November 14, 2006

TO RECEIVE WORTHILY THE EUCHARIST

Today the Catholic bishops of the U.S.A. published a document entitled:
HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO ARE CALLED TO HIS SUPPER
On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist


Here is an outline of it.
INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT DO WE BELIEVE ABOUT HOLY COMMUNION?

2. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING UNITED TO CHRIST IN HOLY COMMUNION?
A. Participating in the One Sacrifice of Christ
B. Communion with One Another
C. Sharing in Jesus’ Resurrection and Divinity
3. WHO MAY RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION?

4. SHOULD WE EVER REFRAIN FROM RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION?
Lack of Sanctifying Grace
Lack of Adherence to Church Teaching
Giving Public Scandal
5. HOW CAN WE PREPARE TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION MORE WORTHILY?

CONCLUSION

In section number 5, the bishops first spell out various ways of preparation that concern “how we live our Christian lives every day.” Then the bishops go on to specify three specific preparations that are to take place just before going to Mass.
Prayerful Recollection
We should prayerfully recollect ourselves prior to coming to Mass. We should strive to arrive on time, allowing ourselves to prepare our minds and hearts for the liturgy. Upon entering the church, we should maintain reverent silence so that we and those around us are able to pray before Mass begins. This will ensure that we are at peace within ourselves and with others. Such recollection helps to eliminate distractions and allows us to focus more easily on the great mystery of the Eucharistic celebration in which we are about to participate. A prayerful and reflective reading of the Scripture selections for the Mass of the day will help make our hearts and minds ready to receive God’s Word more deeply.

The Eucharistic Fast
We are required to keep the Eucharistic fast, that is, refraining from food and drink (except for water and medicines) for at least one hour prior to receiving Holy Communion. This fast demonstrates reverence and respect for the Body and Blood of Christ that we are going to receive. It also teaches us to hunger for Jesus in Holy Communion.

Appropriate Attire
We should also come to the sacred liturgy appropriately dressed. As Christians we should dress in a modest manner, wearing clothes that reflect our reverence for God and that manifest our respect for the dignity of the liturgy and for one another.

The complete document is available online as a PDF.
Click HERE for it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Larry Richards http://www.thereasonforourhope.org/ cites 1 Corinthians 11:26-33 when he speaks on this subject in his Changed Forever Series on Relevant Radio http://www.relevantradio.com/.

10:10 AM  

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