Eucharist Cup/Bread


#1

Hello: I am new to this and I hope I’m in the right place. I had questions about the Catholic Eucharistic celebration…

Why are Catholic celebrants denied the cup and given only the host? In Protestant traditions the cup and body are shared by all. Why the difference? I wonder how this all got started. Christ said, drink and eat not just eat.


#2

[quote=Yesh33AD]Why are Catholic celebrants denied the cup and given only the host?
[/quote]

In Catholic terminology, the word “celebrant” usually refers to the priest (who MUST partake of both the Host and the Cup).

In Protestant traditions the cup and body are shared by all.

This is actually the present ordinary practice (since Vatican II) for Catholics as well, so we are in agreement in this practice.

Prior to Vatican II, however, it was not common to offer the Cup to the Laity. The reason dates back to an old heresy.

The Chuch teaches a doctrine called “concomotance,” which means that Jesus is FULLY present under both Species, Bread and Wine (because you can’t consume “half of Jesus”). So, according to Catholic theology, you could consume only the Host (or only the Cup) and receive the “full Jesus.”

Centuries ago, some folks tried to assert that both Forms were *necessary *for valid reception. To help supress this heresy, the Church began to withold the Cup. The tactic worked, and the heresy was supressed. The Cup was restored to the Laity (by Vatican II) once the Church decided there was no longer a valid pastoral reason to withold it.

There may be pastoral reasons not to offer the Cup even in post-Vatican II days. Notably if the priest has nobody to assist him with distribution, and it would be impractical for him to try to offer both forms by himself (this would be more common at a weekday Mass than a Sunday Mass).

Few Catholics would argue that Communion under both Forms is preferable. However, it is absolutely not necessary, as Jesus cannot be divided.


#3

In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?


#4

[quote=Yesh33AD]Hello: I am new to this and I hope I’m in the right place. I had questions about the Catholic Eucharistic celebration…

Why are Catholic celebrants denied the cup and given only the host? In Protestant traditions the cup and body are shared by all. Why the difference? I wonder how this all got started. Christ said, drink and eat not just eat.
[/quote]

Historically offering only Holy Communion under the form of bread to the faithful was done to combat the error that stated Communion was incomplete if not received under both forms.


#5

Jesus is present body, blood, soul, and divinity in the host and the cup. Recieving one and not another is no less. You can’t seperate a person- he is wholly present in both.

Because of constraints on room (if you have 100’s of people, that’s a lot of wine to consecrate), local illness (flu, anyone?) and other obstacles which can be specific to parish/diocese, sometimes only the hosts are offered to the faithful, although the priest consecrating will still recieve both species.


#6

[quote=rayne89]In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?
[/quote]

In Australia I’ve attended mass at a few different Churches where the wine has not been offered, I think because of lack of help to hand it out from the look of things.


#7

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Historically offering only Holy Communion under the form of bread to the faithful was done to combat the error that stated Communion was incomplete if not received under both forms.
[/quote]

Br. Rich: How does mandating a practice, such as denial of the Cup, prove or disprove anything? Joe


#8

[quote=jco2004]Br. Rich: How does mandating a practice, such as denial of the Cup, prove or disprove anything?
[/quote]

If I may reply on Br. Rich’s behalf…

It doesn’t “disprove” anything (nor did the good Brother claim it did). But it puts the Church on the field of battle against the heresy. The Church basically says, “OK, buddy, you say that reception under both Kinds is necessary. Well, tell ya what - we’re not even gonna OFFER the Cup to the laity any more. Now whatcha gonna do?” The battle lines are now drawn.

The tactic makes it impossible for the heresy to continue within the Catholic Church. The heretics must either conform or leave, since they are unable to obtain (what they consider) “valid” reception within the Church. Either way, the heresy is supressed (as it indeed was), or at the very least, removed from the realm of the Faithful.

It was a clever tactic, and it worked (and in a peaceful manner).


#9

Your question shows some misapprehension about Catholic practice. The celebrant is the priest, who must consume both the Body and the Blood of the Lord. The congregation may receive under one or both species, as Christ is truly, entirely present, undivided, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in both species, under the appearances of both the consecrate bread and wine. The chalice may be offered to the congregation, but it is not required. Either way, the communicant receives Jesus Christ.


#10

[quote=rayne89]In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?
[/quote]

I think it depends a lot on where you live. In both Venezuela and Colombia, where I have spent a lot of time, they never offer the cup to the faithful at regular Masses (they might at special occasions such as weddings, as we did here in the US in the “old days”).

Back here in the US: At my own parish, we do not have the cup at daily Mass and neither is it offered at the Masses at my kids’ Catholic school.

As for “denied” this was an old disciplinary practice of the Church which developed as a response to a heresy as DavidFilmer thoroughly described. Even during those years, it was available on a limited basis.

This is hard for many Protestants to grasp since for many of them Communion is primarily symbolic. The symbolism is surely clearer when you receive under both kinds. But for Catholics, the symbolism is a distant secondary aspect of Communion. The real role is Sacramental and sacramentally Jesus is entirely “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity” in even the smallest crumbs or drops.


#11

[quote=rayne89]In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?
[/quote]

I’ve lived in in Asia for nearly 20 years (in several countries) and in all the countries I’ve attended Mass only the host is offered to those receiving Communion. The priest of course eats and drinks but not the congregation. Of course it is anyway not necessary to drink the wine as receving the host is receiving both the body and blood of Christ.


