Letters to the Bishop

Eucharistic Seconds

Your Excellency:

Recently, having finished my post-Communion prayers at Mass, I was sitting along with everyone else, listening to our priest make a few announcements and deliver his last joke of the day, when I noticed my young neighbor in the pew—she was 15 or 16 years old—toying with the Host she had received at Communion.  The young lady had nibbled one of the edges of the Host, had apparently either disliked the taste or else wished to carry it home where she might spread some jam on it, and so was flipping it around between her fingers to while away the time.  I mentioned to her grandmother that the young lady might want to consume the Host, which is, after all, the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The grandmother passed the word to the young lady, at which point, after a brief struggle, the grandmother consumed the Host.

More and more, Your Excellency, people at our little parish church appear confused by the Host.  Some are undoubtedly Protestants who either do not understand that the Host is the Body of Our Lord or are unaware of the Church’s guidelines regarding the distribution of Holy Communion; I have seen them leaving the altar carrying the Host in their hands, staring at It with either amused or perplexed looks.  Others are, I believe, Catholics who are unaware of much of anything regarding the Faith.  (One quick note: My family usually sits at the front of the church because we find that...

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