Why do half the people not receive the precious blood?


I was just wondering - I go to mass on Sunday morning, and when we go up to receive communion half the people go straight back to their seats. In two side chapels they offer the blood of Christ - I always go to receive it, but it seems many do not. Why on earth would anyone not want to participate in the full sacrament? :confused: Hygiene? Some urgent need to get back to their seat? I have to say I would feel somewhat ‘cheated’ if I went to communion and only received the Body and not the Blood also.

Your thoughts?

I think it is mistaken to judge that those who do not partake of the chalice are not participating in the full sacrament.


I would understand if it was not available for some reason but seeing as though it’s just round the corner, I don’t understand it

The Fullness of Jesus Christ is present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under either species, the Bread or the Wine.

So a Christian does not receive a “less-full” Sacrament by receiving only under one species. We receive the Fullness of Jesus, Our Lord.

As for my personal reason, I’ll be bluntly honest here, since you’ve asked. I am a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism, and I absolutely detest the smell of alcohol. I find it repugnant even in the small amount available at Mass. Last night, I went to a new restaurant and order a dish that I didn’t realize was made with sherry, and I don’t think the chef quite finished cooking the alcohol away from the meal. It made me sick to my stomach, and even now, twelve hours later, that awful smell is still with me. To me, liquor smells like vomit. So I don’t partake of the wine. I have no objections if others receive it; my husband receives under both species. But I won’t go near it. I’ve often wondered what I would do if Holy Communion were only available under the species of wine; I guess I’ll have to trust that the Lord would help the stuff to smell like roses to me instead of vomit.

The Eucharist itself is fully the Body and Blood of Christ. One does not receive the sacrament more fully if they receive the Blood. By that same logic, when the priest has to break the Eucharist in half to make sure he has enough for everyone, those people would be receiving “less” of the sacrament. Either you receive it, or you don’t. There is no measure of how much.

Personally, I don’t anymore for a couple of reasons. 1) I’m now pregnant, and I’m a bit paranoid about germs. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a cold from the chalice, but I’d rather not chance it right now :wink: 2) For the reason stated above, it’s not necessary, 3) because I prefer to receive the sacrament from a priest or deacon, not an EMHC. I realize that sometimes they are necessary, but I think that our parish has way too many, and I’d rather receive from a priest or deacon’s consecrated hands, and 4) It generally holds up the line, because the EMHC’s with the Blood take longer than the priest w/ the Eucharist. I live in Dallas, and our Bishop stopped the distribution of the Precious Blood for a week or two while the Swine Flu dies down, and I’ve noticed Communion has gone much smoother. I would actually rather they keep it that way. (Personal preference only, I know many people who love to have the option)

I’m also a convert, too. I never did like the taste of wine. At my old Lutheran church, I always picked the grape juice if it was available. When I was 7 or 8, my mom let me taste 1 drop of champange - I was curious as to how it tasted (it was after my parent’s anniversary - probably their 15th wedding anniversary), and I hated it.

The reception of the Precious Blood is fairly new to me. All the time I was growing up and half of my adult life we were to receive only the consecrated host…the body of Christ which of course includes includes the blood of Christ, just as our bodies have blood. I don’t receive the Precious Blood for 2 reasons, One, being what I just stated, I have already received the fullness of the sacrament and also I am a recovering alcoholic. I’m just curious as to the age of the OP and wondering what exactly is being taught these days, it seems like a lot of people are not aware this including Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers. This just baffles me. Don’t take this comment as being condenscending towards the OP because that is not how I mean it to come across.

I am a convert from Russian Orthodoxy. I now receive the Body of Christ, but not the Blood of Christ.

It is just how I choose to receive now.

:heaven: :harp:

I do not receive the Precious Blood because I do not like drinking after other people, and sometimes because I don’t want other people drinking after me.

I never feel “cheated”. My home parish does not offer the precious blood - due to traffic considerations, I think, and it doesn’t feel like I receive “less” when I am at a parish that does.

Other lesser considerations - I don’t want to talk with my mouth full - saying “Amen” before I have swallowed the host. The confusion of climbing over people or waiting for people to return because some receive the precious blood and some don’t.



I was just wondering - I go to mass on Sunday morning, and when we go up to receive communion half the people go straight back to their seats. In two side chapels they offer the blood of Christ - I always go to receive it, but it seems many do not. Why on earth would anyone not want to participate in the full sacrament? :confused: Hygiene? Some urgent need to get back to their seat? I have to say I would feel somewhat ‘cheated’ if I went to communion and only received the Body and not the Blood also.

