Transmissible disease and drinking from the Holy Chalice


My question is this – is it a doctrine of the Church that it is impossible to become sick as a result of drinking from the same cup as [a] sick person/people?

My wife is currently undergoing the RCIA process and the religious teacher in her class has repeatedly emphasized that “you cannot get sick from drinking of the Holy Chalice; you can only receive grace.”

The concern some have is that many people drink from the same cup and it seems unsanitary. I am not personally concerned by this, but also usually choose to only receive the Eucharist.


I’d be more concerned with using the door handle to enter or leave Church, the pews where people put their hands all throughout Mass, etc. If I got sick from partaking of Our Lord’s blood from the Chalice so be it. I received the Body Blood Soul Divinity of Our Lord and Savior.


No. And any claim of such might be both superstitious and dangerous…if we are contagious, or even feeling ill, for the charity of all, we should refrain from receiving the cup.


There are several threads about this already. Have you searched? There are explanations how the chalice is wiped between receivers etc.


I should point out that whether you Receive only the Body of Christ , or you Receive the Precious Blood from the Chalice, BOTH are the Eucharist - Christ Himself


Seems like a very irresponsible thing for the religious teacher to say.


I’m a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and serve mostly as minister of the cup.

So, yeah I have concerns about the possibility of people with colds receiving from the cup. So far so good.

There is not enough alcohol in the wine, to kill off a viral germ, especially on the outside edge, so it’s important for myself and other EMHC’s that the faithful are reminded not to receive from the cup, if they feel they may be coming down with a cold or flu.

I belong to a small parish and there are no more than five people who receive from the cup on the Saturday Vigil Mass



In sevral churches in Lima, Peru, the priest dips the host in the chalise and so you receive a host wet in wine. Is it not a good idea?


That is called intinction which is also valid in the west. Typically the sets for doing this have a small chalice of the precious blood seated in a holder in a paten surounde by hosts. As long as people do not self communicate, this is acceptable. Priests often do intinction and pour the remaining precious blood into other chailices for communion. Then they purify the chalice themselves. I often gave instructions during flu season that people not receive from the chalice if they are sick. People have never obstacled this suggestion.


That’s an excellent idea!


I feel the same. Jesus died for me, he didn’t have the benefit of any health and safety policies when he went to the cross.


That’s fine, so long as it’s only you that’s going to be affected by you being ill.

It’s a bit different for those of us with responsibilities for young children. aged parents etc. or with a job that means contact with people with weakened immunity for whom a cold could be very serious.


That’s true, but he is Jesus. A whole lot of other people who weren’t Jesus died from a lack of health and safety policies.


I think each person needs to choose how they receive the sacrament.
As an “old school” Catholic, I receive the Sacred Bread from the Priest or Deacon. I have the priest or deacon place the bread on my tongue. I do not receive in my hand.
I am not concerned about germs. My reluctance to take the wine has to do with my fear of a bad exchange in taking the cup from the minister. I fear dropping the cup.
As for the Bread, I do not feel worthy to have my hands touch it.


I understand and I thank you. I have read the other threads. I am not personally concerned with the cleanliness of it. I was merely wondering if “you can only receive grace from the Chalice, not germs” was an actual doctrine because a religious teacher said as much.


no doctrine that I know of.

This is my thought on whether or not someone can get pick up germs from the Chalice, we don’t know but apparently the Church suspects we can since during cold/flu season they with hold receiving from the cup.

It usually strikes me odd when someone says they have never caught a germ from receiving from the Chalice, because unless you have never had a cold or the flu or not had a cold or flu since taking the precious blood, it would difficult to factually say you have not picked up a germ from the Chalice. Rarely do people actually know where a germ is picked up. Could be from grocery carts, door knobs, computer keys, cell phones, maybe even the Chalice.

I do not receive from the cup because I know I already receive the precious blood when receiving the host but for those that choose to receive from the chalice also, be considerate of others if you have a cold/flu or even just feel like you are coming down with a something.


It absolutely is not doctrine. Nor even tradition.


With every due respect: I call baloney on this “religious” “teacher”


Even when both Species are available you are not obliged to receive both. If there are worries about getting something from receiving from the Chalice then don’t receive it. You may simply receive the Host.


[quote=“MagdalenaRita, post:16, topic:535341”]
be considerate of others if you have a cold/flu [/quote]

I don’t take from the cup if I have a cold; this is out of respect to those who would follow behind me; I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

However, I always take the cup when I am feeling well, I accept there is a chance that people in front of me could have germs they don’t know about. These thoughts never concern me, because I know that Jesus overcame the world.

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