Eucharisticum Mysterium 32: Communion Under Both Kinds

The Consilium takes pains to present the case for lay people to receive Communion under both forms. One element often missing from catechesis (at least in the parishes of my memory) is the link between the notion of covenant and the Precious Blood.

32. Holy communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception (without prejudice to the principles laid down by the Council of Trent, [See Council of Trent, sess. 21, Decr. de communione eucharistica cap. 1-3: Denz-Schon 1726-29.] that under each element Christ whole and entire and the true sacrament are received), a fuller light shines on the sign of the eucharistic banquet. Moreover there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lord and of the relationship of the eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father’s kingdom (see Mt 26:27-29).

Once the local bishop is satisfied, and catechesis has taken place, the expansion of offering the Cup is granted in thirteen instances:
From now on, therefore, at the discretion of the bishops and preceded by the required catechesis, communion from the chalice is permitted in the following cases, granted already by earlier law [See Sacred Congregation of Rites, Rite of Communion under Both Kinds, 7 March 1965, no. 1.] or granted by this Instruction:

1. to newly baptized adults in the Mass following their baptism; to confirmed adults in the Mass of their confirmation; to baptized persons who are received into the communion of the Church;

2. to the spouses in the Mass of their wedding;

3. to those ordained in the Mass of their ordination;

4. to an abbess in the Mass of her blessing; to the consecrated in the Mass of their consecration to a life of virginity; to religious in the Mass of their first profession or of renewal of religious profession, provided they take or renew their vows within the Mass;

5. to lay missionaries in the Mass at which they are publicly sent out on their mission and to others in the Mass in which they receive an ecclesiastical mission;

6. in the administration of viaticum, to the sick person and to all who are present when Mass is celebrated, with conformity to the requirements of the law; in the house of the sick person;

7. to the deacon, subdeacon, and ministers exercising their proper office in a pontifical or solemn Mass;

8. when there is a concelebration:

a. to all exercising a genuine liturgical ministry in that concelebration; even lay people, and to all seminarians present;

b. in their own churches, to all members of institutes professing the evangelical counsels and members of other societies in which the members dedicate themselves to God either through religious vows or oblation or promise, and also to all who reside in the house of the members of these institutes and societies;

9. to priests present at large celebrations and unable to celebrate or concelebrate;

10. to all groups making retreats, in a Mass celebrated especially for those actually participating; to all taking part in the meeting of some pastoral commission, at the Mass they celebrate in common;

11. to those listed under nos. 2 and 4, in the Mass of their jubilee;

12. to the godfather, godmother, parents, and spouse of baptized adults, and to the laypersons who have catechized them, in the Mass of initiation;

13. to the relatives, friends, and special benefactors taking part in the Mass of a newly ordained priest.

Any observations or comments?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Eucharisticum Mysterium, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Eucharisticum Mysterium 32: Communion Under Both Kinds

  1. Liam says:

    I am glad for this development and subsequent encouragement and widening of the practice. My only concern is that the people in the pews never be made to feel they are in any way deficient if they choose to receive under a single species, a meme that has unfortunately arisen in certain circles.

  2. Marilyn says:

    This has me a bit riled…our new pastor coming in asked me if it was a ‘good idea to give the altar servers wine without their parents being with them.’ I was stunned to hear him use that language with regard to the Holy Eucharist, telling him as much and that the Precious Blood should most definitely be offered to altar servers if everyone else is included.

  3. Todd says:

    I think there are concerns on different fronts on offering Communion from the Cup. Naturally, I see very little of what Liam describes, but given the realities of human interaction, I have no doubt that offense is given at times. Offense is probably taken by offering the Cup so frequently, and might people be offended that they are given the opportunity and they decline it? Possibly.

    I probably see a bit more of the attitude Marilyn describes, which bespeaks a pragmatism (rather than a specific conservativism) unseemly for Catholic liturgy.

  4. Dale Price says:

    I’ve always been baffled why Communion under both kinds is remotely controversial. Maybe it’s just the unreconstructed Methodist speaking, but this is just seems to be one of the common sense reforms of the Council.

  5. sacerdos says:

    As evidenced above,
    Communion under both kinds was NOT envisioned as a regular, large-scale event every Sunday.
    The fact that the consilium goes to the trouble to outline the specific individuals and specific circumstances suggests that the practice is to be used on a limited basis. Legitimate concerns about the profanation of the Sacred Species, the need for an army of extraordinary ministers of HOly Communion, and a plethora of Sacred Vessels to be purified (Todd, you may call me a pragmatic conservative if you wish) all indicate that the currently widespread practice of distributing Holy Communion under both kinds to everyone at an average parish on any given Sunday, was never intended.

    In fact, I believe the consilium goes on to say specifically (if not there, then in another document) that the term “special occasions” may NOT be applied to the average Sunday Mass.

    As it is, the expectation has been set now, where Catholics will visit a parish where such is not the practice and they will verbally express their disappointment about somehow being refused Communion because it was not offered them under the form of the appearance of wine.

  6. Todd says:

    ” …. the currently widespread practice of distributing Holy Communion under both kinds to everyone at an average parish on any given Sunday, was never intended.”

    Careful reading of all these documents will reveal many of these post-conciliar practices were part of a laudable development in pastoral and liturgical practice. As it stands, local bishops have already weighed in on the frequency of Communion under both forms. The decision was made where it should be made: not in Rome, but by the bishop and parish pastor.

    “As it is, the expectation has been set now …”

    Good. Such Catholics should register their disapproval against imagined worries about profanation.

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