From a reader…
I have a question about the number of times Holy Communion May be received in a day. And I know the answer sort of.
The question is, if you may receive twice in the same day within the context of Holy Mass. and if you completely receive The body Blood Soul and divinity of Christ in either spiecies. Are you receiving twice if you receive under both species? If you were to go to Mass twice and receive under both species at both Masses would you be receiving 4 times?
First, let’s review.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law says:
Can. 917 – Qui sanctissimam Eucharistiam iam recepit, potest eam iterum eadem die suscipere solummodo intra eucharisticam celebrationem cui participat, salvo praescripto Can. 921, § 2.
Someone who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist can receive it again (iterum) on the same day only within the Eucharistic celebration [i.e. Mass, not a Communion service] in which the person participates, with due regard for the prescription of can. 921 § 2.
That iterum does not mean “again and again”, but merely “again, one more time”.
Can. 921 § 2 says that if a person is in danger of death, he may receive Communion even it is not in the context of Mass. That is Viaticum.
Also, that “Eucharistic celebration” in the canon does not mean just any service involving Communion. It means Mass. That was cleared up by the Holy See in an official response to a dubium, an officially proposed question.
To your question about receiving under both kinds. Is reception of Holy Communion under both kinds in two different steps, first as the Host and then, going to the chalice the Precious Blood, two separate acts of receiving Communion? This wouldn’t be a question in the case of intinction, or how It is distributed in an Eastern Divine Liturgy, but it might be if the Hosts and the chalice are separated at any distance.
Yes, and no.
Clearly, it is physically two separate actions of reception. Right? First you receive here, then you go over there, etc. That looks like two receptions. Right?
However, morally it is one act of reception of Communion. You are in the same Mass, during the same Communion rite, receiving the same Eucharistic Lord, both species consecrated at that Mass etc., even though you had to “go over there” to receiving the Precious Blood.
Or maybe you received the Precious Blood first and then went to where the Hosts were distributed? What difference does it make?
Look at it this way. If you eat a steak by cutting it into small pieces, you are not eating dozens of tiny steaks, you are eating “a steak”. If you eat a part of a steak and then put the rest in the fridge and eat the rest later you might be able to say that you had two steak meals not one, even though it started out as the one steak. You get two meals in the day. Analogies limp, but it is something like that. And, for the obtuse out there, I am not reducing the Eucharist to a meal… even though, yes, it is also that.
So, reception under both kinds in one Mass is one reception of Communion.