QUAERITUR: promoting reverence at Communion

From a priest reader:

Quick question with regard to GIRM #281.

"Holy Communion has a more complete as a sign when it is received under both kinds.  For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the Eucharist banquet." 
 
I want to promote reverence for the Holy Eucharist through such things as receiving communion on the tongue at the altar rail with the use of a communion plate.  I realize people may receive standing on the hand but nevertheless I am encouraging them to receive kneeling and on the tongue and most do so. 
 
Should I be working to offer communion under both species? 

I am of two minds on this.

First, when you involve both kinds you increase dramatically the possibility of unintentional profanation of the Eucharist.  From that point of view, I would say no.

On the other hand, the GIRM is right.  Communion under both kinds is a more complete sign.  Over the centuries, however, it was not necessary to use both kinds because people were properly catechized.  Frankly, I don’t see the need for this with great frequency or with large numbers.  I suspect that in some places, both kinds were introduced precisely to be able to get large numbers of lay people "doing things". 

If you decide you would want to use both kind and also promote kneeling and eliminating Communion in the hand, perhaps you can introduce Communion by intinction.  This automatically eliminates Communion in the hand and also uses both kinds. 

Practically speaking this might be a problem if your parish has no other clerics for the distribution of Communion.  If you want to introduce kneeling for intincted Communion, which sounds like a great idea to me, a Communion rail would be really helpful.

I know a few priests who have introduced Communion under both kinds with intinction so as to get rid of Communion in the hand and provide the fuller sign.  They have had good results.

Perhaps people at parishes with Communion under both kinds using intinction can chime in here with information about how it is handled.

I suspect there was an extended period of parish-wide catechesis before this was introduced.

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89 Responses to QUAERITUR: promoting reverence at Communion

  1. Lubeltri says:

    Hmm, I’ve never seen this before. It sounds like a good idea.

    What would it require? The priest doing the intincting, an altar server or EMHC holding the chalice on one side of the priest, and another server holding the paten on the other side?

  2. Fr. Charles says:

    Of course this has to mean that the cleric does the intinction, per GIRM 287, and not that the communicant would receive the sacred host in the hand, proceeding then to carry it to a minister of the Precious Blood. This a common–and to me grave–liturgical abuse which I have witnessed in many places, and one which communicants occasionally attempt in the parish where I work.

  3. Bill in Texas says:

    Lubeltri — There is a special “intinction set” that is to be used for Communion by intinction. I don’t know whether the method you described is permitted (or practical for that matter).

    And again, I don’t know, but I thought there were some restrictions on intinction. I guess if there were, Father Z would have mentioned them.

  4. Rob says:

    Father Z, would the following present an issue:
    “When Communion is distributed under both kinds by intinction, the host is not placed in the hands of the communicants, nor may the communicants receive the host and dip it into the chalice. Intinction should not be introduced as a means of circumventing the practice of Communion in the hand. (From: Appendix to the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States)

    I think the priests who wish to use this method, even if they secretly are doing so to avoid Communion in the hand, will need to come up with a reason such as the risk of profanation is too high, or too many EMHC are needed for the current method, etc.

    I think that intinction is the future for receiving Communion for the Catholic Church. It eliminates the problem of Communion in the Hand, and also provide the more complete sign you describe. The Eastern Rite churches already do it. They seem to have the right idea.

  5. Bill in Texas says:

    Fr. Charles, I thought that communicants were not permitted to intinct the sacred host themselves. My understanding (probably wrong) is that only the priest may administer communion by intinction. If the communicants did what you describe, I agree, it’s a recipe for disaster. As an EMoHC, I think I would have to ask to be removed from the list of commissioned EMoHCs if such a procedure were instituted where I was (our parish priest has already said it will never happen, unless he obtains an intinction set).

  6. Rob says:

    What would it require? The priest doing the intincting, an altar server or EMHC holding the chalice on one side of the priest, and another server holding the paten on the other side?

    In the Eastern Rites, it is common for the deacon to hold the chalice, and the priest hold the hosts and to dip the host into the chalice and place it upon the communicants tongue.

  7. Rob says:

    For accuracy sake, I was speaking of the Melkite rite in my above post. The Ukranian rites tend to places the consecrated hosts in the chalice and administer Communion using a spoon. I would like to see the Melkite method employed in the Latin rite.

  8. Thomas says:

    I never thought of this before, but intiction would be a brilliant way to eliminate Communion in the Hand. And even if you don’t have Communion under both species all the time, people will then be in the habit of kneeling anyway.

  9. Ave Maria says:

    When I have attended the Anglican Use parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, it is so nice to receive Holy Communion while kneeling at the communion rail and either Father or Deacon gives Holy Communion by intinction.

    The lines move quickly too.

  10. Frankly, the “more complete sign” with regard to the Holy Eucharist only seems to erode people’s faith as they seem forget that Christ is fully present in each species.

    Isn’t adult baptism in the nude in a river “a more complete sign?” Isn’t wearing sack cloth and ashes “a more complete sign” of penance?
    That does not mean these things should be done.

  11. David Kastel says:

    I thought most of the people here fancy themselves “conservatives”

    Why are we all suggesting radical changes in the practice of most catholics? How about suggesting better catechesis from the pulpit instead of radical changes – which are more likely to confuse than to educate?

  12. Liam says:

    Rob

    That portion of the old GIRM for the US has been superseded. The current GIRM for the US does not include it, and also incorporates the following national norms by reference:

    http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/current/norms.shtml

  13. Liam says:

    Thomas

    Communion by intinction need not be administered to kneeling communicants. In fact, the several times I have received by intinction, I was standing. And intinction in the Eastern churches is not administered to kneeling communicants so far as I am aware.

  14. Fr. AJ says:

    One brave pastor in our diocese started intinction in his parish. He was immedidiately called into the bishop’s office to explain himself. He was raked over the coals and threatened with being transferred to a small rural parish yet he defended himself well and the practice continues. So I would say be prepared to explain your reasons for using intinction if you wish to start this wonderful practice in your parish.

  15. I personally not a huge fan of having Communion under both kinds…Though if we’re going to have it, let us copy the Maronites who have Communion via intinction, however, we should use the altar rail.

  16. ssoldie says:

    Ridiculous neocon wording ‘more complete’, this is not what the Church has taught.

  17. Here is a picture of an \”intinction set\” which eliminates the need for an extra minister:

    http://www.artegranda.com/images/catalogo/111.105.jpg

    It’s probably subjective, but reception of both species simultaneously by intinction certainly “feels like” a fuller and deeper sign than separate reception.

  18. Jack says:

    Wasn’t the cup witheld from the laity in order to that they would realise they recieved the whole Christ? btw for those of you who like me want to get rid of EMHC’s (Last Friday we had one EMCH when there were 10 people present) this would be an excellent way to do it. As a Side note when I was at an SSPX chapel for Corpus Christi what struck me was the reverence shown for the Blessed Sacrament by the Laity present.

