Dunk the host, the Chalice is gross!


First of all, my Mother in Law accuses me of not having faith when I mention bacteria, so let me make it clear: It is entirely possible that the Blood of Christ, due to being a supernatural force, is immune from disease and cannot carry bacteria, viruses, whatnot. In fact, let’s say it is, the Blood carries no disease from one person to the other.

But the cup., the cup! The cup is not part of Jesus’ body. It carries disease. Every time your lips touch that cup, you get the bacteria and viruses from every single person in that Church. (I would love to know who taught these people that wiping the cup with a cloth somehow sterilizes it)

This is the 21st Century. There are a lot of changes Catholics resist due to not wanting to compromise on their faith, but I really don’t think Germ Theory is one of them. There is no article of faith which requires everyone in a Church to slobber after each other in the same cup in the midst of flu season. As Catholics, we are supposed to keep our bodies healthy, and drinking out of a spittoon is not doing that.

I have seen some Protestant Churches use “shotglasses” but that just seems undignified. The solution, instead, comes to me from our Orthodox brothers. My cousins are Eastern Orthodox and brought me to their service over the weekend. For each person (who was, as is proper, kneeling for the Host) the priest took a host, dunked it in the blood, then served it.

You get the host.
You get the blood
The blood is presented in a dignified, beautiful chalice
You don’t drink the spit of a hundred other people.
Everyone wins!!!

I say let’s go for it. What about you?

(While we’re at it, we can re-adopt the other measures of their service: The priest facing away from us, praying WITH us instead of TO us, and kneeling for the Host. I like lots of the reforms from Vatican 2, especially eliminating the Latin Mass (Listening to a foreign language for an hour is not conducive to a severely ADHD person paying attention)


I have my own reasons for wanting the Latin (or Roman) Church to return to intinction, none of which have a shred to do with Germ Theory (and yes, I am planning on becoming a physician). Now that you mentioned it, that is kind of nasty.

All this being said, the Byzantine and Maronite Catholics (among other Eastern Catholics; the BCs are the Catholic equivalent of the EO) also use intinction, as well as Roman Catholics in the Anglican Use parishes (at least mine does).


This is known as intinction and is an acceptable form of communion in the Roman Catholic Church. Each bishop will decide for the diocese whether this practice (or other forms of communion) will be allowed.

Noting that the priest dunks the host in the challice and serves directly onto the cummunicants tongue. Self-intinction by the laity is not allowed.

Of course, if you have concerns about contamination, and instinction is not the norm in your diocese, then you may forego the challice. We hold firmly that Christ is fully present in either form of communion.


Thanks for the theology lesson! I’ll have to ask my cousins if they know what the term is. They just called it dunking. I like words like Intinction and Defenestration which are just so specific they hardly ever get used in everyday conversation.

And yes, at the Orthodox Church the Priest dunked the host, not the celebrant. (I don’t think “Intincted” is a word).

I discussed this issue with a Catholic Theologian, as I was worried my forgoing the Blood meant I was giving up part of communion, but he assured me that they were BOTH “the body and blood of Jesus”. Oddly enough, most people I tell this to will believe me, EXCEPT my mother-in-laws extremely devout family. They were raised believing it was “the body” and “the blood”, and as Traditional Devout Catholics, if they’ve believed something their whole life, they aren’t going to go change their beliefs just because some “young” kid pointed out that it was wrong. Whether or not their belief actually is wrong is irrelevant to this fact.

I do like receiving the Blood though and may write a letter to my Bishop asking if it is allowed in our area. Through searching, there are apparently FOUR ways in which the Blood may be distributed:

The Chalice
A straw
A Spoon

Although the last two do not, again, seem very dignified. Also I noted that shot glasses are not an option.


Actually, that is not possible, no. You are incorrect in your reasoning. The sacred species are not immune from disease because think about it: if they were immune, then it would be scientifically possible to precisely discern consecrated Eucharist from ordinary bread and wine. It is not possible to discern these physically, so the sacred species must retain all the physical properties of their natural form.

That being said, I sincerely agree with your proposal for intinction. It is a fantastic way to reverently disallow CITH. The only problem is the logistics. First of all, not all parishes want to offer Precious Blood at all, due to cost of wine and risk of profanation and staining of purificators and excess Extraordinary Ministers. Also, intinction is difficult for one minister to accomplish without a specially-made sacred vessel. Also, people are really unfamiliar with this method in the Church today, and so you will get a lot of resistance from people who are simply weirded out by it. But otherwise, I say go for it. Convince your pastor it’s a good idea, I’ll support you.

But please disabuse yourself of the superstition about the sacred species and disease. And seek some professional help, because you are coming across as something of a germophobe.


Intinction is great, and if your pastor goes for it, that’s fantastic.

If he doesn’t, you can still choose to receive under one species, and bypass that chalice altogether. You get Christ in his entirety, body blood, soul, and divinity, whether you receive under one species or both.

In fact, there are people who for health reasons need to only receive under one species, such as A person with a wheat allergy, who may need to avoid the wheat in the host, or people with compromised immune systems who receive only the host, and avoid the germs on the chalice.

