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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How to Receive the Eucharist

Dear Catholic Exchange:

I have a friend who wants to know if one can receive the Eucharist in the hand and take it back to their pew. I was always of the belief that it had to be consumed in the altar area, but cannot find support for that belief. Can you point me in the right direction or am I incorrect?

Marcy Sabo

Dear Marcy,

Peace in Christ!

You are correct. Regarding reception of Holy Communion, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), number 161, says,

“If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, ‘Corpus Christi’ (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, ‘Amen,’ and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.”

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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