What to do while we cannot attend Mass

Live streaming the Mass so that you can listen to and participate in the Mass remotely  is recommended.

The Catechism suggests that we ‘engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family’ (CCC 2183).

The ‘appropriate amount of time’ will vary according to circumstances, but it should be significant. 

It would certainly be fitting, if possible, to read the Scriptures which would be used at the Mass we are missing, and perhaps the other prayers of the Mass as well. We could also pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, or use any other devotion which will call to mind Christ’s Resurrection.


Spiritual Communion

It is also a good practice, much encouraged by the Church, to make a “Spiritual Communion” when we are unable to receive Holy Communion sacramentally.

A Spiritual Communion is simply the heartfelt desire to be united with Christ, even though we are unable to receive him in the Blessed Sacrament. This desire for Christ draws us closer to him, for as St Thomas Aquinas teaches: ‘The effects of a sacrament can be received by desire’.

We do not need any particular words in making a Spiritual Communion, but the saints have left us many examples which we can make our own.

Here is a widely used version composed by St Alphonsus Liguori:

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul.

Since at this moment I cannot receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace you as being already there and unite myself wholly to you.

Never permit me to be separated from you.