deeper understanding of what we are doing. By eating and drinking we may come to a fuller sense of being among the Apostles at table to eat and drink with the Lord or standing with Mary and the beloved disciple on Calvary to witness his broken body and outpoured blood on the cross. While it is not necessary to receive under both kinds, it is helpful for our spiritual participation in this great mystery. This idea, of promoting a deeper understanding, explains the teaching of the Church in the Roman Missal, which talks of communion having ‘a fuller sign when it takes place under both kinds, for in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord’. Both at the Last Supper, and at our Mass, we hear the words of Jesus: “Take and eat … take and drink.” Our participation in the divine gift of his Body and Blood is more fully evident when we do what he said!
Receiving Holy Communion - However we receive Holy Communion, it should always be a moment filled with reverence, respect and profound faith. We should participate fully in all the prayers of the Mass, but at the same time develop a personal longing and thirst for Jesus in our hearts. We can imagine ourselves gathered with the apostles at the Last Supper, hearing the words spoken by the Lord over bread and wine, and affirming deep inside ourselves that his words are true: “This is his body … this is the chalice of his blood.”
We process forward to the Altar, bow before the Sacred Host and say ‘Amen’ when the minister says, ‘The Body of Christ’. We receive it on the tongue, or on the palm and place it on our tongue straight away. Then we consume it immediately. If we are receiving the Precious Blood, we bow before the Chalice and say ‘Amen’ when the minister says, ‘The Blood of Christ’, We take the Chalice, consume the Precious Blood and return it to the minister. We should approach Holy Communion with a profound sense of God’s love being lavished upon us, and our “Amen” as we receive the host and/or the Precious Blood should be confident – our personal act of faith.
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord - RESUMPTION OF COMMUNION UNDER BOTH KINDS
Bishop John, following the decision of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has established that the reception of communion under both kinds may resume in our Diocese, starting from the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday this year: we take this opportunity to think once more about the amazing gift of the Eucharist that we receive from the Lord.
Since we believe that what we receive in Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus, it demands our utmost respect, both in the way we receive, but also in the way we refer to it. Before the Consecration, when the Celebrant says ‘Take this, all of you, and eat of it…’ and ‘Take this, all of you, and drink from it…’ it is bread and wine. But after the Consecration it is the Body of Christ (under the appearance of bread) and the Blood of Christ (under the appearance of wine), and so we should call it the Body of Christ or ‘the Sacred Host’ and the Blood of Christ or ‘the Precious Blood’. We should never refer to communion as “eating the bread” or “drinking the wine.” True reverence for the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist goes beyond our manner of receiving or talking, it must change us too. As Pope Francis has said: ‘… the Eucharist does not end with the partaking of the Body and Blood of the Lord. It leads us to solidarity with others. The communion with the Lord is necessarily a communion with our fellow brothers and sisters ...Those nourished by the Eucharist are called to bring the joy of the gospel to those who have not received it. Strengthened by the living Bread we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and in despair.’ After receiving Holy Communion, we should not leave church, but kneel or sit and make our thanksgiving, either by joining in a hymn or by praying quietly. And remember, when you do leave church, the Lord Jesus, whose Body and Blood you have consumed, will go with us.