Communion with God, the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament. Many names refer to the most important and solemn moment of the Mass. During this phase of the celebration. The faithful are called to approach the highest mystery of Christianity, the one in which the bread becomes the Body of Christ. For over two thousand years, Communion with God has symbolized the renewal of the promise of love. And salvation between God and his faithful. On the altar, with the chalice, the pyx, and the paten, an ancient rite is recreated in front of the eyes of Christians who attend mass and in their hearts eager to receive the host.
There are so many ways to approach the Eucharist, which is why it is easy to go wrong. So let’s see the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
The importance of Communion with God to Christians
For believers, Communion with God represents the sacrifice of Jesus, which is relived and celebrated during mass in an atmosphere of profound emotion. At that moment, what was previously a simple piece of white bread. Thanks to the descent of the Holy Spirit is transformed into something extraordinary and more precious. This is why the Eucharist is such an exciting experience for Christians.
There are so many ways to approach the sacrament. Some prefer to take the host in their hands; others leave it to the priest to bring it to their mouth. There is no right or wrong way between the two possibilities. Everyone has habits and personal choices that lead to receiving the Body of Christ in a certain way rather than another. What distinguishes the faithful is the respectful or disrespectful way of receiving Communion with God.
Since ancient times, it was recommended to approach the Blessed Sacrament with great respect and devotion in the first Christian communities. And even today, this thought accompanies the faithful preparing to receive the host.
Representation of the holy Communion with God
The hosts are the Body and Blood of Christ.
Many faithful, those less attentive, do not understand the actual value of the Eucharist. In the 4th century AD, St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote:
“When you approach, do not go forward with the palms of the hands extended, nor with the fingers apart; instead, make your left hand a throne for your right hand, as this is to receive the King and, in the hollow of the hand, receive the body of Christ, saying Amen. Therefore carefully sanctify your eyes through contact with the Holy Body, then take it and be careful not to lose anything.
If they gave you specks of gold, would you not take them with the utmost care, being careful not to lose any of them and not to damage them? So won’t you pay much more attention to something far more precious than gold and precious stones so as not to lose even a crumb? After communicating yourself to the body of Christ, […] while waiting for the prayer, give thanks to God who has esteemed you worthy of such great mysteries. “
This is why when the celebration of the Eucharist begins, the faithful must kneel, lower their heads and listen to the priest’s words in absolute and rigorous silence. If you listen carefully and faithfully to what the priest says, you don’t need to do anything else to understand what happens at that moment. Jesus descends on the hosts and prepares to reach out to the Christians who love him.
What happens to the hosts after mass?
As sanctioned by the Council of Trent, Jesus is also present in the crumbs and small fragments of the host. At the end of the Mass, the consecrated hosts that have not been consumed continue to keep the Body of Christ within them.
The priest must adequately preserve the hosts left inside the Tabernacle. Even the fragments fallen during the distribution cannot be stepped on or swept away, as this represents a grave desecration.
How, then, is it possible to approach Communion with God without running into a lack of respect and profanations?
What to do and what to not do
It may seem complex to receive the Body of Christ with a respectful attitude. For a faithful, it is a relatively straightforward path to lead. What matters is knowing the things that can be done and those that instead risk ruining this act of love. Let’s see together how to approach the Eucharist in the right way. Before Communion with God, it is advisable to avoid overeating or, if possible, it would be better to fast until after Mass. This is because Communion with God is a way to satiate our souls. What would be the point of binging first?
Today this ancient tradition of the “Eucharistic fast” has become less strict. It is currently sufficient to fast for at least one hour before receiving the host. If you decide to accept the host in your hand, remember that it is not necessary to stretch your arms too much. You must let the Body of Christ rest on your palm delicately and naturally. If, on the other hand, you prefer to receive the host in your mouth. The best choice is to keep your hands folded in your lap. In this way, the officiant will be able to recognize your choice immediately. And will be able to respect it adequately without uncertainty.
When you line up to the altar, it is good to stay focused on waiting. This is not the time to think about commitments, worries, and deadlines. Right now, you have to think only of the grace you are about to receive. The time has finally come; you have received the Body of Christ and are walking down the aisle to return to your seat. Again, he reminds you not to get distracted. The only important thing to think about is the immense gift you just received.
As you can see, it is easy to approach Communion with God. These small precautions are enough to receive the host respectfully and appropriately. Only in this way will you thoroughly enjoy this moment of great joy, just as if it were the day of your First Communion with God every time!