Since Vatican II, many Catholics and much of the hierarchy have come to appreciate the “more complete” sign of Communion under both forms. More recently, worries about dangers–real and imagined–have colored this emphasis somewhat. The Pastoral Care rites emphasize it–properly, I’d say:
181. As an indication that the reception of the eucharist by the dying Christian is a pledge of resurrection and food for the passage through death, special words proper to viaticum are added: “May the Lord Jesus Christ protect you and lead you to eternal life.” The dying person and all who are present may receive communion under both kinds. The sign of communion is more complete when received in this manner because it expresses more fully and clearly the nature of the eucharist as a meal, one which prepares all who take part in it for the heavenly banquet.
Why is receiving the Body and Blood “more complete?” The Eucharist as meal is the reason given here. Note that the Church’s teaching on the meal aspect of the sacrament is not based on a horizontal understanding of a shared dinner, but on the foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
Some practical matters:
The minister should choose the manner of giving communion under both kinds which is suitable in the particular case. If the wine is consecrated at a Mass not celebrated in the presence of the sick person, the blood of the Lord is kept in a properly covered vessel and is placed in the tabernacle after communion. The precious blood should be carried to the sick person in a vessel which is closed in such a way as to eliminate all danger of spilling. If some of the precious blood remains after communion, it should be consumed by the minister, who should also see to it that the vessel is properly purified.
The sick who are unable to receive under the form of bread may receive under the form of wine alone. If the wine is consecrated at a Mass not celebrated in the presence of the sick person, the instructions given above are followed.
We wrap up with a very short note telling the minister the rite provides special texts for use:
182. In addition to these elements of the rites which are given greater stress, special texts are provided for the general intercessions or litany and the final solemn blessing.
PCS 191 gives the intercessions or litany–we’ll get to that in a week or so–PCS 91 three examples of a final blessing. Any comments?