DEAR ABBY: In a recent column, you wrote that only practicing Catholics may receive Communion in a Catholic service. That is not entirely correct, Abby.
Canon law allows members of the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church to receive Communion during a Catholic service if they choose to take it. -- CATHOLIC READER IN BOSTON
DEAR READER: Thank you for pointing it out. I suppose it's time to drag out the old wet noodle, because mail poured in from readers pointing out that Communion is a sacrament practiced by many Christian denominations, not just Catholics.
The person whose letter I was answering had written that she was a non-Catholic who, at her Catholic grandfather's funeral in a Catholic church, had been urged by a family friend to approach the altar and take Communion. It was my understanding that only someone who has been to confession -- and is in a "state of grace" -- may partake of Communion in a Catholic church without its being sacrilegious. However, I did not communicate my thought clearly. Mea culpa!
When visiting a house of worship, whether it is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai, etc., if you want to be absolutely "correct" in your deportment, the wise thing to do is check beforehand with the clergyperson. For questions regarding the rites and sacraments of the Catholic Church, consult the chancery of the local Catholic diocese or archdiocese and someone can provide the correct information.