St Eugene’s Cathedral
Francis Street, Derry
BT48 9AP | Tel: 028 7126 2302
For various reasons we may be prevented from receiving the Eucharist at Mass. We could be homebound or unable to leave our home to attend Mass.
In these cases the Church encourages us to make an act of "spiritual communion," where we unite ourselves to God through prayer. In this short video Bishop Donal explains the act of spiritual communion.
There is an amazing promise by Jesus in St John's Gospel:
"Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (Jn 14:23)
Jesus promises an intimate union between God and those who love Jesus.
For our Church, the sacraments have always been a core way in which we experience that union with Christ. Receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist has been central to that intimacy.
However, the Church has also encouraged what is called the Act of Spiritual Communion. Spiritual Communion can occur when a person wishes to receive the Eucharist but is prevented from doing so for any of a number of reasons.
You are asking the Lord to come to you as you cannot be at Mass (the celebration of the Eucharist) to receive Him.
There is no official format for making a Spiritual Communion. But this is a suggested prayer that may help those who hunger to receive the Lord sacramentally spiritually especially at this time
"My Jesus, I believe that you desire to make your home within me and that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you in my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my heart. I embrace your love as if you were already here, I unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen."
If you wish further material for prayer or reflection, please read St John's Gospel, Chapter 6.
In the Body of Christ, the Church, let us continue to be united and to pray for one another.
+ Bishop Donal
Image: the stained glass window of the Last Supper is from the window above the Altar in the Blessed Sacrament chapel, St Eugene's Cathedral, Derry.