“Take this, one (or two) of you, and drink from it…” UPDATED 9-21

Reports from several sources that Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix Diocese is withdrawing permission for Communion under both forms; only priest and deacon may receive from the Cup, come November 27th. That’s shaping up to be quite the day liturgically.

This is bad, very bad: on sacramental, ecclesiological, scriptural, ecumenical, grounds, at least. But apart from that…

I don’t find anything on the diocesan website. I’m sure many PT readers will send in reports as soon as they surface.

UPDATE 9-21: The diocese has posted a press release and Q&A. Both forms of communion is banned at most, but not all Masses. It is still permitted on some special occasions, but not on Sundays, apparently.

I wonder who drafted these documents for the diocese. Here’s my favorite part of the press release: “Since the 11th century, the Latin Rite Catholic Church distributed Holy Communion to the faithful under the form of bread.” Hmm, I thought the form of bread has been used since the first century. I’m pretty sure they mean “bread alone.” But I’m not sure why they chose the 11th century, since Communion under both forms continued for a couple centuries after that in parts of the Latin Rite Catholic Church. Oh well. Everything in the new rules is legal … and that’s really all that counts, isn’t it?



    1. Yes, it is the same bishop you’re referring to. Sadly, the clock has turned back. But rest assured, there are plenty of Independent Catholic Churches in the Phoenix area that are every bit as much “Catholic” as the Roman Church. These jurisdictions will welcome those who decide to leave the Roman pews, and find the same 7 sacraments offered to all in a much more egalitarian environment.

  1. Also newly-appointed (earlier this year) to Vox Clara.

    So we can expect their forthcoming “corrected” liturgical books to be even more pastorally useful than the new Missal.

    1. “Also newly-appointed (earlier this year) to Vox Clara”.

      No surprise. It is as bad as my wildest dreams imagined it to be.

      The bishop’s decision only invites widespread disobedience, especially if other dioceses are dumb enough to come up with the same idea.

  2. How foolish, short-sighted, and potentially very divisive. Does anyone know the reason the bishop or his diocese gave for this retrogressive change? How very sad and infuriating, after years of positive change.

  3. It would be far less rash for him to have simply restricted permission for Communion under both kinds to certain situations, rather than revoke it completely. It’s not a very Vatican-II-savvy move.

  4. Good point, Roger. Last year Bishop Olmsted did the same thing, because of the flu epidemic. Perhaps that is the reason. We went all Fall and Winter with no Cup.
    Let’s wait and see what happens.

  5. The dichotomy here between this new Bishop in Phoenix and the communities such as St. Timothy’s in Mesa is getting starker by the minute.

  6. Amazing, in a very depressing and perplexing way. Observing from my post as a former Vatican II Catholic and now a Lutheran Pastor of the Evangelical Catholic variety, it seems that there is a progressive dismantling of those distinctive changes that I participated in as a teen in the post-Vatican II years. While it is good that some of the “reforms” are quietly (or not so) going away, but withholding the very Blood of Christ from the faithful is like announcing that the Council of Trent is the dominant guidance for parish practice…are anathemas against the Joint Declaration on Justification coming next? OK, that’s over the top, but WOW, what an amazing setback, and in my own back yard.

    Maybe I should put up a curbside banner in front of our church saying “THE BLOOD OF CHRIST JOYFULLY PROVIDED HERE”. Hmmm….


    1. but withholding the very Blood of Christ from the faithful is like announcing that the Council of Trent is the dominant guidance for parish practice.

      The doctrine of the Council of Trent is just as binding on Catholics as the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council.

      Maybe I should put up a curbside banner in front of our church saying “THE BLOOD OF CHRIST JOYFULLY PROVIDED HERE”. Hmmm….

      Well, that’d be precisely the point of Trent.

  7. I could see individual moratoria for parishes who intentionally or unintentionally profane the Eucharist. I’d expect, however, that parishes could resume the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds after pastoral intervention or catechesis.

    Bp. Olmstead’s move reads more like an ideological ploy. Sadly, withholding the chalice at Mass has become a way to earn props in a number of conservative/traditional circles. The aversion to the chalice found among a number of conservative Catholics overlooks the fact that altar rails and chalices are certainly compatible — ask Anglicans and Lutherans.

