Intinction

The other day the Holy Father Pope Francis witnessed, during Holy Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the marriages of a passel of couples, some in some irregular situations. Leaving that aside, there was one thing that caught my eye.

His Holiness, again, did not seem to distribute Communion. He doesn’t, you know. However, deacons distributed under both kinds and by intinction.

Thus, no Communion in the hand.  Nota bene: they are kneeling.

For all the liturgical progressivists out there who think that Francis is the first Pope who has ever smiled or kissed a baby…. When will you implement kneeling in your parishes for Communion by intinction?

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57 Responses to Intinction

  1. Michael_Thoma says:

    Yay for intinction!

    Reduce unnecessary EMHCs, receive under both species.

    Everyone’s happy, except the forced ‘participationists’!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I would love to see intinction make a return (appearance?). Too many times I see communicants self-intinct…

  3. LeeF says:

    When will they implement kneelers and intinction? Easy answer: when hell freezes over.

    The comical thing about those insisting communion must always be given under both species is how during a large Mass the front rows receive both kinds in great numbers, but the rear rows seem to prefer receiving only the host. Intinction takes care of any worries over spreading infection. But noooooooooooo, can’t do that! Communion under both species is in practice mostly an illusion when you count the numbers.

  4. APX says:

    I wish the Anglican Use Ordinariates would distribute communion this way. It’s far more practical than having someone tilt the chalice into your mouth without spilling or it pouring out too fast.

  5. MarylandBill says:

    Hi, this is a pure question of ignorance, not a protest of anything that the Holy Father has sanctioned. Doesn’t intinction run the risk of drops of the precious blood falling on the floor?

  6. wmeyer says:

    I am in favor of most anything that will reduce the presence of EMHCs. As to the risk, MarylandBill, before all the changes, the server held a paten under the chin of the communicant. In my soon to be new parish, this is current practice.

  7. MarylandBill says:

    Thanks, that makes sense. I remember the use of patens.. but it did not occur to me.

  8. LeeF says:

    A paten is normally necessary. What is awkward though is the priest having to hold both a ciborium and a chalice in one hand. An alternative is the smaller, portable type of combined unit that has a small chalice in the center with the Precious Blood, with the hosts around it in the larger ciborium and which is easily held in one hand. With the combined unit and with an experienced priest/deacon making sure there is not enough Precious Blood to form a drop off the host, a paten could be dispensed with and communion could be given standing.

    Most supporters of great numbers of EMHCs will primarily point to the time involved in distributing communion if only ordained ministers dispense same, but there is no reason Mass has to fit in the space of exactly one hour. Dispensing with the sign of peace and lopping 5 minutes off the homily time could make it about a wash time-wise.

  9. robtbrown says:

    Not distributing Communion was also a practice he seemed to have used in Argentina, said to be a tactic to avoid controversial situations.

    Which makes me wonder what the post Synodal document will say.

  10. Thorfinn says:

    My impression is that most people advocating receiving under both species want to receive all of Christ and simply do not know that the consecrated Host contains the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. And even if this is explained, they’re likely to be skeptical and probably suspicious, since this belief is almost never taught, and the common and understandable interpretation, even among those who believe in the Real Presence, is that the Host is the Body and the Chalice is the Blood. (Presumably the Soul and Divinity, being extra mystical, are communicated via the Spirit of Vatican II.) Never underestimate the failure of modern catechesis.

    Intinction seems fairly rare but when I’ve seen it done locally no one seems to have a problem with it. I sometimes wonder whether priests worry too much about the popular reaction when considering changes in reception of the Eucharist. Take kneeling – everyone kneels during Mass (leaving aside non-kneeler churches) – who can seriously object to kneeling to receive Christ when they’ve been kneeling directly before leaving their pew?

  11. wmeyer says:

    LeeF, I have been at a couple of parishes where is is normal for 8-12 EMHCs to be used. If you watch how long it takes to distribute to them, and to recover the vessels later, plus cleanup, I think the “saved” time is negligible.

    Another excellent question is why are we in such a rush? Receive, then pray. We could all benefit from more time spent on our knees.

