To respond to this invitation we must
so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our
conscience: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup
of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the
body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat
of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks
without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon him-
Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacra-
ment of Reconciliation before coming to communion.
Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo
humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion:
Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum
dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea
” (“Lord, I am not worthy that you
should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul
shall be healed.”).
And in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysos
tom the faithful pray in the same spirit:
O Son of God, bring me into communion today with your
mystical supper. I shall not tell your enemies the secret, nor
kiss you with Judas’ kiss. But like the good thief I cry, “Jesus,
remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful
should observe the fast required in their Church.
(gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this
moment when Christ becomes our guest.
It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that
the faithful, if they have the required dispositions,
they participate in the Mass.
As the Second Vatican
Council says: “That more perfect form of participation in the Mass
whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the
Lord’s Body from the same sacrifice, is warmly recommended.”
The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine
Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament
of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if
possible during the Easter season.
But the Church strongly
encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays
and feast days, or more often still, even daily.
response to the invitation to communion, 132; cf.
220 Cf. CIC, can. 919.
221 Cf. CIC, can. 916.
222 Cf. CIC, can. 917;
The faithful may receive the Holy Eucharist only a second time
on the same day
[Cf. Pontificia Commissio Codici Iuris Canonici Authentice
Responsa ad proposita dubia,
1: AAS 76 (1984) 746].
15; CIC, can. 920.