Use of Spoon

I was browsing through a book at the library entitled “The New Order of Mass” published by Liturgical Press.

I recalled that it mentioned the use of the spoon or a straw during Communion.

What Rites/sub-Rites in the Latin Church use a spoon or straw during Communion?

Admittedly, I’m not much on the rubrics (what few there are) of the OF, but I don’t remember anything about either.

The only times I ever recall either the spoon or straw mentioned in reference to the Latin Rite were in regard to the (pre-conciliar) Papal Mass. If I recall correctly, (and I could well be wrong here) their use was abrogated in the late 60s.

When the Pope celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the pre-Vatican II Rite, he would receive the Precious Blood through a golden tube, which I suppose could be likened to a straw. And the Byzantine Rite has always used a liturgical spoon for distributing Communion. Other than these, however, I am not aware of straws or spoons being used in any rite.

Perhaps you could list the context in which the book you read mentioned the two items. That would help quite a bit I should think.

I need to go back to the library tomorrow. I’ll be sure to get a direct quote. Thanks for your input so far.

Blessings

Dear brothers Malphono and Rites,

Providence! A friend read this thread and e-mailed me the text (I need to go to the library tomorrow, regardless, but this saves me some time :slight_smile: ).

Before I give the text, I need to point out that the text I am giving is from “The General Instruction on the Roman Missal.” So they do not refer to the Byzantine Rites, nor pre-V2 Rites.

Here they are:

Chapter IV. Some General Norms fro All Forms of the Mass
249 b) Then the communicant comes to the deacon and stands before him. The deacon says The Blood of Christ; the communicant answers Amen, and takes the tube from the server, puts it into the chalice and consumes a little of the Blood. Then he withdraws the tube, taking care that none of the Blood be spilled, lowers it into a container with water held by the server standing beside the deacon, and cleanses it by drawing a little water throught it; he then places the tube into a vessel held out by the same server.

251. If there is a deacon or another priest assisting, he holds the chalice in his left hand and with the spoon gives the Blood of the Lord to each of the communicants, who holds a paten under their mouth, and says The Blood of Christ. He should take care not to touch the lips or the tongue with the spoon.

This wouldn’t be in the GIRM, unless it was permitted, and unless it exists somewhere, would it?

So is anyone aware of this instruction being used in any local Latin Rite Church, or Sub-Rite of the Latin Rite?

Blessings

OK, I found a reference too, but it doesn’t match up with the above quote. Have a look at this and go to item 245. Notice that it’s under “concelebration” and that there are no other references in the section to either the word “tube” or “spoon.”

But in the EF, the spoon and tube were definitely part of the pre-conciliar Papal Solemn Pontifical Mass.

Interesting indeed - and strange. Do you think that the fact that the link you gave is from the USCCB has anything to do with it? It is possible that each local Latin Episcopal Conference can change the wording of the GIRM (but not its intent)?

In any case, are you saying that the use of spoon or tube is not reflective of a Sub-Rite in the Latin Rite, but rather merely an instruction for special circumstances?

Blessings

In the Per-conciliar Papal Mass, and in some of the ancient Western Rites, like the Carthusian rite the liturgial straw, or fistuna, was used. While it was more common in the first four centuries of the Church, it fell into disuse in most places.

In the west, aside from a few spoons full of water to help the communicant who is ill and receives communion in the sick bed, or the viaticum to help swallow, but this was not a liturgical spoon. The only liturgical spoon I know of would be the “scruple spoon”. Some priests used a small spoon, like a miniature ladle to admix the water into the chalice. The spoon would hold two or three drops of water, to prevent the priest from either pouring too much water out of the cruet, but assure that he did add some water. While it was not mandated, it was tolerated.

Itt was indicated that the Conferences of bishops should choose the most preferable methods form those given in distirbuting Communion under both kinds, The bishops of the USA decided that the spoon and straw were not customary and elected for direct reception from the chalice, or intinction.

When I was firmly entrenched in the NO, a couple of different Priests thundered against intinction. It was never really clear to me if they were talking about the Faithful “doing it” (for lack of knowing the proper term), or the Priest doing it. If it were the Priest doing it, how would he do it? Would there be two “acolytes”, one holding the Chalice, and one holding the ciborium?

This is a sincere question, lest anyone wonder if I have an ulterior motive. I don’t.

The way I’ve seen it done is:

(a) The priest himself distributes, in which case, he holds the paten/ciborium between the second and third fingers, and the chalice between the thumb and first finger (generally…someitmes different fingers are used but basically it’s all held in one hand)
(b) The priest holds the ciborium, and the deacon/server holds the chalice with a purificator at the lip, slightly tilted toward the priest.

I believe the GIRM also mentioned a table once (i.e. at the Communion station, a table covered with a corporal) on which the priest could place one of the vessels while he held the other. I’ve never seen this.

The way I’ve seen it done is:

(a) The priest himself distributes, in which case, he holds the paten/ciborium between the second and third fingers, and the chalice between the thumb and first finger (generally…someitmes different fingers are used but basically it’s all held in one hand)
(b) The priest holds the ciborium, and the deacon/server holds the chalice with a purificator at the lip, slightly tilted toward the priest.

I believe the GIRM also mentioned a table once (i.e. at the Communion station, a table covered with a corporal) on which the priest could place one of the vessels while he held the other. I’ve never seen this.
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That’s two (or three, if one counts the phantom “communion table”) ways, but more commonly it’s done using what is generally known as an “inticntion set” which is a bowl-type paten with a small gilded cup in the middle. Walk into any religious good dealer and you’ll see them.

I’ve actually only seen that once - and a traditional variant- when I was an Anglican! Strongly evangelical church got this Anglo-Catholic rector. Recipe for disaster. But anyway, one of the first things the new rector did was purchase a gold ciborium (the traditional kind with a stem). Examining it after service one day, I noticed that it had a little knob at the bottom, and upon expressing my surprise, the rector produced a little cup that screwed on to it, for intinction.

But I think they must be unknown around these parts (is it a Western thing?) because I’ve been to the 20 or so churches around here and all of them use one of the two methods I mentioned. It does seem a lot more convenient than the priest balancing two vessels in one hand (which however, I must admit, the priests here do with exceptional skill :D)


Well maurin --there are many, many “within” the Church ----who consider Holy Communion via one species and via intinction as being “against the Gospels”. One can see where they put us who receive via one species in the Latin Rite --and the Eastern Rites (and here I will add the Orthodox Church) who receive via intinction. They see Communion via one species and via intinction as “grievous” errors --which they are in the process of “correcting”.

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