Sacramental Communion and Spiritual Communion
During these difficult times we must remember that “Social distance” does not mean “spiritual distance.” When we cannot physically attend Mass, we still keep holy the Day of the Lord as individuals and families, by keeping a holy hour of genuine prayer. While viewing Mass on live or recorded media, or at any time, we may make a ‘spiritual communion’. We are still obligated to the Lord’s Day holy, which requires that we seek to refrain from work, increase our love of the Lord and extend charity to others through prayer and service. We can certainly encourage one another to maintain Lent as a Holy Season with the prayer, fasting and almsgiving with which we began it… and now more fervently than ever.
How to Prepare for a virtual Mass.
- Decide where all will sit and easily see the screen. NOW, prepare the place, create a spiritual atmosphere. Place a white or purple cloth on a small table, and on it the bible, a crucifix, rosary, candle, holy cards, statue of St. John Berchmans, etc. Get some religious music ready.
- Sunday morning: Get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast, as you would any other Sunday. (Maintain a fast an hour before Mass, if at all possible.) No TV. Play some of your favorite religious music – set the proper tone for your children.
- 10-15 minutes before Mass, gather in your sacred space. Talk about your special intentions that you bring to Mass. Be ready to sing, pray, hear God’s Word and make a Spiritual Communion. Read the Gospel reading ahead of time, if you wish, or some Lenten meditation. Or pray a decade of the Rosary together before Mass. Get in the proper frame of mind and heart.
- Close your eyes and think about and envision your regular place at church and the others you are accustomed to seeing.
- Realize that you are gathered with all Cathedral parishioners and many others from throughout the Diocese of Shreveport and beyond.
- Make all the responses out loud as you would when in the Cathedral.
- Sit, stand, kneel when appropriate.
- Participate in the Eucharistic Prayer. Know of our Lord’s closeness to you and your family.
- Make a Spiritual Communion. Let the Lord know of your ardent desire to receive Him in the most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace Him. Pray this out loud for the family at the time you would normally receive Holy Communion (see below).
- Try to maintain a spiritual atmosphere as long as possible and keep the family together (no need to rush to TV or loud music or to individual rooms).
- Ask one another about their favorite part of the readings and of the Mass. Continue the opportunity to talk about God and the Church, even after the Mass is finished.
- Call a church friend or family member afterwards.
- Ask the children what they would like to include during next week’s Holy Hour, keeping holy the Day of the Lord.
Various Acts 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.
“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 now 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 Liguori)
As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God!, I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Your altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers You Your adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank You, imploring Your mercy, invoking Your assistance, and presenting You the homage I owe You as my Creator, the love due to You as my Savior.
At Your feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and I offer You repentance of my contrite heart, which is humbled in its nothingness & in Your holy presence. I adore You in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive You into the poor dwelling that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, since I, for my part, am coming to You! May Your love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. Amen. (Card. Rafael Merry del Val)
Apply to my soul, I beseech You, O merciful Jesus, Your infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Your Blood may purify, Your Flesh strengthen, and Your Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that You, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not You, that hereafter I may live eternally with You. Amen.
Immaculate Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of God and Mediatrix of every grace: I believe that Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is truly, really, and substantially contained in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Him above all things and I long to receive Him into my heart. Since I cannot now receive Him sacramentally, be so good as to place Him spiritually in my soul. O my Jesus, I embrace You as One who has already come, and I unite myself entirely to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.