Receiving our Lord in Holy Communion is the most sacred act of our lives. When we receive Holy Communion, we are united with our Lord in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that we approach Holy Communion reverently and receive Him properly. In the United States, Holy Communion may be received either kneeling or standing, either on the tongue or in the hand. Whichever the case, it is important that we are not in a hurry, and not a “moving target.”
When receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, it is most appropriate to lean the head back just a bit, open the mouth sufficiently, and lay the tip of the tongue on the lower lip. This posture is perfectly suited so that Father or the Extraordinary Minister can easily place the Host on the tongue.
When receiving Holy Communion on the hand, it is most appropriate to place the right hand under the left, so that a stable platform is created for the Host. Once the Host is placed in the palm of the left hand, the right hand can then grasp the Host with the thumb and index finger, and the Host is consumed immediately. It is never acceptable to walk away with the Host.
It is also very important for us to remember that we are receiving Holy Communion, not taking Holy Communion. We are being fed by God with the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of His Divine Son. It is therefore not appropriate to reach for the Host.
It is most appropriate to make an act of reverence immediately before receiving Holy Communion, and in the United States, a simple, slow bow of the head is the norm. After receiving Holy Communion the Communicant responds, “Amen,” and it is customary to make the Sign of the Cross.
For the Greater Glory of God,