No Body, but the Blood

OK, I’m a lifelong Catholic and I saw something this morning that made me go hmmmm. The woman in front of me receiving Communion did not receive the Body of Christ, instead getting a blessing from the priest. I think, OK, she must be needing to go to confession first and wanted the blessing. But, then she received the Blood of Christ. I know that both Body and Blood are in both species, but I’ve never seen anyone receive only the Blood. Any ideas why? Any theological reason?

I can only think she didn’t understand that if it was inappropriate to take one, the same applies to the other. If there’s another eason, then I’m the one who doesn’t understand.

I would assume that she can’t eat wheat and so receives only the Precious Blood, thats what my cousin does.

See the USCCB site on Celiac Sprue disease (gluten intolerance)

usccb.org/liturgy/celiasprue.shtml

She might also have throat problems or maybe something like strept where she is unable to swallow the Host

If she did have strep I would hope that she would refrain from drinking out of the common chalice.

[quote=Affirmed]If she did have strep I would hope that she would refrain from drinking out of the common chalice.
[/quote]

I tend to view the common chalice as something that would remain virus/disease free. I mean, Jesus is in there, how could it get tainted?

[quote=Lorrie]I tend to view the common chalice as something that would remain virus/disease free. I mean, Jesus is in there, how could it get tainted?
[/quote]

I think this is a matter of personal opinion…even the Church recommends avoiding the chalice during flu season if you are sick or if getting sick would be dangerous to you.

While Jesus IS fully present in the host and chalice, the “accidents” remain. If they didn’t, then one with an allergy/intolerance to wheat could receive with no ill effects.

If you are comfortable receiving the precious blood no matter who received before you, that is great…but some people feel differently, and that is ok too.

Malia

[quote=Lorrie]I tend to view the common chalice as something that would remain virus/disease free. I mean, Jesus is in there, how could it get tainted?
[/quote]

Sorry to hijack this thread, but here’s a link to an e-letter by Karl Keating that addresses this subject. Scroll down to about the third heading:

catholic.com/newsletters/kke_040615.asp

Here are a couple of lines from it:

"The chalice or cup used at Mass is just as likely (or just as unlikely) to transmit disease as is any other cup that is shared among multiple people. The Consecration has no effect whatsoever on this.

Why? Because the Consecration affects only the substance of the wine, not its accidents. After the Consecration, what is in the cup is properly called the Blood of Christ, but it maintains all the outward properties of wine. Moreover, the Consecration has no effect on anything in the cup that is not wine."

she may have had a wheat allergy or celiac disease, as previous poster suggests, or because of medication, aging or other reason unable to swallow the dry host, but can manage the precious Blood. None of my business since I am not a minister of holy communion.

I never even thought of a wheat allergy–that makes a lot of sense. Thanks guys!

[quote=StephanieC]Sorry to hijack this thread, but here’s a link to an e-letter by Karl Keating that addresses this subject. Scroll down to about the third heading:

catholic.com/newsletters/kke_040615.asp

Here are a couple of lines from it:

"The chalice or cup used at Mass is just as likely (or just as unlikely) to transmit disease as is any other cup that is shared among multiple people. The Consecration has no effect whatsoever on this.

Why? Because the Consecration affects only the substance of the wine, not its accidents. After the Consecration, what is in the cup is properly called the Blood of Christ, but it maintains all the outward properties of wine. Moreover, the Consecration has no effect on anything in the cup that is not wine."
[/quote]

Thanks Stephanie! I truly had no idea. :o

When my Mom was receiving radiation therapy, for throat cancer (by the way She no longer has cancer) she was unable to eat any bread - it would just gum up in her mouth, because she was not producing any saliva. So she would receive only the Precious Blood and not the host.

I’m glad to hear that someone has finally mentioned the germ issue (I am considering converting, and have done a lot of reading, and I couldn’t figure out why people didn’t have issues with the cup! and it seemed like it was NEVER mentioned anywhere I was reading so far - so thanks for the link!) Maybe its just me as a protestant who is used to individual cups, or just the fact that my mother is a nurse and so I’m very germ conscious…

Since the accidents remain with the outward appearance as well as chemical properties of wine, wouldn’t the alcoholic content have a certain degree of antiseptic effect?

