Why don't parishioners get the wine at Mass?

I watched a mass online the other day, and noticed that the congregation were given a wafer but no wine? Why is that? The priest drank some wine at the alter, but none was given to the parishioners.

Isn’t the command to eat and drink of his body and blood? Is the Catholic church doing something wrong when they don’t let the people have the wine?

~a confused, seeking, Protestant.

Normally around this time of year (at least in my parish) it is flu season and people tend to get sick. So to prevent spread of sickness we just take the body and not the blood.

Oh! I had no idea. I assumed it was a doctrinal issue. Oops. :o

And that may be purely regional.

Here in the flu-prone NE the chalice is offered at every Sunday Mass but the option of receiving the Precious Blood by intinction (dipping the Host into the chalice) is more common during weekday Masses when fewer extraordinary ministers are available to offer the chalice.

In Roman Catholicism we believe that the real presence of Christ is fully contained in both the bread and the wine (Christ’s body and blood). We can receive Christ completely just by taking the bread. And so it is optional to also bless the wine. I think that also means a church could presumably just bless the wine and not have any bread. I believe bread is favored for practical reasons. Spilled wine is much harder to clean up than dropped wafers. This is especially important after they have become Jesus’ body and blood. It is a great insult to walk on any part of Jesus that has fallen on the ground.

Due to a lack of extraordinary ministers, my parish chooses not to bless the wine during regular masses. Only special masses, such as Christmas, Easter, and the upcoming Holy Week masses, have wine. In addition, parishioners can choose not to take Jesus’ blood for their own personal reasons. Some parishioners don’t take it to avoid germs from spreading. I personally don’t drink any alcohol whatsoever, so I pass by the wine whenever it is offered. Even after it has become Christ’s blood, it still retains it’s original property of containing alcohol.

The consecrated host (“wafer”) contains the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
If you recieve the host, you have recieved all.

So many “words”

Thank you for your question.
We do not use the term “wafer”. This negates what we believe.
The consecrated host is the Body of Christ. We believe that the Eucharist is complete in the consecrated host. Truly present, and no less. The faithful may be offered the cup of the Precious Blood (no longer mere wine) but it is not always done. This is at the discretion of the priest. For example, in Ireland, the Precious Blood is offered at special occasions, like a Wedding Mass, but not necessarily at daily Mass.
This “option” if you will does not make the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ more or less.
The priest consecrates the bread and wine., and then
we receive Christ’s Body and Blood. As commanded.

Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus …even the smallest crumb that could be seen. You don’t receive more Jesus because of a bigger host either. :slight_smile:

Same here. We just resumed taking the precious blood last week.


We have both at every mass. Even in flu season, but the sick are asked to not share their coodies.

Some parishes hold back the wine if there is a public health issue. It’s not doctrinal just prudent.

The problem with getting sick from the chalice is easily solved.

The parish should buy the little wine glasses that come in a tray. Each person takes the Body of Christ first, then walks to the other priest (or whom ever) who is holding the tray and the parishioners takers a small glass, the priest “the blood of Christ” and the parishioner drinks it down and replaces the little glass back in the tray.

As people get used to this it would be quick and easy. Go to any Christians store that sells supplies for Communion and they will have them. Each tray hold, I think, about 50 little glasses, so these would have to be filled prior to Communion.

These trays are used in most Baptist church’s.

By the same token, if you receive just the chalice you’ve received all. So either way, you will receive all.

I’ve noticed often at daily Mass that only the Body is offered to communicants while on Sundays and other Solemnities both are offered.

If it was a weekday Mass that you saw that may have been the only reason.

Pastoral reasons and there’s many. Different emphasis can be seen in eastern and western rite Church’s also. Its a matter of trusting in the Church and communication, the sign of communion is more complete in correspondence with Scripture- bread and wine. If we didn’t trust in Christ guiding His Church then the next question would be St Cyprians argument.


Sorry, but there are many theological reasons why this is not done.
It’s is not a simple matter of wine…there is a transformation that occurs during the Sacred liturgy.
The drinking is from the CUP that Jesus drank…not merely a passing around of some wine to simulate an action.
It’s much more complex than this, but it would take pages of instruction to clarify.
Perhaps someone else on the board can provide links to read on this.

Jennie, for most of the last 800 years, the general practice of the Catholic Church in the west has been to distribute communion only under the species of bread. The custom took hold in part because the Church believes that Christ is entirely present in either species, but mostly because of reverence for the Eucharist which can easily be spilled when distributed to large numbers of people under the species of wine.

In the 1400, a group of people called “Utraquists” (from the Latin word for “both”) insisted that communion was only valid when one received under BOTH the forms of bread and wine, but the Catholic Church rejected this view as being heretical and wrong. As a result, it became the custom that the chalice was never offered to the laity, in order to emphasize that communion was complete under the species of bread alone.

After the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, increased permission was given to priests to distribute communion under both kinds. However, the caution was given that the chalice should not be given if there were a likelihood that it might be profaned. Thus, while in some parishes you will find the chalice offered to the laity at all masses, at other parishes the priests may be more cautious, and limit communion under both kinds to major feast days, or perhaps never distribute under both kinds at all. However, always remember that whether you receive under only one species or under two, the sacrament is complete in either form, and those who receive communion as both bread and wine do not receive “more Jesus”, or get more grace, than those who receive under the form of bread only.

The Baptist churches can easily clean the grape juice that drips in the tray or spills on the ground.

In Catholic Churches it becomes the blood of Christ. Really and truly. It can’t just be wiped up in a napkin and thrown away.

Further the priest must consecrate the wine. That cannot be done with wine in thousands of little cups, nor can the priest fill the cups after the consecration.

It is just completely different.

To the OP; in my city there are three Catholic parishes. Two offer both species, one only offers the Body of Christ. And one of the two that DOES offer both, only started offering both just recently. It is up to the pastor whether to offer both or not; but even if only the Body of Christ is offered; it is every bit as valid as if the Body and Blood are offered.

No way. It’ll never happen. And Catholics would never “get used” to this. There is an entire schismatic faction that never “got used to” having the Holy Mass said in another language other than Latin. Google “Sede Vacantists” or The Society of St. Pius X and see what you get…

I don’t think the Catholic Church is going to change it’s almost 2,000 year old method of offering the Precious Blood.

Absolutely. You are 100% correct on all three of your points, Jon.

Can’t the priest Consecrate the wine while it is in the bottle?

The spilling would be a problem…glasses a little larger so as not to spill???

Only glasses for the amount of people in attendance need be filled.

I am becoming a Catholic (hopefully) starting this spring and I really do appreciate your

Yes, the Baptist use grape juice and the Catholics ARE CORRECT and believe that the wine is the true blood of Christ.

Thank you and God Bless

Wow, thanks for all your answers. I didn’t realize that both = one. I understood though why there might be a problem with the wine in terms of spillage. Interesting. Thanks everyone!

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