And ignore your mother-in-law on this issue. She is being rather silly.


‘‘intinction’’…nice,i learnt a new one today.

In my parish,we don’t always have the Blood, however when we do, it is dunked, and i believe that is better than swapping spit. So i think Intinction is totally acceptable by the church. Maybe you should talk about it with your parish priest.


I’m fairly certain that I’ve gotten a virus through shaking numerous hands at the sign of peace and from drinking from the chalise. I avoid the chalise unless I can be one of the first ones to drink from it.


If the person before me has leprosy I will still drink from the chalice.

My wife doesn’t for the reasons stated above.

There aren’t as many people at my church that shake hands now as it was changed to a sort of wave (hand held up) when that swine flu business was around.


Catholics share a “common cup” (chalice) as part of our tradition.

You never have to take the Blood of Christ from the chalice, as each consecrated host contains the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord.

The Eucharist suffices; the Blood in a chalice sometimes is not offered to the congregation at all.

Communing from the chalice is optional.

If it makes you nervous- - - just don’t do it.


Using the words “dunking” and “gross” when referring to receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord? :eek:

Surely there’s a way to express any concerns, and still be respectful.


I have seen people place the host in the chalice themselves and the priests dont mind at all.

As for catching germs or diseases i like to think that the blood of Christ heals everything it touches there is no need to worry about someone elses spit.

As an EHMC we always wipe the chalice before letting the next person receive.

Plus, when i have given out the Body of Christ you will be surprised how one cant help to touch peoples tongues on the odd occassion!! It is not an automated process! It is done with piety and the love of God.





The priests might not mind but the Church does. It is expressly forbidden.
Redemptionis Sacramentum is clear:

[103.] The norms of the Roman Missal admit the principle that in cases where Communion is administered under both kinds, “the Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon”. As regards the administering of Communion to lay members of Christ’s faithful, the Bishops may exclude Communion with the tube or the spoon where this is not the local custom, though** the option of administering Communion by intinction always remains. If this modality is employed, however, hosts should be used which are neither too thin nor too small, and the communicant should receive the Sacrament from the Priest only on the tongue**.

[104.] The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice,** nor to receive the intincted host in the hand**. As for the host to be used for the intinction, it should be made of valid matter, also consecrated; it is altogether forbidden to use non-consecrated bread or other matter.

So is the GIRM

  1. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a Communion-plate under the mouth, approaches the Priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, with a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The Priest takes a host, intincts it partly in the chalice and, showing it, says, The Body and Blood of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the Priest, and then withdraws.

Unfortunately, self-intinction was done in our parish for years. It led to embarrassment for some of our parishioners when they went to Communion elsewhere and tried to do intinct their own Hosts only to have the EMCH or priest cover the chalice with a hand to prevent it.

We put an end to it by publishing the rules in the bulletin and repeatedly reinforcing the rule verbally, either by announcements or, if we noticed only one or two people starting to do it, by having Father have a chat with them to explain the rule.


Fair enough but who am i to argue with my priest!


I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. If I were to get sick from receiving the Blood of Christ then that is His will and I’d hapily live with it. We don’t need to receive it at any rate because the Blessed Sacrament already contains the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. By the way, we never refer to the Sacrifice of the Mass or the Divine Liturgy as a “service.” That’s a term coined by Protestants to describe whatever they do in church. And you’re very wrong to dislike Latin and call it “foreign.” It is and always will be the language of the Church. It is universal; one could assist at Mass in USA, Latvia, Japan, or wherever and still feel comfortable and at home. We’re much worse off now. You’re also quite misinformed since Vatican II taught that priests need to teach their congregations Latin. It was the “spirit of Vatican II” that killed it later, not the council itself.


No matter what, there is no rule that says one must receive under BOTH species. So, if you are afraid of germs then don’t approach the Chalice for the Precious Blood.



Interesting thing: platinum, silver and gold are antimicrobial agents. Silver, in particular, is highly effective in treating infected wounds (gold may be as well, but with the price of gold…)

Anyway, I am not trying to say this as an enticement for anybody to receive by the cup. But what makes this interesting is the following from the GIRM:
328. Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, then ordinarily they should be gilded on the inside.
(Yes, I know that the USA has a dispensation for other worthy materials…I’m not talking about that…I’m talking about the universal standard)

I say the above as one who never receives by the cup unless duties as a lector pressure me into doing so. But it’s still interesting.


Perhaps you feel much worse off now, but for me, it is entirely the opposite. For me the Mass is so much more meaningful. I constantly find new meaning in the words of the liturgy and the language helps me to raise my mind to God, something that never happened with the Latin Mass, even when I was studying Latin. (Admittedly, I have less than no aptitude for languages, a weakness I share with many other.) Despite my best efforts I constantly became lost in attempting to translate and lost my focus on the Sacrifice or else lapsed into rote and meaningless parroting.

And I never had an opportunity to attend Mass in Latvia or Japan so that was never an issue, nor is it for most Catholics 99% of the time.



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