  19. steve says:

    I tend to side with Viator Catholicus on principle.
    We have been employing this method of communion for several years at the parish where I assist. It works pretty well for what I’ve seen I try not to notice too much. The faithful are allowed the option to receive either way which keeps the Minister on his/her toes cause you can’t dip until until they present either toungue or hand. We have no rail which dosn’t keep us from kneeling anyway. We have carpet and you can guess what happens occasionally. We utilize EM of C’s so communion time will not “take too long” :( during my thanksgiving Anama Christi the accidents of the Pressious Blood help a fuller meaning when I pray “Blood of Christ inebreate me. ” But I welcome ANY decrease in the chance of unintentional profanations and would gladly “settle” for the whole Jesus in a host in order to make it so. We already offend Him enough already.

  20. Dave Wells says:

    Father Z,

    As a former Anglican/Episcopalian, I regularly received Communion under both kinds. The “Chalice Bearers”, as they are called, are lay people who are specifically trained to administer the Chalice to those at the Communion rail. Communicants receive the host from a priest or deacon, and all receive while kneeling. It was very reverent, and something I miss from my Angican days.

    I am now attending a Ukrainian mission, and I am grateful for the opportunity to receive the Holy Mysteries in both kinds. Of course, leavened bread is used, but I think intinction would certainly work in the Latin Rite. My first Holy Communion in the Latin rite was by intinction (before Communion in both kinds was regularly allowed), a memory I will always cherish.

    I would ask my fellow Catholics to be open to this practice. It is no “innovation” as Communion under both Species was the norm up until the Middle Ages. While there were justifiable reasons to restrict the laity to receive only under the Species of bread, there are justifiable reasons to now recover the more ancient practice now.

  21. Stitchwort says:

    My only experience with intinction in the Latin Rite was from a visiting priest at an early morning Mass. He obviously was well practiced/experienced in this form, as he seemed to have no trouble holding both the ciborium and the chalice in one hand and administering communion on the tongue with the other. We knelt at the altar rail, and it all went very smoothly.

  22. mamaosa says:

    Our pastor uses an “intinction set”, but his is a deep saucer-like dish (which holds the hosts) with a rather small cup that is set in the middle (which holds the precious blood). It’s easy for just the one priest to dip the host in the small cup and then administer the Eucharist. He has instructed us to say “just the host” if we don’t want the intinction. I do think he does this to discourage receiving in the hand, but he has left the door open to those who still want that. Very few ask for just the host.

    I’m glad you posted on this because I thought he might be doing something wrong; I thought he had to have some kind of special permission for this.

  23. Fr. Charles says:

    Bill in Texas: Yes, you are correct. There is no such legitimate procedure, just bad practices I have witnessed in some places in my journey.

  24. Mark says:

    “Frankly, the ‘more complete sign’ with regard to the Holy Eucharist only seems to erode people’s faith as they seem forget that Christ is fully present in each species.”

    I think it borders on irreverence to say that, as Christ instituted it with two species.

    With proper catechesis it doesnt erode any faith. People of good will, will believe what the Church teaches. People of bad will are likely to not believe Christ is present AT ALL.

    So people who merely have the misunderstanding you describe are likely to be of good will (since they are willing to accept that something supernatural is there beyond the senses), and will thus accept correction willingly when it is given.

    “Isn’t adult baptism in the nude in a river “a more complete sign?” Isn’t wearing sack cloth and ashes “a more complete sign” of penance?
    That does not mean these things should be done.”

    I dont know about nude or a river, but inasmuch as they can be I think baptism by immersion and public penance could be re-introduced and re-emphasized, just as long as they are not held as so high or so necessary or so much better as to exclude the other ways or to force jumping through extraordinary hoops to enable them.

    Doing only the minimal merely in order that people dont start to insist that the maximum is necessary for validity…seems to me a grave reversal of priorities and the recipe for minimalism and mediocrity. Better the people think too much is required than too little.

  25. Jeff M says:

    I may be out of my league here, but it sounds like the GIRM is promoting utraquism. If communion under both kinds is a more complete sign, then communion under one kind would logically be a less complete sign. But Our Lord is present under both species entirely–body, blood, soul, and divinity–is he not? In what way is communion under one kind a less complete sign?

  26. Mark says:

    Jeff,

    You obviously misunderstand the meaning of the word “sign”. It does not mean “reality”…in fact it is contrasted with “reality” when it comes to the definition of a Sacrament.

    Communion under one kind is indeed just as complete a REALITY as communion under both kinds. But it is NOT as complete a SIGN.

    It does not as completely signify what it accomplishes, though we admit it accomplishes it validly nonetheless. But it is not as full a symbol.

    Just as the Novus Ordo is just as complete a reality (ie, a valid Mass), but is not as complete a sign as the Old Rite in terms of its symbolic saturation, psychological potency, catechetical value, emotional effectiveness, etc.

  27. Jeff M says:

    Mark,

    Thanks for the clarification. I am not an expert in metaphysics, but what confuses me here is that a sacrament is a sign that effects what it signifies. There is obviously, in a sacrament, a close connection between the sign and reality. So, to say that it signifies less under one form would seem to mean that it effects less under that form. Regardless, this is precisely the sort of confusion that arises among us non-experts when communion is offered under two forms in Latin rite Catholic churches. I’ve had friends who were so used to receiving under both kinds that when they went to a different church and received only under one kind, they believed they weren’t receiving the “complete” sacrament.

  28. Frankly, the “more complete sign” with regard to the Holy Eucharist only seems to erode people’s faith as they seem forget that Christ is fully present in each species.

    When communion under both species is discussed in my Bible study or catechism groups, two responses from the participants are made without fail: (1) confusion about whether He is fully present unless both species are consumed, and (2) incidents involving the spilling of the precious blood on clothing. Moreover, communion under both species leads to a sanctuary jammed with extraordinary ministers.

  29. Gail F says:

    I do not see what the problem is with receiving under both kinds. On a practical level, as a parishioner I am more concerned about getting other people’s germs from the chalice (I know, I know, it has alcohol — but STILL…) than with unintentional profanation, which seems much more likely to me with communion in the hand than with anything else. It is a more perfect sign, just as Mark says. I will admit that I am used to both and, while I know that receiving only one is perfectly fine, I would miss both because doing so is what Christ said to do.

    On a side note, when my oldest was a baby and I used to carry her up with me at communion, I thought it was silly to try to juggle a baby and a host, so I always received on the tongue. This seemed logical enough to me, but the servers usually seemed baffled. I think they were afraid to drop the Host because they were not used to distributing that way. I have since noticed that none all the other mothers in that parish and the one I now attend receive in the hand, and they never drop it, so maybe I worried more than was needful. At my current parish the few people who receive on the tongue seem to go to the priest; I guess he knows to expect it.

