Archdiocese of Mobile

Office for Evangelization and Family Life

Going to Communion

Date posted: December 11, 2014

apostlesWe are finishing the question from yesterday about the propriety of receiving communion in Protestant services (even though we know it is not truly the body and blood of Jesus).


Today, I want to talk about the other aspect of communion.  When I receive communion and I say “amen” I am acknowledging that this is in fact Jesus, but I am also acknowledging that I am in communion with the congregation.  In the Catholic Church when the minister of Holy Communion says, “The Body of Christ,” we say amen to our believe that what I am about to consume if the True Presence that we are the Body of Christ as the Church.  I am in communion with the Lord and with those who are also in communion with him.  It is both of these realities that I say amen to.


It is for this reason that we should not receive communion in other services, nor should visitors to our celebration of the Eucharist receive communion.  We are not in full communion with each other, and it seems wrong to pretend that we are.  We long for full communion, but it is not a reality.  Further, I would argue that pretending that everything is huncky-dory is a mistake.  Let’s not take communion with each other and pretend that there is no division.  We can never heal what we don’t acknowledge.


A married couple who is arguing or upset with each other about something is much better off acknowledging their difference and working to solve it.  For them to pretend that there is no problem or division seems to me to be a sure recipe for disaster.  Our Church’s reasoning for withholding communion from Non-Catholics and asking us to not receive communion in other services is rooted in a desire for full and true unity among Christians.

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