Receiving the Blood ONLY?


Is there any reason other than gluten intolerance why a person would occasionally just receive the Blood at Sunday Mass? This person sometimes receives the Body too, but other times just takes the blood only, is this allowed? or any other reason for it?

Please don’t say “mind your own business” as I got told once here before because I really want to understand why this happens at my Parish. I’ve never seen it at any other Parish and it makes me confused since I didn’t think it was allowed to only receive the Blood.

Thank you.

  • Rose


Yes it is allowed. Since both species are the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. Partaking in either is the same as partaking in one or both.

As far as why, I would assume a practical reason, like the person has a hard time swallowing the host, they can’t walk far and the cup is closer or line is shorter, etc. There are probably hundreds of reasons if we sit here and think long enough, but you will never know this particular persons reasons unless they tell you.


Why would you think it was not allowed? The only person who must consume both species is the priest.


I think I just thought you had to at least receive the body, but if I’m wrong I’m glad to know!


But you do receive the Body of Christ, even if you only drink from the cup.

Both species, bread & wine, are the BODY, BLOOD, SOUL & DIVINITY of Christ, and as Corki said, only the priest MUST consume both. For the individual in the pew, it is up to them to decide, if the choice is available (not every parish offers both species). That said, not really sure why this is an issue for you.


Most likely this person has talked to the Pastor about this. It is allowed for medical reasons that can include allergies to wheat, swallowing disorders, choking risks and other issues. Receiving the Blood only is not a problem, unless of course the person is using this as a way to get intoxicated. That is a whole other issue.

Leave it to God, your Priest and the person receiving this way.


In the past laypeople did not receive under both species. In the past laypeople did not receive our Lord from the chalice, or in the hand for that matter, but that is a topic for another thread. Please, receive The Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of God on the tongue in order to show Him reverence and respect.


The reception via a single species is permitted whenever that species is offered. No need to talk to one’s pastor, or to receive any type of permission.

If both species are offered, and someone simply prefers to receive only one spices, they need nothing more that to simply prefer to do so.

As mentioned above, the species are identical in Substance. They are the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

If one receives either the smallest particle of the species of bread, or the smallest drop of the species of wine, they receive BOTH the Body and the Blood of Christ.


Your statement is most accurately phrased as the lay people did not CUSTOMARILY receive under both species.

Even under the Tridentine liturgy, it was customary for the newly married at a nuptial Mass to receive from the chalice.

And my parents both made their First Holy Communion receiving both species ( in Ireland in the 1930’s).

While it was not normative, the Church did not have any prohibition on the reception of Holy Communion by the laity via both species.

And that is not even including the example of the Eastern Catholic Churches, where it has always been normative.


Yes, it is allowed. Both speices are the Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Please feel free to reverently receive Communion in whichever manner the Church permits.


In the U.S…America has a special dispensation to allow the faithful to consume both species. Most (if not all, I’m not sure about every country in the world) other countries do not have the opportunity for the faithful to receive both species. In those countries not only is it true that the priest is the only person who must consume both species, but he is also the only person who MAY consume both species.

Peace and all good!


Not in the OF. While it may not be as common in some other countries, there is no “dispensation” needed to allow the faithful to receive under both species. See Redemptionis Sacramentum, a document for the universal Church:

So that the fullness of the sign may be made more clearly evident to the faithful in the course of the Eucharistic banquet, lay members of Christ’s faithful, too, are admitted to Communion under both kinds, in the cases set forth in the liturgical books, preceded and continually accompanied by proper catechesis regarding the dogmatic principles on this matter laid down by the Ecumenical Council of Trent

So, unless a local bishop restricts it, it is permissible for a priest to offer Communion under both species - no special dispensation needed. :slight_smile:


Peace and All Good to all

This was always my understanding as well



I normally receive both species.

But last Saturday night, I simply received from the Cup. I did not receive the Host.


Because I have Celiac. I normally receive a low gluten Host. But the new priest forgot to get them out of the Tabernacle. So, I simply bypassed the priest and went to the EMHC. :shrug:

I bet it looked weird to anyone watching. :o



More precisely, the diocesan bishop can allow Communion under both kinds (beyond those occasions when the universal law already allows it) and the parish priest can then either decide to offer both kinds or not.

See here, number 24:

and GIRM #283.



Correct, dispensation was bad word…but it still is US only, and it is the call of the Bishops…because the allowance was passed to the Bishops, as it should be…and, .I’m sure it is different in the EF, they do their own thing (and, please don’t take that pejoratively, because it was not offered so).


No, it is not “US only”. It is part of the universal instructions for the whole Church. Unless a Bishop restricts it, it is allowed. A priest does not need explicit permission or allowance to offer Communion under both species in any country.


Corki, let’s try this one more time. I guess I have not been clear. It’s not the priest I’m talking about…of course the priest consumes both…I’m talking about the faithful…the universal liturgical norm is that the priest consumes both, but the faithful only receive the body of Christ. American Bishop have been given the authority to decide whether their sheep are to receive both species or only the body of Christ.

The question of the OP is receiving the Blood only OK…it is…in the US…unless you are a priest (and I don’t think the OP is).

Sorry for the confusion.


No, again. The “authority” was not given to the “American Bishops” to decide. It was given to ALL priests in the world to decide. The only exception would be if a Bishop (or conference of Bishops) decided to restrict the cup. And according to Redeptionis Sacramentum, while a Bishops Conference is to issue norms for reception under both kinds as to how it is to be offered, there is not a provision for the conference to disallow it altogether. (Chaper IV, section 4) The universal liturgical norm is that the faithful receive one or both species as offered by the celebrant.

This is not an American thing at all though it is more popular in the US than in some other countries.

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