Things Only A Catholic Would Freak Out About #623: Receiving Holy Communion

For Catholics this is a big deal. It’s not snack time. It’s not a time to eat crackers and juice. It’s not a time to pass beverages down the length of the pew in little plastic cups. This is the big moment of our day, the moment in which God enters our Churches and presents his entire self, body, blood, soul and divinity, to us. And I freak out about it all the time. There are a lot of preparations that should go into this, just as any good host would make preparations for guests, especially a king. First I have to examine my conscience. I need to make sure I am not in grave sin, that I am in good standing with God. If not, it can easily be remedied by going to Confession. Then I need to make sure I have observed the fast. Have I eaten anything in the last hour? For me its the other way around, do I have time to eat this popcorn before its an hour before taking Communion.

Then there is the actual moment that we receive Christ, the moment we take his flesh and blood into our possession. How do I receive him? I can receive him by hand or by tongue. How can I respect him the most? Probably by tongue. How do I take it on my tongue? How far do I stick out my tongue? Am I too far? Am I not far enough? Is my mouth open too wide? Am I going to get priest finger in addition to the Body of Christ? Is it worth all the trouble to receive on the tongue? Does Father remember that I get his finger every day when I go up for Communion? Does he dread me coming up? What am I going to do? Oh man, I’m next in line!

These are the questions that race through my mind after the sign of peace and during the procession to the front to receive Holy Communion. Believe it or not, it is a huge deal for me and I get my undies in a bunch about it everyday. I only want the best for my Lord, but I do not want the priest to fear that I’ll slobber all over his finger when I go up for Communion. I’m really really self-conscious about it. I mean really self-conscious about it. It’s almost ridiculous. No, it is ridiculous, and its only something a Catholic would freak out about. Hence, my rant.