PCS 81-91: Communion of the Sick

Eleven sections give us the ordinary rite for Communion. Rather than post the whole texts, I’ll offer some highlights and observations.

The ritual greeting of the minister (81) may be followed by a sprinkling rite (82) and a penitential rite (83). Five short readings are suggested (84), all from John’s gospel: 6:51, 6:54-58, 14:6, 15:5, and 4:16, though other “appropriate” readings may be chosen. The reading may be followed by silence and/or a brief “explanation” of the Scripture (85). The general intercessions (86) are optional. The minister introduces them and invites those present to pray. The rite reminds us that “it is desirable that the intentions be announced by someone other than the minister.”

The Liturgy of Holy Communion begins with the Lord’s Prayer (87). In section 88, there is an alternate text for the “showing” of the “Eucharistic bread,” This is the bread of life. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Clearly, not so squeamish about using meal and food imagery in the rite.

Silent prayer (89) may follow, which, in turn, is followed by a post-Communion prayer (90). The concluding rite consists of the final blessing. The rite gives three options, a shorter one as we usually hear at Mass, plus two in the format of the three-fold blessing, such as this one:

May the Lord be with you to protect you. Amen.

May he guide you and give you strength. Amen.

May he watch over you, keep you in his care, and bless you with his peace. Amen.

And a lay minister would use a different invocation, signing themselves and using the blessing with the first person plural reference.


The ordinary rite seems rather heavy on the introductory rituals, with the options for a lengthy penitential rite (including the Confiteor), and a sprinkling rite. This is especially curious, given the four suggestions for one-verse readings. I wonder how ministers over the past two decades have handled this.

No inclusion of music, not that all pastoral care ministers are capable of leading song.

The meal aspect of Communion seems emphasized, particularly along the thought that Eucharistic nourishment is a source of strength and healing for the sick believer.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Care of the Sick, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to PCS 81-91: Communion of the Sick

  1. Pingback: PCS 181-182: Both Forms of Communion « Catholic Sensibility

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