Holy communion?

Can someone please clarify the following for me? Our church offers receiving communion via the body and blood of Christ once a month. Many people choose to only receive His body and decline on drinking His blood, which I am assuming is ok?

My main question is in regards to those not choosing to receive his blood. After receiving His body if one chooses not to receive His blood, isn’t one supposed to at least acknowledge His presence with a simple bow or is it ok to just pass by? I had thought that the church asks us to bow regardless of receiving while a friend claims that when the body is received it is perfectly ok to just walk by His presence in the blood? I must admit most people I see do not bow to his blood after receiving His body?

My reasoning is if you were walking down a sidewalk and Jesus was there you certainly would acknowledge him. What does the church teach on this matter, can someone please clarify this for me?


OK, I have another question pertaining to the Eucharist. I’m curious: I’ve been away in Kuwait for a year, & new to the faith, but now I’m pretty much into the swing of things, I know the major things, but now there are things I’m observing that have me wondering. DURING THE EUCHARIST, we get out of our pews. we walk down the center isle, “Body of Christ” “AMEN” consume…bless yourself, & walk across the front to the side & start to head to the BACK to get back to your pew & on your way there are people with the chalice. SOME people elect…ELECT to partake in the “Blood of Christ” and others walk right by it. NOW, my question is WHY are they just walking by the chalice? Is it because they’re not priests? could it be the people that were holding the chalice were women? I mean, it’s a sacrament. it’s right there. My question is why are they CHOOSING not to partake in part of the sacrament, & WHY is the “Blood of Christ” LESS important than the “body” or host??? I don’t get it. Perhaps it’s a germ thing, I don’t know, but the way I see it is, I’m more concerned w. a blessed sacrament as opposed to getting cooties from a chalice. I can understand the FLU season bit, but can THAT many people just be that deathly afraid of germs? The amount of people that just blew past the chalice makes me think otherwise. (I attend mass in a cathedral, things become more obvious)

Whether you receive the Host alone, the Precious Blood alone, or both, you have received Jesus in body, blood, soul, and divinity. So you’re correct that no one is required to receive under both species when they’re offered.

As far as acknowledging or reverencing the Precious Blood when not receiving, this part of the GIRM seems relevant source]:

  1. …When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

It says to make a sign of reverence before receiving the Precious Blood, but doesn’t say to do so if you’re not receiving.

Our priest asks that if we do not receive the precious blood, we should stop and make a slight bow

They are not choosing not to partake in part of the sacrament, not a bit of it. They receive the fullness of the sacrament from the Host alone. They understand that receiving the chalice adds nothing substantive to the sacrament and so choose not to receive.

For many centuries the laity were forbidden to receive from the chalice precisely to cure them of the heretical notions, condemned by the Council of Trent, that receiving the host alone was somehow deficient.

As an analogy - a married couple is every bit as much married if the ceremony is conducted with none of the optional ceremonial. Say, if it’s done on a Wednesday afternoon, with only the priest present (I think he can also serve as witness) and everyone in blue jeans. With no flowers, no music, no expensive gown and tux, no hundreds of admiring lookers-on, no reception afterwards.

Some couples like the additional ceremonial and so will opt for a big wedding with all the trimmings, some will not. The second type of couple is not in any way wrong or at fault for choosing the pared-down mode of celebrating the sacrament.

Because they are not Utraquists?


Thanks for the reply. I guess I will bluntly ask: When receiving the Eucharist in host form and electing not to receive His blood what does the church teach in regards to whether one should bow or not when passing the chalice on the way back to the pews?

I know of no such teaching. It would certainly be a pious act to make a sign of reverence to the Chalice as you pass it, but remember that you are moving in procession at that time, and you might cause an accident with the person behind you if you stop all of the sudden and they’re not aware of what you’re doing.

The blunt answer is that the Church does not appear to give any instruction on this matter. I think it is appropriate to give such a bow, but I don’t fault those who choose not to.

There is also the matter of positioning - in some churches, the minister of the chalice may be stationed further back. So a person turning back toward his seat may not even be close enough to say he is “passing” the chalice. What is the critical distance for that to occur? Who knows, but at present it seems to be a matter of personal discretion.

There is no requirement to receive the Eucharist under both kinds (that is, under the form/species of bread and under the form/species of wine). Whoever receives the Host (or even a fragment thereof) receives the whole Christ, Body-Blood-Soul-and-Divinity. Whoever receives from the Chalice (or even a drop therefrom) receives the whole Christ, Body-Blood-Soul-and-Divinity. If one receives under both kinds, one does not get “more” Christ; if one receives under one kind, one does not “less” Christ.

