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350

Part Two

1385

To respond to this invitation we must

prepare ourselves

for

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-

self.”

218

Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacra-

ment of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

1386

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.”).

219

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.”

1387

To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful

should observe the fast required in their Church.

220

Bodily demeanor

(gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this

moment when Christ becomes our guest.

1388

It is in keeping with the very meaning of the Eucharist that

the faithful, if they have the required dispositions,

221

receive com­

munion when

they participate in the Mass.

222

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.”

223

1389

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.

224

But the Church strongly

encourages the faithful to receive the holy Eucharist on Sundays

and feast days, or more often still, even daily.

218

1 Cor

11:27-29.

219

Roman Missal,

response to the invitation to communion, 132; cf.

Mt

8:8.

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

Intrepretando,

Responsa ad proposita dubia,

1: AAS 76 (1984) 746].

223

SC

55.

224 Cf.

OE

15; CIC, can. 920.

1457

732

2043

2042

2837