Expert Answer Forum

Is this true ? QUESTION from RUSSELL November 2, 2000 John,
I was in deep prayer when I went up to the Alter to receive Holy Communion. With my eyes shut and mouth open waiting to receive the Eucharist and nothing. I opened my eyes the Priest was shaking the Host in front of me.
After Mass I asked him what the problem was he stated your eyes have to be opened while he presents the Host.
Is this true ?
(God Bless You and thank you for your time)
Your friend in Christ, Russell
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on November 3, 2000 Dear Russell,
There is no specific rule that requires our eyes to be open. That being said, the magisterial document entitled Eucharisticum Mysterium gives the following instruction regarding the Communion of the Faithful at Mass. (I've capitalized the information that specifically pertains to your question)
The Way of Receiving Communion 34. a. In accordance with the custom of the Church, the faithful may receive communion either kneeling or standing. One or the other practice is to be chosen according to the norms laid down by the conference of bishops and in view of the various circumstances, above all the arrangement of the churches and the number of the communicants. THE FAITHFUL SHOULD WILLINGLY FOLLOW THE MANNER OF RECEPTION INDICATED BY THE PASTORS so that communion may truly be a sign of familial union among those who share in the same table of the Lord.
b. When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence toward the most holy sacrament is required, because the kneeling itself expresses adoration.
When they receive communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, approaching in line, they make a sign of reverence before receiving the sacrament. This should be done at a designated moment and place, so as not to interfere with the coming and going of the other communicants.
I'd say that your pastor has the authority to ask you to receive with your eyes open. I hope this helps.
Your servant in Christ,
John Miskell
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