Your thoughts?

Here are three very good reasons:

#1. Catecheism of the Catholic Church:
1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But “the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly.” This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites.

#2. For many hundreds of consecutative years Holy Communion was only Available under the Entire Jesus in the sacred Bread. This was the most successful period of growth and piety in our 2000 year history.

  1. In order to receive under both species, which was by the way SPECIFICALLY denided by Vatican II, layfolk have to assume rights that God and the Catholic Magisterium have said belong to “Bishops, Priest and Deacons ONLY.”

The “Indult” granted was AFTER THE FACT that the practice, in direct and delibert disobedience was already a MANDATED FORCED action by Americas Bishops!

Love and prayers,

Thanks for your replies everyone. I don’t really understand this 3rd point - what’s the history of this? Didn’t lay folk always get to receive both through the centuries?

Negative. The church only received under one species for a very long time. Offering the Precious Blood to the laity is a rather recent development.

Receiving Communion under both species was common in earlier times. There was a time when it was even mandated as a response to a heresy, because false Christians refused to receive under the form of wine.

There is nothing lost in receiving under only one species. The only difference between receiving under ONE species or BOTH is that the visible sign value is more apparent to the one receiving.

When you receive under the form of bread, you receive the Precious Body and the Precious Blood; the same goes for the form of wine.

The Council of Trent decided not to change the discipline, but left it to the Pope for future consideration. Vatican II promoted the concession of the chalice, but only on very specific occasions. This has been superseded by common practice (especially in the US), probably to the general detriment of the understanding of the doctrines concerning the Eucharist.

Consider 1980’s Inaestimabile Donum 12:With regard to Communion under both kinds, the norms laid down by the Church must be observed, both by reason of the reverence due to the Sacrament and for the good of those receiving the Eucharist, in accordance with variations in circumstances, times and places. Episcopal conferences and ordinaries also are not to go beyond what is laid down in the present discipline: the granting of permission for Communion under both kinds is not to be indiscriminate, and the celebrations in question are to be specified precisely; the groups that use this faculty are to be clearly defined, well disciplined, and homogeneous.
That was widely unheeded. Eventually Rome capitulated to bishops who were either disobedient or unable (or unwilling?) to correct the situation in their dioceses.

…The western church…


Correct :smiley: Sorry about that.

I am actually in England and not America – perhaps in the US receiving the blood is more unusual? I don’t think I’ve been to a mass here where it hasn’t been available (to be fair I’ve only gone to 4 different places in the month I’ve been a Catholic :))

Offering Communion from the chalice varies greatly from parish to parish in North America. The parish I’m a member of now offers the chalice at every Mass. OTOH, the parishes in the diocese where I grew up rarely, if ever, offer the chalice. At least in the parish where I grew up, it was a decision taken by the pastor at the time that the chalice became available to the laity and it had everything to do with his fear of spillage. AFAIK, the decision has never been revisited and the laity has not requested it. IIRC, it was offered to the bride and groom during a Nuptial Mass.

In my travels last summer I attended Masses at two different parishes in two different dioceses and in neither did they offer the Precious Blood. If things go as planned, I will have the opportunity to check this out again this summer since I will be in 3 separate dioceses/parishes for Sunday Mass over the course of my holidays.

I personally find the taste very appalling.

That is interesting. I can understand why one would be terrified of it being spilled, but presumably everyone who goes up to take it has steady hands :eek:

I’m not really worried about getting germs as people only take a tiny sip, and the priest wipes it afterwards (it is given by a priest - I am lucky to go to the Oxford Oratory and there is a community of something like 8 of them).

Personally I like taking both, because it does feel like a more ‘complete’ experience, and after all, food and drink go hand in hand so there is a symbolic value to it. I find the taste of the wine to be quite pleasant!

I don’t partake of the Precious Blood mainly because it wasn’t offered while I was growing up prior to the 1970’s. I always receive Communion on the tongue and, try as I might that it doesn’t happen, the Host always gets stuck on the roof of my mouth. The one time I did receive from the chalice as well, I had to move out of the line and wait until the Host had disolved enough for me to dislodge it and swallow it. It seemed like ages although it was probably only a moment or two. I haven’t tried again.
At all the parishes in my diocese that I have attended Mass in, Communion is offered under both species at Sunday Masses. However, at both my local parish and the downtown Cathedral, the Precious Blood is not offered at weekday daily Mass. Whether or not this is the common practice throughout the diocese I cannot say.

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