Both species required by Jesus? John 6:53-55


John 6:53-55 "53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats[g] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. "
When I was younger (1970’s-1980’s) it seemed like it was much less common to drink the wine at communion, now it it is available at every mass and most people take the Eucharist AND the wine. I personally always receive the host, but walk past the wine, as do some other members. I was taught the wine is optional and the host alone provides the sacrament. But John 6:51-53 seems to require both.


You may partake in either or both species. They are both equally the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord.


Thank you, that was always my understanding as well.
But the use of the word AND in the verse above still doesn’t seem to mesh with “either/or”


The Church teaches that each species is the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. If we receive Communion under only one species, we have not missed anything.


The Body has the Blood in it, so therefore if you receive the Body you also receive the Blood. That’s how it’s been explained to me anyhow.


Pardon me; but I think you are totally missing the understanding of Transubstantiation. Bread & wine are changed into the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord. It makes no difference if you receive the Precious Body or Precious Blood in Communion. If you receive the Precious Body; you receive the Precious Blood. If you receive the Precious Blood; you receive the Precious Body. Some people choose to receive under both species; it is a personal choice. Also, there are some people who cannot tolerate the accident of “bread”. That is why many Parishes offer a communion under both species. If you are still having difficulty understanding or have questions; you may want to think about attending an RCIA course at your Parish. These courses are not just for person seeking conversion to the Catholic faith. They are offered to all Catholics to benefit from further adult faith formation. God bless.


It sounds like you’re saying the Eucharist is ONLY the Flesh, and the cup is ONLY the Blood. If that were true, then you would probably have a point about the verse and what Jesus is saying there. However, that is NOT the case, as has been pointed out (read tawny’s second sentence, for instance).

Yes, Jesus says, “and”. We often refer to the Eucharist as the Body and the Cup as His Blood. However, they are actually “both/and.” When we receive the Eucharist, we receive both His Body AND His Blood–not just the Body in the Eucharist. When we receive from the Cup, we receive both His Body and His Blood, not only the Blood. It’s not always an easy concept to grasp.

Add to that the concept that this is no longer bread and no longer wine, but His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine… and WOW! :eek:

The miracle and the mystery of just this one concept is mind-blowing if we really stop to think about it. God is awesome! :smiley:

On a related note: You probably already do this, but for those that are not aware, when we “walk past” the Cup (or the Eucharist, either), we should still acknowledge His Presence there. I have been told that a small bow is sufficient (as when we walk past the Eucharist in the Tabernacle).


The bread and wine only appear to be such. When the priest confects the Eucharist, the accidents of bread and wine remain while the substance changes. Therefore in the case of the bread, even though it doesn’t appear to be blood, it nonetheless is substantially the precious Blood (as well as the Body, Soul and Divinity).

So when we consume the Eucharist under just one species, we consume the whole Christ (body and blood). You were correct in your thinking.


Whether we receive the host, or the Precious Blood alone, we are still receiving our Risen Lord.

It is necessary for the priest to say Mass using both species. (Thanks be to the Lord for our Church’s legitimate authority…The Magisterium.) The Holy Spirit is who prevents us from error with regard to faith and morals.

The consecrated wine is always referred to as the Precious Blood.




Although Jesus wants us to both eat his body and drink his blood, he did not say in order to do that we must both eat the consecrated bread and drink the consecrated wine. Through concomitance, the consecrated bread by itself is the entire risen Jesus - body, blood, soul, and divinity - and the consecrated wine by itself is also the entire risen Jesus - body, blood, soul and divinity. So, eating only the consecrated bread or drinking only the consecrated wine is all that is necessary to fulfilled his desire that we eat his body and drink his blood.

This understanding of concomitance, that the risen Jesus is entirely present - body, blood, soul and divinity - in the consecrated bread and likewise entirely present in the consecrated wine, is supported by what St Paul said in 1 Cor 11:27, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body **and **blood of the Lord.” Keeping in mind that the separation of the body from the blood implies death, this understanding of concomitance is also support by what St Paul said in Romans 6:9, “For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.”

This understanding of concomitance is also expressed symbolically at Mass, when the priest breaks the consecrated bread and places a small piece in the chalice of consecrated wine during the fraction rite as the people sing the Agnus Dei(Lamb of God).


another thought to ponder there are Eucharistic miracles such as bleeding hosts;)


It is worthwhile to point out that we as Catholics understand this verse to be about the Eucharist. And of course as others have pointed out, we receive both the body AND blood in the Eucharist, even if we only take the host. So that is the right answer to the OP’s question. But, it is amazing that there are many Christians who do not see this verse as referring to the Eucharist. It is a real block for some. Let’s pray for them.

I was struck when reading this quote from John 6 just how straight forward it is. It’s clear to me that this is Jesus discussing the Eucharist.

One argument against this being about the Eucharist is that at this time, the Eucharist didn’t exist yet since Jesus had not established it. But we understand that God was preparing them for the Eucharist all along.

Your question is a good one. It makes me realize that if in fact Jesus is NOT talking about the Eucharist here, then your point is correct. You have to go eat his flesh AND drink his blood and that is on you to figure out ho to do that and get both.

I think you would have a bigger problem than just addressing the AND part. I mean where are you going to get Jesus body AND blood from exactly?

So your question reconfirms that Jesus must be talking about the Eucharists here and that we are able to receive his body and blood in the Eucharists even if we only take the host.


Worth noting also is that the early Church brought the consecrated Bread alone to the sick or imprisoned.


I’m fairly certain that while the Church has always required the celebrant to consecrate both species and partake of both species when offering mass, per Jesus’ instructions at the Last Supper.

Regarding laity participation and Jesus’ words, remember that Church teaching is NOT that the bread becomes only Jesus’ flesh and that the wine only become’s Jesus’ blood. Jesus is not divisible in the sacrament. You do not get only one or the other, or Jesus’ leg here and Jesus’ eye bicep there. When the bread becomes flesh, Jesus’ whole person becomes present in the species as well, including his blood, soul, and divinity. When the wine becomes blood, Jesus’ whole person becomes present in the species, including his body, soul, and divinity.

When a layperson consumes only the host, he receives all of Jesus, including his flesh and blood. When a layperson only drinks from the chalice, she receives all of Jesus, including his flesh and blood. So Jesus words that one must partake of both are still fulfilled.


The ancients believed that the blood conveyed the soul, or the life of the creature it came from. So they would make a distinction with regards to flesh vs blood so as to say that (so they thought) one conveyed physical nourishment while the other contained the soul. They had to separate the blood from the flesh of their food so as not to accidentally get the soul of the creature. It is all very primitive by our standards.

But to me, this is just Jesus saying that you have to eat all of him, ‘flesh and blood’. That is as if he is teaching them that the two are not separable. But to the ancient mind, this was a distinction. Jesus is pointing out the error of their understanding here.

Consuming Jesus as food strikes some as barbaric at first. But there is much depth here to contemplate. We must first understand ourselves as spiritual beings before we can appreciate how we can consume Jesus spiritually. We have to get over our illusion of a physical world. That is the real hurdle.


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