  30. prof. basto says:

    Just a register: here in Rio de Janeiro, and I believe in most of Brazil, reception of Holy Communion by the faithful only under the appearence of bread is still, by far, the most common mode of reception.

    Communion under both species is used rarely, for instance, for First Holy Communion, on the feast Corpus Christi, other major feasts (I once received under both Kinds in Pentecost, during a Mass that included the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation a group of boys and girls), etc.

    But on almost all other occasions, both on weekdays and on Sundays, Holy Communion is only distributed under the appearence of bread.

    So, I don’t know if the trend of Communion under both kinds is a universal thing. From here, it seems more a U.S. phenomenon.

    * * *

    I think that communion under one kind is great, because it places emphasis on the important doctrine of “sub una”. The Lord is present, and the Blessed Sacrament is to be adored, even if only one species is present (for Eucharistic Adoration) or received (in Holy Communion).

    Widespread use of Communion under both kinds can create the unfortunate effect of reducing awareness of the “sub una” doctrine, and consequently impair the reverence of the communicant towards reception under one kind only.

  31. Allen Murphy sfo says:

    When we lived in Mexico, intinction was common in our parish. Here in the US our parish used to do communion under both species but stopped when cleansing of vessels permission was restricted to priests, deacons, mandated acolytes. We need good catechesis on the doctrine of the eucharist- that we receive the whole Christ under either species. Servers hold a paten and our pastor has encouraged communion on the tongue as the preferred manner of receiving. Allen Murphy sfo

  32. Allen Murphy sfo says:

    One p.s. The sign of reverence for receiving communion is a minimum of a bow-Cardinal Arinze has made it clear that other signs- e.g genuflecting or kneeling are fine and of course no one can or should be denied based on the sign of reverence given. Allen Murphy sfo

  33. Evelyn says:

    As an Anglican in childhood, we received by intinction, but quite differently from what you describe here. We were kneeling at the rail, but received in the hand, and then the deacon came by with the cup and did the dipping. So intinction can be done with the hands involved and not just the tongue.

  34. Rick says:

    I heard somewhere that communion under both species is a fuller sign because it is a sign of the resurrection. In death the body and blood are separated, but with the resurrection they were reunited. I I’m sure someone can explain the symbol more fully. I think the priest may say a prayer to that effect when he puts a sliver of the host into the precious blood before he goes to communion.

  35. Mark G. says:

    If our Lord Jesus instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice by separating his body & his blood – more clearly denoting a sacrifice – then we would more fully participate in that sacrifice by eating his body & drinking his blood. That’s why he said “Take and eat… Take and drink…” Seems like that’s what we are to do.

    I get a clear sense here amongst the discussions about bad catechesis and superfluous EMHCs and liturgical accidents that the real issue is simply that since the laity don’t receive the Precious Blood according to the 1962 Missal it should never, ever be done, period. Fortunately Christ Jesus and Holy Mother Church know what is good for our souls.

    Having received via intinction before, I’d say it is a controlled, efficient, reverent, and wonderful way to receive Holy Communion.

    BTW, in the really-old days, people were baptized naked and penitents did wear sack-cloth and ashes as much fuller signs of the reality in which they participated. The Church decides what we may do and should do.

  36. Jayna says:

    Here’s what Archbishop Wilton Gregory has to say about it: “While the Prefect of the Congregation, in his letter, mentions two additional pastoral approaches: the distribution of Holy Communion under only one species or the use of intinction, at present the use of intinction is not encouraged in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.”

    I suspect it is because it would require Communion on the tongue. Hard to believe he has a doctorate in Sacred Liturgy.

  37. As was mentioned in a post above, at Our Lady of the Atonement Church in San Antonio, Holy Communion is administered by intinction, and has been from the time the parish was established some twenty-six years ago. We purchased intinction sets for this purpose, although at the smaller weekday Masses when there are only forty or fifty communicants, I hold the chalice and a larger paten in one hand, and it works just as well. The intinction sets allow us to administer to several hundred communicants at the larger Masses. The people receive while kneeling at the rail. It is a dignified way of administering under both species, and it does have the added feature of avoiding Communion in the hand.

  38. I usually don’t receive from the chalice myself, because then I have an opportunity to make an act of faith that Jesus is fully present under both species. If I remember my history right, the idea that it is necessary to receive under both kinds comes from the early days of Protestantism. Something unsavory is at work wherever Catholics feel gypped when they cannot receive under both kinds.

    Of course, I think an even worse symptom of bad catechesis is the amount of yakking and carrying on in church before and after Mass.

  39. Mark says:

    “what confuses me here is that a sacrament is a sign that effects what it signifies. There is obviously, in a sacrament, a close connection between the sign and reality. So, to say that it signifies less under one form would seem to mean that it effects less under that form.”

    No, because how could you effect half a sacrament? It either works or it doesnt. For example, baptism by immersion is a fuller symbol because it more perfectly resembles a burial which, actually, is the primary symbol of baptism (dying and rising with Christ) and not washing, as the method of infusion has led people to believe in the West (though that symbolism obviously is also important and takes a very close second-place). Both immersion and infusion validly baptize the person. Original sin is either remitted or it isnt, you cant half remit it. A character is either imprinted or it isnt. But the immersion is a fuller sign as it better symbolizes both a burial and a washing.

  40. Mark says:

    “Moreover, communion under both species leads to a sanctuary jammed with extraordinary ministers.”

    Only if you use separate chalices, which I dont agree with. But if it is done by intinction, theoretically then you have just one minister for both, so you need only the same number of ministers as you would if only giving the host.

    Or, if you are doing deacon-with-chalice-priest-with-ciborium intinction, it is of course then limited to the priest and deacon.

  41. Mark says:

    “Widespread use of Communion under both kinds can create the unfortunate effect of reducing awareness of the “sub una” doctrine, and consequently impair the reverence of the communicant towards reception under one kind only.”

    “I usually don’t receive from the chalice myself, because then I have an opportunity to make an act of faith that Jesus is fully present under both species.”

    Again, these attitudes represent a major reversal in priorities and a tendency towards minimalism as if just to prove we know what the theoretical minimal is. It is a very Scholastic tendency to be concerned with what are the minimal requirements of validity…but that’s just the thing. They are only the MINIMAL requirements of validity. They are the SMALLEST possible expression, but we should hope for more when possible.

    It is akin to the strange attitude of some Neocons I’ve known who admit personal distaste for the practice of Communion on the Hand and then, bafflingly, do it for that very reason!! To “prove that they accept that it is now licit in spite of their personal preferences”. It’s ridiculous, and shows how twisted logic has become in the church these days.

