On Receiving Holy Communion

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On Receiving Holy Communion Powered By Docstoc
					               ON RECEIVING
             H O LY C O M M U N I O N

    WHO MAY RECEIVE HOLY                              bodily, but spiritual. The Church
        COMMUNION?                                    r e q u i r e s c o m m u n i c a n t s : " To
                                                      examine themselves, whether they
Communicant members of Holy                           repent them truly of their former
Cross Anglican Church;                                sins, steadfastly purposing to lead
communicant members of other                          a new life; to have a lively faith in
Anglican congregations; and                           God’s mercy through Christ, with a
visiting Christians from other                        thankful remembrance of his
branches of Christ’s Church who                       death; and to be in charity with all
are baptized in the Name of the                       men" (Book of Common Prayer).
Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit), and are                          HOW TO PREPARE TO RECEIVE
communicants in good standing in                            THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY
their home parish or were when                                    COMMUNION
they left their previous church,
may receive Holy Communion at                         As part of your spiritual
the Lord’s Table. When in doubt,                      preparation for receiving Holy
feel free to talk with the pastor.                    Communion it is always beneficial
                                                      to read one or more of these
Young children and others not                         Scriptural records of Christ’s
receiving the sacrament of Holy                       institution of the Lord’s Supper or
Communion may come forward at                         of his teaching as to the meaning
Communion time to receive a                           of this sacrament during your
blessing. To receive a blessing,                      devotional time the night before:
fold your arms over your chest in
the form of a St. Andrew’s Cross                      1 Cor. 11:23-29, John 6:48-59,
(X) so the priest knows to provide                    Mark 14:22-25, Matthew 26:26-30
a blessing rather than the
sacrament.                                                     ON SUNDAY MORNING

 WHAT IS REQUIRED OF THOSE                            Plan to arrive a little early so
WHO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION?                           there is time for private prayer
                                                      before the Service begins. If
Fasting before Communion is                           practical, participation in Morning
indeed a good external discipline                     Prayer at 9:30 AM is an excellent
and is an old Christian practice,                     preparation for the celebration of
but true preparation for receiving                    Holy Communion. Whether or not
Holy Communion is not merely                          you have attended Morning Prayer,
                                                      you may want to prayerfully read

               Holy Cross Anglican Church   402-573-6558    www.holycrossomaha.net
                ON RECEIVING
              H O LY C O M M U N I O N

one or more of the following                               After receiving Holy Communion
psalms or hymns:                                           return to your seat and kneel
                                                           down to offer thanksgiving for the
Psalms: 23, 25, 43, 121                                    great blessing received in the
                                                           sacrament of the Body and Blood
Hymns: 192, 197, 199/200, 209,                             of Christ. After offering your
213                                                        thanksgiving you may want to sit
                                                           in quiet reflection or prayerfully
      AT COMMUNION TIME                                    read one or more of the following
                                                           psalms or hymns:
At Communion time go up to
receive the sacrament as the                               Psalms: 8, 15, 103, 148
priest begins to receive Holy
Communion. A bell will be rung                             Hymns: 189, 284, 304, 572
thrice as a signal to go forward.
Since we do not presently have a                                HOW TO RECEIVE HOLY
communion rail, gather in a single                                  COMMUNION
row between the lectern and the
pulpit. If there are too many                              You may receive the sacrament of
communicants to form a single                              the Body of Christ in either of
row, then wait until the group                             these two ways:
ahead of you has received Holy
Communion and then take their                              1. Into the palm of your right
place.                                                     hand. Rest your right hand on top
                                                           of your left in the form of a cross.
Holy Communion should always be                            When the priest places the
received devoutly kneeling,                                sacrament in the palm of your
except in cases of infirmity or                            right hand reverently raise both
advanced age. Kneel close to the                           hands to your mouth and consume
person on your right so as not to                          it. Never pick the sacrament up
waste space. Never go back to                              with your fingers. This is not
your place until the person on your                        because there is anything wrong
left has received from the chalice                         with your fingers, but because the
(cup) and the priest has moved on                          more the sacrament is handled the
to the next person. This is to avoid                       greater chance of it being dropped
accidentally bumping someone                               on the floor which would be a
who is receiving from the chalice.                         sacrilege.

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                Holy Cross Anglican Church   402-573-6558     www.holycrossomaha.net
                 ON RECEIVING
               H O LY C O M M U N I O N

2. Directly on the tongue. Tip your                          received in both kinds. Someone
head back and extend your tongue                             who has an upset stomach or
over your lower teeth. As soon as                            similar problems should not
the priest places the sacrament on                           receive Holy Communion due to
your tongue, withdraw your                                   the danger of sacrilege.
tongue, close your mouth, and
consume it.                                                  Holy Communion may be
                                                             reverently received in the hand or
There is no need to say Amen                                 on the tongue. Receiving Holy
after receiving the sacrament.                               Communion in the hand was
                                                             described by St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Receive from the chalice (cup) by                            in his fourth century work On the
taking hold of its foot (its base)                           Eucharistic Rite: Make thy left
with your right hand, guide it to                            hand as if a throne for thy right,
your lips, and reverently take a                             which is on the eve of receiving
small drink. Do not wipe your                                thy King. And having hollowed thy
mouth after receiving from the                               palm, receive the Body of Christ…"
chalice.                                                     The Quinisext Council (AD 692)
                                                             states that "if anyone wishes to be
Yo u m a y a l s o r e c e i v e H o l y                     a participator of the Immaculate
Communion by intinction. To                                  Body in the time of the Synaxis
receive in this manner leave the                             [Lord’s Supper], and to offer
sacrament of the Body of Christ in                           himself for the communion, let
the palm of your right hand. When                            him draw near, arranging his hands
the priest passes with the chalice                           in the form of a cross…" St. John
he will pick it up, dip it in the                            of Damascus (d. AD 750) in De Fide
chalice, and place it on your                                Orthodoxa (On the Orthodox
tongue for you to consume.                                   Faith) urges communicants to
                                                             "draw near to it with an ardent
If you are ill, you should receive                           desire, and with our hands in the
Holy Communion in one kind only                              form of a cross, let us receive the
(the consecrated Bread).                                     Crucified One."
According to the doctrine of
concomitance the fullness of the                                     AFTER THE SERVICE
sacrament is received when it is
taken in one kind only, although                             After the recessional hymn, or if
the outward and visible sign is                              there is no music after the priest
clearer when Holy Communion is                               leaves the Holy Table, kneel again

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                  Holy Cross Anglican Church   402-573-6558     www.holycrossomaha.net
                       ON RECEIVING
                     H O LY C O M M U N I O N

in prayer. You should never leave
you place until the candles are
extinguished. Use this time for
spiritual profit. Later, if remaining
for fellowship, serve one another,
be friendly and kind to one
another, and seek to uplift and
encourage one another. On your
way home be ready to do a deed
of kindness and help should an
opportunity arise, remembering
that Christ our Saviour went down
from the Mount of the
Transfiguration to heal a poor sick
boy. As St. Teresa of Avila said
centuries ago, "Christ has no body
now on earth but yours, no feet
but yours; yours are the eyes
through which Christ’s compassion
looks out at the world, yours are
the feet with which he is to go
about doing good, and yours are
the hands with which he blesses us
now." The celebration of Holy
Communion has ended, but your
service in union with Christ to
bring the gospel to a lost and
hurting world is just beginning. Go
in peace to love and serve the

This article was written by Father V. E. Novak. For
more of his articles visist his Parish website at:

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                        Holy Cross Anglican Church   402-573-6558   www.holycrossomaha.net

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