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Alice Grayson wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is the reception of Holy Communion contingent on the priest's hearing the recipient say Amen?
  • Indeed, is Amen even required if the recipient bows before the Eucharist and receives on the tongue?
  • Is it ever required, or is only a sign of respect sufficient, such as, bowing or kneeling?

I would appreciate your answer and any source reference.

Thank you,

Alice

  { Is the reception of Holy Communion contingent on the priest's hearing the recipient say Amen? }

Mike replied:

Dear Alice,

We have answered similar questions in the past.
Try our database search next time. There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

I found these postings for you that should answer your question.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Alice replied:

Dear Mike,

Thank you for writing and sending along the information. I did look at your site's question, but missed the reference to Inaestimabile Donum. I believe I can imply the following from the quote from this document:

From paragraph is 11:

When they receive Communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, coming up in procession, they should make a sign of reverence before receiving the Sacrament. This should be done at the right time and place, so that the order of people going to and from Communion is not disrupted.

The Amen said by the faithful when receiving Communion is an act of personal faith in the presence of Christ.

I think then that my bow before the Eucharist was sufficient to manifest reverence, and, the Amen, being a personal act of faith can be whispered or even forgotten in the excitement of the event.

The priest detained the administration because he said he said I did not say Amen. In that case, I certainly bowed, received standing and on the tongue, and may have whispered, Amen. By the way, whispering itself is an act of reverence and personal intimacy. That is why, certain parts of the Mass are whispered.

I know you are busy, but if you have time, I would like to know if you agree with my interpretation of Inaestimabile Donum.

Sincerely,

Alice Grayson

Mike replied:

Mike replied:

Hi Alice,

You said:
I think then that my bow before the Eucharist was sufficient to manifest reverence, and, the Amen, being a personal act of faith can be whispered or even forgotten in the excitement of the event.

The priest detained the administration because he said he said I did not say Amen. In that case, I certainly bowed, received standing and on the tongue, and may have whispered, Amen.

I know you are busy, but if you have time, I would like to know if you agree with my interpretation of Inaestimabile Donum.

This issue is a matter of pastoral judgment by the celebrant of the Mass though I do not believe reception of Holy Communion is contingent on the priest's hearing the recipient say Amen. It is a pastoral discipline decided upon by the pastor of the parish.

11. The Church has always required from the faithful respect and reverence for the Eucharist at the moment of receiving it.

With regard to the manner of going to Communion, the faithful can receive it either kneeling or standing, in accordance with the norms laid down by the episcopal conference: "When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament is required, since kneeling is itself a sign of adoration. When they receive Communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, coming up in procession, they should make a sign of reverence before receiving the Sacrament. This should be done at the right time and place, so that the order of people going to and from Communion is not disrupted."

The Amen said by the faithful when receiving Communion is an act of personal faith in the presence of Christ.

The way I interpret this paragraph is, the faithful, after showing an act of reverence before receiving the Blessed Sacrament, should say Amen.

If one wants to argue that someone who kneels to receive the Blessed Sacrament does not have to say Amen, I can understand that view and think, based on my understanding of the whole paragraph, the Church would understand it too.

I personally think detaining the Communion line because you did not say Amen is a little to much IF you did clearly bow before receiving the Blessed Sacrament but, again, that is a matter of pastoral judgment.

You should be glad that you have a celebrant that holds his congregation to high Eucharistic practices. Sadly, some do not.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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