    If a priest were to leave out the whole canon and only say the Words of Institution, or if the Church were to cut the Mass down to just that…would you interpret this as an “act of faith in the fact that the Words of Institution constitute the essential Form of the sacrament”?!?!?! I should hope not! Of course not. Even if there is a faulty idea going around that “the anaphora as a whole consecrates”…we would not support the other extreme. So neither is leaving out the fullness of the sign in the case of communion any “act of faith”. Don’t fool yourself. If you want to receive under one kind only, fine, it is certainly allowed and certainly the whole Christ is present. But dont try to argue that it is in any way morally or theologically superior; at best you can argue is better for practical reasons.

    In fact, personally, I do only receive the host, on the tongue, both because I usually attend the Old Rite, and it’s traditional, and I don’t really like the idea of lay people touching the sacred vessels. But I’d like to see it done, in the Old Rite and New, by intinction, like in the East. As the main or only mode of distribution even.

    If heretical, obstinate utraquism was a problem these days, then I could see. But the only problem today is catechesis. I doubt anyone who is willing to accept the misunderstanding Christ is Really Partially Present in one and the other species is going to refuse to accept that he is Really Fully Present in both species. People who are heretics these days…just deny the Real Presence completely.

  42. Mark says:

    “Here in the US our parish used to do communion under both species but stopped when cleansing of vessels permission was restricted to priests, deacons, mandated acolytes.”

    Which is ridiculous. If the laity as EMHCs can HOLD the cup, and give it to others to hold to drink from…stopping them from cleansing it seems too little too late. There is no logic to it. Either it is appropriate for the laity to touch the vessels or it isnt. Why ban just cleansing? At that point…the cat’s out of the bag.

    The best way is for the priest to stand there with the paten and intinct in the chalice held by the deacon and administer it on the tongue. That is the fullest sign, was the “theological ideal” symbolism for centuries. But at a large Mass, the deacon could hold the chalice and the priest could use a ciborium (technically a less proper vessel to him than the paten itself), and then (in the Old Rite) the subdeacon or (in the New) an acolyte could move alongside the the priest and deacon with the paten-on-a-stick to hold under.

  43. stanislaus says:

    The only parish in the United States that I have seen do intinction is Our Lady Mother of the Church oratory near Chicago, which is run by polish Cistercians. They have a vessel where there is a chalice surrounded by hosts, and only the priests give holy communion with the faithful kneeling. It seems to work there. I’ve also seen it done in Italy a few times, once a priest was holding the chalice in his hand, and used the same hand the push the ciborium with hosts against his stomach, hardly the ideal method I imagine.

  44. Mark says:

    “We need good catechesis on the doctrine of the eucharist- that we receive the whole Christ under either species.”

    We certainly do.

    But that begs the question…what DO people who think you receive something different under the different species imagine is happening?

    Well, they apparently imagine some grotesque thing where they imagine the host to be a little circle of excised flesh, and cup to be filled with liquid blood!

    Disgusting!

    And this directly harms belief in the Real Presence in general, as if that is what people think we teach…OF COURSE they arent going to believe it. Honestly, if people think that’s what we teach…we should be glad they dont accept THAT! That WOULD be grotesque cannibalism. The fact that anyone, out of blind faith but misunderstanding…does believe that, is even rather troubling. If that’s what people think, they SHOULD reject that…it should offend their mind and their sensus fidei…the fact that any misinformed people are still willing to accept it, makes me worry about such people’s critical thinking skills vis a vis apparent blind acceptance of something disgusting (though thankfully untrue).

    Of course, that’s not what we teach. We teach that the entire living Person, Jesus Christ, is present. A human being, not some piece of flesh or pool of liquid blood. It is only in his entire united Person that we receive both. As the Catechism of the Council of Trent says, in this sacrament are contained “… all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews….” We receive (for instance) Christ’s head and arms and feet, etc. Only on Good Friday, if the Apostles had consecrated then, would they have been separate, and even then it would have been his whole body and entire quantity of dispersed blood, not just some “circle” of flesh or mere “drop” of blood.

    One problem I think is the influence of Lanciano and other derivative miracles or “miracles”. I’m not saying I necessarily reject those miracles (though certainly we arent required to accept them). But at the very least, if it’s imagery was helpful at the time, when the doctrine of the Real Presence was fully understood…I think today it is just confusing, and perpetuates people imagining the grotesque “circle of flesh” idea of the eucharist, and thus leads them away from belief in the real presence. And even many people who do believe in the miracle seem to be under the impression that it has “lifted the veil” and revealed what is really under the accidents of the host…but it hasnt. It has replaced the accidents of bread with the accidents of a circle of flesh, but neither are Christ’s inherent accidents, which would be those of a glorified man standing there, as Aquinas has to directly address: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4076.htm#article8

    So far from helping belief in the real presence, I believe pushing Eucharistic Miracles as some sort of “proof” does more to hurt belief than help. The ones where there is an apparition of the ENTIRE living glorified Christ are fine, but the “circle of bloody flesh” ones are just confusing and these days just seem to perpetuate a grotesque misunderstanding of the Eucharist and actually HURT belief in the Real Presence.

  45. Charivari Rob says:

    Mark – “Again, these attitudes represent a major reversal in priorities and a tendency towards minimalism as if just to prove we know what the theoretical minimal is. It is a very Scholastic tendency to be concerned with what are the minimal requirements of validity…but that’s just the thing. They are only the MINIMAL requirements of validity. They are the SMALLEST possible expression, but we should hope for more when possible.”

    “Minimalism”? “Minimal requirements of validity”?

    Offhand, I can’t recall ever having heard such a reference to the Eucharist. It’s the full, Real Presence – no more or less real in either form or the smallest of quantities.

    In this context, ‘minimally valid’ sounds an awful lot like ‘a little bit pregnant’.

    Is our experience of it is “more complete” for encountering both signs, both forms? Our perception might be, if contemplating the two forms helps us. The sacrament we experience, however, is no more complete for having a second form.

  46. Origen Adamantius says:

    There are many legitimate pastoral reasons for restricting communion to one species (size of congregation, Ministers, etc..) However, many of the reasons proffered here seem to imply that Jesus got it wrong, that we know better than him. The Church proscribes that communion, when possible in concrete pastoral situations, should be distributed under both species precisely because that is how Christ instituted the sacrament.

  47. Sixupman says:

    “Communion under both kinds is a more complete sign” – we part company. However did we manage before Vatican II? Not everyone went to Communion, at Mass, because they were well aware that certain forms of sin prohibited such – a REAL recognition of the True Presence! The, then, fasting rules also confirmed that thinking. There are no sinners in Mother Church any longer – witnessed by all and sundry taking Communion. Communion has been rendered common-place. Perhaps the clergy should preach The Real Presence – but they cannot, because they see it as a communal meal – hence wine with the main course, don’t you know! I kid you not: my PP to First Communicants preached “the best meal at table in the best cafe in town” – does he believe in The True Presence! We, the laity, must experience and participate in everything – but pray in contemplation, or actually read the word of The Mass, no!

