indication of one who has a more appropriate relationship with Christ.

  4. Volanges says:

    In the last 40 years I’ve heard a priest explain who can receive Communion exactly once – and he was a visiting priest ministering to us at Christmas.

    What I have seen in the last 17 years are non-Catholics routinely receiving Communion in my parish, particularly at funerals and special occasion Masses. The priest can’t not know as those receiving are the ministers of the other ecclesial communities (United Church pastor, Pentecostal, etc.) with whom he was in the Ministerial Association. In return one of our Pastors received ‘communion’ in the Anglican Church.

  5. Thorfinn says:

    I’ve heard explanations of the proper reception (or non-reception) of the Eucharist several times in the Diocese of Charlotte, more often at Masses where a significant portion of the congregation is expected to be non-Catholic, or perhaps even just non-practicing. Not, perhaps, from all priests, but it seems fairly common. One practice I like invites non-Catholics to pray for Christian unity.

    Sometimes it seems like priests forget, especially when it comes to the homily, that 5-10% of the congregation every week is likely non-Catholic, and instead of evangelizing make silly comments about “those Protestants”. Or they proclaim the Catholic faith (we believe in Real Presence!) without noticing that half the people are thinking, “What? We do? Who is ‘we’? Why should we believe that?” Widespread catechetical failure means there is no rational basis for assuming Catholics know what you mean by “state of grace” or “mortal sin”.

  6. xraytango says:


    There is an article at NCRegister about spiritual communions. This is a quote: “St. Alphonsus taught that the Church grants a partial indulgence of 300 days with every act of spiritual communion and a plenary indulgence once monthly when made under the usual conditions.”

    I could not find further verification about this. I was just wondering if these indulgences were valid.

    Read more:

    [No, those indulgences according to days, and so forth, are no longer granted by the Church. Indulgences are partial or plenary (full). You can find the present concessions in the Handbook of Indulgences or Enchiridion Indulgentiarum.]

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