Is inunction? Forbidden in the Catholic Church entirely or just in the Americas? Or does it vary by diocese? I am a EMOHC and at training was told that it was not allowed. Today at mass in another parish (in our diocese) I saw the priest (from SE India) preform it. I was really confused. Is this allowed?


What does ‘inunction’ mean? If you mean intinction it is allowed. All Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches give Holy Communion this way.


I think you mean intinction. I believe it is up to the bishop.

In the Archdioces of Atlanta it is permitted but not encouraged and the decision is left up to the priest-celebrant. The communicant is not permitted to intinct the host himself nor to receive it in the hand. That is Atlanta.

Our pastor has stated that EMHC’s are not allowed to intinct for communicants, that only the priest can do it. The EMHC is to politely request that the communicant either consume the host or give it back and move to the line served by the priest if someone attempts it or asks for it.



I believe that what you’re asking about is intinction.

Yes it is allowed. The GIRM gives the procedure:

  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.

Two things to note. The GIRM specifically says “the priest takes a host…” I’m not a liturgist but this sounds like EMHCs cannot give communion by intinction.

The second thing is that sometimes people want to do it themselves. They receive the host from one minister and take it to the minister with the cup. This is not allowed since self-communication is not permitted.


Do you mean intinction?

A priest may intinct the host, unless the bishop has issued other norms for his particular diocese.

Are you asking if an extraordinary minister of holy communion may intinct? The answer is no.


Yes, intinction.


It is universally permitted afaik.


Intinction is permitted (only done by the priest) but self intinction by the Communicant is forbidden.


As an ordinary minister of Holy Communion, a deacon would presumably be allowed to intinct, yes? Deacons distribute the Host all the time, and I believe are technically considered specifically ministers of the Cup. This of course presumes that the Ordinary has permitted that practice in that diocese / parish.


It would appear not. In the GIRM for distribution of one or both species it talks about priests, deacons, acolytes, and EMHC’s distributing but the section on intinction only mentions the priest.

  1. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a communion-plate under the chin, approaches the priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The priest takes a host, dips it partly into the chalice and, showing it, says, Corpus et Sanguis Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). The communicant responds, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the priest, and then withdraws.


I have had this discussion with the director of worship for our diocese and the only words found on this are from the GIRM sited here. There is nothing that reserves the action of intinction to a “presidential” action; in other words, only for the priest. In fact, if one was to honestly use the logic completely, the bishop is not mentioned either so is he excluded from distributing by intinction as well? I would hardly consider that. And yes, I know the bishop is a priest and he is also a deacon.

From my discussion with Fr. G, the director of Worship for my diocese, the conclusion is yes, ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, bishop, priest & deacon, can distribute by intinction. But there is a catch. There must be adequate safeguards to avoid profanation. If there are multiple stations, there must be multiple intinction “kits”; ciborium, chalice, and paten. There are kits which can be purchased for distribution by intinction which enables a minister to distribute by intinction without help. The people must be catechized for this too. It cannot be expected that the people will automatically know how to receive by intinction; it will cause confusion if started without teaching.

My pastor uses this method in the parish for daily Mass. When I am there I do not distribute because it is a relatively small congregation, 50 or less, and we have only one intinction set.

Most will disagree with me on these statements and I must say it is in all cases up to the diocesan bishop whether the method can be used at all. So I would defer in these discussions to your particular diocese for direction. Please do not go to any one with the proclamation, “but Dcn. Gary from CAF said…” Most diocese/parishes do not employ this method of distribution so there probably has not been much discussion about this; the only reason I have had in depth discussion with the D of W is because my pastor uses the method.


It is allowed, if your bishop allows it, and it is a beautiful way to receive. It lowers the need for EMHC and in many cases would eliminate the need for them at all. I personally think it is a method which is kind of forgotten and should be considered more today. But again, refer to your local pastor/bishop for guidance.


Interestingly, when I did a course in Liturgy at a Canadian university school of theology we were taught that intinction wasn’t allowed in Canada because it removed the choice of receiving in the hand from the communicant, said choice being sacrosanct to hear the prof tell it.

Nothing about this could be found in the Canadian GIRM of the day nor was there anything from the CCCB on the topic. I was left with the distinct impression that people were making up their own rules based on nothing more than their personal preference.

I have to say that I’ve been a member of at least 3 parishes over the years where the only way to receive Communion under both species was for the communicant to intinct the Host him/herself. Nobody in those parishes was allowed to drink from the Chalice except the priest.


Yes the Bishop is a priest so he does not have to be specifically mentioned because he is already included.

The GIRM instructs what is to be done. By default if it is not stated in the GIRM then it may not be done because it would be impossible to have an extensive list of everything that may not be done at Mass.

Also, if intinction is permitted it cannot be in substitution of receiving in the hand. The GIRM clearly states that the option of receiving on the tongue or in the hand is the exclusive choice of the Communicant. That right cannot be taken away.


I understand that this may have been nothing more than the opinion of that individual prof and not the oficial stance of the CCCB but it seems to me that a communicant approaching with outstretched hands rather than an open mouth would easily resolve that issue. The priest could simply place the host in the hand without dipping it in the chalice.


So the pastor can just say he’s doing to save on the expense of wine. :shrug:

I have to ask, since the GIRM allows intinction (as does the USCCB in* #49 Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America)*, does the bishop have to specifically allow it or must he in fact forbid it in his diocese if he doesn’t want it to happen?


Not so. If a communicant presents himself to recieve on the hand he is communicated on the hand before dipping the host. There is no exclusion of communion on the hand just not after the Host is dipped.

Furthermore, there are many thing either in or not in the GIRM that dictate things like this. Its a case of been there done that.


I don’t think he has to specifically say yes. But he must specifically say no to exclude it.


Self intinction by the Communicant is forbidden. The Communicant is not allowed to dip the Host into the Chalice.


I think what Gary is saying is that the priest would simply give the communicant Communion in the hand but in that case there would be no reception of the Precious Blood.

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