  48. qfnol31 says:

    I have a good friend who is Eastern Orthodox and has mentioned to me on a few occasions that the West has lost something in Holy Communion. My parish priest also told me the same thing (he was a convert from Greek Orthodoxy and is the second or third most conservative priest I have ever known).

    When I was in Rome, our chaplin told us before Mass about receiving. If a person came with outstretched hands, he did not use intinction. Otherwise he would use intinction and we received on our tongues. We had a small group, but this practice worked really well.

  49. John Parker says:

    There are a number of practical problems with intiction – the main one being that some people, say recovering alcoholics, cannot communicate under both species and must have the right not to do so. Also, as communion under both kinds is largely about the “signs” rather than the “substance” – Christ being of course wholly present in both species – is it not more appropriate to “take and drink”?

    I agree that the expression “more complete sign” is infelicitous, and that proper catechetics is needed about Holy Communion and what communion under both kinds is really about.

    Here in Belgium, the practice of self-intinction is endemic and the hierarchy shows no desire to eliminate it. It is a complete disaster, alas like much of the liturgy in this country.

  50. Berthold says:

    I must admit that I fail to see the significance of intinction. One receives Holy Communion fully through one species, and the \’take this and drink from it\’ is also not conveyed in a ‘dip into it’. The people would also have to indicate if they want to receive one or both species. The Anglicans have communion in both kinds; yet at least in smaller churches everyone kneels on a communion rail and the minister first goes round with the bread, then again with the chalice. Since I came to England it struck me that, although their prayer book explicitly denies the real presence in the so-called ‘black rubric’, their manner of reception is considerably more respectful than that in many Catholic churches.

    It is really strange how differently Communion in Both Kinds is spread: In England it is very common, in Germany and Austria, however, rare. The only time I saw it at a normal Mass in Germany was in the Benedictine Abbey of St Boniface in Munich; here the celebrant left ca 5 chalices standing on the altar, from where the Communicants could help themselves, either through drinking or through intinction. I still regret that I never sent of my letter of complaint.

  51. Nathan says:

    This is a very interesting discussion. It seems that most of us in the combox tend to come out on the side of the practice which we know best re Holy Communion under both kinds vs. under a single Species. That, however, dosen’t really get at the heart of the issue, IMO.

    I’ve heard for a long time proponents of Holy Communion under both kinds quote GIRM #281 “a more complete sign,” but I’ve never seen any well-developed explanation or historical support for that assertion. Fr. Z helps somewhat by including the GIRM’s follow-on sentence, “For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the Eucharist banquet.”

    That’s interesting. What does it really mean that a “fuller light shines?” Liturgically, in the Roman Rite, is the reception of Holy Communion by those who aren’t the celebrant an intregal part of the Sacrificial Banquet? I’ve seen some old-school explanations that argued that the celebrant alone received from the Chalice because the celebrant’s Holy Communion was a sign of the completion of the immolation of the Sacred Victim. One could argue that this was re-inforced at the fullest expression of the Roman Rite, the (TLM) Solemn Papal Mass, where only the Holy Father received Holy Communion at all.

    One can certainly disagree, saying that the Sacred Victim is immolated in the action of the Canon (signified by the fraction of the Host), and that the Roman Rite practice of Holy Communion under a single Species for priests and laity not acting as Sacred Ministers was simply a practical matter of limiting the potential for inadvertent profanation.

    Is there a liturgical or theological argument that clearly explains how and why reception under two kinds is a fuller sign? Does such reception clarify the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament? Does such reception increase the potential for actual grace (presumably by the fullness of the sign)? Does it increase our unity or help the laity lead more holy lives? That would be a really interesting discussion.

    In Christ,

  52. Those who argue for communion under the species of wine for the sake of “a more complete sign” would seem to have to argue against intinction. With intinction, you are not “taking and drinking.” In fact, intinction would have the reverse effect as making it seem that if the sacred Host is not in contact with the Precious Blood, than the Host does not contain the whole Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

    In the Roman Church, what have advantages there been since the reintroduction of holy Communion under both species?
    I don’t see the use of EMHC, communicants walking past the precious Blood communion “station” without acknowledging Christ’s presence, the accidental spilling (what happens when the Precious Blood spills on someone’s shirt?), and “disappointmnet” of those who receive receive both species regularly when they cannot receive both as advantages. All these seem like a weakening of faith in the Real Presence. They tend to focus on the meal aspect of the holy Mass.

    We may argue we need more catechesis. Ok. But, the reality is that this is being done and catechesis is still not being done.
    The best catechesis at this point would be to stop communion under two kinds in the Latin Church and follow the wisdom (not so-called “minimalism”-a Bugninian catch phrase, I believe) of the saints who have gone before us.

  53. Anthony in TX says:

    I’ve been to a couple of parishes in Houston that distribute Holy communion by intinction – Holy Rosary (run by Dominicans) and Our Lady of Walsingham (Anglican Use). Here’s how it works at both parishes:

    1. Communicants kneel at the altar rail
    2. an altar boy or acolyte holds a paten under thin chin
    3. the priest uses an intinction set (plate with a small cup attached) to distribute.

    At the Dominican parish, if the communicant wishes to receive in the hand, the person holds hands out, one over the other, in the normal way one indicates. I’d say less than 10% receive in the hand. At the Anglican Use parish, I have never seen anyone receive in the hand. Neither parish uses EMHCs.

  54. Ella says:

    I sometimes go to different parishes because different Mass schedules fit into different weekends better. The local parish with the ugly modern church has an old school Communion rail, and Father gives Communion by intinction to those who choose to use the rail. People who insist on standing receive just a Host from an EMC. It’s pretty interesting. I love the intinction at the Communion rail :-)

  55. Ohio Annie says:

    “communicants walking past the precious Blood communion “station” without acknowledging Christ’s presence”

    this is all right when you have already genuflected and communicated, to genuflect or bow the second time reinforces the notion that there is a separate Christ present in the Precious Blood than there was in the Host

  56. Aaron says:

    I don’t have anything against intinction. But it seems to me that if, as Fr. Z. says, a significant amount of catechesis would be needed to introduce it, why not simply use that catechesis time to reaffirm what people should already know about the complete Real Presence in each form alone? Why teach something new, instead of simply going back to teaching something we should have been teaching all along?

  57. mpm says:

    Comment by Ohio Annie — 23 June 2009 @ 9:57 am

    Ohio Annie,

    I think you have put your finger on why the practice of “Communion stations” is
    a less than desireable way to administer Communion under both species. If the
    point of doing so is to enhance the psychological efficacy of the Sign, doesn’t
    it destroy the efficacy to separate the Species spatially? It seems to me that the “practice”, defeats the original intent. That is not the case with intinction.

    BTW, the Eastern Rites also use leavened bread, which soaks up the Precious Bloood
    and holds it like a sponge; whereas our unleavened bread is more impervious
    to soaking, which makes the safeguards provided by intinction even more desireable.

