Sometimes I see people dip the host to avoid drinking from the cup at mass. Is this allowed?
The following is an excerpt from Jimmy Akin’s book Mass Confusion:
Communicants may not pick up the sacred Host from the ciborium or the sacred chalice from an altar or table. Inaestimabile Donum states:
Communion is a gift of the Lord, given to the faithful through the minister appointed for this purpose. It is not permitted that the faithful should themselves pick up the consecrated bread and the sacred chaice, still lesss that they should hand them from one to another [ID9].
The same concern that individuals do not self-communicate is expressed in the U.S. bishop’s directory, This Holy and Living Sacrifice: Directory for the Celebration and Reception of Communion under Both Kinds, which was approved by the Holy See in 1984. It states:
The chalice may never be left on the altar or another place to be picked up by the communicant for self-communication (except in the case of concelebrating bishops or priests), nor may the chalice be passed from one communicant to another. There shall always be a minister of the cup. [HLS 46].
A special case of self-communication involves Communion by intiction. Even though the communicant may have been handed the Host by the priest, the communicant may not dip it into the chalice, but must give it to the deacon or other minister to be dipped in the Precious Blood on his behalf. Following this, he must receive on the tongue rather than in the hand:
Reception of the Precious Blood…by intinction may remove the communicant’s legitimate option to receive Communion in the hand or, for valid reasons, not to receive the consecrated wine. However, if Communion is given by intinction the communicant may never dip the Eucharistic bread into the chalice. Communion under either the form of bread or wine must always be given by a minister with the usual words ibid.,52].
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