For many Christians today there is much confusion about the Catholic Community’s position on inter-communion between Christian denominations. This information is provided as a means of helping to clarify the official teaching of the Catholic Community on inter-communion.
Catholics fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when they receive Holy Communion in fulfillment of Christ’s command to eat His body and drink His blood. In order to be disposed properly to receive Communion, communicants should not be conscious of grave sin, have fasted for an hour, and seek to live in charity and love with their neighbours. Persons conscious of grave sin must first be reconciled with God and the Church through the Sacrament of Penance. A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.
For Other Christians
We welcome in our celebration of the Eucharist those Christians who are not fully united with us. It is a consequence of the sad divisions in Christianity that we cannot extend to you a general invitation to receive Communion. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is an action of celebrating community signifying a oneness in doctrine and faith and unity in the life and worship of the community. Reception of the Eucharist by Christians not fully united with us would imply a oneness which does not yet exist, and for which we must all pray. Christians united with us through baptism may participate in the Eucharist by listening to God’s Word and by expressing in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another. They are welcome to come forward with their hands crossed over their chest for a Blessing.
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus. While we cannot extend to you an invitation to receive Communion, we do invite you to be united with us in prayer and to come forward with their hands crossed over their chest for a Blessing.