Spiritual Communion

St. Alphonsus Kneeling Before the Most Holy Sacrament (From a stained glass window in Carlow Cathedral, Ireland. Photograph by Andreas F. Borchert)

As you know, one of the Precepts of the Church is that Catholics must go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and receive Communion at least once a year during the Easter Season.  However, there are legitimate reasons for missing Mass on Sundays or weekdays.  Despite your best efforts, illness, weather, or other circumstances might keep you at home on a day when you wish to go to Mass.

At those times, Catholics are encouraged to make a “Spiritual Communion”.  This means that you take a quiet moment to meditate on the Eucharist and the presence of Christ within you.  You can say a prayer such as this:

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.

-St. Alphonsus Ligouri  (1696-1787)

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