The global disruption to Mass attendance caused by COVID-19 — which for a time included the complete shutdown of churches in many areas, a shutdown which continues here at Holy Cross because of the poor health of our pastor — has renewed interest in the idea of “Spiritual Communion,” a custom dating back centuries that has been encouraged by popes and saints throughout the church’s history.
“Spiritual Communion” is the act of desiring union with Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and is used to prepare oneself for Mass by the faithful who can’t actually receive the Eucharist, a practice Pope Francis has urged Catholics to follow since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a look at this helpful piece from the Catholic News Service: https://www.catholicnews.com/priests-support-spiritual-communion-as-covid-19-cases-spike-again/
The prayer we are using here at Holy Cross: “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and I unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you or your Holy People. In your Holy Name I pray. Amen.” Another example of the same prayer: “My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you. But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul at least spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I actually receive you.”