People of all faiths are welcome to attend Mass in a Catholic Church. Non-Catholics are welcome to be present for the celebration, but only Catholics in a state of grace are able to receive Holy Communion during Mass. The Eucharist is not merely bread but the true presence of Jesus - his body, blood, soul and divinity, and as such, it is appropriate that holy communion is distributed only to those who have professed this belief. Although some Protestant communities have the “breaking of the bread”, the bread in such celebrations is not believed to be Jesus' true presence as professed in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
Of the people present at any Mass, there could be a number who do not receive Holy Communion for a variety of reasons (eg, that they are not Catholic). But all are welcome to share in the prayer and celebration.
In many Catholic parishes, those who are unable to receive Holy Communion are invited to come forward at Communion time, with hands placed across their chest, to receive a blessing from the priest, deacon or other minister of the Eucharist.
Host photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash
Rev. Dr Paul Connell, 8 November 2021
Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Bishop of Sandhurst, 8 November 2021
8 November 2021