Letters from the Bishop
Catholic Diocese of Columbus
Office of the Bishop
June 6th, 2021 Solemnity of Corpus Christi
My dear Friends,
Welcome back! Many of you have been coming to Mass for months, some may have only recently returned to in person worship and for some this may be your first weekend back at Mass. It is such a joyful time that the coronavirus is under control to such a degree that we can safely return to in person worship.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and resume the obligation to assist at mass on Sunday, this weekend is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the sacred nature of what we do in our churches each Sunday and for so many, daily.
This feast reminds us that we are receiving the body and blood of Christ truly and substantially present in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine. When we receive the Eucharist we want to be sure we receive reverently, with the proper disposition. We must remember to confess any mortal sins we are conscious of before receiving and we must remember to fast for one hour before receiving the Eucharist, water and medicine notwithstanding.
When we receive, if we receive in the hand, our hands are clean and are ready to receive the consecrated host. After taking a small step to the side, the host must be consumed in view of the priest or minister distributing communion and not consumed back at the pew or walking back to the pew.
The chalice will not be offered to the faithful at this time, unless specific arrangements have been made for someone who is unable to receive even a low gluten host. While it is a fuller sign of receiving Christ in the Eucharist, our faith has consistently held that whether we receive a small sip of the precious blood or even a small fragment of the consecrated host, we are receiving the whole Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity.
We will be invited to show each other the sign of peace. All should feel comfortable physically to show a sign of peace to people of one's household and some form of non-contact gesture of peace to others near you. Simply speaking the words “Peace be with you” is sufficient. We want to be sure to respect the comfort level of those around us when initiating any kind of physical contact.
The worship we offer God at Mass, and the manner in which we do it as the body of Christ is given to us as a gift of the church. This truly is sacred spaced and a sacred time in our week. Let us be refreshed by the Word of God and and strengthened by the Word made flesh we consume in the Eucharist. Above all, may Christian charity, which is the heart of Eucharist, guide us in our decisions and actions.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert Brennan
Bishop of Columbus.