The following excerpt comes from one of those beautiful treasures of Catholic catechesis that were so prevalent in the years before Vatican 2. The book is called We Know the Mass: for Home, School, and Church and it was published in 1940. The below image is taken from a section titled, “We receive Our Lord.” This picture, along with additional images from the out of print classic, are courtesy of the website, Shower of Roses. Although written for children, I believe this represents one of the most beautiful, simple, and pious explanations of how we receive Our Lord at Communion.
We BOW our heads.
We fold our hands.
We walk quietly to the Altar Rail.
We kneel at the Altar Rail.
When the Priest brings us Communion we put back our heads. We open our mouths, put out our tongues and close our eyes.
The Acolyte holds a gold plate under our chins. Not even a little particle of Our Lord’s Body must be allowed to fall on the floor.
The Priest places the Host on our tongues.
OUR LORD IS WITH US.
The Priest says the prayer which begins, “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi…” It means, “May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul to everlasting life.”