  12. benedetta says:

    It’s true isn’t it…it’s not about a grassroots need to receive the Precious Blood with Holy Communion is it. It’s about the need to have a lot of additional people doing things next to the priest on the altar, so, therefore, we must have the Precious Blood. Which, although the USCCB concurred with Redmemptionis Sac. about a decade ago that pouring the Precious Blood was a no no, a lot of places are surprisingly still really into doing just that. I always brace myself for the cognitive dissonance: “Taking the pitcher in His venerable hands…he flipped open the top…”?

    Of course, the beautiful sacrament of Holy Matrimony, which is itself a communion, should have what took place at the Vatican for all. Isn’t this after all a Kneeling Theology? What is marriage and the liturgical celebration of a sacrament of the Church if not that after all?

  13. JesusFreak84 says:

    IMHO, the scandal of seeming to “bless” or “sanctify” irregular situations outweighs any liturgical niceties, as pleasant to see as they are. =-\

  14. lmo1968 says:

    Once they are blessed they are no longer “irregular situations.”

  15. Matthew Gaul says:

    The Maronites do exactly this kind of intinction with a Latin-style host, and it works well.

    If the participationistas object, you can have handmaidens hold a communion napkin underneath – should that be licit with Roman rubrics, I don’t know. And you get two handmaidens for each line. More participation for your buck.

  16. Uxixu says:

    While I don’t think both species should be necessary for the laity most of the time (thank you, St Thomas Aquinas), intinction is far less prone to irreverence than EMHC. If it must be done, that should be the style.

  17. PrayWithPadrePio says:

    My parish still has a communion rail through which our priest uses it to allow for parishioners to receive Communion on the tongue and kneeling. We always have four ministers distributing the Host at every Mass which includes the pastor and one deacon standing behind the rail. The two EMHCs will be off to the sides slightly near the front pews on either side which allows for the two main lines down the center aisle to branch out in two smaller lines near the front. This gives communicants the options to either go to the priest or deacon for kneeling or to the EMHCs if they prefer standing. I find the system to be effective and more dynamic. Since our parish only distributes under one species, the issue of intinction never comes up.

  18. albinus1 says:

    An alternative is the smaller, portable type of combined unit that has a small chalice in the center with the Precious Blood, with the hosts around it in the larger ciborium and which is easily held in one hand.

    I remember those from the early 70s. I remember thinking at the time that they looked somewhat like those chip-and-dip sets that people used to get as wedding presents.

  19. Traductora says:

    I think intinction is great. It’s done in the Orthodox churches, where they use a leavened bread soaked in the wine.

    It was also done for Catholics at certain moments. Communion under both species was in the immediate post Vatican II rite (1965) for weddings (but only for the couple), but many churches started to do intinction at that time. Aside from the connection between East and West, I liked it because it actually made the host easier to swallow. But then intinction disappeared and the elderly hebes came out with their cups.

    I think intinction would keep everybody happy: those people very devoted to receiving under both species, and the people (like me) who think that except in times of emergency, only the priests should be distributing communion. It would be a painless way of getting rid of the hebes, and an excellent way of getting priests back into the activity.

  20. Uxixu says:

    Hmm, I should amend that. My preference would for the deacon to administer the chalice on rate & significant occasions. This would obviously take longer, as befits the reverence that should be due, with a single species of Body alone most of the time.

    Seeing that as unlikely, intinction by clergy would be preferable to laity in the current norm in most parishes.

  21. Charlie Cahill says:

    They may have been in irregular situations but those things would have been regularized before the weddings took place. To suggest otherwise is improper as I doubt the Vatican nor the Pope would have celebrated the Mass and administered Communion without being certain of that.

  22. TopSully says:

    It seems to me that we want people out of irregular situations. Hopefully as part of the process of making “irregular” situations “regular” there is good education so that the couples understand why they’re conversion from one state to the other is not just important and necessary, but life long and holy. And if this example encourages others in irregular situations to reverse that state I’m all for it.

