Church Life

On Preparation for Communion

Preparation is key for both frequent and infrequent Communion. Obviously, the more that someone Communes, then the more that he should prepare himself. However, we often see the opposite happen. That is, those who Commune infrequently often prepare themselves more assiduously that those who Commune frequently. The temptation from the right for infrequent Communion is that their preparation is never good enough, no matter how stringent. The temptation from the left for frequent Communion is that their preparation is always good enough, no matter how meagre. The end result is that infrequent Communers might never receive Communion unto life, and frequent Communers might always receive Communion unto judgment. In its extreme form, this temptation might cause both infrequent and frequent Communers to judge each other. Judgmentalism is an end-goal of this temptation. There is a further, unique temptation especially for frequent Communers. Some of them become obsessed with receiving frequent Communion. This obession can cause them to seek Communion in irregular and uncanonical ways, situations and places, seeking special concessions and arrangements for themselves. At the same time, they are invariably not leading ordinary, regular, Church-going lives. We often accommodate their requests out of pity and compassion for them because we hope to lead them back into ordinary Church life. But this is a mistake. It reinforces their prideful, narcisstic obsession for bizarre, special arrangements for Communion outside of regular, Church-going life. Rather, we should continue to offer them a normal, traditional experience of Church and simply leave it at that. That’s all.