"Of all the sacraments, the adorable Sacrament of the Altar is the most excellent. The other sacraments contain gifts of God, but the Holy Eucharist contains God himself."
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
What must I do to prepare to receive Jesus?
- You must be in a state of grace. This means that you must not have any mortal sins. You should examine your conscience and if you need to, you should go to confession before receiving Holy Communion.
- You must consider Whom you are about to receive. You are not just receiving a piece of bread, you are receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Have respect and be humble before your Lord.
- You must observe a Eucharistic fast. At present this means that you must not eat or drink anything for one full hour before receiving Holy Communion. (You may have water or medicine, and you are excluded if you are elderly.)
How do I receive Jesus in Holy Communion...
- Walk quietly and reverently down the aisle toward the altar. Do not look around, fix your attention on Jesus. Keep your hands folded together with your fingers pointing to Heaven in prayer. You may take this time to pray and prepare for Jesus. You can say, "My Lord and My God."
- As you approach for Holy Communion, express your reverence with "a simple bow of the head." - U.S. Bishops
- The consecrated Host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each Communicant. (Roman Missal, #160 U.S. adaptation) *** When receiving on the tongue, make sure you open your mouth wide and the tongue is extended out. ***When receiving on the hand, make a throne for Jesus. Place one hand over the other hand palm-side up. After the host is placed on your top hand, pick up the host reverently with the bottom hand and place it in your mouth. Be sure your hands are washed and clean.
- When the priest holds up the Blessed Sacrament and says, "The Body of Christ." You look at the Host and respond, "AMEN." Meaning, "Yes, I truly believe I am receiving the Body of Christ;" 'Yes, I am a member of the Body of Christ;" "Yes, I will take Jesus into my heart and into my life this week."
- Remember to get close enough for the priest to actually reach you, but not too close.
- The Blessed Sacrament will then be placed in your left hand. Lift your right hand from underneath your left hand and pick up the Host with your fingers. Slowly and reverently place the Host in your mouth.
- After receiving Communion walk slowly and reverently to your seat with your hands toward heaven folded in prayer.
- Take this precious time alone with Jesus in your heart to pray in silence, ALTAR Prayer - Adore Him. Tell Him that you Love Him. Thank Jesus for His Gift of Himself. Ask Jesus to Bless your family and friends, Resolve to be a better Christian.
Don't be so concerned about getting everything right that you can't prayerfully appreciate receiving the Lord Jesus coming into your life. Remember even when you're not perfect, God's grace makes up for that.