    But I do wonder if Pope Francis is planning on making this a regular occasion, I really hope not. I think that risks sending a message that the way to get married by the Pop is to first establish an irregular situation.

    PS – Is it OK to just say “Shacking Up” instead of irregular situation?

  23. jhayes says:

    Regarding marrying couples in “irregular situations:”

    “The talk in Rome, from church-watchers, Catholic leaders and Catholics roaming St. Peter’s square, is that the choice to marry these couples is no small hint about Francis’ view of role that mercy should play in discussion during the upcoming Synod. This week’s Wednesday address seemed to set the tone for these upcoming events—and for the wedding today—when Francis compared the church to a merciful mother who teaches her children by her actions, adding:

    “The church acts like Jesus. She does not give lectures on love, on mercy. She does not spread a philosophy, a path of wisdom throughout the world. … Of course, Christianity is all this, but as a consequence, in reflection. The Mother Church, like Jesus, teaches by example, and uses words to illuminate the meaning of her gestures.”

    Reminds me of the sayings of the original Francis about the importance of teaching by our actions and gestures and not simply by words.

  24. acbprop says:

    I saw in the secular press a comment that the Pope wore red Sunday when he usually wears white–hmm, clearly something special going on here, they figured. Good thing it didn’t happen on Laudate or Gaudete Sundays–rose vestments would have really made them jump to some strange conclusions . . . .

  25. RoyceReed says:

    APX, I don’t know if this is the case in other Anglican Ordinariate parishes, but my fiancée is being received into the Roman Church through Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, and they always serve Holy Communion by intinction. It’s nice! As a Byzantine Catholic myself, I like this practice. I know it isn’t traditional Roman practice, but it certainly beats “communion in the hand.”

  26. msokeefe says:

    Rather than intinction, one species, the host, kneeling. I heard from older Catholics that 2 species was offered for a wedding. It thrilled people to receive under 2 species, for a once in a lifetime experience. Intinction is good for happy clappy NO parishes who refuse to kneel for the host. The Church survived many centuries without sweat pants clad EMHC’s. They are unnecessary. If you want to get involved in your parish, pick up a mop or a broom. For the ladies, cook a meal for your Priest.

  27. iteadthomam says:

    Hello Father,

    If Pope Francis was a witness at a “wedding” for some who are in an irregular state of marriage, doesn’t this give us an indication of what we are in for when it comes to the synod on the family? If the Pope really did this, why hasn’t there but an uproar over the Holy Father’s actions, which if true, are contrary to the faith. I’m confused, and very disturbed.

  28. Wade says:

    iteadthomam, I may be mistaken, but I think that those couples who were in an irregular state were brought into a regular state through Christian marriage.

  29. Stephen Matthew says:

    I would favor intinction for several reasons:
    1. The sign value of Christ’s undivided body, blood, soul, and divinity. (Many now think the body and blood are received separately, and the current rubrics and ritual and common manner of speaking of each species reinforces this in the common mind.)
    2. The sign of unity with our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters.
    3. The increased likelihood of some provision for kneeling if intinction becomes more common.
    4. The return of either the paten or the cloth napkin to prevent either drops or crumbs falling to the floor.

  30. ecb says:

    I attended Mass a couple of years ago at a downtown church in Houston. I think the priests there were Dominican. Communion was received as at the altar rail kneeling with intinction.

  31. John V says:

    I recall being instructed that only bishops and priests are permitted to offer Communion by intinction, that even though deacons are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they are not permitted to distribute Communion in this manner. Can anybody offer any references either confirming or refuting this recollection of mine? I don’t have access to any of the documents at present.

  32. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Regularizing marriages is a GOOD thing! Seriously, people, what the heck is with you?

    “Oh, noes, that man might make his girlfriend an honest woman! Stop them now, before they stop mortally sinning! Quick, stand outside the confessional and stab anybody who looks like they might confess something really bad, because how horrible for people to get forgiven! And while you’re at it, block off the baptismal font before anybody can stop being a heathen!”

  33. jhayes says:

    John V, in the US, the GIRM mentions only the priest distributing Communion by intinction. It may be different at the Vatican.

