The Blood of Christ


#1

I'm just curious to ask (I mean to offend no one) does anyone else notice a certain relegation to a second tier of the Blood in the Latin Church? I couldn't help but notice this. Obviously in certain churches where intinction is practiced reception of the Blood is unavoidable and unproblematic, but I went to a Latin grammar school and high school and always heard things like the cup is dirty - unhealthy, etc. or someone's parents wouldn't permit their child to receive the Blood because it is alcoholic.

Does it not trouble anyone else that there is such scrutiny placed on the Drink of Life that has been given to us for the remission of sins and new life? Are these all anecdotal or have other people noticed a certain disrespect to the chalice?


#2

I'm a convert to Catholicism, so I don't have a long history with Communion, but I can say it does bother me that some people feel the Chalice could be unsanitary. I have also been to several Masses where the Cup has not been offered. That seems VERY strange to me.


#3

I guess I've never thought of it, as both the 'bread' and 'wine' contain the whole Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ I don't think of them separately.

When I hear of persons who think of the chalice as unsanitary I shrug it off as their loss in the full experience of the meal but nothing more than that. I feel the chalice is probably more sanitary than receiving on the tongue as I've often enough had a finger (priest or EMHC) touch my tongue when receiving that way. This doesn't stop me from receiving on the tongue or from the chalice - I figure the Lord will protect me.


#4

If intinction was the norm, I don't think this would be an issue. For the record, no, I don't routinely experience these complaints, but they exist.


#5

I infer that you know the Latin Catholic Church's theology regarding receiving under one sacred species.

As far as the chalice being unhealthy I think it's a cultural issue. In some places people have gone too far in their fear of 'bugs'. When I receive from the chalice I simply trust in the Lord's protection. I'm not sure what people fear they will catch from the chalice.

As for the alcoholic content: well I know more than one altar boy (me included:o) who's swiped a swig from the bottle of unconsecrated wine. A far greater quantity than is taken from the chalice. My parents never noticed and they were rabidly anti-alcohol.


#6

My home parish in Fairfax VA and near work on Capitol Hill in DC do not offer the Blood of Christ - so it is not an option.


#7

[quote="Bergon, post:5, topic:334502"]
I infer that you know the Latin Catholic Church's theology regarding receiving under one sacred species.

[/quote]

Yes, but if in the scenario there was a lot of wine and only a very small piece of bread I'm sure less people would receive from the chalice and feel that they weren't communed. The entire optionality of the chalice makes me a bit uneasy (but your remark about the extra swig was comical :p).

And I totally agree with you YoungTradCath, thank God it is the norm for the Maronite Church in the US.


#8

[quote="MorEphrem, post:7, topic:334502"]
Yes, but if in the scenario there was a lot of wine and only a very small piece of bread ...

[/quote]

I can't say with any finality that this wouldn't happen however I can't imagine it happening, i.e. little bread but lot's of wine.


#9

[quote="Bergon, post:8, topic:334502"]
I can't say with any finality that this wouldn't happen however I can't imagine it happening, i.e. little bread but lot's of wine.

[/quote]

I only could think of such a scenario because it was related to me by a family friend once who was a missionary (with the Comboni) in Africa 50 years ago and there was a very bad wheat crop but that had a lot of wine from somewhere. But my point was there's a certain lower reverence held for something that is equal to the Body.


#10

[quote="MorEphrem, post:9, topic:334502"]
But my point was there's a certain lower reverence held for something that is equal to the Body.

[/quote]

I don't think there's less respect for the Chalice. At least, that's not my personal experience.


#11

[quote="MorEphrem, post:1, topic:334502"]
Does it not trouble anyone else that there is such scrutiny placed on the Drink of Life that has been given to us for the remission of sins and new life? Are these all anecdotal or have other people noticed a certain disrespect to the chalice?

[/quote]

It's not disrespect, it's the awareness that we are not receiving less by receiving under the species of bread alone. The symbol of the meal is fuller under both species but Communion itself is not.

Some people will not share a drink with their spouse or children, how much less likely are they to share the Chalice with the parish? Regardless of what your faith may be there is a reason why Communion from the Chalice is often discontinued during flu season and why we are urged not to receive from the Chalice if we know we are contagious.


#12

[quote="Phemie, post:11, topic:334502"]
It's not disrespect, it's the awareness that we are not receiving less by receiving under the species of bread alone. The symbol of the meal is fuller under both species but Communion itself is not.

Some people will not share a drink with their spouse or children, how much less likely are they to share the Chalice with the parish? Regardless of what your faith may be there is a reason why Communion from the Chalice is often discontinued during flu season and why we are urged not to receive from the Chalice if we know we are contagious.

[/quote]

Then it's simply fuller "symbol" to receive both species and nothing more? I find that a very problematic mentality.

And the thing with sickness being spread via the chalice sounds very psychosomatic to me. True if some bacterial sticks to the lip and someone ingests it there's a small chance it will make one sick but it's also not going to be transmitted by the Blood and especially since it's being consumed with the Blood the chances are it will kill any bacteria because wine, especially red wine, is antimicrobial.


