On recieving the body and/or blood

Dh and I are having a discussion as to whether one should recieve both the body and blood at Holy Communion, or just the body (or just the blood). I usually only recieve the host, by pass the EMHC with the chalices and go back to my place and make my thanksgiving. This is because I believe I recieve body soul and Divinity of Christ in the host, and because I am usually enthralled by the living Jesus in my body, and to be honest, don’t want to be interrupted in my thanksgiving to recieve Jesus again.
DH says that Jesus told us to eat his body and drink his blood, and so we must recieve under both kinds.Also up until recently,one could only recieve the host during Mass.
Our discussion stems from an incident last week, when our down’s syndrome son made a grab for the chalice, while he was with DH, and spilt some of the precious blood on the floor.This is not the first time he has done this. I suggested it might be prudent to avoid the chalice in future, if of course we couldn’t take it in turns to recieve, leaving said son in the pew.
Am I wrong?

First, there is no moral directive that one “should” receive Holy Communion at every Mass. There is a precept of the Church to receive Holy Communion at least once per year though, and of course we are encouraged to receive Holy Communion frequently. So, since there is no directive that one “should” receive Holy Communion, the Church certainly does not dictate that we must receive one or the other, or both (but note again that in many parishes, only the Body of Christ is offered to the laity).

There is a small error in your post, where you say you believe you receive Body, Soul, and Divinity of Christ in the Host. This is true, but you also receive His Blood when you receive the Host. This fulfills Jesus’s words that we are to eat His flesh and drink His blood.

Also, with regard to your feelings about receiving Jesus “again” in the chalice, we would not say that you are receiving Him “again”, but instead receiving the host and the chalice is a fuller expression of one rite. You are certainly at liberty not to receive from the Chalice, or for that matter, of the Host; each are the full and entire Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord. But, for the reason just above, you are certainly free to receive both, if it is the custom of your parish, and perhaps you could hold your praise for just another minute until you have received this fuller expression.

Now regarding your son, does he receive Holy Communion in the species of bread? It does seem prudent for him to avoid the chalice for now. Would it be possible to explain to him that he should not reach for the chalice?

My son is too young to have made his first communion, but often goes up for a blessing. He needs to be held, hence why he has made a grab for the chalice in the past.

don’t forget that Christ is indivisible. so receiving one species of communion would be receiving Christ in His entirety

the commandment to eat His body and drink His blood is fulfilled by the priest, as the priest is the only one required to receive both species at ever mass

This erroneous belief describes the utraquist heresy, the combat of which is among the reasons why the faithful were limited to receiving under a single species for a time.


Per Choy:

don’t forget that Christ is indivisible. so receiving one species of communion would be receiving Christ in His entirety

That is what the priest told me when I converted from the Anglican community.
The other reason given by a friend was the practical one, as illustrated by your post (in this case your young son spilling the Precious Blood.) It is easier to pick up the Host should it fall.

As paragraph 1377 of the Catechism states, “Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.” Receiving under both species may have a higher symbolic value, but it has no different spiritual value, just as taking a smaller or larger sip from the cup or using a wafer versus a piece of real bread makes no spiritual difference to the Sacrament. Thus celiacs who do not receive the bread, and alcoholics who do not take the cup, are not in any way denied any part of Christ in the Sacrament. By receiving under either species, you are fulfilling the command to eat his body and drink his blood.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.