  58. Mark says:

    “Is our experience of it is ‘more complete’ for encountering both signs, both forms? Our perception might be, if contemplating the two forms helps us. The sacrament we experience, however, is no more complete for having a second form.”

    So, again, should we have Mass that is just the Words of Institution consecrating tiny crumbs to be distributed, in order to “teach” people that this is the minimum necessary for validity? Maybe with a married priest, since celibacy is a merely fuller, but not strictly speaking required for validity, sign?

    Too many Catholics these days have fallen into the faulty notions that the entire anaphora is consecratory! Therefore we should only use the Words of Institution. Too many Catholics now see celibacy as of-the-essence of the priesthood. To combat this we should introduce married priests!

    Yet I somehow doubt you support that. So stop holding a double standard when it comes to communion. We all know the REALITY is the same either way, and if you want to receive under one species, that is certainly currently allowed, and I myself do (though mainly because I dont want to touch a sacred vessel; if intinction were offered, I’d take that).

    The minimum necessary is a nice theoretical scholastic question, but one not resolved (nor even really considered) for the first millennium. As long as everyone agrees that the fuller sign being used is valid, who cares “how low we could go” and still have it be valid? It has some implications for extraordinary situations, of course, but in general the minimum essentials are not that important for the people to know explicitly. The Orthodox are disgusted by Catholic minimalism in that regard.

  59. Mark says:

    “Those who argue for communion under the species of wine for the sake of ‘a more complete sign’ would seem to have to argue against intinction. With intinction, you are not ‘taking and drinking.’”

    An argument that only works in modern language, though. “Drink” as Jesus would have meant it was only the word for “consumption of a liquid” as opposed to “consumption of a solid” and did not exclude “dipping”. Indeed, consider at the Last Supper how he dipped the bread in the cup. The Dolorous Passion explains, “Among the Jews, to give ‘bread dipped’ was a mark of friendship and confidence; Jesus on this occasion gave Judas the morsel, in order thus to warn him, without making known his guilt to the others.”

    One should not say, “See, intinction marks a Judas!” as dipping the bread in the cup was part of Jewish custom, and the passover meal specifically, and perhaps is even how communion was distributed to all the Apostles. It was not a later innovation in the East, it comes directly from the Passover meal, and would have been considered both “eating” and “drinking”.

  60. Veritas says:

    Many Anglican churches have given communion in both kinds very reverently to people kneeling at altar rails and receiving on the tongue or in the hand. This has happened for a very long time.

  61. Richard A says:

    The Eastern (separated) Churches reproach the Roman Church for witholding the cup from the faithful. It is the only accusation from those churches that I have ever heard that has the slightest bit of merit. If communion under both kinds removes an obstacle to full communion with our Eastern brethren, then I think we ought to do it.

  62. LoganE says:

    “Holy Communion has a more complete as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the Eucharist banquet.”

    Comment & Analysis: This is a gratuitous positivistic statement without any precedence in the history of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and is typical of the positivist mentality inherent in the new Mass and in the Conciliar & post Conciliar documents themselves. The authors of GIRM insult the intelligence of those who know the true history of the past and the true theology of the Mass, believing that the simple assertion of something as true will burnish itself into the minds of priests and the faithful as true because it has been asserted as such. Indeed, even though there was Communion under both kinds in the Roman Rite until the twelfth century, no one asserted this was a “fuller” sign of Holy Communion.

    To assert that Communion has a fuller sign if distributed and received under both kinds is to promote in fact a negation of the traditional teaching of the Church, no matter what disclaimers appear in Paragraph 282.

    It is evident that the only one real reason for the push in favor of the extension of the distribution of Communion under both kinds is to blur the distinction between the priesthood of the ordained priest and the common priesthood of the faithful by the proliferation of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.

    As a well known priest noted, “Communion under both kinds is a desire to appeal to Protestants. It seems to me, if I remember, that the Protestant commentator in the ‘red’ edition of the Vatican II documents in his commentary immediately following Sacrosanctum Concilium, made this statement: ‘Everything the Reformers of the Sixteenth Century wanted has now been given in the new Catholic Mass, with the exception of offering of the chalice to the layman. We hope that one day this prohibition will also be lifted.’ Well, they got everything they wanted and even more. This ‘both species’ thing is one of the prizes in the whole dismantling scheme of the revolutionaries.”

  63. Nathan says:

    LoganE, while I’m certainly sympathetic to your take on reception under both Species, I think we really need to try and “peel back the onion” on the liturgical and theological concepts and their history behind the re-introduction of the practice into the Roman Rite. After all, a number of good, smart people who comment and write here are in general agreement with the statement of the GIRM, not least of all our Eastern Rite bretheren who have been receiving both Species for a very long time.

    The statement from GIRM #281 is taken almost verbatim from the 1967 Sacred Congregation of Rites document, “Eucharisticum Mysterium.” All the non-trad sources I searched indicated that this was one of the main documents authored by Abp Bugnini and his Concilum that implemented the liturgical changes of the 1960s.

    Prior to that, other than a Bugnini consilium draft in 1965 called “The Rite of Communion Under Both Kinds,” the only other mention that I could find of the practice was Sacrosanctum Concilium 55, where the Vatican II fathers said that Holy Communion in the Roman Rite could be given to the laity “in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See” and mentioned, as an example, immediately after adult baptism and reception into the Church.

    My point is, that after a limited search, the concept that “Holy Communion has a more complete as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the Eucharist banquet.” at least in Vatican documents, seems to originate with Bugnini’s Concilium and not prior to 1967.

    Does that invalidate the concept? Most likely not, but unlike a lot of liturgical thought, it seems to start and not get developed much beyond that point.

    Is there more to the concept, folks? I’m trying to get past my unquestioning acceptance of Michael Davies’ conclusions when I read “Pope Paul’s New Mass” almost 30 years ago. It was easier for me to accept then that the “bad liturgy guys” simply wanted to throw Protestants a bone.

    In Christ,

  64. mpm says:

    Nathan,

    I’m not as sympathetic to LoganE’s thesis as I am to your inquiry.

    What he is saying is on the order of a historical investigation as to the recent
    introduction into the Roman Rite of communion under both kinds, a practice which,
    in the East, is of “immemorial custom”, and therefore normative.

    To conclude from a historical investigation that locates the roots of the wording
    of the GIRM to someone who one suspects of bad intentions, does not for one
    second disqualify the a) practice, or b) the theology of it. The classic formula
    for this is “an abuse does not take away the use”, and usus is “custom”.

  65. Ohio Annie says:

    mpm, unleavened bread can be made more absorbent for intinction, like pita bread, which is unleavened. it doesn’t have to be cracker-like in texture.

  66. Nathan says:

    mpm, good point. My frustration with the search is that the GIRM and Eucharsiticum Mysterium make the assertion about receiving both species being a fuller sign, even with escatological implications, but do not go into any more detail on 1) how that can happen since given Trent’s teaching on the entirety of Christ in each Species, or 2) how it might enrich the Christian life. The commentaries on the GIRM and the proponents of the practice simply use the same sentence over and over.