    1. Sure. So, it isn’t as though he is withholding the Eucharist altogether, and in fairness, we don’t know with certainty that he is doing anything (’there are reports from several sources’). If the reports are true, I suppose there could be a valid reason, but honestly? It sounds like a power ploy

    2. John Drake,

      Yes, of course we still believe that.

      And lots of other important things, too, obviously. Which is why your citation is true, but misses the point.


    3. John, we also still believe, “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father,” don’t we? (GIRM 281)

    4. Celebrating Mass in my urban Baltimore parish in Urdu would also be valid, and would undoubtedly be of some spiritual benefit even to those who could not understand Urdu. But there’s a lot more to liturgy that ex opere operato validity.

    5. That isn’t the issue. Receiving under both forms has always been the ideal. It constitutes the fullest expression of our participation in the divine banquet, as Vatican II reminds at great lengths.

      If receiving communion under the species of wine is to be denied for Latin Catholics, Rome will have a hard time explaining why the same doesn’t hold true for eastern rites. Rome doesn’t want to go there when the Orthodox start raising questions.

      From what I’ve been reading, there’s a lot of support for denying the Precious Blood under the form of wine within the CDW. I’m not surprised at this move and other bishops eager to please Rome will fall into line.

      1. Dunstan, I’m going to play devil’s advocate a bit and get off topic. Though both forms is cited as the fullest expression, what about receiving hosts consecrated at that Mass? To me, this is a bigger battle, and one that was shared by all of the Liturgical Movement. However, it still gets little attention across the spectrum. I admit it leaves me befuddled.

  8. Bishop Olmsted has made the headlines many times. He refused communion to an autistic boy who was not receiving in the proper way (after the boy had been used to receiving communion for several years). He advocated refusing communion to pro-choice politicians. He forbade pro-choice politicians from speaking in Catholic venues in his diocese. He told Sister McBride she was excommunicated for approving a life-saving abortion, and he tried to crush her with the weight of his status. He publicly told the president of Notre Dame university that inviting President Obama to give a commencement speech was an act of public disobedience to the bishops of the US. In a, perhaps, less controversial move, he suspended a priest who concelebrated a wedding Mass with a non-Catholic (Olmsted is or was on the US committee for ecumenism).

    On the side of tolerance and pastoral understanding, he has been in dialogue with Lefebvrist priests, and he re-instituted the Mass in the Tridentine rite in his diocese because, he said, “the Church is always about reconciliation and building up in unity and bringing back the lost sheep.”

    1. Actually, while I carry no water for this bishop, to be fair, didn’t he just insist that the boy receive Communion fully (rather than have the host put in his mouth, and his father then removing it and consuming it himself), which was then done?

    2. I thought the boy was unable to swallow the host, even a tiny part of it, but I do not know how the matter was eventually resolved.

      1. I hate to drop this in a thread on the Precious Blood being refused to the faithful, but in this case the pastoral practice recommended is precisely to provide the Precious Blood rather than the Body of Christ. Any objections might be a good time to remind ourselves that one receives equally in either species. Claire, although I’m sure you didn’t intend it, these sorts of diversions on this blog often seem very ad hominem rather than dealing with the facts at hand.

      2. You’re right Bruce about ad hominem. Let me explain:

        I believe this news in spite of lack of evidence, because what Fr Ruff announces usually turns out to be true.

        I agree that this to-be-confirmed decision is quite bad.

        I wondered: “How can this be? Where does this come from?” Then I remembered Bp Olmsted’s previous spectacularly controversial decisions, and it didn’t seem so surprising any more. It’s also a little bit less depressing because it comes from someone whose decisions clearly do not reflect the mainstream episcopal viewpoints, so I would not read too much into it. It’s bad news for the people of his diocese, but there is no reason to think that other US bishops are of the same mind.

        And that’s enough comments from me (more than enough, perhaps! — the moderator will decide) on Bishop Olmsted.

