A Guide to Spiritual Communion in the Home

Introduction: As the coronavirus spreads, more and more Catholic dioceses are suspending the public celebration of Mass. In these cases, the Catholic faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation, but they are still strongly encouraged to make an act of Spiritual Communion. In making a Spiritual Communion, we invite Christ into our hearts and ask him to grant us the grace we would have received if we had been able to receive Communion at Mass. Spiritual Communion is also an important practice when we are not able to attend Mass due to other circumstances out of our control, such as illness.

When we can't make it to Mass, it is best if we watch Mass online or on TV, or listen to Mass over the radio. In that case, when Communion is taking place during the Mass, we should pray the prayer of Spiritual Communion included below. Your local church or your diocese may be broadcasting Mass. You can also find broadcasts of Mass on EWTN.

However, if you are not able to access a Mass broadcast, you can use the guide below to make a Spiritual Communion. Let us also pray the Rosary daily for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic!

Preparation: Prepare for Spiritual Communion as you would for Mass. Make this a very special part of the day. Put on the clothes you would wear for Mass. Quiet your home. Turn off the TV or other sources of entertainment. If you already have a prayer area in your home, that is a great place for making your Spiritual Communion. Gather here with your family and friends if you are making a Spiritual Communion together. If you don't have a prayer area yet, now would be a good time to create one. A table, a stand, the top of a dresser, or some other suitable surface works well. Use a nice tablecloth and incorporate some or all of the following: Your Bible, a crucifix, a rosary, sacred pictures and statues, holy water, blessed salt, candles, incense burner, flowers or potted plants, and other appropriate natural objects that can serve as decoration.

Prayers for Spiritual Communion:

Make the Sign of the Cross

Make the Act of Contrition:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

Read or Listen to the Readings for Mass

The Mass readings for each day are available in both written and audio format at the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The readings can also be accessed through the Podcast app under Daily Readings from the New American Bible.

Reflect on the readings using a Catholic site that provides commentary on the Sunday readings, such as the two sites below:

Sunday Reflections by Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg

Beautiful Catholicism - my YouTube channel, where I offer weekly reflections on the Sunday Gospels.

If you are with a group of people, spend a few minutes discussing the Gospel Reading.

Name your prayer intentions. Pray for the Church, for the world, for family and friends, for all those in need. Pray for the grace to be able to return to Mass as soon as possible.

Pray the Our Father:
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

If you are with others, share with each other the sign of peace in an appropriate manner.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion by St. Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most holy Eucharist. 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

Spend a few minutes in silent reflection, focusing on how you have experienced the love of Christ in your life, how you can give your life to Christ, and how you can be a channel of Christ's love in the world.

Pray the Glory Be:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Pray the Hail Mary:
Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Pray the Memorare:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Pray the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.

If you are in Western Washington, conclude by saying the beautiful prayer that Archbishop Etienne has asked us to pray to Our Lady of Seattle for assistance during this public health crisis. If you are from another geographical area, you may still wish to use this prayer, with some local adaptations.

Prayer to Our Lady of Seattle
Holy Mary, we come before you as spiritual children in great need, seeking your intercession, and asking that your mantle of love surround us to console, protect and lead us to your son Jesus.

We entrust all of God’s family, especially the Church in Western Washington, into your Immaculate hands. With your Son Jesus’ gentle power you can undo any knot in our Church, and in the lives of believers who entrust themselves to your care.

Today I especially entrust to you [mention request here], and I ask that – through your intercession, and that of Saint James, our Guardian Angels, and the faithful in our diocese – we may be free from every spiritual and temporal ill, and be safely led to encounter your Son’s Merciful, Sacred Heart.

Our Lady of Seattle, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!

Make the Sign of the Cross

Mass Broadcast on ETWN

Article on Spiritual Communion from the Diocese of Little Rock

Photo Credit: Eucharistic Adoration inside the Basilica of St. Pius X in Lourdes by Zoltan Abraham (c) 2015

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