    Richard A, another good point. For our bretheren in the Eastern Churches, how do you explain the practice, especially since you also have the Liturgy of the Presanctified more often than Latin Rite folks and since you give young children Holy Communion in one form?

    In Christ,

  67. mpm says:

    Ohio Annie,

    Thanks. BTW, I wasn’t criticizing what you said, but agreeing. I myself, when
    attending Mass in the Ordinary Form, normally do not communicate under both species,
    when that is “on offer” so to speak, but I do tend to acknowledge Christ’s presence
    under the wine with a “head-bow” when I pass, as an act of Faith. If nobody is
    queued up, I will receive under the Species of wine, again as a personal act of Faith.

    All I’m saying is that the Eastern Rite practice, as they practice it, is a better
    way to administer under both species (the unity of Christ is more apparent) than
    to constitute various “stations” around the Church as is often done in Latin Rite
    parishes.

  68. mpm says:

    Nathan,

    KIM, that Trent was defining specifically against specific denials by Protestants
    of the day. And I adhere firmly to everything defined by Trent! It is a theological
    principle that to deny a specific error, does not detract from related ideas as they
    are expressed in an orthodox manner within the fulness of the doctrine.

    So, it is false to deny that Christ is not permanently present under either Species
    until either is corrupted, while it is not false to affirm that, psychologically,
    there is a fuller sign when Communion is received under both kinds.

    While the Eastern Rite Catholics/Orthodox were facing different problems than the Latin
    Rite at the time of Trent, and did not have to deal with Protestant denials as such,
    they still only ever ordinarily retained the Eucharist under the form of Bread for distribution
    to the sick and those who were in prison, which implies that they would not have
    disagreed with the condemnation by Trent of the Protestant denial of Christ’s True
    Presence under the smallest morsel of either Species.

    [I use lots of double negatives there, because I do not want to put words in their
    mouths; they hate that!]

    I’m not up to the task of enumerating how reception under both Kinds might benefit
    a person’s interior life: that probably has as many answers as there are people.
    One thought: that is the very Blood that Christ shed because I have offended Him, and
    He would not take that as a final answer!

  69. Ohio Annie says:

    mpm, this issue came up for me because I don’t like receiving under both kinds (I am clumsy) and at the abbey where I go on retreat, after I communicate I have to walk by the altar and the “cup bearer.” I asked my priest at home how to handle it. He said just walk by. This was after I had gotten dirty looks for not receiving under both kinds. You really don’t wnat to hand a chalice of the Precious Blood to somebody whose nickname is Butterfingers.

    More disturbing is the priest who flicks the Host into your mouth like a Tiddlywink.

    I agree about the “stations.” One parish that I go to has EIGHT chalices, lots of potential for disaster.

  70. Mark says:

    “they still only ever ordinarily retained the Eucharist under the form of Bread for distribution to the sick and those who were in prison”

    Actually, no, it depends.

    The Byzantines who put the Lamb INTO the chalice and distribute with a spoon…actually reserve the whole chalice (having drunk the excess) and let that which is soaked into the pieces dry. Then they re-wet these soaked-and-dried consecrated pieces with regular [unconsecrated] wine in a little tiny chalice when they bring to the sick.

    Notice that the deacon is the one both associated with ministering the chalice at Mass and bringing communion to the sick (theoretically in the chalice itself, his proper vessel); there is a wonderful internal consistency of the symbolism! And it is better seen in the East where the signs are given fully and not vetigially minimalist and reductionist. In fact, reserving communion in the chalice is the origin of the ciborium (which, technically, originally is just a modified chalice in which to save communion for the sick), the paten being the proper vessel for the host during Mass itself (ideally).

    The East certainly understands that the whole Christ is present under both species, theoretically, but the Orthodox are huge on symbolism (something the West sometimes forgets or lets fall into decay) and the psychological power of the fullness of ritual. Whenever possible they, thus, in this way, do distribute under both kinds, even to the sick.

  71. mpm says:

    Mark,

    I stand corrected, but I did get my information from a Byzantine Rite Catholic
    priest who was talking about the discipline of his Church. Perhaps I didn’t “get”
    everything he was saying.

    Regarding symbolism, there is plenty of it in the Latin Rite, it just is not properly
    explained (catechized). In the NO, some of it has been lost, and one might argue,
    inauthentic concepts substituted.

    I have also (recently) seen reference to the “exuberance” of the Greek Liturgy,
    versus the “noble simplicity” (which may mean “understatement”) of the Latin Rite.
    I think that difference of Liturgical Tradition may be valid.

    I once asked a Ukrainian Catholic how the faithful under Communism could celebrate
    the Divine Liturgy out in the woods (which is where they sometimes had to celebrate).
    He answered that he thought most of the priests had bi-ritual faculties, and thus
    would celebrate the Latin Rite Mass, when all the conditions for celebrating the
    Divine Liturgy couldn’t be satisfied!

    The Holy Spirit has it covered!

  72. Kimberly says:

    A friend of our family, who is a priest, sometimes will say Mass in our private chapel. When he does, he holds the the chalice and paten in one hand. He has been doing this for a long time and seems to have a very secure hold on both. Of course there is a communion plate held under our chins by a server. It can be done.

  73. Precentrix says:

    *Mark*

    I am amused that you would accuse a lay Dominican of ‘scholastic tendencies’…..

    *****

    I have only ever received both species when it has been by intinction, in either Byzantine (Ukies) or Latin Rites. In the case of the Latin Rite, it was in the context of the OF celebrated by one of the Polish priests in my home parish. It seems to be the usual method; and Father clearly knew what he was doing and had much practice. The Polish contingent seemed to find this completely normal. Since I receive on the tongue as a matter of rule, there was no ‘problem’ or moment of surprise.

    My SD, a member of the FSSP, has actually expressed the wish that the laity could, on certain special occasions, receive under both kinds at the EF (yes, I know that it’s permitted in the OF, but that was kind of what he was getting at). It’s to do with his subjective experience as a priest receiving from the chalice, but I think it’s a subjective experience he would like us to share. Of course, being subjective, it isn’t all the time, because, hey, one can hardly guarantee feelings of devotion…

  74. ETMC says:

    We use intinction at my parish. A priest or deacon will administer Holy Communion, with an altar boy standing next to him holding a paten. Also, everyone receives kneeling (and on the tongue, obviously!). We don’t have a “traditional” Communion rail, but we use kneelers (for the TLM, they are pushed together to form two continuous “rails,” one on each side of the main aisle.)

  75. walking past the chalice “is all right when you have already genuflected and communicated, to genuflect or bow the second time reinforces the notion that there is a separate Christ present in the Precious Blood than there was in the Host.”
    Am I correct to say that by this logic, the priest who has just received Holy Communion should not genflect at the tabernacle if he goes to retrieve Hosts to distribute.

