How to Receive Communion--the basics:
Prepare yourself mentally during the Consecration of the Eucharist (when the host is changed into the body and blood of Christ).
When the priest and Eucharistic ministers go to their usual places to distribute communion, the ushers will stand next to the pew, guiding each row walk up in order to receive communion. When leaving the pew there is no need to genuflect. During this time, you should be mentally preparing yourself to receive the host.
· (At St. Patrick, if you are not Catholic or are Catholic but will not be receiving communion, you are invited to come up the line anyway and receive a blessing from the priest or the Eucharistic minister. Just cross your arms across your chest to indicate that you won’t be receiving communion.)
If you will be receiving communion, you have the choice of either have the host fed to you on your tongue or handed to you.
· If you wish to have the host handed to you, hold out your hands, one on top of the other. (for example, if you are right handed, usually the left hand is palm up, with the right hand palm up underneath it, so that when the host is place in the hand, your dominant hand can pick it up and put it in your mouth.)
· If you wish to have the host fed to you, open you mouth and extend your tongue so that the host does not fall. This is the Traditional form of receiving and is common throughout the world, although in the U.S., the host is more commonly received in the hand.
· When you receive the Body of Christ, the priest or Eucharistic minister will say "The Body of Christ," and you will respond, "Amen."
You can choose whether or not you want to receive the cup. In the same way, the priest or minister will say “The Blood of Christ,” and you will respond “Amen,” and take the cup and drink from it. Then you will hand the cup back to the Eucharistic minister who will wipe the rim and rotate the cup.
Then walk back to your seat and kneel. This is time to pray and reflect, until the priest, deacon, altar servers, etc. have all returned to their seats.