Blood of Christ in Alternative Vessel


This sounds like a good possibility. Speak to your Priest and see if she could receive first due to her health issues.


I know of priests who consecrate in a chalice meant for the consumption of only one communicant, a communicant other than himself. (In all these cases, it is someone who is the only celiac in attendance at a Mass at which the priest has elected not to offer the Precious Blood to everyone; he only ensures that everyone planning to receive Holy Communion has at least one species available whose accidents they can physically tolerate.) There isn’t a limit on how many chalices the priest may elect to use, provided each vessel is a vessel worthy to be used as a chalice. (As far as I know, there is no prohibition on putting a chalice into an autoclave, but I don’t know whether chalices are made to endure that.)

The priest will know about placing a pall on that chalice as much as possible, so no stray microbes or viruses would float into it. She might want to receive only under that species, since obviously the priest would have touched a host with his hands and could transmit some microbe or virus that way.

I do think there might be a limit to how much a particular pastor will go out of his way to make a second species available to every single communicant. That is his prerogative. The faithful have the right to the sacraments, but not the right to have the sacraments dispensed in the particular way they specify.


Based on my conversations with someone who worked for a public health authority, by the way, when the serious flu was going around he thought it better for particularly vulnerable persons to attend the first Mass of the day at a particular church or at least the first one that had been there for many hours. His thinking was that when someone touches a surface with a microbe on their hands, the microbe will survive on a dry surface for a certain number of hours. He also thought that common chalices that had air-dried overnight since their last use posed an even lower threat than chalices washed with soap (I mean washed in the sacristy after Mass; I’m not referring to the first ritual purification by the priest), dried with a towel and used within an hour of that washing.


Question to the priests:
Is there any prohibition on consecrating two different kinds of wine, when there is a good reason for it?
(I was wondering because someone with a serious concern about communicable diseases might be even safer if the wine used had the highest alcohol content allowed by canon law.)


I have seen people at my parish for different medical reasons, they go up and receive from the chalice before anyone else. It’s rare but I’ve seen it. Do to my own medical reasons, I don’t drink the blood at all because I could risk serious medical issues or worse. I only have the host


Wine is not sterile. :confused:

Do you/she have some specific alternative vessel in mind?


Actually, I have to wonder if, considering the gravity of her situation, it might not be arranged for Mass to be said for her in a clean environment at least some of the time, rather than having her take the chance of attending at a parish church. Since attendance at Sunday Mass is an obligation, people don’t usually stay home when they are infected with what is (for them) a relatively mild ailment, even if it might be contagious. If she attends Mass said in a place with few other people, one that hasn’t been frequented by any people for the day or so previous to the Mass, the likelihood of exposure to pathogens would be much lower.

Attending Mass at a cloistered convent or monastery might even be a good option.


Oh. I promise I’m good at other stuff besides medical non-advice.


Intinction is not going to be an option either if the Priest, Deacon or EMHC has already taken the Precious Blood. The only way intinction will work is if your wife is the first person to receive from the Chalice.
Speaking from a microbiology perspective.

Your wife is in my prayers.


The dispensation should not have been given. The priests should only have offered the hosts.


Not at the moment. We’re still seeing if it can even be done. Or if the priest is willing to make the concession.


This is true, however it is not intrinsically a grave wrong to pour the precious blood, or even to pour things into it (such as hot water in the eastern rites), if it is not done to dishonor the sacrament. The US conference of Bishops had a norm for over two years from 2002 to 2004 specifically allowing this, and this was confirmed by the holy see. They changed it, somewhat questionably, on May 6, 2004. See uscb site.

However, using disposable protestant-style individual cups is not allowed, and this is the first time in all the many years I’ve been reading catholic websites that I’ve ever heard of it being used in a Catholic church.


No. The wine used for consecration may be any type or color of wine, as long as it is natural grape wine/juice. Dioceses or bishop’s conferences might have further rules though.


I am not following you here. Or at least, I might be misinterpreting what you say. It is wrong to pour the precious blood from one container to another per the link you shared:

Is the prohibition against pouring the Precious Blood likely to change?

No. Even if the USCCB wished to reassert the USCCB Norms to permit the use of flagons, the action must be confirmed by the Congregation, which is empowered to change any decision of a Conference of Bishops, even substantially, in order to bring it into conformity with Redemptionis Sacramentum .[/quote]

This refers back to the Redemptionis Sacramentum

Again, perhaps I misunderstood you. If that’s the case, I do apologize.

Edit: Not sure why that second quote is not taking.


Yes I agree that it apparently isn’t allowed now, but I was responding to an above poster who said that no dispensation could be given to allow this, that it was wrong in itself. It is only wrong now because the church apparently stopped allowing this, but it isn’t wrong in itself.


Ok. I see what you mean.



I’m just thinking out loud, but… if there had been a dispensation for pouring into lots of little glasses (or, if they were poured prior to consecration), wouldn’t it be possible to put all the glasses in a larger container after Mass and then fill that container with water? In that way, any remaining drops of Precious Blood – since they had been diluted to the point that they no longer had the perceptible properties of wine – would no longer be the Precious Blood. The glasses could then be cleaned individually, and the water poured into the ground, and no profanation would have occurred.

That would be acceptable, wouldn’t it?


At one parish at which I volunteered, they had a small ciborium with a screw-top lid. They used it for the Precious Blood for a special situation (not unlike your wife’s). Perhaps that might be acceptable to your pastor?


All chalices have to be made of precious metal (at least the inside). There can be several chalices if there are lots of people receiving Holy Communion. All chalices are filled with wine and a few drops of water at the same time.
The Precious Blood must be consumed and not poured into the ground even in a diluted form. All chalices used in Mass have to be purified by the priest/deacon right after Communion has been given to the faithful.

So purifying the individual glasses in a larger container the way you describe it after Mass is not allowed. Receiving Holy Communion in the Catholic church is a Communion, both with Christ and also with each other. That is why there is one chalice or if there are lots of communicants a few but not individual cups.


Years ago at our parish there was a boy with severe wheat allergy (so no even low gluten hosts) and immune problem. His mother had bought a very small chalice I believe they would have wine in it before Mass. But this was because he couldn’t receive the host either.

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