Eucharist and the flu


Do our priests have the authority to deny us all the Blood of Christ because of the flu? This past Sunday our priest announced that because of concerns brought to him regarding this, the cup would not be offered. I have written him my concern and asked him to reconsider his decision because of my Lenten promise to receive both the Body and Blood during mass. Also because it just seems wrong.I don’t mind switching where I go to mass for the short term but I just feel it is wrong to make a decision based on fear and lack of trust. I just don’t understand how anyone would think that by receiving such a blessed gift it would endanger us. Any help would be appreciated.


As long as you receive under either one species, you receive Body AND Blood, Soul AND Divinity. So the priest is not denying you the Blood of Christ.

The priest always has the option to offer Communion under both species or just one. He doesn’t need a reason but it is nice that he offered you an explanation. :slight_smile:


true…the priest does have the option to only offer one species to the faithful.

also just to let you know…

I work in my churches office, and I know sometimes the church can get directives from the diocese that they are not to offer the cup during flu and cold seasons…it has been done before.

but as long as you receieve under one species you have gotten the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ…so, I would’nt loose sleep over the fact that the chalise was not offered to you!

God Bless,



Thank you for clarifying this for me. Guess I feel a bit sad that I hadn’t spoken up early in the flu season in support of our pastor. Our Pastor’s original talk was on using our better judgement if we are sick or might be sick as to whether or not receive the Blood. But I see your point that he wasn’t denying us the sacrament at all.



it is wrong to make a decision based on fear and lack of trust. I just don’t understand how anyone would think that by receiving such a blessed gift it would endanger u

We have a Sacristan who shares your view.

However, I would say the priest has a duty of care to look after the physical well being of his flock.

Some medical conditions, emphasema being one, flu can be a grave risk to life. We have a duty to protect other more vulnerable communicants.

If we have a cold, or infection it is better not to receive from the Challice and as I receive on the tongue, to refrain from receiving rather than run the risk of someone touching my tongue and passing germs to others.

It is not trusting God, doing things without due regard for others then expecting Him to protect them is ‘putting Him to the test’ which is a mortal sin


There are many in the church that frown of the congregation recieving anyway. I personally think that the requirements regarding the precious blood need to be clearly defined. Offering the cup to more than 3-400 people is NOT a good idea. Of course i have no idea how big your congregation but REDEMPTIONIS Sacramentum states that the cup should not be offered when there is a “large” crowd. It does not define what a large crowd is. I wish it did by giving concrete numbers…


And some of them would criticize Christ Himself if He came down and did it. Given that the discisples on their way to Emmaeus couldn’t recognize Christ as He walked with them, I would not expect anything better from those who carp.

Ah yes, and who would be there to count? “Oh, man, we are one person over today! Pull the extra Chalices; we can’t have any of that!”

My parish manages 3-400 people and more at a Mass and it doesn’t seem to be an issue; and we have not had one identifiable issue of health because of it.

And lest you think we are some sort of lulu liberals, we have had 24 hour Perpetual Adoration for well over 10 years…

The Church says that reception under both Species is a fuller sign; it is what Christ gave to the Church, and we certainly manage it with reverence. And without any liturgy police doing a head count.


At the Lutheran church I occassionally play for, the pastor’s husband stands in the choir loft during the Gathering Song, Kyrie, and Opening Prayer and counts the number of people in the congregation. :ehh:


By making a simple glance both our deacons and priest can very accuarately estimate the number present at mass. They can do this becuase they know how many rows of pews there are and how many people can be seated in them. I have discussed this with all three of them and they are confident they can be accurate to ± 15 people.

I have been requested to do a head count at mass before. It takes about 3-4 minutes in my church.


It is entirely at the pastor’s (or bishop’s) discretion whether to offer communion under both species.

At my parish there are 1000 to 1200 people per Mass for seven weekend Masses; the numbers alone to me are a sufficient reason for not receiving under both kinds.


The bishop of my diocese has before put a ban on the chalice during flu season. No big. I hate it when the person in front of me has been coughing and blowing their nose and then drinks of the Blood. Gross.

Personally, what I do when I am sick, is that I will accept the chalice and venerate it. I raise it to the crucifix and bow my head and then simply hand it back to the EMHC. My parish is very small, so this doesn’t slow anything down and my priest has mentioned that it is a nice gesture. Again, just a personal thing I do when I am sick to avoid infecting everyone else.


Thread Closed - As this is a two year old thread and we currently have a thread running:

Eucharist under both forms - Why not done in every parish

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