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Feb 18, 2020

Saints’ Thoughts on Prayer after Communion

Caroline Harvey

Perhaps the most important moments of our lives are the moments after we receive Holy Communion. It is a bold statement to make, but it is easy to see why. After all, we have just received the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, what could be more important? And yet, these moments are also, perhaps, some our most wasted opportunities. 

How often do you find yourself, after receiving Communion, completely and utterly distracted. Oh the agony upon coming to our senses and realizing that the Dweller of our hearts has been completely ignored, perhaps not even welcomed! The One to whom the angels ceaselessly fall before in adoration chooses the absent-minded reverent glances we might cast upon him over his heavenly throne. This thought constantly astounds me. 

Through the ages many saints have commented on the importance of praying a prayer of thanksgiving after receiving the Eucharist. Now, before sharing their comments, I would like to address distractions. The Lord knows us well, and knows that we are weak. A heart humbly and fully returned to him after moments of distraction pleases him more than a heart that prays half-attentively for hours. Never be discouraged by distraction. Only thank the Lord more that he has allowed us, once again, to realize how much we need him. 

What can help us in our distraction is understanding the grave importance of those fleeting moments after receiving the Eucharist. And to underscore its importance, I leave you with these quotes. 

St. John Paul II:

“The faithful are to be recommended not to omit to make a proper thanksgiving after Communion. They may do this during the celebration with a period of silence, with a hymn, psalm or other song of praise, or also after the celebration, if possible by staying behind to pray for a suitable time.”

Pope Benedict XVI:

“Since the precious time of thanksgiving after communion is personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the sacrament, it can be most helpful to remain recollected in silence.”

St. Louis de Montfort:

“I would not give up this hour of Thanksgiving even for an hour of Paradise.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

“There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul than that which is made during the thanksgiving after Communion.”

St. Josemaria Escriva:

“Surely you have nothing so important on that you cannot give Our Lord 10 minutes to say thanks. Love is repaid with love.”

And lastly, St. Philip Neri once sent two acolytes with candles to accompany a member of his congregation who had left the church without any adoration after Mass. The man returned to the church to find out St. Philip’s purpose. The saint answered:

“We have to pay proper respect to Our Lord, Whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent two acolytes to take your place.”

Do you have a prayer you pray, or perhaps something you do, to help you remain reverent after receiving Communion. Let us know in the comments.

You May Also Like:

Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion Pros & Cons

Why We Have to Attend Mass and Receive Communion in a State of Grace

Addicted to Social Media, Helping the Homeless, and Communion on the Tongue

Caroline Harvey is the associate communication director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Prior to working at the archdiocese, Caroline worked in various ministry positions throughout southeast Wisconsin, focusing on teaching and discipleship. She is currently pursuing a doctor of ministry degree in liturgical catechesis from the Catholic University of America. She holds master of arts degree in biblical theology and bachelor of arts in communications media from John Paul the Great Catholic University.  

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  • I agree that the time after Holy Communion to be the most important prayer and everything. I go through the ACTS. A- meaning that I ADORE Him. C meaning contrition for all my sins. T is for Thanksgiving for everything He has done. S is for supplication and asking things of Jesus. Usually this is the easiest for me. I always ask Jesus to remain in me always as He is now. I’m not able to go to Mass or Holy communion that often because of my health, but if I’m feeling good, I’m happy as I can be and go off to Mass.

  • I consider the time both before and after receiving the Eucharist extremely reverent and Holy. I prepare myself before receiving in prayer, I am not worthy and give all the ways in which I know I am not worthy up the Lord and ask through His Grace and Mercy to be made worthy.
    After I receive I am in prayer of Thanksgiving until it’s time to sit again. I keep my head down and my eyes closed as to not get distracted and thank God for the selfless gift of His Son and I thank Jesus for His selfless gift of sacrifice. If I do become distracted by chatter or whatever, I apologize and ask God to help me direct my thoughts only to Him.

    This, for me, is a very intimate time for me with my Lord God and my Savior Jesus Christ.

  • One of my favorite prayers I say after receiving communion is: My Lord and my God!
    A hundred thousand welcomes.
    A hundred thousand thanks.
    Jesus, present in my soul,
    I adore you, I thank you, I love you. I am sorry for the sins that have offended you. Let me accept and do your will today. Stay with me throughout this day. Let me to see others with your eyes and love with your heart. My Lord and my God. Amen.

  • I get to church early to pray in anticipation of the receiption of Eucharist and them stay after Mass to thank God for the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of His Son Jesus. It always marvels me, and saddens me, when the congregation files out of the church like speeding rabbits, chatting up a storm or noise, and do not stay to thank God in the same way!……✝❗🙏🤓🤔😥

  • I always thought that there was an official or recommended prayer that everyone said silently after communion, but that I was never taught it. Maybe there was such a pray in another time and place, but now we are left to our own creativity, for better or worse. I was looking to this article for advice on what to teach my kids to pray after communion. Any recommendations?

    • Hello Lee. At our parish, we sing the first verse of “Jesus, my Lord, My God, My All” after communion:

      Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all
      How can I love thee as I ought
      And how revere this wondrous gift
      So far surpassing hope or thought
      Sweet Sacrament, we thee adore
      Oh make us love thee more and more
      Oh make us love thee more and more.

      There are many other great prayers. You can find some in this post: Thank you for you comment.

  • After receiving the Blessed Sacrament I cover my face and pray in the pew. There are no distractions this way.

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