Long-standing practice in the Episcopal Church has offered a means for people to receive Holy Communion spiritually when it cannot be received physically. For example, in the Ministration with the Sick service in the Book of Common Prayer, the following rubric is given:
If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth. (BCP, p, 457)
In these challenging times, many people may find themselves unable to receive Holy Communion physically due to illness or suspended worship gatherings. Forward Movement is pleased to offer a venerable resource from the Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book (Forward Movement, 2014) for use.
You may download a PDF of the Spiritual Communion prayers.
Forward Movement gives permission for these texts to be reproduced for noncommercial use within local worshiping communities. For other use, please contact us for copyright permissions.
These prayers are primarily intended for private, devotional use. However, it may be that some communities will find it helpful to use them in group settings. If you are using these for worship in the Episcopal Church, please ensure that you are attentive to rubrics and canons, and consult with your bishop if in doubt.
As the coronavirus situation unfolds, Forward Movement will continue to provide resources to support individuals, groups, and congregations. We have already offered a ChurchNext course, Prayer and Worship in Our Homes for free. Details on that course and other resources, such as podcasts and texts of the daily office, are available in an announcement.
Forward Movement is a ministry of the Episcopal Church that inspires disciples and empowers evangelists. With offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, Forward Movement has been serving the Episcopal Church since 1935 by producing resources such as Forward Day by Day, books, apps, pamphlets, conferences, courses, and more. Visit www.forwardmovement.org to learn more.