While we encourage folks to receive Holy Communion as frequently as possible, there are times when it would be best for our soul not to receive. St. Paul warns against receiving it in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11). Some of the reasons not to receive are:
- If you are unrepentant about the sin in your life. It is why we have the General Confession before Communion and in it we express our sorrow to God.
- If you are at war with your brother or sister and harbor unforgiveness.
- If you arrive after the Gospel is read. Holy Communion is made up of Word and Sacrament and both are required. Not receiving the Word invites a superstitious approach to the Sacrament.
- If you are under Church discipline and the priest has barred you from receiving the Sacrament.
If these or similar conditions occur you may still make a spiritual communion, which is full participation in the service except for actually receiving the bread and wine. It is also appropriate to come forward, cross your arms over your chest and receive a blessing. If any of these conditions that prevent you from receiving the Sacrament last for any length of time, it is advised that you make an appointment with the parish priest and get them resolved.