Bread & Wine or Wafer (Holy Communion)

Quick question and hopefully any response posted can keep it on topic.

As you all know Holy Communion in the EO church involves the faithful receiving both the wine and bread and the RCC only involves the wafer. If someone can answer the following I’d appreciate it.

  1. At what point in time did the RCC elect to use only the wafer?

  2. What reasoning did the RCC use for use of the wafer only without wine?

  3. Lastly I read that Holy Communion isn’t truly complete in the RCC unless the priest drinks the wine from the chalice. Are Communicants ever allowed to drink wine when receiving Holy Communion? I’ve been to many Catholic masses and never saw it happen.

Thank you

A good question. I’m not really sure, I’d like to know as well.

  1. What reasoning did the RCC use for use of the wafer only without wine?

We believe that the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is fully present in the Blood as well as in the Body. They are inseparable.

  1. Lastly I read that Holy Communion isn’t truly complete in the RCC unless the priest drinks the wine from the chalice. Are Communicants ever allowed to drink wine when receiving Holy Communion? I’ve been to many Catholic masses and never saw it happen.

I believe that traditionally this is more common, but today many, perhaps even the majority, of Latin Catholic Churches offer both specimens. You are right, though, that the Mass would not be complete, and invalid I believe, if the priest did not drink the Blood.

Is it normal in your parish only to receive the Body and not the Blood? At our parish we recieve under both Species, even at daily mass.

1377 “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.” Council of Trent 1641

I think this answers your first two questions.

As for the third. Yes, RCC’s do offer both species. In fact, I have been part of 3 parishes and all have offered both (2 in the Northeast USA and 1 in the Southern USA)

Basically since Christ is believed to be present in both, it is up to the parish if they will offer both.

You know, that is an interesting point, Pravoslavac.

As an Orthodox, can you tell me if receiving only the Bread (body) or only the wine (Blood) would mean that you were only receiving **part of Jesus?

**In the situation of say an alcoholic (who cannot drink wine) or someone with celiac sprue (who cannot tolerate wheat/bread), are they to refrain from the species which they could take because they cannot take the other?

Do you consider that to be true, even at the Liturgy of the PreSanctified Gifts?

The Roman Church actually does receive under both forms currently. This change occurred since Vatican II.

  1. The RCC started using the wafer only after the heretic Jan Hus promoted the heresy that each form of Communion was only part of Christ and that all of Christ was not present in the form of Bread or in the form of Wine.

  2. To combat the heresy they proclaimed the faithful only receive the Host in order to emphasize both are fully Christ

3.I don’t know what Roman church you attended, but nearly every single one I’ve seen has given the faithful both the “wafer” and the “wine”. Only those following the Extraordinary rite do not receive the wine.

The Orthodox churches do not always commune the faithful with consecreted wine. Such as during the Liturgy of pre-sanctified gifts.

My church normally offers communion under both kinds, but during this flu season the pastor made the decision that we should not “share one cup” so communion is offered to the congregation only as the Body of Christ (of course the priest still has both kinds, as pointed out above). Personally I do not like this decision…

Around here nearly all parishes offer both the Host and the Chalice to the laity. Our parish is the only exception that I know of other than the FSSP community - ours only offers the chalice a few times a year such as Easter and Christmas.

I kind of like seeing only one chalice on the Altar, but maybe it’s just because I’m used to it (and I can’t receive yet anyway). It also means we have few, sometimes zero, EMHCs (never any at daily Mass).

During the celebration of the EF, is the Body of Christ dipped into the Chalice then given to the communicant? If memory serves me right, this is how I received Holy Communion last time I attended the EF. Maybe I just thought it happened this way :smiley:

God bless,
ZP

This will probably answer both your questions…In the Orthodox Church when you receive communion it’s about a half a teaspoon of of wine (and water) along with a small piece of bread within it. So when we receive communion it’s impossible to have one without the other.

As for alcoholics and people with celiac diseases I can not speak to that other than what I wrote above as to the quantity of diluted wine and the small amount of bread.

Thanks

Just a reminder that I don’t intend to offend. I have a respect for the Catholic church. Of all the branches of Christianity the RC and EO are the closest. So what I’m asking is only for my own understanding.

Regarding council of Trent statement that Christ is fully present within both species, if that’s the case then why is it not a valid communion if the priest (as mentioned in
my original post I’ve never seen a RC priest offer the chalice nor a small spoon of wine ever) does not drink wine during the service?

