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Q&A

Is it right to kiss the Eucharist?

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Question: Is it right for a faithful to kiss the eucharist before receiving?

Answer:

One of the things to remember while at Mass is the Sacrifice is offered by Jesus the Head and we participate as members of his Body. So there must be unity of actions and voice. This is why the Catholic Church issued the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), to direct all the faithful on what must be done together during the celebration of the Eucharist. So for the reception of the Eucharist the GIRM says:

When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

GIRM 160

So kissing the Eucharist would’ve been okay if the celebration was more private than public. But the Church regulates every aspect of public worship in order that the meaning be preserved throughout the generations. And also to give the faithful the opportunity to participate in the obedience of Christ in doing the will of the Father.

So, I’d say no, kissing the Eucharist should not be allowed, even though the thought behind it (reverence to the Lord in the Eucharist) should be encouraged and the expression channeled elsewhere. Perhaps you can practice something of a spiritual “kiss”, wherein you move only your heart to the gesture when you have received Jesus.

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