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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: The Proper Reception of Holy Communion

thumbnail image These weeks of Ordinary Time leading up to the holy fast of Lent offer us an opportunity to reflect on the treasures of the Faith. One such treasure is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In this wonderful Sacrament Christ is truly present: body, blood, soul and divinity. One of the Councils of the Church defines this mystery succinctly:
‘By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change in the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood.’ (The Council of Trent)
This foretaste of the heavenly banquet should be approached with joy and awe. It is always necessary for those of us who frequently receive communion to reflect prayerfully on our preparation and our demeanour as we do so. Here are a few practical reminders to help us all to grow in reverence and love for our Eucharistic Lord:
Canon Law requires that we abstain from food and drink for at least one hour before Holy Communion – with the sole exception of water and medicine.
When receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, we should ensure that there is ample space and time for the priest or minister to place the host on our tongue. It should be consumed immediately.
If receiving Holy Communion in the hand, we should use our hands to form a throne for the host. Then, once the host has been placed in one of our hands, we use the other to reverently place the host into our mouths. This is done immediately in front of the priest or minister who is distributing Holy Communion. On no account should we walk away with the host in our hand. Those who do this will be challenged.
When the Blessed Sacrament is being carried by the priests and ministers to the places where it is to be distributed or returned to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, it is appropriate for the faithful to be kneeling or, if they are standing, to genuflect as the procession passes.
All of these simple customs reflect what we believe about the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.
‘What miracles! Who would ever have imagined such! If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be for one reason: Holy Communion.’ (St Maximilian Kolbe)

Fr Daniel Humphreys

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Friday 15 February
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 16 February BVM on Saturday
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group

12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
13.00 Cathedral Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Geoffrey Woollatt
(Manchester Cathedral)
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 18 February
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group
18.30 Cathedral Guild of the Blessed Sacrament
19.00 Clergy House Room 2 Studying the Catechism Together

Tuesday 19 February
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 20 February
16.00 Hinsley Room Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group

Thursday 21 February
10.30 – 12.30 Cathedral Café Crime Prevention Advice stall
18.30 Clergy House Room 2 Legion of Mary
19.00 Cathedral Hall Prayer & Life Workshop Taster Session

Friday 22 February The Chair of St Peter, Apostle
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 23 February St Polycarp, Bishop & Martyr
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
10.00 Cathedral Hall Prayer & Life Workshop Taster Session
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice & Peace Group

12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Catholic Association
13.00 Cathedral Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Patrick Kampf, Germany
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group


thumbnail image If you have your palms from last year please bring them to the Information Desk or Clergy House Reception by Sunday, 24 February so that they can be burnt to make ash for Ash Wednesday.


thumbnail image The next meeting will take place in the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace SW1P 1EP from 4 to 5pm on Wednesday, 20 February. The distinguished Jewish scholar, Jonathan Gorsky, will speak about his work in Jewish/Christian relations. All are welcome and there is no charge.


thumbnail image Join Westminster Cathedral Choir on Wednesday, 20 March at 7.30pm for 'Stabat Mater', an evening of reflective music focussing on the Crucifixion, seen through the eyes of Our Lady. Readings will intersperse the polyphony and chant sung by the Choir, which will include works by Victoria, Lotti, Bruckner and Tallis, culminating in Palestrina's majestic eight-part setting of the Stabat Mater. Tickets are now available from the Cathedral Shop or www.ticketmaster.co.uk .

Related links: Link for Tickets


thumbnail image Have you thought about becoming a volunteer at Westminster Cathedral? If you are a Cathedral parishioner, or even if you are not, why not think about giving some time to helping the Cathedral this year? We have a variety of roles available, from helping on the Information Desk to serving teas after the 10.30am Mass on Sundays, to reading at Mass and much more.
Volunteer Application forms, which give more information about the types of work volunteers carry out are available on the Information Desk in the Cathedral and also at Clergy House Reception. If you are interested please complete one and return to Mary Maxwell at Clergy House, 42 Francis Street, who will also provide more information. marym@rcdow.org.uk or telephone 020 7798 9181.

Related links: Email for Mary Maxwell


thumbnail image Our group comes together every Thursday morning during term time from 10am to midday for coffee, chat and catechism. The sessions offer a chance to get to know other mothers within our parish, to support each other on the journey of Catholic family life. Everyone welcome with babies and toddlers. Please contact Alexandra Watson for further information, or just turn up at the Hinsley Room. Contact aphilpotts@cantab.net

Related links: Email for Alexandra Watson


thumbnail image Cardinal Hume Centre is seeking IT coaches to join their Digital Inclusion Service for three hours a week, at various times, to support adult clients. Advanced technical skills are not required but a good understanding of MS Office (Word and Excel mostly) and a breadth of experience in using the internet is needed. Contact Flora Swartland at volunteering@cardinalhumecentre.org.uk

Related links: Email for Flora Swartland


thumbnail image Friday 3 May to Thursday 9 May 2019

The Order of Malta takes a group of pilgrims with us every year on pilgrimage to Lourdes, flying from and back to Stansted. The pilgrimage includes a full programme of religious events, with lively and fun activities and opportunities for sightseeing also available. Nursing and medical care is provided as necessary. We invite applications from interested sick, disabled and older people to join the pilgrimage, with accommodation in the Accueil Notre Dame. Pilgrims are asked to make a contribution of £300 towards the cost of some £600, but this can be reduced in cases of need. Anything over £300 would be gratefully received to help other pilgrims. For further information, please contact Mrs Kim O’Connor, our Head Nurse, before 14 January: k6oconnor@aol.com

Related links: Email for OMV Head Nurse


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email


thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.