    287. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a Communion-plate under the mouth, approaches the Priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, with a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The Priest takes a host, intincts it partly in the chalice and, showing it, says, The Body and Blood of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the Priest, and then withdraws.

    My recollection is that when Francis distributes Communion to the deacons, he holds the chalice and picks up a host from a vessel held by someone else (i.e. the reverse of what is described here in the US)

  34. benedetta says:

    This is exactly right from jhayes above

    “The church acts like Jesus. She does not give lectures on love, on mercy. She does not spread a philosophy, a path of wisdom throughout the world. … Of course, Christianity is all this, but as a consequence, in reflection. The Mother Church, like Jesus, teaches by example, and uses words to illuminate the meaning of her gestures.”

    Marriage is a communion lived out day by day in fidelity, concretely. It was never in the first place the construct or absurdity that wise and wealthy philosophers of our time would make it out to be. Our Holy Father deeply comprehends the experience of motherhood, of being a wife. This is but one reason why I love this Holy Father, as I did Pope Benedict, as much as I appreciate worthy liturgy for the sacraments. This Holy Father gets the connection between the sacrament and the living it out.

  35. Matt R says:

    Communion under two kinds really ought to be limited to those times it is mentioned in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

    Intinction is not a Roman practice, and its use seems to be pragmatic: reducing the number of EMHCs and decreasing the risk of spilling the Precious Blood. It does not seem to get us back to the mind of the Council fathers. That being said, it’s very good to see them kneeling for Holy Communion. It is also good to see these people married in the Church.

  36. lmo1968 says:

    I used to work for a priest who sought out couples living together outside marriage — often with kids , and he had dinner with them in their homes, cajoled them, wooed them, and worked with them for as long as it took to get them to marry. So I am genuinely puzzled that there is any controversy around the pope marrying people who were living together outside of marriage. As a church this is what we want to see — people returning from lives of sin to lives of sanctity, no?

  37. frjim4321 says:

    So if Rome is the model for liturgy, does that mean the Sistine choir is the model for liturgical music?

  38. acardnal says:

    “I am genuinely puzzled that there is any controversy around the pope marrying people who were living together outside of marriage.”

    I hope the Pope – and every priest – encouraged the couples engaged in premarital sexual activity to go to Confession before he married them. Otherwise the fruitful reception of the grace of the sacrament of matrimony is not conveyed. . . until after they make a good Confession.

  39. Fr. W says:

    When a group of seminarians were visiting Rome, we had a meeting years back with Cardinal Arinze. One of the men asked the Cardinal what he thought of all the chalices used at big Masses in the United States, with many EM’s. He immediately slammed his hand on the table and yelled, ‘That is what intinction is for!’

    I would love to see intinction used, perhaps once a month in parishes. Those who wish to receive both species kneel at the altar rail, the rest receive just the Host.

  40. marcelus says:

    @ACARDnAl:

    “I hope the Pope – and every priest – encouraged the couples engaged in premarital sexual activity to go to Confession before he married them. Otherwise the fruitful reception of the grace of the sacrament of matrimony is not conveyed. . . until after they make a good Confession.”

    That is exactly the case. It was all over the press. They confessed prior.

  41. Giuseppe says:

    @acardnal – One would hope that an unmarried cohabitating sexually active couple (perhaps with children) can refrain from sexual activity for a few days (or weeks) after a good confession prior to the marriage celebration.

  42. Gregorius says:

    Though I’ve in the past been against intinction in the roman rite, I could imagine it at a solemn high Mass- celebrant holds the ciborium, deacon could hold the chalice, and subdeacon could hold the paten. The deacon/subdeacon would have to switch places, but it would make the subdeacon useful, and there’d be no need for introducing lay EMHCs. Low and Sung Mass would only see communion distributed under one species. It could be used as a way of encouraging parishes to have solemn liturgies over simple ones.

