Why only one form of the Eucharist at EWTN?


I am a Presbyterian studying the Catholic faith. I have fallen in love with almost all I have read. As a seeker of truth, and a desparate lover of Jesus, I want all he has to offer, even if it means converting to the Catholic faith. My first question is simple and minor. I’ve watched a number of masses on EWTN and am troubled by what I don’t see. In the church I belong to we partake of the bread and wine. However, from what I see in the Eucharist, only the priest takes the wine and bread while the congregation only takes the bread. Am I missing something?
I thought both the wine and bread were consumed.
Thank you


Dear Thirsty,

EWTN is making a point and one that deserves to be made. As the result of it people like you are brought to a fuller understanding of the Eucharist. Most Catholic parishes in the United States do offer Holy Communion under both forms. But it is important to note EWTN’s point that one receives the full Body and Blood of the Lord when receiving only the host or only from the chalice. This being the case, why have both to begin with?

Jesus could easily have used one only element, e.g., bread. But He wanted the sacrament to convey the lengths to which He was willing to go to redeem us. So when we see the body and blood separate from each other on the altar, we are reminded that He actually died for us. Either element is fully His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. But the two together comprise a fuller sign of His death and therefore of who He is.

I’m with you. I actually prefer drinking from the chalice because I am more aware of His presence within my body for a longer period of time than by only receiving the host.

You are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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