The Precious Blood in the Cup


I’m with Debbie. When I went through First Communion many years ago, I was taught that we do not need to make a sign of reverence after receiving the sacrament. When we partake, we become a living tabernacle and carry Jesus inside of us. This makes it redundant to bow, genuflect, or what have you to another vessel like us.


no problem, but look a few posts down, I posted a better translation of the prayer. That first one was me calling it to mind from my memory. :slight_smile:


But the gesture is still there :slight_smile: Hand over heart.


OP, have you ever considered that these people might be so focused on giving reverence to Christ whom they have just received that they don’t think to give any other external signs of reverence to Christ elsewhere in the Church? And, even beyond that, every time they pass by a person who has received they are passing by Christ physically present. If it is necessary for them to give an external sign of reverence to Christ in the cup in the EMHC’s hand would it not also be necessary for them to give an external sign of reverence to Christ present in each person who has received as they pass them on their way up to receive as well as on their way back to their seat?

I hope you don’t take this post the wrong way. This is just to try and help get you thinking about other possibilities as well as about what is really required for reverence to be present. Hopefully it will help you realize that there is a very good chance that people are not at all being irreverent when they fail to make an external sign of reverence before the chalice.


I agree with this. I’ve seen certain Catholics in my parish who bow constantly whenever they are in the nave/during Mass. That’s fine, but I can’t help but wonder if the constant bobbing up and down actually distracts from their worship. It’s not my place to judge them, though. There are a lot of Catholics who think that Pentecostals can’t possibly be truly worshipping because of the constant hand-raising, ecstatic utterances, and even dancing, but it’s been my experience that yes, many Pentecostals are deeply in love with Jesus and are truly worshipping Him as best they know how. Same for Catholics who bow constantly–they’re doing what they feel is true worship. God looks at our hearts, not our outward appearance.

I do bow my head when passing by the Precious Blood, but it may not be obvious to most people in the pews because the head bow is so slight. I tend to lose my balance if I try to do anything other than put one foot in front of the other while I walk. :o And OP, that could be one reason why people don’t bow or incline their heads–some of us have a hard time with mobility. It’s hard for those who don’t have these problems to comprehend, but I assure you that sometimes, just turning a corner can cause me to tip and nearly (or actually) fall down. So frustrating.


Noted, but my point in posting was the last two paragraphs in the op. :slight_smile:


This was an awesome post.


Maybe they are the ones who are familiar with the required gestures. It took me all of one Psalm at Matins recently to quickly remind me to bow at the mention of the Trinity. It didn’t hinder my worship to remember to do so at the end of every Psalm during the various liturgies I attended that day. It quickly becomes natural.

GIRM 275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bow: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.

a) A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.

b) A bow of the body, that is to say, a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the prayers Munda cor meum (Cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (With humble spirit); in the Creed at the words et incarnatus est (and by the Holy Spirit . . . and became man); in the Roman Canon at the Supplices te rogamus (In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God). The same kind of bow is made by the Deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the Priest bows slightly as he pronounces the words of the Lord at the Consecration.


I quite like the idea that one poster gave of putting one’s right hand over one’s heart while passing by the Precious Blood.


This is not an issue for me, as the only time I receive under one species is daily Mass where I pass a different way from where the chalice is offered. However, it might help to see the section of the GIRM where this bow is mentioned so the appropriate reverence can be discussed. Is this a practice that is part of “The Red” or just common practice?


When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his head before the sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the precious blood. (GIRM 160)

So it looks as though a sign of reverence before the chalice is only a part of “The Red” if one is receiving from the chalice.


If it is, then maybe that explains why those not receiving do not give a reverence.


This is the most “common sense” answer I’ve heard and apologize that I didn’t catch this post before I responded last time.


Are you describing an OF of the Mass? This doesn’t sound familiar to me. It sounds like an EF of the Mass, although I have never bothered to follow the missal during the EF Mass, but just sit and listen and follow the gestures of others, so I don’t know if you are describing the EF Mass.

I have never heard some of the prayers you mention in the OF Mass. E.g., “cleanse my heart” and “with humble spirit”, and “In humble prayer we ask you almighty God…” Are these the prayers that the priest says silently?

I have seen the deacon bow when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel and the Priest bow as he pronounces the words of the Lord at the consecration."

I guess my question is, Do the same head bows apply in the OF as in the EF?

It seems that if these head bows were required, our missalette would make it very clear. The missalette that we use includes a complete OF Mass (very helpful for Protestants and for Catholics who have been away for a while), and there is no mention of any head bows.

I’ve seen plenty of missalettes in different Catholic churches, and I’ve never seen any with mention of any of these extra head bows. All instruct us to bow during the Creed at the point where we pray, “And was incarnate of the Virigin Mary and became Man.”

I am also surprised that our priests don’t mention head bows. The priests in our parish are usually very good about reminding the congregation of the correct rubrics of the Mass and instructing us in what we are supposed to do.


The reverences described in the GIRM are for the OF. (The GIRM doesn’t exist for the EF.)

Our priest has written up columns in the bulletin about the head bows and other reverences 2-3 times, and nobody does it - not even him - except for me.


I have a question that might sound silly. I became Catholic 6 years ago, and when I was in RCIA, I was taught that even if we do not receive the chalice, we should at least bow (make a sign of reverence) as we walk past. I try to do this when I am visiting other parishes, since our own parish does not offer the chalice. However, today I wondered whether we should be making a sign of reverence to the other patens holding the Body of Christ when we pass by? Why would we do that for the Precious Blood, but not the Body? Or was I taught the wrong thing about bowing to the Chalice of the Precious Blood?


I bow to the Body and Blood of Jesus, the Bible, the Crucifix, and the priest (as well as Eucharistic ministers who are in possession of the Eucharist or Blood of Christ.) Same when I cross from one side of the church to the other and must pass the alter.


However, after I have received the Eucharist I do not bow to the other stations on the way back to the pew, as I actually contain the Body of Christ and it is redundant to make a show of reverence.




In my experience, it is unusual that a communicant would pass by another minister distributing the species of bread? :shrug: But in those rare circumstances, making a sign of reverence would be appropriate. :signofcross:


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