Guidelines for the reception of Communion during the extraordinary form of the Mass

05 Oct 2009

Approved by the Catechetics Commission of the Bishops’ Conference



Children who attend the extraordinary form of the Mass will receive Communion in a different manner from their classmates who attend the ordinary form of the Mass.

At Mass in the extraordinary form, Holy Communion is received kneeling and on the

tongue. Reception in the hand or while standing is not normally permitted.

Communion is received under one kind only, to emphasise the Church’s teaching that Christ

is received whole and entire under the appearance of bread or wine.

Normally the child will approach the altar with joined hands and will kneel at the

Communion rails (although children making their First Communion may use a prie-dieu).

The priest recites the formula: “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in

vitam aeternam. Amen.” (May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul to

everlasting life. Amen.) Note that the priest says “Amen”. The child should make no


The sacrament of Confession (or reconciliation) is often available before and during Mass in

churches celebrating Mass in the extraordinary form. Almost exclusively, confession will be

in the traditional form, using a confessional box, rather than face-to-face with a priest.

For teachers who wish to know more about the extraordinary form of the Mass, details are

available at The schedule of Masses for Ireland is also available.

If a teacher wishes to take a class of First Communion children to experience Mass in the

extraordinary form, that can be arranged in advance with the celebrant. Explanatory DVDs of

the Mass are also available from the Latin Mass Society of Ireland.

Download pdf version of the document here (~17 Kb)


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