How to receive Holy Communion in an Eastern Catholic Church?

If you are Catholic, have maintained the one hour fast before Holy Communion and are in a state of grace (free of conscious mortal sin), you may receive Holy Communion, the saving Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as you normally would. The faithful are called to “Approach with the fear of God and with Faith.”

As Catholics, we believe that the highest form of prayer is the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and that the most sacred part of the Liturgy is the Consecration where bread and wine are changed into the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We can only approach the holy altar and receive our Lord in Holy Communion if our soul is not in a state of mortal sin.  Otherwise, we must first go to Confession, where we confess all our sins to the priest and receive absolution from him.

In the Eastern rite, the proper way to receive Holy Communion is as follows: make the sign of the cross and a small bow as you approach the priest reverently.  Fold your hands across your chest (one over the other in the form, of St. Andrew’s Cross) before and after receiving Holy Communion.  When you are in front to the priest, simply tilt your head back and open your mouth wide (do not stick out your tongue).  The priest will place the Most Precious Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine in your mouth using a communion spoon.  You may hold the linen under your chin or an Alter boy may do it for you.  Do not close your mouth on the spoon until the priest has removed the spoon from your mouth.  There is no response needed to the words of the priest.  Each communicant receives the sacred species in the form of bread and wine and the priest says: ” (Name) servant of God receives the precious and all holy and most pure Body and Blood of our Lords and God, Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and for life everlasting.”  As you leave, make the sign of the cross again with a small bow and return to your pew.  Say a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for coming into your soul sacramentally.

Holy Communion