    “‘Drink’ as Jesus would have meant it was only the word for ‘consumption of a liquid’ as opposed to ‘consumption of a solid’ and did not exclude ‘dipping’.”
    Even if we interpret “drink” in such a broad way we are not antiquarians trying to recreate the Last Supper. Wholesome organic development within the Roman Rite has led to holy Communion under one species. We should stick to the developed Tradition.

    In any case, by the very fact that Christ is fully present in the Host, we “drink” His Blood. To deny this is heresy.

    The attempt of an analogy of minimalism with regard to the Canon is lame because it has never been part of the Roman Tradition to omit parts of the Canon. Moreover, the use of bells, elevation, and genuflections has been an outstanding sign that it is the words of Christ and not the entire prayer that effects the sacrament. Every Catholic knew this in the past. Even Protestants knew what Catholics believed. Can we say the same today?

    Practices have changed. That is not disputed. But, the Holy Spirit guided those changes. Therefore, we must always give benefit of the doubt to Tradition, something that was seemingly not done by the Bugnini commission. And we know the tree by its fruits.

  76. Mark says:

    “Wholesome organic development within the Roman Rite has led to holy Communion under one species. We should stick to the developed Tradition.”

    A development that has tended towards a minimalism and reductionism detrimental to the whole symbolism. There is nothing wrong with restoration if it is true restoration. And it greatly helps relations with the East.

  77. Greg Smisek says:

    Mark wrote: “The best way is for the priest to stand there with the paten and intinct in the chalice held by the deacon and administer it on the tongue. That is the fullest sign, was the “theological ideal” symbolism for centuries.”

    And: “There is nothing wrong with restoration if it is true restoration.”

    You cannot restore what you never had. Intinction was not the practice of the Western Church prior to adoption of distribution under one species, nor even the primitive practice of the Eastern Churches (witness the Byzantines’ use of the ancient practice of communicating under the species of bread and wine separately for the feast of St. James). Back in the days of distribution under both species, the Popes several times repudiated the practice of intinction within the Western Church. It was used sparingly where Latin Rite Catholics rubbed shoulders with Eastern Christians. Otherwise it is an inorganic growth on the Western liturgy.

    Mark’s notion that our Lord distributed Holy Communion at the Last Supper by dipping the consecrated morsel into the chalice is forced at best. Sts. Matthew and Mark recount our Lord’s words about dipping “into a dish,” not a cup (Matt. 26:23; Mark 14:20), and there is no mention of dipping after our Lord utters the words of consecration. According to St. John, our Lord “dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas” (13:26ff), but exegetes argue about whether this action refers to Holy Communion or merely bread from the Passover meal. Luke and Paul do not mention anything about dipping.

    While I respect the Easterns’ long tradition of intinction and the decisions of Latin Rite priests to use a legitimate option for practical reasons, this is not the Roman way, and there is good reason not to jump on the intinction bandwagon in the Roman Rite.

  78. Origen Adamantius says:

    “practices have changed..guided by the Spirit”

    Do they not continue to change guided by the Spirit with the re-institution of communion under both species??

  79. Greg Smisek says:

    Mark wrote: “The best way is for the priest to stand there with the paten and intinct in the chalice held by the deacon and administer it on the tongue. That is the fullest sign, was the ?theological ideal? symbolism for centuries.”

    And: “There is nothing wrong with restoration if it is true restoration.”

    You can’t restore what you never had. Intinction was not the practice of the Western Church prior to adoption of distribution under one species, nor even the primitive practice of the Eastern Churches (witness the Byzantines’ use of the ancient practice of communicating under the species of bread and wine separately for the feast of St. James). Back in the days of distribution under both species, the Popes several times repudiated the practice of intinction within the Western Church. It was used sparingly where Latin Rite Catholics rubbed shoulders with Eastern Christians. Otherwise it is an inorganic growth on the Western liturgy.

    Mark’s notion that our Lord distributed Holy Communion at the Last Supper by dipping the consecrated morsel into the chalice is forced at best. Sts. Matthew and Mark recount our Lord’s words about dipping “into a dish,” not a cup (Matt. 26:23; Mark 14:20), and there is no mention of dipping after our Lord utters the words of consecration. According to St. John, our Lord “dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas” (13:26ff), but exegetes argue about whether this action refers to Holy Communion or merely bread (or even some other dipping food) from the Passover meal. Luke and Paul do not mention anything about dipping.

    While I respect the Easterners’ long tradition of intinction and the decisions of Latin Rite priests to use a legitimate option for practical reasons, this is not the Roman way, and there is good reason not to jump on the intinction bandwagon in the Roman Rite.

  80. Michael says:

    Fr. Z.: “the GIRM is right. Communion under both kinds is a more complete sign”

    I don’t think so. Neither is the communion under one kind, as practised in the Church for centuries, in any real sense eating, not is the sipping from the chalice in any real sense drinking. The original signs have been lost because they were impractical with large congregations or with people who do not know one another.

    So, there is nothing “more complete” with the communion under both kinds: only more complicated.

    I would agree that the intinction is the best way of trying to eliminate communion in the hand, but those who are determined to have it their way would nevertheless insist on receiving in the hand, even after intinction.

  81. Mark says:

    “Sts. Matthew and Mark recount our Lord’s words about dipping “into a dish,” not a cup”

    Any knowledge of Jewish culture at the time would tell you that the substance that “dipped bread” was dipped in, traditionally, was indeed wine.

  82. Greg Smisek says:

    Mark: Where have you come by this true knowledge of our Lord’s words and actions? Is it infused, or can I hope to attain it one day?

  83. Marie says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but St. Mary’s of the Angels in Chicago has an interesting system for distributing communion (under the species of bread only). One priest gives out communion to those who approach the altar and kneel at the railing, and the other priests assume the usual position at the head of two lines in the middle aisle. Communicants are free to enter either line. It works very well.

  84. Ohio Annie says:

    Viator, we are talking about two different things. what the priest does in certain circumstances is different than what a lay person does who has just communicated.

  85. Greg Smisek says:

    Mark: Is that infused knowledge, or can I hope to attain it one day?

  86. Greg Smisek says:

    Sorry for the double postings. I guess my posts from one computer are getting trapped in a spam filter or time dilation field.

  87. Father, thanks for encouraging kneeling during Holy Communion!

    btw, looking thru this thread I was struck by the absence of the magic word……utraquism [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15244b.htm]

    As far as catechesis goes… it seems to me that insisting upon ‘both kinds’ the Church could unintentionally rekindle this heresy, or be catering to latent utraquists or to the superstitious ….

    K. C.

  88. Whoops! Sorry Jeff! You did say the magic word, and your exapmle of your friends who didn’t think receiving only one species was a fullEucharist is very apt!

    K. C.