I sit in the first row at Mass because I am hearing-impaired. When visiting a church recently, the usher gestured for me to go up for Communion before I felt prepared. I accepted the host in my hand and returned to the pew, where I continued my prayer before receiving. Now I am told that this is not permitted. Surely it would be irreverent to receive before one had prayed sufficiently?
It might be even more irreverent to ignore the instruction of the Church. The document Instruction on the Manner of Distributing Holy Communion, S.C.D.W., May 29, 1969, notes that “the communicant ought to consume the host before returning to his place” (4).
Editor’s note: It is perfectly all right to remain in one’s pew, despite the usher’s wishes, and to go up for Communion later.
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