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Do We Receive the Bodies of Loved Ones Who Have Died in the Eucharist?

Question:

I was told the story of a 10-year-old girl whose father had died. On her way to church, she told her mother she missed him, and the mother replied, "Don’t worry; he will be with you in church." The girl asked how. The mother answered, "When you receive the Eucharist, you will be receiving the body of your father." This sounded weird to me.

Answer:

This is not what the Church teaches. We receive the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ when we receive Holy Communion. But at no time are we closer to one another than when we are in sacramental union with him. This includes all those who have died in Christ as well. So in her Holy Communion with Jesus, if her father died in Christ, then she will be in communion with her father, but she will not be receiving her father.

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