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Resources for Spiritual Communion
Many people may be unable to attend Mass for most of Lent because of the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. The changes we are being asked to make in our everyday lives and routines likely will leave us more in need of God’s grace—not less.
Even if you are stuck at home, you aren’t alone and you can still join your brothers and sisters in Christ by worshipping, adoring, and praying online or with the television. We’ve compiled resources that will allow you to watch daily and Sunday Mass:
Make a Spiritual Communion
As parish events are postponed and bishops remove the requirement for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass, it’s natural for us to wonder about how our spiritual needs will be met in the weeks ahead.
That’s why it’s good to know that the answer to the question Will I be able to receive Holy Communion? is a resounding yes. That’s not to say that we will all be able to receive the Eucharist sacramentally in the Host or from the chalice, the way we have for most of our lives. But with two thousand years of sacred tradition comes the longstanding practice of making a Spiritual Communion.
As St. John Paul II observed in his last encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia:
“...it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was the origin of the practice of ‘spiritual communion,’ which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life. Saint Teresa of Jesus wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 34).
To make a spiritual communion:
- Simply place yourself in the presence of God, who is everywhere and already with you.
- Express silently, or in words, your desire to unite with Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
This prayer from St. Alphonsus Ligouri may help you:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
Technology may make it possible for some to work or study from home, and our current circumstances may demand that we keep a bit more distance from one another for a time. Still, God is never far from us in the gift of the Most Holy Eucharist, however we are able to receive him.
Daily and Sunday Mass Online
- Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland, offers streaming of its Masses online.
- Word on Fire is offering online daily mass celebrated either by Bishop Barron himself or by Fr. Steve Grunow, CEO of Word on Fire.
- You have several options to participate in Mass on television. EWTN and CatholicTV broadcast several masses live daily, Monday through Saturday, and on Sundays.
- Check the EWTN Mass schedule, which includes a Mass with Pope Francis.
- CatholicTV's Sunday Mass is live at 10 a.m. ET from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame.
Readings and Gospel Commentaries
- Access daily readings on the USCCB's website.
- McGrath Institute for Church Life is providing commentaries for the Sunday gospel readings on their blog.
- Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of several sites online that allow you to pray as part of a Live Perpetual Adoration.
- Eucharistic Adoration and Healing Mass with Fr.Rob Galea on Shalom World.
- The Holy Grotto at Lourdes has a live feed on Facebook that broadcasts 24/7 and includes a live Rosary among its programming. You can also leave prayer requests in real time.
Pray a Rosary
- You can pray along with the mysteries on CatholicTV any time.
- You can also pray along with Mother Angelica on EWTN at various times throughout the week.
- Family Rosary, an apostolate of Holy Cross Family Ministries, also has a Rosary app where you can pray along with Venerable Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.
Join the Abbey of the Arts community for a free "Novena for Times of Unraveling." The nine-day novena includes a live daily webinar (also recorded for those who can't join in live) with Christine Valters Paintner. Each group session will include time in silence together, a reflection on a helpful spiritual practice, a short guided meditation, sharing, song, and poetry. John Valters Paintner will offer a daily written scripture reflection for your daily prayer.
Ave Maria Press has a number of books for prayer and on spirituality that can provide comfort and strength during this difficult time.
At-home Retreat Resources:
Prayer and Meditation Books
- Any of the books in the 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series
- Give Up Worry for Lent!
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament and to Most Holy Mary