  43. Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus says:

    I don’t understand the consternation people are registering because the Holy Father – and many other of us priests – are bringing couples in irregular situations back to sacramental grace. We do this in my parish frequently. Is the solution to leave them in sinful situations? We encourage these couples to live as brother and sister till the wedding and many do. They confess before their wedding, get married, receive the Blessed Sacrament for the first time in many years with great fervor, and live a life of grace afterwards. “Forsooth”, you say! “Scandal”.

    By the same logic are we to deny people confession because they’ve sinned?

    The couples who have made the grave mistake of living together before marriage are transformed when they are forgiven and married. Many of them tell me that they wish they had known what Christ had wanted to do for them all along if they had given Him a chance in the past, but they are grateful that His grace is changing theirs live now – better late than never.

  44. Norah says:

    On CathNews – a service of Church Resources is approved by the Australian Bishops Commission overseen by Jesuits.

    On Monday 15 September: Pope marries people who have cohabited , had children…in the latest sign that the Pontiff wants the Church to be more open and inclusive.

    Another article headlined: Signs the Church might be ‘evolving’ on gay marriage? …Francis has been known to be a pragmatist on LGBT issues…he supported civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage.. [and, of course] the[ infamous] “who am I to judge?”

    These actions by the Vicar of Christ may be explainable in an orthodox manner but it doesn’t take much thought to see that they may also be seen to give a green light to those priests and bishops who wish to change the official teaching of the Church and then present Rome with a fait acompli e.g. communion in the hand and female altar servers. But then again hasn’t Pope Francis made some comment against making people slaves to “little laws”? By not specifying what comes under the umbrella of these “little laws” the Pope leaves the comment open to interpretation by certain priests and bishops .

  45. RafqasRoad says:

    Fr. Jim4321,

    Lrd have mercy!! I certainly hope not!! :-)

    Re intinction, This is the practice in our parish church for those of us with sight loss when both species are offered. It eliminates the possibility of nasty chalice accidents e.g. when one cannot see what is in said chalice and potentially over-tilts it. When our Lord is received in this manner, Fr. simply states ‘the body and blood of Christ’ before we receive (always on the tongue; I kneel, another lady with sightloss stands). it is a fine arrangement.

    Braille access to Catholic materials (including TLM and some prayers) http://www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org
    Bibles in Braille, giant print and audio
    http://www.braillebibles.org
    for UK readers, with arrangements with the latin mass society for Braille or giant print TLM material
    http://www.torchtrust.org
    For computer access in giant print, audio or Braille
    http://www.serotek.com
    http://www.freedomscientific.com
    http://www.humanware.com
    guide for priests with sightloss concerning celebration of the TLM
    http://www.sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/24-the-sacrament-of-the-holy-eucharist-blind-priests.html

  46. haskovez says:

    My wife and I were married in Guadalajara, Mexico in a church about a block from the Cathedral. (My wife is from GDL). Anyway at our mass when they gave us communion they gave it to us on our knees and with intinction. I think that might have been the first time I had seen intinction and my thought was why don’t they do this in the US? Having spent much more time in Mexico now visiting family generally they don’t do both forms down there, but when they do it is always via intinction and in my opinion that is the way to go and we should do the same thing here in the US.

  47. mburn16 says:

    “So I am genuinely puzzled that there is any controversy around the pope marrying people who were living together outside of marriage. As a church this is what we want to see — people returning from lives of sin to lives of sanctity, no?”

    The issue arises, I think, from the appearance that the same opportunities and support are being given to couples living in sin as to a couple who, for example, has remained chaste until marriage. While it is certainly good to bring people in from the cold, I have to admit I’m somewhat disturbed that this could give the appearance of acceptance to premarital cohabitation. It could suggest, to some, that it simply isn’t that big of a deal: you just go to confession a day or two before your marriage, and you’re good to go. I’ve been very much conflicted on this episode. It would be less of an event, I think, if it were being performed by a more traditionalist/conservative-minded Pope. But coming from one who has largely put sexual moralizing on the back burner, well, I don’t really have to elaborate.

  48. asperges says:

    The Maronites use intinction and Communion only in The mouth. It requires therefore two people to administer it, but works perfectly well.

