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Spiritual Communion in the Catholic Church


If you have ever worshipped in a catholic church, you must have heard this announcement at some" point: "this is time for holy communion, it is meant only for Catholics, those in the state of Grace. Others are to sit and participate in spiritual communion." But why is this so, what's even spiritual communion and what are the conditions for spiritual communion?

Spiritual Communion is a Christian practice of desiring union with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist [without actually receiving it physically/sacramentally]. It is used as a preparation for Holy Mass and by individuals who cannot receive Holy Communion. What then is needed for a true spiritual communion?


Having seen that our union with Christ is augmented in the Eucharist, and the Church encourages us to always remain in union with Christ through this means, let us proceed to see Conditions for Spiritual Communion.

Canon 842 paragraph 1 states that “a person who has not received baptism cannot validly be admitted to the other sacraments.” This goes to say that the unbaptized is impeded to receive the Eucharist, while “any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to holy communion” (canon 912). However, even the baptized can lose the right to sacramental communion by grave and unconfessed sin (canon 916), excommunication (canon 915), under age (Cn. 914). Also, lack of ministers, weather, job (as in health workers and security agents), or sickness, the faithful are encouraged to utilize the spiritual communion—all thanks to the teachings of Aquinas and some Church fathers.


In employing the spiritual communion, the faithful should consider that Spiritual Communion has as its component parts the belief in the Most Holy Sacrament, the expression of a sincere love of Christ, the invitation of Christ into our hearts, and the ardent desire to be wholly and perpetually in union with Christ. In conclusion, the provision for a Spiritual Communion should not in any way replace our obligation to attend the Holy Mass nor usurp the necessity of Sacramental Communion. Rather, it should be an opportunity to commune with Christ always when we are prevented from the sacramental communion. 

In doing so, therefore, one must say an Act of Spiritual Communion (such as that proposed by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori) which goes thus:

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things. And I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Thus, in making spiritual communion the following elements must be put into consideration, namely,

1. make an act of faith to express your faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist

2. make an act of love to express your love for God and neighbor above all things

3. express your desire to receive him, and invite Jesus to come into our hearts spiritually.

Content created and supplied by: BahagoDavemary (via Opera News )

Catholic Church Catholics Eucharist Grace Jesus Christ


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