I’m not Catholic, but I happily attend a Catholic Church every Sunday I can. I enjoy the liturgy, and the great respect for the Eucharist; however I noticed something today that was odd. Almost half the congregation did NOT drink from the cup.
What was this? I was utterly confused, and so was my girlfriend. We just kind of sat there wondering why they’d partake of the body, and not the blood. It doesn’t seem complete
Catholic teaching is that a person receiving the consecrated host receives the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord. Receiving from the chalice is not necessary. A person who receives under both species does not get “more Jesus”.
The entire body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of bread. A Catholic communes entirely with God with “just” the host, no less than the Catholic who communes with God through the consumpton of both species (or appearances) of bread and wine.
As the previous two posters mentioned, it is “complete” by receiving the consecrated host alone. Since it is entirely optional, here’s my reason: I don’t find it particularly healthy for us all to be drinking from the same cup, especially during the winter, when the flu is running rampart in my northern climate. That’s why I don’t (or at least, I don’t in the winter).
Although interestingly, yesterday I was at a Catholic wedding where 2/3 of the people were not Catholic. Knowing there was a large non-Catholic contingent watching, I did receive both, so as not to arose suspicions like this
It is important to show reverence and I can understand why a non-Catholic might think skipping the cup is not reverent. But trust us, it’s not
From the Vatican, 2011:For modern generations, the Council of Trent may not have been mentioned in their doctrinal formation which emphasizes that “nothing is lost by the body being received by the people without the blood: because the priest both offers and receives the blood in the name of all, and the whole Christ is present under either species” (Summa Theologiae, III, q. 80, a. 12, ad 3). So, under the species of bread there is also present, by concomitance, the precious blood.
The purpose, then, of receiving Holy Communion under both kinds, is not that the faithful receive more grace than when they receive it under one kind alone, but that the faithful are enabled to appreciate vividly the value of the sign. Sadly, this distinction has not always been made clear and some people, when not offered Holy Communion under both kinds, have expressed a sense of bewilderment, even thwarted entitlement, or a feeling that Holy Communion under one kind alone was, to some extent, deficient. vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/details/ns_lit_doc_20110601_comunione_en.html
The bread and wine are accidents. The essence of bread is bread and the essence of wine is wine. After the consecration, the essence has changed but not the accident.
CONCOMITANCE. The doctrine that explains why the whole Christ is present under each Eucharistic species. Christ is indivisible, so that his body cannot be separated from his blood, his human soul, his divine nature, and his divine personality. Consequently he is wholly present in the Eucharist. But only the substance of his body is the specific effect of the first consecration at Mass; his blood, soul, divinity, and personality become present by concomitance, i.e., by the inseparable connection that they have with his body. The Church also says the “substance” of Christ’s body because its accidents, though imperceptible, are also present by the same concomitance, not precisely because of the words of consecration.
In the second consecration, the conversion terminates specifically in the presence of the substance of Christ’s blood. But again by concomitance his body and entire self become present as well. (Etym. Latin concomitantia, accompaniment.)
ESSENCE. What a thing is. The internal principle whereby a thing is what it is and not something else. Sometimes essence is said to be the same thing as being, but being merely, affirming that a thing is, without specifying its perfections. Essence is not quite the same as nature, which adds to essence the notion of activity, i.e., nature is the essence in action. Or again essence is substance, but not all essences are substantial because accidents also have an essence. (Etym. Latin essentia, essence, being.)
SUBSTANCE. A being whose essence requires that it exist in itself. It is an ens per se (a being by itself) or ens in se (a being in itself). It is commonly distinguished from an accident, whose essence is to exist in another, that is, in a substance. (Etym. Latin substantia, that which stands under, principle, foundation.)
**ACCIDENTS. **Things whose essence naturally requires that they exist in another being. Accidents are also called the appearances, species, or properties of a thing. These may be either physical, such as quantity, or modal, such as size or shape. Supernaturally, accidents can exist, in the absence of their natural substance, as happens with the physical properties of bread and wine after Eucharistic consecration.
The fact remains body or blood, the contain the same grace equally. Say you’re a kid that has your first communion but you don’t like the taste of wine? Should you still be forced to drink it because you can? The Church doesn’t force it. The fact that you partake of any part of Jesus (body or blood) is what’s important.
Please keep in mind that only the Church has the authority to correctly interpret Holy Scripture, which the Church herself assembled, not any individual. Also, the practice of when, where, how and to whom of consuming the Holy Sacrament is an issue of discipline, which again only the Church has the authority to set, not any individual.
Understand that the chalice being offered to the people is a new thing for Catholics in this century. For nearly a thousand years it had not been offered for a variety of reasons. It is still not offered everywhere, and was only phased in very gradually, beginning in the 1970s, at first under only very restrictive conditions, and then loosened. That, combined with Catholic teaching that has already been cited, amounts to the Op’s observations.
I understand that we trust in the Tradition our father have passed down before, but I was not raised Catholic, thus I still have issues wrapping my head around some dogma’s I don’t understand.
The verse from Corinthians helped me better understand it; however why even offer the cup if it doesn’t really do anything? Is it just symbolizes stead fast faith? When I was reading on uscatholics.com it made it seem like a person “gets more” from drinking from the cup.
And to head off this thread going off on a tangent…some have full faith that the blood of our Lord would not harm the congregation. However, the cup or chalice is fair game for transmission of germs, and wiping it with a cloth is not sufficient. Nicceria menengititis can hitch a ride on a liquid molecule or by contact with a metal cup.
That is why my microbiologist wife and myself only receive the host. Just our personal choice.
I drink if it is present in both species but have only had the chance to do so about 4 times. I elected not to one of those times because the person who drank from the chalice first and was serving was coughing. Maybe it wasn’t a valid reason but I am a little bit of a germophobe.
Because the one who needs to take both is the PRIEST (not the laity). It is the priest who offers the consecration and by whose words the wine becomes Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and the Bread Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
The Priest is called to eat and drink both (and he does). WHEN the priest offers the consecration, BOTH the chalice and host will contain ALL of Christ.
BEFORE the priest does the consecration there is simply wine (representing blood) and bread (representing flesh) but AFTERWARD it is all one. AFTERWARD each ‘species’ (wine/blood and bread/body) contain every single particle of Christ 100%.
Do you really think that the Christians over a period of hundreds of years somehow have been only eating the Body? Do you know anybody whose Body does not contain blood as well?
Very very few only take the chalice (celiac is a disease really only explored in modern times).
Christ’s glorified body contains His Blood and His Blood contains His Body. He is all ONE. If we were to take a single ‘particle’ of Christ somehow it would be ‘all’ Christ.