    But the point is not whether it is a good idea or practical but whether it is licit in the Roman rite. I understood it was forbidden. Has this now been changed? Why do we need this change?

    May we have definitive answer, please.

  49. benedetta says:

    It’s a great idea though is it not — lex orandi lex credendi. If our liturgies are banal and beige by definition, lacking potency due to so many encrusted weirdnesses not of the laity’s election or desire, then, our marriages via banality commence on a jarring note, if not one altogether dissected from the supernatural and our recognition of its place in our vows and concrete lives. So, if we have Mass, and Nuptial Mass, or whatever it may be to confer one or another important sacrament, featuring the American 1970s in so many ways, which no one here really remembers why these were all implemented in the first place, and what they have to do with our ordinary faith, then, we will be that much more tempted to dismiss our vows as mere construct then won’t we.

    N.B., no matter Pope Francis’ liturgical vestiture contrasted with Pope Benedict’s the truth remains that he does not celebrate daily Mass at Domus Sancta Marta in liturgical underwear. No, he chooses the chasuble. It may not be a fiddleback, sure, but, still, he in his simplicity has never opted for liturgical underwear look. Be humble and simple, like Pope Francis — if you are doing your own thing, then, yes you are doing your own thing…

  50. Imrahil says:

    By the way, it’s of course just a personal opinion, but I don’t think there should be intinction.

    If there is to be no Chalice, we all know that it suffices well. Note that around here, Communion by the species of bread alone is still the norm in both theory and practice.

    And of course if there is the misinformation (in itself a heresy, but probably not so consciously in many cases) around that the Two Species only together make up the whole Christ, best thing will probably be to combat it as the Council of Trent wanted it to be combatted: by not giving the Chalice, and explaining afterwards why not. Which by the way was and remains the chief motivation for the “no Chalice” policy in the first place.

    There are also arguments for the Chalice, too, especially outside the parish mass, on very festive occasions, on weekdays with a few well-catechized attenders, on Holy Thursday, and the like. But as a Latiner, I do somewhat think that intinction is only half-way. It does not add anything substantially, which is a dogma. As for the fulness of the sign, it does not add the entirety of that either.

    If there is to be the Chalice, then let’s go the whole hog and reverently drink from the said Chalice.

    Ah and oh yes, with perhaps one exception, every intinction I have seen was self-intinction which breaks a liturgical law. You know, of the sort that they keep the Host, go to the Chalice distributor and intinct themselves while he says “the Blood of Christ”. I don’t suppose I’m exemplary in liturgical matters (or anywhere else), but I do make sure I never do that.

  51. Michael_Thoma says:

    I recall being instructed that only bishops and priests are permitted to offer Communion by intinction, that even though deacons are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they are not permitted to distribute Communion in this manner. Can anybody offer any references either confirming or refuting this recollection of mine? I don’t have access to any of the documents at present.This is not true, at least in most localities. The confusion seems to be the practice of the Latin Church that only priests and bishops may SELF-intinct – meaning, intinct the host and receive Communion themselves. There is no prohibition at all in intincting by the priest/deacon/bishop and placing in the laity’s mouth.

    Some of the Eastern Catholic Churches – specifically, the Chaldean Church and the Syro-Malabar Church – have the patristic Tradition of allowing the laypeople to receive in their hand and intinct into the cup themselves. This is not allowed in the Latin Church or most of the other Eastern Churches.

    As an aside – and although often forgotten nowadays to imitate the Latin practice – in the West Syriac Tradition – Syriac, Syro-Malankara, Maronite Churches – is only for the celebrating priest/bishop to self receive. Every other non-celebrating clergyman should receive by from the hand of the celebrant.

  52. LeeF says:

    MattR said: Communion under two kinds really ought to be limited to those times it is mentioned in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

    If memory serves, it says that communion under both species is especially appropriate for weekday Masses. Which means it might be less appropriate for large weekend Masses.

    Intinction is not a Roman practice, and its use seems to be pragmatic: reducing the number of EMHCs and decreasing the risk of spilling the Precious Blood. It does not seem to get us back to the mind of the Council fathers.

