In the midst of this pandemic, most Christian Churches in the United States have been required to limit severely if not suspend face-to-face worship. The responses to this challenge when it comes to celebrating the Eucharist have been multiple. Frequent pastoral responses have included the shipping of consecrated elements to folk for their use during live-stream worship and virtual communion, in which worshippers employ elements from their own households as communion elements during the digitized worship. These options are not permitted for Roman Catholics. Instead, it is most common for Roman Catholics to be invited into spiritual communion. This is often considered a diminished, even ternary form of communing, quickly dispensed when quarantines are lifted and herd immunity achieved. On the other hand, there is a rich and thoughtful tradition about spiritual communion that recognizes it as an essential element in communion even when such is experienced face-to-face. This article intends to affirm the values of spiritual communion as a real, mystical and fruitful action that not only sustains people worshipping from afar, but enhances an authentic eucharistic spirituality.
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