Corpus Christi - The Body & Blood of Christ

posted Jun 4, 2010, 9:48 AM by STA Woodhaven   [ updated Mar 4, 2011, 3:09 PM by STAWoodhaven Webmaster ]
As we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are given the opportunity to once again consider the great gift of Jesus’ never ending presence in the Eucharist.  The Body and Blood of Jesus call us to a unity that the world does not know or in some cases, even understand.  In Jesus, we are called as brothers and sisters of Christ, by God to live in a radical new way guided by the Holy Spirit.  This way of life, mirroring Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is perhaps best expressed by the Unity that is ours in and through Jesus. 

Please join in the Procession that will follow the 12:30 Mass today as a sign of our being called to a higher standard as followers of Jesus calling Saint Thomas the Apostle our parish.   May this procession truly express the unity that is ours in and through the Body and Blood of Jesus. 

Please also once again consider the proper way to receive Holy Communion:

·  Catholics who are in a state of grace, (that is having no serious sin) are able to receive Communion. 
  •    Confession should be celebrated regularly (more than one time) each year.  Our Parish Staff  would be happy to assist anyone who may need some assistance with getting back into the practice of going to Confession more regularly.

· For those who are healthy, we fast from food and drink, other than water for 1 hour before Mass.   Those needing food with medication are not required to fast.

· Catholics wishing to receive communion must attend the entire Mass from the greeting to the final blessing.  There are no church rules which indicate attending part of a Mass is ever, or has ever been acceptable.

· Only those who can receive Holy Communion participate in the procession.  Parents, please do not make the Minister of Holy Communion or Priest have to guess who has been prepared to receive and who has not.
· Nowhere in Church teaching does it indicate that those who cannot receive are to come forward for a  blessing.    Please note that there is a blessing at the end of Mass which indicates our deepest desire to be one in Jesus Christ.  Although some parishes and Priests/Deacons have actually requested that everyone come forward, this is not in line with the Universal practice of the Catholic Church.  To explain it another way, to offer a blessing, while the Eucharist is placed aside is not respectful to the Blessed Sacrament, the very presence of Jesus in our midst.  In my experience, those who are not familiar with Church culture often ask to receive Communion after receiving a Blessing.  While the good intention of making everyone feel welcome is applauded, unfortunately, not everyone can receive Holy Communion when attending Mass.
· For those receiving on the hand, please consume the host directly in front of the Priest/Deacon or Minister.
           The proper way to receive Holy Communion is as follows:           
      1) Participate prayerfully in the procession for Holy Communion at the direction of the Ushers/Ministers of Hospitality.
      2) Please make sure that if one wishes to recieve on their hand - that one's hands are clean. 
      3) When reaching the Minsiter of Holy Communion, to the invitation, "The Body of Christ" we make a sign of reverence, by bowing one's head and say AMEN in a clear voice.
      4) Please take the Host and place it in one's mouth before leaving the Minister.   5) Those wishing to receive the Precious Blood repeat the same procedure, (Bowing in Reverence to the invitation "The Blood of Christ", saying AMEN and then taking the Chalice with two hands to receive returning the chalice to the minister.
   Please note that under no circumstance does anyone take the Host and Dip it in the Precious Blood.  This practice, known as self-intinction is not permitted by the Church and therefore not permitted at Saint Thomas the Apostle. 
· NO ONE should be taking Communion home.  Those who are homebound in need of a visit from an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion are asked to contact the Parish Office for assistance. 
  • No one is to break the Host so as to give a piece of it to younger children.  How sad that this practice takes away the child's opportunity to be formed in our faith before receiving Communion for the First time. 
  • Since this is not only abusive to what we believe, and is is NOT part of Catholic Culture it is not permitted.   
Although some might believe there are no rules, (or that suddenly there are too many rules) these rules are given to Catholics so that we may more properly understand and celebrate the great gift of Jesus present to us in our Church.  
The rules we have are meant to help us journey together as we follow our Lord with clarity and integrity. 

May the unity expressed in the Eucharist, be experienced by our individual and collective families.   

Fr. Frank Tumino