The policy of St. Sharbel Maronite Church and the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn is to follow the universal law of the Catholic Church. Therefore the following will be followed:
For Catholics of All Rites
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are to receive Holy Communion reverently and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, one should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour prior to receiving. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of Christ without having received sacramental absolution in Confession, except for a serious reason when there is really no opportunity for going to Confession. In such a case, the person has the obligation to make an Act of Perfect Contrition and intend to go to sacramental Confession as soon as possible (CCEOCanon 711, CIC Canon 916). Frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) is encouraged for everyone.
For Other Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to the celebration of the Divine Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common Baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer together and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life and worship, members of those Churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the Eparchial Bishop and the provisions of Canon Law (CCEO Canon 671 and CIC Canon 844). Members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church are encouraged to observe the discipline of their own Churches; Catholic Church Law allows the Divine Eucharist to be given to Christians who are members of these Churches who ask for it on their own and are otherwise properly disposed (CCEO Canon 671, § 3 and CIC Canon 844, § 3).
For Christians not Receiving Communion
All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus Christ and with one another.
We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit non-Christians to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and unity of the human family.
For Catholics Married Outside the Church
A Catholic who has attempted marriage without the blessing of the Catholic Church may not be given the Holy Eucharist until the marriage is blessed by the Church.
Parents preparing their children for first communion should adhere to the following rules:
1. All candidates for first communion must be children of registered members of the St. Sharbel Church.
2. All candidates must have completed formation years at St. Sharbel Religious education program (Level 1 and Level 2) and are able to read and write.
3. Parents must attend the required meetings pertaining to first communion preparation.
Your cooperation in preparing the children to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is imperative.
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