Wine at mass

Our church has always done the wine with communion and recently stopped. My husband who is a new Catholic does not understand why they are no longer doing the wine. He feels that it should go together at mass. His argument is Jesus gave both at the last supper and they refer to both during the mass. I have been Catholic all my life and some churches I have gone to do the wine and some do not. Is this just a preference of an individual church or should it always be done? I guess I never thought about it. For him it was always part of mass since he became a Catholic.

The Eucharist is always consecrated under both species. The priest celebrant is the only one who must consume both species. Each contain the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ so those who receive only the host or only the Precious Blood are not missing anything. Many/most Latin rite Catholic churches offer only the host to the faithful, for various reasons. Ask your pastor why the practice has changed at your parish.

It’s not wine. It’s the blood of Christ!

Both the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and the Eucharist under the appearance of wine are the entire substance of Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity.

When you receive either the host or the chalice you receive it all.


Why don’t you ask your priest?

Receiving under both species (bread and wine) is considered the fuller SIGN, but receiving under a single species (bread) is sufficient as it is still substantially the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Therefore, an individual parish can simply offer a single species for a variety of reasons. For instance, it could just be a purely logistical thing.

Read through the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, paragraphs 281-287. That talks about Communion under both species.

In a nutshell, as everyone has been saying, Jesus is present whole and entire in both species. No one is being deprived of grace by only receiving one species. That said, Communion under both kinds has a fuller sign value. Ultimately, it is up to the individual bishop to make determinations (and he sometimes leaves it up to individual priests). If you have a question, ask your priest.

Offering the Precious Blood is a recent practice for nearly a millennium Catholics received only the Host at Mass. It is only in recent decades, armed with a legion of lay EMs, that the Precious Blood has ben routinely offered. Perhaps that historical perspective may help.

It is interesting that you post this question in the Traditional Catholicism forum. The Traditional answer is that, for hundreds of years, the Latin Church never offered the chalice even as an option to the laity, and always distributed Holy Communion under the species of bread alone. The Utraquist heresy said that both species were obligatory and essential to salvation, and in reaction, the Chruch denounced this position; partly out of concern for profanation of the Eucharist, she withheld Communion from the chalice.

It was not until after the Second Vatican Council when the Mass was reformed that widespread permission was given to offer both species again. This permission can still be revoked by the pastor or by the ordinary if there is any danger of profanation etc.

I find the offering of the Chalice to the laity problematic, if only logistically.

There’s just not enough time between receiving the host, and getting to the person holding the chalice to consume the host. I would never try to drink from the chalice with the host still in my mouth, for fear of spilling one of the species.

Also, there is more risk of profanation, since it is far easier to spill the precious blood, and also when large quantities of the precious blood are left over after Mass.

God Bless

You have received very good answers but I don’t think anyone has addressed the bolded.

Yes, it is entirely at the option of the celebrant whether to offer Communion to the faithful under one or both species. Sometimes it is simply personal preference. Sometimes it is logistics. Some times it is a shortage of sacred vessels. Sometimes it is because to do so (offer both) would require EMHCs that would not have been necessary if Communion was only under one species.

It’s an option as long as both the pastor and the ordinary have given permission to offer the chalice.

When I became a Catholic a few years ago, I was surprised that the Sacred Blood wasn’t offered to the laity at the Basilica I attended - I grew up Anglican and was used to seeing both.

The reason the Sacred Blood isn’t distributed at that particular Basilica is logistical: attendance figures vary widely since it’s located downtown and it’d be highly problematic if there were significant quantities leftover after distribution to the faithful.

At the Traditional Latin Mass I’ve never seen it distributed. Among other reasons, the lack of EMHC’s at an Extraordinary Form Mass would usually make this impossible anyways.

Even when the Sacred Blood is available at a Mass I attend, I don’t receive because it invariably must be received from a layperson while standing and it has to be administered by each person. I don’t like the idea of holding a sacred vessel (the chalice) and Our Lord is fully present in the Host anyways.

When I grew up Anglican, we at least received the communion wine kneeling at an altar rail and didn’t have to touch the chalice as it was presented to each person. Other than it being more walking for the priest, I don’t understand why more parishes don’t use altar rails.

The rubrics of the EF themselves prohibit offering the chalice. It’s simply not licit in this context, even if a plethora of priests or deacons were available to distribute it.

Other than it being more walking for the priest, I don’t understand why more parishes don’t use altar rails.

That’s part of the “Spirit of Vatican II” wreckovation that went on in parishes. Since the liturgy no longer required them, new parishes were built without them, and in order to “modernize” the old-fashioned “outdated” parishes, many pastors authorized the destruction of traditional liturgical elements and the installation of a freestanding table altar.

Since RS (paragraphs 100ff), I don’t think that the ordinary has to give permission. But you are right that, if the pastor doesn’t want both species distributed, another priest wouldn’t be permitted to do so.

As one who has attended Mass at monastic abbey Churches, I think it was rather a return to a more Benedictine - monastic spirituality and view of the liturgy which has been present in the Church for nearly 1600 years.

Anyone who experiences Mass at a monastery will probably understand it.


That wouldn’t be a “return”. It would be an overlay of a monastic spirituality and monastic tradition onto parishes which though all 2000 years of the Church’s history have not been monastic.

I would not be so quick to be dismissive of monastic practices; much if not most of liturgy has developed in the monasteries not the parishes; and centuries ago, the local monastery may well have been where the faithful went to Mass, as there was no separate “parish”.

I have endured 50 years of the “Spirit of Vatican II” and I never once heard a parish or pastor say “Hmm, we need to be more Benedictine/monastic. Let’s remove all the sacred furnishings in pursuit of Benedictine-ness.”

I have no clue why you bring up “the spirit of Vatican 2”. Perhaps you had a bad experience with a monastery? The one I go to certainly is not about the “spirit of Vatican 2”.

And I have no clue as to your comment about removing all sacred furnishings. Don’t know which monastery you go to, but it certainly is not the one I attend.

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