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First Communion
Question from Leticia on 06-02-2015:
I accompanied my nephew who has autism on his First Communion as a sponsor. He did everything correct when he received the body of Christ. It was dipped in the blood of Christ. So when he came to his seat because of his condition he threw it out of his mouth. I was able to catch it in my hand but he didn't take back in his mouth.

I ended up taking myself since I did not know what to do and I knew the meaning of receiving Christ. And I also took Communion again. I want to know if I did the right thing and what can be done for the future. He struggles with different foods, so I am thinking this will be a challenge for him.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 06-03-2015:
Leticia--

You need not have received a host that had been in your nephew's mouth. It could have been wrapped in a tissue and given to an EMHC, deacon, or priest to deal with. Having received it, you need not have received again. That said, you also did nothing wrong.

As for your nephew, it may be a good idea that his parents have him re-evaluated for ability to receive Communion. If his condition is such that he cannot be expected to swallow Communion, and instead spits it out, then he may not be able to receive Communion (at least at this time).

Two ideas: One, he could be retrained to receive Communion using unconsecrated hosts. Once he is used to their texture and taste, then he might be able to try again to receive Communion. And, two, his parents (or anyone who takes him to Mass) should let the celebrant know beforehand that your nephew needs to receive the consecrated host alone, undipped, because that is how he is accustomed to receiving Communion. That way, even if others are given Communion by intinction (dipped in the precious blood), your nephew will only receive the host in a form he is able to consume.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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