Eucharistic Practices at Our Lady of Hope
Eucharist as a Symbol of Unity
Since we have begun to offer the cup at Communion time again, I have shared a few thoughts with you on the Eucharist in our community. Perhaps most importantly as we consider the specific practices at Our Lady of Hope is the invitation to consider the Eucharist as a symbol of unity in our church. Eucharist has been received in various ways over the centuries, standing or kneeling; in the hand or on the tongue. The church does not require anyone to stand or kneel or to receive the Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand.
The common practice at Our Lady of Hope is to receive the host in the hand while standing. Communicants are invited to place their left hand on top of their right hand; the minister of Communion places the host in the offered hand; the communicant then uses the right hand to place the host in their mouths.
For the cup, the minister of Communion will offer the cup to the communicant who then takes a small sip of the wine and returns the cup to the minister of the Eucharist. The minister of the Eucharist then wipes the inside and outside lip of the cup with a purificator and rotates the cup slightly before offering it to the next communicant. Following these common practices at Our Lady of Hope emphasizes the unity of the sacrament where kneeling or receiving on the tongue can emphasize differences and promote disunity.
The Eucharist is Spiritual Food for our Journey
Finally, we invite parishioners to frequent reception of the Eucharist and hope that you will join us in person as often as possible. The Eucharist is spiritual food for our journey from slavery/sin to freedom/salvation. We stand with the Roman Centurion who said, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and I shall be healed.” We stand with Jesus who caused scandal in his time by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. We seek to make our Eucharistic table as open and welcoming as possible.
Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.