Receiving under both kinds does not bestow greater grace. It is simply a “fuller sign” which may be helpful for some people and unnecessary for others.

<<For many centuries the laity were forbidden to receive from the chalice precisely to cure them of the heretical notions, condemned by the Council of Trent, that receiving the host alone was somehow deficient.>>

Historically, Christians in the West avoided the Chalice, rather than being forbidden to receive from it.

And Eastern Catholic Churches have always received under both kinds.

I kinda have a problem with that. Jesus took the bread. He took the wine…do this in rememberance of me, WHY would one be more important than the other? Bread. Wine. Both were present. They’re both equally important. I kinda have a problem with that. THIS is a teaching I tend to disagree with. Jesus didn’t tell us the bread or body is more important than the blood that was shed. THe body was broken, the blood was shed, neither one is more sacred than the other. I really cant see how this is possible. Now if the church decides to issue only hosts,& no “blood” that’s one thing, To pass up a part of body & blood because the hosts are more sacred, I have a very hard time with that.

Because it is exactly the same Christ, whole and complete under a different form. If you just received Christ under the form of bread, there is no need, it is optional to receive again under the form of wine.

I think you need to re-read what [user]LilyM[/user] wrote, because that was none of it.


In addition to the fact that the Precious Blood is (under indult I believe) permitted, but not mandatory, we have:

Many parishes where (since it is optional) it is not offered. Therefore, perhaps when people go to visit at a parish where it is offered, they choose not to receive from habitual non-reception? And is it your business to criticize their choice on ANY grounds? I think not.

Many people are sensitive to alcohol. You’ll usually find these people are the most sympathetic to those who (in increasing numbers as the diagnostic tools have become better and more widely available) who suffer from celiac disease and cannot tolerate the Body.

Above all, while the sign is ‘fuller’ under both species, it is ‘complete’ under either.

Rather than become het up over the fact that not everybody receives both–and finding FAULT with them because they don’t share your actually rather incorrect inferences that they HAVE to receive both as offered and are somehow SLIGHTING God if they do not. . .you could quietly educate yourself such that, realizing that it is absolutely no business of yours as to who receives Body, Blood, both or NEITHER. . . you should refrain from even implying that somebody who ‘doesn’t receive the Blood’ is disrespectful, lacking in education, lacking in ‘fullness’ etc.

for myself, i would stop and receive in both specie . UNLESS i had an illness i thought was transmissible…
you see, if i had a cold/potential flu/whatever i would be concerned about giving that to someone. so that is one reason I would abstain.

others do so because they cannot have any alcohol, either because of medication, or problems with it.
because they have weak immune systems and are concerned with catching illness
or because they usually go to a church where only the bread/body is presented to them, and they are uncertain of how to deal with anything else…

many churches do NOT serve the wine/blood to the congregation. (personally having grown up Episcopalian i prefer it in both forms) and i have seen many people who grew up in a “bread only” church not have any idea what to do with that second stop…

as long as the person isnt doing it for bad cause (disdaining the Blood of Christ) its fine.

The Church has never taught such a thing. No one should believe that the Host is more sacred or more important than the Chalice, or vice versa. One who receives only the Host receives the WHOLE Christ, just as one who receives from only the Chalice receives the WHOLE Christ. Both are equally sacred and important to the point that the Church has declared the doctrine of concomitance: in the Host and in the Chalice are found the whole Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

then why the wine at all? Cant we read or listen about the wine but not necessarily have a chalice?

SO, if this is true, (and I’m not trying to be argumentative) I’m a catholic myself, lol…but now that we’ve esablished the fact that both items, (body, blood, bread, wine) are sacred, & we get the fullness of either one, then what would be wrong with me bypassing the host altogether and going straight to the chalice? If I can receive just as much of Christ in one, and equally as much as the other, then if it’s ok to elect to pass by the chalice, then there should be no harm in passing the bread & going for the chalice. Both are equal in their sacred nature. One doesnt have more Christ than the other, …again, I’m not being one of “THOSE” people, but I just want to understand it. In theory I should be able to pass by the host & drink the “blood of Christ” and receive the same thing as some one who just ate the host.

Because Christ instituted His great Sacrament under both forms, bread and wine, that is why the Church continues to celebrate it with both forms. Only the celebrating priest is required to receive under both forms. The laity are not required to do so – in fact, the laity aren’t required to receive Communion at any given Mass.

The Eucharist must be confected by the priest under both kinds, or else he sins very gravely.

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