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Guidelines for receiving Holy Communion

To keep holy the day of the Lord's Resurrection: to worship God by participating Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation
Failure to do so, through your own fault or through lack of effort constitutes serious sin and therefore requires healing and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) 
There is no sin if non attendance is because of illness, when prevented by someone, when you are too far from the church) for example, in rural area on holiday), or when the whereabouts of a catholic church is unknown.
Catholics are expected to fast from food and liquids (other than water and medicine) for one hour before receiving Holy Communion.  
It is done out of respect and it helps us to prepare for being open to Christ's love. It is disrespectful to chew gum or to eat in church.
All are encouraged to receive under both kinds of Bread and Wine - the Body and Blood of Christ. Parents are to be examples to their children (especially those preparing for 1st Communion) and they should not discourage them from receiving the chalice.
For Host: place left hand over right (unless left-handed) and then place in the mouth with the right hand.  It is permissable to receive on the tongue, but it is not encouraged or taught to children.  It is permissable to chew the host, it does not have to be swallowed whole.  You do not hurt Jesus if you chew the host.  
Take the Chalice with both hands from the Minister, take a sip and return it firmly to the Minister before letting go.
Response to 'The Body of Christ' or 'The Blood of Christ' is 'AMEN' which means
'let it be' or 'I believe'.  Do not say 'Thank you' or any other words.
Practicing Catholics who have made their 1st Communion.
Small children/babies are invited to come forward with hands crossed over their chest, for a blessing.
Catholics who are in serious sin or who are lapsed / non-practicing, 
until they are reconciled in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Catholics who have been separated from the Catholic Church by:
- Publicly joining another Christian Church or non-christian religion;
- Attending or joining an excommunicated Church. 
- Catholics living in contravention of the marriage laws of the Church: 
    Divorced and re-married people (unless they have received a Church Annulment     or pastoral solution)
    Those married in court or in a non-catholic church (unless their marriage has       been convalidated/blessed by a Catholic priest or deacon)
    Couples living together before or outside of marriage ( unless they separate
    and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation)
Non-Catholics (unless they have officially joined the Catholic Church by attending the RCIA / Faith Course which lasts for about one anda half years)
Those who are not baptised.
This is not permitted because it is a false sign of communion and unity.  The Catholic Church allows inter-communion on two occasions: at a Nuptial Mass, if the non-catholic spouse is a practicing Chrstian and believes that s/he receives Christ in the Eucharist; and at the Ordination of a priest, if the immediate family are non-catholics, are practicing their faith and believe that they receive Christ.
Anyone who has any anxiety or problem about receiving Communion, is welcome to phone the parish priest or deacon and make an appointment in order to discuss the issue and seek a solution.  Parish office 031 2053385

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