A Message From Our Pastor

Spiritual Communion and Not Going to Mass

One of the interesting things about priests in the Catholic Church is that we are highly encouraged to celebrate Mass every day, and it is required that we celebrate Mass on Sunday. This latter requirement exists whether people are present or not.

For a priest, the Mass is never “cancelled;” he is required to offer the Mass for others, to receive the Eucharist for others, whether they are present at Mass or not. There are going to be times when some of you are not able to make it to Mass because of the coronavirus and isolations that we are required to observe in order to keep it from spreading. This does not mean that the Mass is not being celebrated. One of the beautiful strengths of the Mass is that it can be offered with or without others physically present. It is always offered for the whole community every time.

During this time, we priests will still say Mass and you can still participate in that, even if it has to be spiritually or away from the physical celebration of it. A great way to pray together as a family or alone when you are not able to be at Mass is to have a small prayer service in your home that includes an act of spiritual communion.

Try something like this:

  1. Make the sign of the cross.
  2. Make a brief examination of conscience and do a communal act of contrition. Something simple, like, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.”
  3. Read the readings for Sunday, available here: www.usccb.org.
  4. Silent reflection time or family sharing about the readings.
  5. Petitions: Offer up prayers for your family’s needs and the needs of the world.
  6. Pray the Our Father together.
  7. Pray a prayer of spiritual communion. This is a well known one from St. Alphonsus Liguori:

“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed 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.”

8) Close with the Sign of the Cross.

In this way, you unite yourself with the sacrifice of the Mass that is being offered by your priests. Remember, Fr. Vinny and I are always praying for you every time we celebrate Mass even if you are not physically with us. We continue to pray for healing and peace for those who are suffering from all disease and for an increase awareness of the suffering of others. We pray for a cure and an end to the coronavirus and that we may worship our Lord together again.

God bless,

Fr. Todd

www.olgreenwood.org