What is Spiritual Communion & How is it done?
For those who in the weeks ahead may be unable to attend Mass (or for whatever reason cannot normally receive Holy Communion) the Church has an ancient practice known as ‘Spiritual Communion’. A Spiritual Communion is different from an actual or Sacramental Communion, in which we receive the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. To make a Spiritual Communion is to make a ‘Communion of desire’, when receiving the Lord in Holy Communion is not possible. Pope St. John Paul II was a great advocate of spiritual communion. He wrote in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharitia: “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. St. 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.’”
The Church recommends making spiritual communions as often as possible, even if we are still able to participate in Mass that day. There are many prayers that can be used to make a Spiritual Communion and to stir up a holy desire for that union with Jesus. Here is one
Act of Spiritual Communion
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.
I unite myself with the offering of the priest at Mass.
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.