#13

[quote="MorEphrem, post:1, topic:334502"]
I'm just curious to ask (I mean to offend no one) does anyone else notice a certain relegation to a second tier of the Blood in the Latin Church? I couldn't help but notice this. Obviously in certain churches where intinction is practiced reception of the Blood is unavoidable and unproblematic, but I went to a Latin grammar school and high school and always heard things like the cup is dirty - unhealthy, etc. or someone's parents wouldn't permit their child to receive the Blood because it is alcoholic.

Does it not trouble anyone else that there is such scrutiny placed on the Drink of Life that has been given to us for the remission of sins and new life? Are these all anecdotal or have other people noticed a certain disrespect to the chalice?

[/quote]

There is no disrespect given to the chalice if Communion is received under one species. When we receive Holy Communion we are not receiving "his body" alone, and then receiving "his blood" six feet away from the chalice. We receive the entire Jesus Christ under each of the species. The chalice contains the whole glorified Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity. The ciborium also contains the whole glorified Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity. The Church in its wisdom leaves the decision to the laity. If it was disrespectful, the Church would tell Catholics we must receive under both species; it doesn't.


#14

There are two factors that may legitimately be at play here. (1) Danger of profanation (2) number of EMHCs. People can be careless. The non-intinction Roman-Rite method of receiving means that we hand the chalice to inexperienced hands for a drink of their own. This really poses a danger of spillage. So ordinaries and pastors may have that concern. Further, the sheer number of EMHCs that are already employed arguably pushes the limits set by Redemptionis Sacramentum. Therefore, it is wise for ordinaries and pastors to restrict their employment such that an army of laity is not required at each and every Mass.

My own parish never offers the cup. My own diocese briefly mulled a very restrictive policy on this, and later recanted. I was kind of saddened. I feel that the chalice should be reserved for moments of particular solemnity, for special occasions, so the fuller sign is more deeply felt.


#15

[quote="MorEphrem, post:12, topic:334502"]
Then it's simply fuller "symbol" to receive both species and nothing more? I find that a very problematic mentality.

[/quote]

It's a fuller sign, not symbol. I know that sounds like semantics but theologically, it is very different. A symbol represents something. A sign IS what it represents. It is the visible experience of the Sacramental reality.

When we receive Communion, the reality is that either host or cup are the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The sign is experienced more fully when we can see both host and cup when we receive Communion.

The Sacramental experience is the same whether one receives one or both species. The visual experience is the only thing that is different. But "fuller" in this use is a qualitative difference rather than one of quantity. It is different but not more.


#16

[quote="Phemie, post:11, topic:334502"]
It's not disrespect, it's the awareness that we are not receiving less by receiving under the species of bread alone. The symbol of the meal is fuller under both species but Communion itself is not.

Some people will not share a drink with their spouse or children, how much less likely are they to share the Chalice with the parish? Regardless of what your faith may be there is a reason why Communion from the Chalice is often discontinued during flu season and why we are urged not to receive from the Chalice if we know we are contagious.

[/quote]

Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics have received from both species by intinction for 2,000 years give or take. I have never heard of infection from the chalice ever, but during the 80s AIDS scare a few parishes used separate spoons. That went away quickly.


#17

Thank you, Andrew. I was just going to comment to Cathryn that while I have no credibility to say the Latin Church is mistaken for splitting communion into "species" that can be administered separately there is something to be said that there has been an extremely strong tradition in the East as to not split the two "species" (save the ACotE, but they're anomalous in many things).

I will not deny that Christ's presence is not fully there in both the bread and wine, but they were given in tandem and there is a reason why this continues to be done. I find it difficult to reconcile the Eastern "necessity" (not quite, but I can't think of a different word) as to not administer one and the other and the Western teaching that one is sufficient.


#18

[quote="MorEphrem, post:1, topic:334502"]
I'm just curious to ask (I mean to offend no one) does anyone else notice a certain relegation to a second tier of the Blood in the Latin Church? I couldn't help but notice this. Obviously in certain churches where intinction is practiced reception of the Blood is unavoidable and unproblematic, but I went to a Latin grammar school and high school and always heard things like the cup is dirty - unhealthy, etc. or someone's parents wouldn't permit their child to receive the Blood because it is alcoholic.

Does it not trouble anyone else that there is such scrutiny placed on the Drink of Life that has been given to us for the remission of sins and new life? Are these all anecdotal or have other people noticed a certain disrespect to the chalice?

[/quote]

The Host is the body, BLOOD, soul and divinity of Christ. You do not need to drink from the chalice to receive the Blood of Christ. That was a heresy long since stamped out.


#19

I have to agree that fear of catching disease from the chalice is irrational. Take the example of AIDS. It only takes a little understanding to know AIDS can't be caught. The virus that causes AIDS, HIV, cannot be passed on that way.

Colds and influenza ('flu) are transmitted by viruses. The best way to prevent their transmission is good hand hygiene. People with colds and 'flu cough, sneeze and splutter onto their hands. Then their hands touch door handles, bannisters, rails, pews, etc. The next person comes along and touches these. They then put their hands near their mouth/nose and so the virus enters their upper respiratory tract. And, people worry about sharing the chalice ...


#20

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