    I have had priests object to intinction because it does not conform to the symbolism of Jesus sharing the cup around with the apostles at the Last Supper. That makes some sense, yet intinction of the host in the cup by the priest/deacon is still sharing the cup in a fashion. Even if sharing the actual cup as is most often done is preferable, the risk of spillage added to the less than huge numbers receiving the cup because of fears of infection (especially the back rows as I noted above), i.e. pragmatic reasons as you mention, seem to outweigh the importance of symbolism. If few parishioners actually partake of the cup, how symbolic is it then really?

  53. Imrahil says:

    Dear lmo1968,

    I don’t wish to enter the debate, only saying (no, this was no meaningless phrase) that there are multiple sides of the argument.

    Popes cannot do everything. So, there might be someone to say a priest should search for the cohabitants to see them married, but a Pope shouldn’t, especially not in our media and pictures society. There might be another one to say that, especially in our media and pictures society, Popes should not witness marriages at all (or only to Heads of State or some other simply comprehenible rule) because that also means declining same honor to others. And so on. There might then be another one to say that maybe it takes the force of a Pope personally intervening, rather than your non-famous neighborhood priest, to take some sinners back on the path. And so on.

    So, I’m not discussing it. But I can see grounds for discussion: it’s not just trivially the thing to.

  54. tominrichmond says:

    I do not believe that intinction is a lawful manner of distributing Holy Communion in the Roman Rite. If that is true, this would be yet another example of “anything goes” and engenders a certain contempt for the law. ( of course, the whole notion of both-species communication in the Roman Rite is based on lots of faulty catechesis and lack of understanding both about history and about the nature of the Blessed Sacrament.)

    Sadly, when “anything goes,” we have on parade a cavalcade of opinion, some informed, some not, as to what “I want to see done,” “I think ought to be done,” “why don’t they do it this or that way.” All options are open for debate and expression of preference when law and obedience have broken down.

  55. Geoffrey says:

    The General Instruction of The Roman Missal says:

    “If Communion from the chalice is done by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being intincted partly into the Blood of Christ they can still be easily distributed” (n. 285b).

    “If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a Communion-plate under the mouth, approaches the Priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, with a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The Priest takes a host, intincts it partly in the chalice and, showing it, says, The Body and Blood of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the Priest, and then withdraws” (n. 287).

    “If Communion is given under both kinds, in the absence of a Deacon, the acolyte administers the chalice to the communicants or holds the chalice if Communion is given by intinction” (n. 191).

  56. tominrichmond:”I do not believe that intinction is a lawful manner of distributing Holy Communion in the Roman Rite. ”

    Actually, intinction appears to be a preferred form of distribution in both kinds, as per Redemptoris sacramentum:

    [103.] The norms of the Roman Missal admit the principle that in cases where Communion is administered under both kinds, “the Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon”. As regards the administering of Communion to lay members of Christ’s faithful, the Bishops may exclude Communion with the tube or the spoon where this is not the local custom, though the option of administering Communion by intinction always remains. (emphasis added)

  57. Charlotte Allen says:

    My husband and I attended a Mass in Russian this summer at the Catholic cathedral in St. Petersburg. Communion was by intinction–and the consecrated wine was red, so the effect was very dramatic. The priest held the cup under the chin of recipients, and there might have been a server with a cloth as well, so there was little chance of spillage.

    The Mass was definitely in the Latin Rite, but there were clearly some subtle influences from the Eastern liturgy. Intinction was probably one of them–although the Host was a Latin-Rite host. Also, there was a lengthy prelude of chants and hymns before the readings were read, which I think was derived from Eastern liturgical practice. And although the church was very traditionally furnished in an Italianate style (very beautiful), there were no kneelers. People knelt on the floor during the Consecration and Communion. The hymns, all in Russian, were lovely–far superior to what you usually get in a Catholic church in America.

    By the way, the bride whom Pope Francis married is wearing a very beautiful dress and veil in that photo. It’s nice to see a wedding dress these days that actually has sleeves. She looks like a real bride.