Thanks

Because the Divine Liturgy/Mass re-presents (anamnesis) the Last Supper, among other things. At the Last Supper both bread and wine were transformed into Christ, so the re-presentation of it must also.

For various reasons the chalice (cup) was witheld from the people in the Latin tradition, but the meaning of the Divine Liturgy/Mass never changed. So, for the Liturgy to be True, the chalice had to remain; while the practice of the Liturgy has changed over centuries (in both the East and the West, in various ways), the meaning and reality of it has not. The Latin Church is just as insistant on this point as the East. :slight_smile:

Peace and God bless!

I think you’re getting off point. The previous poster mentioned the council of Trent determined that both species have Christ fully present. If this is so then why does an RC communion need to be valid by having the priest drink the wine? If the wafer and or wine have Christ within each one individually and together, why does the communicant’s communion be contingent on the priest drinking the wine? What is it in that act singly that would make it valid for the communicant, who
didn’t drink of the chalice?

As for your comments that there have been changes in the practices of the liturgy in the East and West, I have to stop you there. What has changed in the East (particularly the Orthodox) liturgy?

The Liturgy is the Liturgy regardless of whether the congregation receives at all. The reason that it is not the true Liturgy if the Priest does not consecrate and receive both the Body and Blood is because in that case it does not make new again the Last Supper. This is no different, fundamentally, than the Eastern practice of the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy; even though only the Body is received, the original Consecration must have been made with both the bread and wine; if you want to think of it in an Eastern context, the Latin Church made the “pre-Sanctified Liturgy” the common mode of reception for some time, but has since gone back to the older practice of full reception at every Liturgy.

As for your comments that there have been changes in the practices of the liturgy in the East and West, I have to stop you there. What has changed in the East (particularly the Orthodox) liturgy?

I can’t begin to list all the details. I recommend reading Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s works on the Divine Liturgy. One difference is that the dismissal of the Catechumens is rarely ever practiced, despite its place in the Liturgy. Another difference is that the Little Entrance used to actually be the first entrance into the church by the clergy, just as it is in the Latin tradition. Yet another change is that the Eucharist used to be received in the hand in the East, but now it is received by spoon. There are more changes, but none of them alter the fundamental meaning of the Divine Liturgy, just the practice of it.

Peace and God bless!

that is a form of intinction. (so is the Byzantine and Coptic practice of immersion).

Intinction is permitted under the EF. It’s not common, however.

Note that intinction is restricted to being done by clerics, and IIRC, priests only under Roman use. (One of the rare cases where a Byzantine Deacon has a faculty a Roman Deacon doesn’t.)

Thanks for the informative post! :slight_smile:

I had no idea that the formal decision to restrict reception to one kind was actually that late.

Is this tied to a specific Papal Bull?

I agree that whomever might have held that opinion was wrong, but I think that the decision to withhold the chalice was precisely the wrong method of driving home the point. In other words, regardless of what anyone thought about it … removing the chalice was a bad call.

I have theory though, that the issue didn’t come up at all until after receiving in both kinds was being withheld.

In other words, I surmise that some of those who objected to the new practice of receiving in one kind only were making various arguments against that, one of these debate points could have been the heresy (of ‘partial’ reception) you attribute to father Hus.

In other words, I have doubts that the ‘mistaken’ idea of partial reception (let’s call it ‘the heresy’) actually even reared up until after the chalice was removed from the laity (at least in some locality, if not universally). People objected with numerous arguments and there was a crackdown.

This would make sense if one considers that no one in the east posited that communion in one kind was like receiving “only part of Christ”. Why? … Probably because no one ever seriously considered restricting it in the east! No proposals to restrict – no objections! No objections – no proposed heresy!

Of course, I am only conjecturing here. I realize that my theory does not conform to the ‘popular’ explanation, but to me it makes sense.

This issue have been particularly acute in Latinized areas of the old Moravian empire (such as Czech Republic), because they were evangelized into the “Methodian Rite” under the disciples of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. Thus they would have certainly had reception in both kinds from the beginning, with a living communal memory of that past and an awareness of the changes.

This has been my experience as well.

However, now that I am in China I am interested to see how the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association does it, I will report back on it if I can. :wink:

On this point, I must say that (from my observation) the Sacred Species are refreshed with new wine, but reserved originally with the Sacred Blood, so it is present.

Hopefully someone else can correct me if I err.

Thanks for the informative post! :slight_smile:

I had no idea that the formal decision to restrict reception to one kind was actually that late in date.

Is this related to a specific Papal Encyclical or Bull?