    3. Re: #26 by Claire Mathieu on September 19, 2011 – 11:06 pm

      While I sympathize with many of your concerns Claire, I don’t know if it’s fair to lump Bp. Olmstead’s concessions for traditional Catholics in with his political grandstanding. I agree with you that Bp. Olmstead has always chosen the legalistic route of dealing with complex moral, ecclesiastical, and ecclesial questions. He has also often failed to see the human dimension behind these complex questions. Also, his decision to dialogue with the SSPX is, in my view, a tacit approval of the Lefebvrists’ bigotry and reactionary stance towards anything Vatican II. However, Catholics do have the right to hear the Tridentine Mass from a diocesan priest under certain conditions. That can’t be denied, even if the permission comes from a bishop whose pastoral “abilities” are myopic, to say the least.

      The case of the autistic child who is unable to swallow the Host underscores the need for communion under both species. Even before the Council, it was permitted to place a drop or very small amount of the Blood in the mouth of a communicant who could not swallow. It would have been better for the child to be given a very small amount of the Blood from the cup rather than be denied Holy Communion altogether.

  9. I am told that the Dutch bishops’ conference has withdrawn permission for communion under both kinds for laity throughout the Netherlands. This is very sad.

    The Apostolic See, following the Vatican Council’s provision (SC 55), saw fit to extend the availability of communion under both kinds in GIRM 281, as recorded above. Just what reasons have bishops for moving in the opposite direction?

      1. I don’t think anyone is claiming that the bishops who do this are acting outside their competence.

        Close enough. John Ainslie writes, “The Apostolic See … saw fit to extend the availability of communion under both kinds in GIRM 281” depicting the bishop as acting against the wishes of the Apostolic see, but that’s not really the whole story.

        Furthermore, we’ve got Fr. Ruff writing that “This is bad, very bad: on sacramental, ecclesiological, scriptural, ecumenical, grounds, at least.”

        I question whether something permitted by the GIRM can be classified as “very bad” without actually, at least, making an argument.

  10. After our bishop asked that we discontinue the chalice to the laity because of the H1N1 epidemic and the possibility of passing this virus from person to person from the common chalice, we re-instituted the common chalice (six at each Mass, eight to nine Extraordinary Ministers for chalice and host) without any fanfare two Sundays ago. I experimented with intinction several times in the year and a half that we did not have the common chalice. It was very well received. The biggest thing that bothered me when we stopped the common chalice was that so many faithful Catholics who did receive from the chalice believed that they were not receiving Holy Communion or our Risen, Glorified Lord completely. It was an opportunity for catechesis. My biggest concern with the common chalice has nothing to do with theology or good liturgy, but with contamination and health concerns. I told our parishioners that I could no longer state that no virus could be transferred to a person because of the alcohol content of the Wine, the wiping of the rim of the chalice and the turning of it because the H1N1 concern called that scientific premise into question. I asked that if people felt sick or had a communicable illness to refrain from receiving from the chalice. No one can police that though. Despite these disclaimers, a small majority do receive from the chalice and there is nothing to be consumed by EM’s the time Holy Communion has ended.

  11. In case anyone hasn’t noticed the destruction the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ has inflicted on the Church, we’re in a major crisis. Every change not mandated by the Council needs to be reviewed and repealed after careful consideration of the greater good. The laity do not need to receive the Precious Blood so why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth?

  12. Everyone here should be aware that the Vatican has always frowned upon the practice of both species at every Sunday Mass. They were hacked when the US bishops both permitted and encouraged the practice here many years ago. There are folks who are simply more concerned about the possibility of spillage and the fear of “irreverence” than the fuller sign value of complying with the mandate of Christ to take and eat, take and drink. So the folks who just adore the councilor Trent will trot out the Doctrine Of Concomitance to assure us all that the whole Christ is received under one form. The next thing you know the little dime sized wafer thins will be restored so no one has to chew the host….and, of course, the small personal size host for the priest so there’s not enough to share with anyone else. The motto is Validity & Liceity above all else.

    1. Yes, as I’ve shown before, the documents from Rome regarding Communion under both kinds envisioned a rather restricted approach, and did not anticipate Communion under both kinds taking place at every Sunday and weekday Mass.