I don’t receive the Blood if I’m contagious, but others do. I hate to be paranoid about it!

[quote=AmISearching?]I’m glad to hear that someone has finally mentioned the germ issue (I am considering converting, and have done a lot of reading, and I couldn’t figure out why people didn’t have issues with the cup! and it seemed like it was NEVER mentioned anywhere I was reading so far - so thanks for the link!) Maybe its just me as a protestant who is used to individual cups, or just the fact that my mother is a nurse and so I’m very germ conscious…
[/quote]

You may bypass the cup if these issues are of concern to you. I have in 49 years of receiving from a common cup encountered only one occasion when it appeared that anything was passed by the cup – and since it was in my seminary, and all the people who got sick also ate in hall (we married students ate in our homes, and none of us got sick), it is likely that the germs were passed on flatware rather than via the chalice.

Getting back to the original question, whenever the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood are both offered to communicants, the communicant may choose to receive the Sacred Host only, the Precious Blood only, or both. The communicant is not required to state his or her reasons for choosing as he or she does to anyone. The option to receive the Precious Blood only, while possibly the least common way Holy Communion may be received, is not inappropriate for any person qualified to receive Holy Communion.

from: jloughnan.tripod.com/hygiene.htm

Communion from the Chalice and Hygiene

In “Annals Australia” of August 1996 on pp. 8-9, Professor C.K. Broughton wrote:[indent]

"The health implications of receiving Holy Communion from the chalice have been of concern to churches of several denominations. It would be virtually impossible to design a study to confirm beyond doubt the transmission of communicable diseases by the common use of the chalice. In this sense one could say that there is no evidence to indicate such disease transmission; this simply means that such evidence has never been obtained and, in fact, would be almost impossible to obtain.

"What we do know is that a number of human pathogens can be present in saliva or on the lips and that such pathogens can be transmitted to others by means of fomites, that is, inanimate objects contaminated by such pathogens. Amongst such agents can be mentioned Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, Epstein Barr virus (the cause of glandular fever), secondary syphilis, chickenpox virus, various enteroviruses, hepatitis A, B and C viruses, HIV, the diptheria bacillus, haemolytic Streptococcus group A (the cause of acute tonsillitis and sometimes scarlet fever), Candida albicans (the cause of thrush), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycrobacterium leprae, influenza virus, corona and rhino viruses (cause of the common cold), and there are others. The risk of contamination is not confined to the rim of the vessel: small amounts of saliva enter the interior of the vessel and mix with the sacramental wine. There results a soup of organisms.

"The degree of transmissibility of each agent depends on many factors and obviously some are far more communicable than others e.g., influenza and common cold viruses are highly communicable whereas it is unlikely, for instance, that HIV could be transmitted in this way; however, the dose of HIV organisms from a sufferer could be high if there were occult bleeding into the mouth itself as not infrequently occurs. The same remark applies to a number of other pathogens such as hepatitis B and C. Furthermore, wiping the rim of the Chalice does not sterilise and divine intervention cannot be invoked as a sterilant, despite the sanctity of the ceremony.

"Fears are well founded, but as mentioned above, cannot be quantified. However our knowledge of microbiology and hygiene indicate that the common use of any drinking utensils is most unwise. There is legislation in the Public Health Act which forbids any catering establishment from reusing contaminated utensils. Most people would object strongly to a waiter providing them with unused unwashed wine glasses taken from and adjacent table immediately after customers had left. “Many churches have circumvented this problem by providing sacramental wine in a small individual glass to each communicant** 1** or of adopting the use of intincture whereby the wafer is first dipped in wine and then offered to the communicant. I would suggest that these alternatives should be seriously considered.”

F.J.L.'s Footnote 1: This option (“small individual glass to each communicant” ) is NOT an option for Catholics!

F. John Loughnan
September 8, 2004

See "Annals Australasia’s Un-official Home Page
What’s New? at Sean Ó Lachtnáin’s Home Page
Sean Ó Lachtnáin’s Home Page
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