Communion of the Sick in a Hospital or Institution

In the light of verbal indications given to several episcopal Conferences, texts in this rite affected by the new translation of the Roman Missal into English are appended and indicated by the abbreviation ‘NTRM’. Users are requested to consult their local Ordinary, or abide by guidelines issued by him, in determining which text to use.





[Scripture Reading]
Lord’s Prayer


Concluding Prayer


Whoever eats this bread will llive for ever.

Priests with pastoral responsibilities should see to it that the sick or aged, even though not seriously ill or in danger of death, are given every opportunity to receive the Eucharist frequently, even daily, especially during the Easter season. They may receive communion at any hour. Those who care for the sick may receive communion with them, in accord with the usual norms. To provide frequent communion for the sick, it may be necessary to ensure that the community has a sufficient number of ministers of communion. The communion minister should wear attire appropriate to this ministry.

The sick person and others may help to plan the celebration, for example, by choosing the prayers and readings. Those making these choices should keep in mind the condition of the sick person. The readings and the homily should help those present to reach a deeper understanding of the mystery of human suffering in relation to the paschal mystery of Christ.

73. The faithful who are ill are deprived of their rightful and accustomed place in the Eucharistic community. In bringing communion to them the minister of Communion represents Christ and manifests faith and charity on behalf of the whole community toward those who cannot be present at the Eucharist. For the sick the reception of communion is not only a privilege but also a sign of support and concern shown by the Christian community for its members who are ill.

The links between the community’s Eucharistic celebration, especially on the Lord’s Day, and the communion of the sick are intimate and manifold. Besides remembering the sick in the general intercessions at Mass, those present should be reminded occasionally of the significance of communion in the lives of those who are ill: union with Christ in his struggle with evil, his prayer for the world, and his love for the Father, and union with the community from which they are separated.

The obligation to visit and comfort those who cannot take part in the Eucharistic assembly may be clearly demonstrated by taking Communion to them from the community’s Eucharistic celebration. This symbol of unity between the community and its sick members has the deepest significance on the Lord’s Day, the special day of the Eucharistic assembly.

74. When the Eucharist is brought to the sick, it should be carried in a pyx or small closed container. Those who are with the sick should be asked to prepare a table covered with a linen cloth upon which the Blessed Sacrament will be placed. Lighted candles are prepared and, where it is customary, a vessel of holy water. Care should be taken to make the occasion special and joyful.

Sick people who are unable to receive under the form of bread may receive under the form of wine alone. If the wine is consecrated at a Mass not celebrated in the presence of the sick person, the Blood of the Lord is kept in a properly covered vessel and is placed in the tabernacle after Communion. The Precious Blood should be carried to the sick in a vessel which is closed in such a way as to eliminate all danger of spilling. If some of the Precious Blood remains, it should be consumed by the minister, who should also see to it that the vessel is properly purified.

75. If the sick wish to celebrate the sacrament of penance, it is preferable that the priest make himself available for this during a previous visit.

76. If it is necessary to celebrate the sacrament of penance during the rite of communion, it takes the place of the penitential rite.

Communion in a Hospital or Institution

78. There will be situations, particularly in large institutions with many communicants, when the minister should consider alternative means so that the rite of communion of the sick is not diminished to the absolute minimum. In such cases the following alternatives should be considered: (a) where possible, the residents or patients may be gathered in groups in one or more areas; (b) additional ministers of communion may assist.

When it is not possible to celebrate the full rite, the rite for communion is a hospital or institution may be used. If it is convenient, however, the minister may add elements from the rite for ordinary circumstances, for example, a Scripture reading.

79. The rite begins with the recitation of the eucharistic antiphon in the church, the hospital chapel, or the first room visited. Then the minister gives communion to the sick in their individual rooms.

80. The concluding prayer may be said in the church, the hospital chapel, or the last room visited. No blessing is given.



92. The rite may begin in the church, the hospital chapel, or the first room, where the minister begins by saying one of the following antiphons:


How holy this feast
in which Christ is our food:
his passion is recalled;
grace fills our hearts;
and we receive a pledge of the glory to come.


How gracious you are, Lord:
your gift of bread from heaven
reveals a Father’s love and brings us perfect joy.
You fill the hungry with good things
and send the rich away empty.


I am the living bread
come down from heaven.
If you eat this bread,
you will live for ever.
The bread I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.

If customary, the minister may be accompanied by a person carrying a candle.



On entering each room, the minister may use one of the following greetings:

A. The peace of the Lord be with you always.

B. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Response: And also with you.[NTRM: And with your spirit.]

The minister then places the blessed sacrament on the table, and all join in adoration.

If there is time and it seems desirable, the minister may proclaim a Scripture reading from those below.

A.John 6:51
B. John 6:54-58
C.John 14:6
D.John 15:5
E. 1 John 4:16


A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus says:
“I myself am the living bread come down
from heaven. If anyone eats this bread,
they shall live forever; the bread I will
give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

The Gospel of the Lord.


A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus says:
“He who feeds on my flesh
and drinks my blood
has life eternal,
and I will raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood real drink.
The man who feeds on my flesh
and drinks my blood
remains in me, and I in him.
Just as the Father who has life sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so the man who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and died nonetheless
the man who feeds on this bread shall live forever.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus says,
“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father but through me.”

The Lord.


A reading from the holy gospel according to John

Jesus says:
“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who lives in me and I in him,
will produce abundantly,
for apart from me you can do nothing.”


A reading from the first Letter of Saint John

We have come to know and to believe
in the love God has for us.
God is love,
and he who abides in love
abides in God
and God in him.

The Lord’s Prayer

94. When circumstances permit (for example, when there are not many rooms to visit), the minister is encouraged to lead the sick in the Lord’s Prayer. The minister introduces the Lord’s Prayer in these or similar words:

A. Jesus taught us to call God our Father, and so we have the courage to say:

B. Now let us pray as Christ the Lord has taught us:

All say:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


The minister shows the eucharistic bread to those present, saying:


This is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.
Happy are those who hunger and thirst
for they shall be satisfied.


Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.]


This is the bread of life:
taste and see that the Lord is good

The sick person and all who are to receive Communion say:

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.


Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

The minister goes to the sick person and, showing the blessed sacrament, says:

The body of Christ.

The sick person answers: Amen. and receives communion.

Then the minister says:

The blood of Christ.

The sick person answers: Amen. and receives communion.

Others present who wish to receive Communion then do so in the usual way.


Concluding Prayer

The concluding prayer may be said either in the last room visited, in the church, or chapel. One of the following may be used.

Let us pray.

Pause for silent prayer, if this has not preceded.


All-powerful and ever-living God
may the Body and Blood of Christ your Son
be for our brothers and sisters
a lasting remedy for body and soul.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


God our Father,
you have called us to share the one bread and one cup
and so become one in Christ.
Help us to live in him
that we may bear fruit,
rejoicing that he has redeemed the world.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


All-powerful God
we thank you for the nourishment you give us
through your holy gift.
Pour out your Spirit upon us
and in the strength of this food from heaven
keep us single-minded in your service.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
R. Amen.

The blessing is omitted and the minister cleanses the vessel as usual.

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