      In 1970, Sacramentali Communione gave a list of circumstances when both kinds would be offered. Also in 1970, Liturgicae Instaurationes said “Ordinaries are not to grant blanket permission but, within the limits set by the conference of bishops, are to specify the instances and celebrations for this form of communion. To be excluded are occasions when the number of communicants is great. The permission should be for specific, structured, and homogeneous assemblies.” (n. 6a)

      Despite this, US Bishops allowed concession of the Chalice at weekday Masses (at least as of 1975) and at “Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation” (as of 1978). In 1980, Rome pleaded with bishops and conferences “not to go beyond what is laid down in the present discipline: the granting of permission for Communion under both kinds is not to be indiscriminate, and the celebrations in question are to be specified precisely; the groups that use this faculty are to be clearly defined, well disciplined, and homogeneous.” (Inaestimable Donum 12)

    2. So the folks who just adore the councilor Trent will trot out the Doctrine Of Concomitance to assure us all that the whole Christ is received under one form. The next thing you know the little dime sized wafer thins will be restored so no one has to chew the host….and, of course, the small personal size host for the priest so there’s not enough to share with anyone else. The motto is Validity & Liceity above all else.
      ====================================The same folks who continue to trot out war stories
      about profaning the host by those receiving it in the
      hand and who refuse to kneel. As if profanation has NEVER
      occurred by those receiving on the tongue.

  13. I see no update….based on the hand wringing and GIRM-citing above, I must have missed some official announcement.

    Or we could wait until we all hear some official before going off the deep-end.

    But that’s no fun.

  14. Are we supposed to believe that Olmsted was selected by the Holy Spirit to be a bishop? Was he selected by Cardinal-bishop-politics and not by the Holy Spirit. He has failed the test. Test the spirit to see if it comes from God. Does his behavior model that of Jesus? Is his behavior a proclamation of the Gospels?
    Why do other bishops allow all of this to happen? If bishops who work for the freedom of the sons and daughters of God went as far in their direction as controlling bishops like Olmsted go in their direction, the pope and many bishops would nail them. Why is this so?
    I am very much aware of our understanding that Christ is total and complete in the Body and the Blood but our Liturgy must go beyond our doctrine into the lives of all believers. Jesus said, This is my Blood, drink it. Olmsted says, this is the Blood of Christ, don’t drink it. Whom do we follow? Think of all that Olmsted is preventing!

  15. So, do we have anything concrete? Or have we been punked on this?

    I will point out that speculation along these lines does nothing to heal the divisions within Catholicism. Bishop Olmsted doesn’t strike me as a terribly prudent man, but Catholicism has certainly regressed in the reform2 era if something like this is even conceivable, which, apparently it is.

    I wish we would have some bishops addressing the dangers of real spillage, namely the hemorrhage of bile and ill will all around. Some Catholics have clearly bought into the hermeneutic of complaint a little too deeply.

  16. Wonder if it is time for a repeat of the Bishop Martino affair (following up William’s excellent observations). Reminder of the affair Martino:


    High or low points:

    – “The 63-year-old Martino’s six-year-tenure has been distinctive for an almost non-stop round of battles with Catholic academics, Catholic teachers’ union, Catholic politicians and a range of other groups, including his own peers among the Catholic hierarchy.

    Martino, highly regarded by the Catholic right for his rigid anti-abortion stance and repeated condemnations of President Obama and other pro-choice politicians, once famously arrived unannounced at a discussion in a parish of a document on political responsibility that had been passed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and declared: “No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese. The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.” He told the assembled crowd that “The only relevant document … is my letter,” referring to a letter on politics he had mandated be read at all masses on a given Sunday. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”

    He has urged priests and Eucharistic ministers to deny communion to politicians whose views on the abortion issue differed from those of the bishop. He placed an official notice in the diocesan newspaper informing Eucharistic ministers that they had a duty to refuse communion to anyone whose “unworthiness” to receive was publicly known. The notice emphasized Catholic politicians.”

    Some significant differences – Olmsted is on VC; in the USCCB leadership; favorite of the curia (Burke)

  17. No one has ever been able to state that we are 100% safe from contamination when common cups are used for communion. We can state, with scientific studies, that the risk of contamination is so low as to be inconsequential. There is an equal or grater chance of being contaminated from casual contact such as a handshake, for instance, as one enters the church.

    1. Door knobs and handles; if you’re not fussy about them, you kinda lose credibility about being fussy about a handshake for reasons of hygiene…..