I agree that whomever might have held that opinion (that “each form of Communion was only part of Christ”) was probably wrong, but I think that the decision to generally withhold the chalice from the laity was precisely the wrong method of emphasizing the point. In other words, regardless of what anyone thought about it … removing the chalice from general reception was a bad call.

I have theory though, that the issue didn’t come up at all until after receiving in both kinds was being withheld.

In other words, I surmise that some of those who objected to the new practice of receiving in one kind only were making various arguments against that, one of these debate points could have been the heresy (of ‘partial’ reception) you attribute to father Hus.

In other words, I have doubts that the ‘mistaken’ idea of partial reception (let’s call it ‘the heresy’) actually even reared up until after the chalice was removed from the laity (at least in some locality, if not universally). People objected with numerous arguments and there was a crackdown.

This would make sense if one considers that no one in the east posited that communion in one kind was like receiving “only part of Christ”. Why? … Probably because no one ever seriously considered restricting it in the east! No proposals to restrict – no objections! No objections – no proposed heresy!

Of course, I am only conjecturing here. I realize that my theory does not conform to the ‘popular’ explanation, but to me it makes sense.

This issue could have been particularly acute in Latinized areas of the old Moravian empire (such as Czech Republic), because they were originally evangelized into the “Methodian Rite” under the disciples of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. Thus they would have certainly had reception in both kinds from the beginning, with a living communal memory of that past and an awareness of the changes as they occurred.

This has been my experience as well.

However, now that I am in China I am interested to see how the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association does it, I will report back on it if I can. :wink:

On this point, I must say that (from my observation) the Sacred Species are refreshed with new wine, but reserved originally with the Sacred Blood, so it is present.

Hopefully someone else can correct me if I err.

In Christ,
Michael

Interesting question. Valid but possibly not licit. Both species must be consecrated at every Mass for the Mass to be valid, there is no specification as to the quantity of wine and provision is made, with permission from their ordinary (bishop) for alcoholic priests to use mustum. There is no reason they would not commune under both species, having just said, in persona christi, “Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.”

General Instruction of the Roman Missal 158. After this, standing and turned toward the altar,** the priest says quietly, Corpus Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Body of Christ bring me to everlasting life) and reverently receives the Body of Christ. Then he takes the chalice,** saying quietly, Sanguis Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Blood of Christ bring me to everlasting life), and reverently receives the Blood of Christ.

(You don’t say where you are located. I’m in the US and have not been to Mass outside the US.)
General Instruction of the Roman Missal # 281.(confirmed for use in the Dioceses of the United States) Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clear expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the relationship between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Father’s Kingdom.105*
*105. Cf. Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium, On the worship of the Eucharist, 25 May 1967, no. 32: AAS 59 (1967), p. 558.

As others have mentioned during this flu season the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published precautions and many, I think most for what I’ve seen posted, US bishops have recommended to the priests of their diocese to not offer the Precious Blood during this flu season. The only other time I’ve been present at a Mass in the US where the priest does not offer the Precious Blood to the faithful was in a parish with an immigrant priest from Eastern Europe who also didn’t allow female altar servers and had various aspects of the Mass that were as close to the Extraordinary Form as one could get in an Ordinary Form of the Mass. The Daily Mass shown on EWTN offers the faithful only the Precious Body.

Also, typically only the Precious Body is offered to the faithful at huge Masses, with thousands of participants where it would be very difficult to guarantee the safety of the Precious Body in the crowds.

Alcoholic priests are permitted, with permission of their Ordinary (Bishop) to consecrate mustum; canonists and theologians consider mustum valid matter for Eucharist but is gravely illicit “except in necessity”.

Can 924 §3. The wine must be natural from the fruit of the vine and not spoiled.

Persons who suffer from celiac disease may be given permission from the ordinary to receive communion in the form of bread which is low in gluten content. In fact, so called ‘gluten-free’ wafers have been found by scientists to contain trace amounts of glaidin and would therefore be valid matter. Sacraments: Initiation, Penance, Anointing of the Sick. Bread without any gluten is invalid matter.
And of course receiving the Precious Blood alone is perfectly acceptable.

Ok going back to one of the previous posters comment on the Council of Trent where it was stated the Christ is fully present in each species individually, from what I know both the RC and EO believe in full transubstantiation (EO would be the chalice that would contain both bread and wine) why would the notion of transubstantiation not apply to a communicant receiving the host (wafer) only and the priest not drinking the wine?

I don’t mean to press on the issue but I would really get someone’s understanding of this.

Thanks again.

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