#12

[quote=Anne G]In Australia I’ve attended mass at a few different Churches where the wine has not been offered, I think because of lack of help to hand it out from the look of things.
[/quote]

Catholics are not offered “wine.” We receive the Blood of Christ. We would generally use the term “administered.” I have never heard it referred to as “handing out.”


#13

[quote=rayne89]In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?
[/quote]

My parish never offers the cup. I don’t consider it problemmatic. I also imagine it’s not offered because of the layout of the Church and it wouldn’t really be possible to stop people from stumbling over each other.

Penitent


#14

[quote=puzzleannie]Your question shows some misapprehension about Catholic practice. The celebrant is the priest, who must consume both the Body and the Blood of the Lord. The congregation may receive under one or both species, as Christ is truly, entirely present, undivided, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in both species, under the appearances of both the consecrate bread and wine. The chalice may be offered to the congregation, but it is not required. Either way, the communicant receives Jesus Christ.
[/quote]

Thank you for clearing up who the “celebrants” and “comunicants” are. My apology. That was helpful and your right, I am not clear on the Catholic practice but now I know!

I watch EWTN all the time and observe the Mass. I find the whole event very beautiful. I found the Mas celebrated during World Youth Day very beautiful. I think much more should be made of the Eucharistic celebrations and all that it means. In some Protestant traditions its just a symbolic memorial. I don’t see it quite that way. There is certainly more to the Eucharist that a symbolic memorial if taking of it unworthily can cause some to fall asleep!

Getting back to EWTN, I note that the congregation/communicants usually recieve the waffer/host and not the wine. AsI read threw most of the responses to my question some answers were helpful. Being a stickler from tradition, I know that the cup and the bread (both) were offered by Christ to the disciples and I know of no other tradition. Can someone please enlighten me again?

Peace and grace,

Yesh33AD


#15

[quote=rayne89]In all my years as a Catholic I have never seen a Mass without both the body and blood being presented to the faithful. Where did you get this information that that Catholics are denied the cup?
[/quote]

I see EWTN all the time. Great programs if I say so myself coming from a Presbyterian backgorund (with heavy Catholic roots though). The communicants do not take the cup, only the Priest does. I just wondered why that is since at our services the entire congregation takes the cup and the wine as we were asked to do by Christ (in my understanding).

I used to word deny (too stong?) but what I mean is that it is not offered to communicants. I hope no one iwas upset. Thanks for your answer. God bless!

Yesh33AD


#16

[quote=DavidFilmer]In Catholic terminology, the word “celebrant” usually refers to the priest (who MUST partake of both the Host and the Cup).This is actually the present ordinary practice (since Vatican II) for Catholics as well, so we are in agreement in this practice.

Prior to Vatican II, however, it was not common to offer the Cup to the Laity. The reason dates back to an old heresy.

The Chuch teaches a doctrine called “concomotance,” which means that Jesus is FULLY present under both Species, Bread and Wine (because you can’t consume “half of Jesus”). So, according to Catholic theology, you could consume only the Host (or only the Cup) and receive the “full Jesus.”

Centuries ago, some folks tried to assert that both Forms were *necessary *for valid reception. To help supress this heresy, the Church began to withold the Cup. The tactic worked, and the heresy was supressed. The Cup was restored to the Laity (by Vatican II) once the Church decided there was no longer a valid pastoral reason to withold it.

There may be pastoral reasons not to offer the Cup even in post-Vatican II days. Notably if the priest has nobody to assist him with distribution, and it would be impractical for him to try to offer both forms by himself (this would be more common at a weekday Mass than a Sunday Mass).

Few Catholics would argue that Communion under both Forms is preferable. However, it is absolutely not necessary, as Jesus cannot be divided.
[/quote]

Very helpful response. I have learned something about your faith which I find full of wonders!

Peace and grace,

Yesh33AD


#17

[quote=Yesh33AD1]Thank you for clearing up who the “celebrants” and “comunicants” are. My apology. That was helpful and your right, I am not clear on the Catholic practice but now I know!

I watch EWTN all the time and observe the Mass. I find the whole event very beautiful. I found the Mas celebrated during World Youth Day very beautiful. I think much more should be made of the Eucharistic celebrations and all that it means. In some Protestant traditions its just a symbolic memorial. I don’t see it quite that way. There is certainly more to the Eucharist that a symbolic memorial if taking of it unworthily can cause some to fall asleep!

Getting back to EWTN, I note that the congregation/communicants usually recieve the waffer/host and not the wine. AsI read threw most of the responses to my question some answers were helpful. Being a stickler from tradition, I know that the cup and the bread (both) were offered by Christ to the disciples and I know of no other tradition. Can someone please enlighten me again?

Peace and grace,

Yesh33AD
[/quote]

I’m glad we could be of some help, Yesh.

Sometimes the cup may be offered but you simply may not be aware of it—let me explain: in some parishes (my own, for example) the Priest and Eucharistic ministers dip the host into the blood before giving it to the individual. This is called “intinction”. You might not notice that it’s being done, if you’re watching this on TV.

In any case, both the host and the cup contain ALL of Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. One is not getting “more” Jesus by partaking in both species, or receiving “less” Jesus if one is only receiving the host. It was partly to underscore that reality that the Church gave out only hosts, though there are other reasons (for example, in some churches with large congregations, it might be too cumbersome to have both species offered.


#18

Well guess it depends on where you live then. I’ve always seen both offered. That being said Jesus is present fully in both species. Growing up our family never partook of the cup (my mom is some what germ phobic.) At the parish I’m at now the priest dips the host into the blood (intinction) so we get both.


#19

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