    2. Be that as it may, it is more displeasing I think to consider what is being drunk from the bottom of the chalice when the communicant may be the last one doing so after some 30 others have already communicated from the same chalice. If a person after shaking the hand of another person discovered a good amount of gooey saliva on their hand or got it from a door knob, I think the “yuk” factor would be much greater than “dry” germs.

    3. Thanks for this reply, Father Michael – was going to add the USCCB directive on this after they asked CDC to study and weigh in. But, didn’t want to continue to “prick” Fr. Allan and his fears about “contagion”. Now we have his usual – if I am drinking the dregs comment (which he has repeated numerous times). Oh, and above we have his alternative approach – intinction (a poor sign and symbol) and in fact cited as an example of increased poor hygiene in some studies – but what the hay!

      These appeals to hygiene sound and remind me of monsignors who never permitted the cup because it took too much time and caused traffic jams in the parking lot. Give me a break.

      1. Self-intinction by the communicants also dipping their fingers into the Precious Blood is the problem. Hopefully the ones distributing Holy Communion have clean hands.
        But traffic jams because the Mass is too long as a impediment sounds like a really good argument for eliminating the homily and only using Eucharistic Prayer II! 🙂

      2. Now we have his usual – if I am drinking the dregs comment (which he has repeated numerous times).

        People repeat the same arguments and comments here plenty, so what?

        intinction (a poor sign and symbol)

        That sounds like an attitude of Western supremacy. How do the Eastern Christians feel about that general characterization of intinction? I know you’re addressing specifically the Western practice, but it probably applies equally to the wholesale intinction common in the East.

        intinction [is] cited as an example of increased poor hygiene in some studies

        What studies? And how so?

      3. The intinction-as-poor-sign-and-symbol argument is weak. It relies on an assumption that the only reference point for the Mass is the Last Supper. Which is as weak an assumption as the one that commonly prevails in some circles that the only reference point for the Mass is Calvary. Of course, the Mass is not intended to be a historical reenactment of either of those things alone; rather, it encompasses multiple reference points, including Easter, Pentecost and the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb in the perfected new creation after the end of time. Et cet.

      4. You are correct, Bill.
        The only studies to look at the matter conclude that intinction is riskier than common sharing from the cup.
        For healthy individuals, the cup poses no proven health risk.
        If you are sick, don’t partake.
        If you have a weakened immune system, don’t partake.
        A little common sense, please.

      5. Karl, I think you hit the nail on the head. Since Vatican II and in some liturgical spheres there was a great fundamentalism and literalism that was brought to the art of celebrating the mass, with priests dramatically gesturing toward the congregation as though the congregation were the 12 apostles at the Last Supper, the need for large, dramatic signs in reaction to what was perceived as small insignificant signs of the EF Mass. We are celebrating much more than the Last Supper and we are receiving much more that Bread and Wine. We are receiving the Lord who in continuity with Abraham and his descendants and in the fullness of time became incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, fulfilled long expected hopes, sacrificed His life on Good Friday (of which Holy Thursday is meant to memorialize) and continues to inspire us for the final hope of the consummation of the world and the Second Coming, not to mention the final judgement and the resurrection of the dead. Perhaps we’ve focused too much on the signs and not enough on Jesus and His hermeneutic on continuity from the Old to the New Covenant sealed in His Blood. I believe that even Archbishop Weakland lamented that many Catholics even those in convents and monasteries had lost the belief in the “real presence” while all the while clamoring for real signs that had become empty gestures to many.

      6. Fr Allan

        My caution is this: The focus on the Last Supper is an almost predictable reaction to the reduction of the Divine Liturgy to refer to Calvary to the near exclusion of the other reference points, and I see plenty of evidence in Catholic blogdom (which I of course know represents a bar-bell curve inversion of the bell curve of real-life Catholicism) that many people are heading right back to the old reductionism. It is, again, another sign of shibboleths. And I live in part to confound those who traffic too much in shibboleths.

      7. Karl – yes, we are focused on the Western half of the church. Help me understand what you are saying? Reality – the sacrament of the eucharist can have many different meanings and explanations (and has through history). But the liturgical sign is a meal (pure and simple). The sign is heavy via scripture; tradition; experience. It conveys taking, breaking, pouring, and eating/drinking. Sorry, intinction may be legal but it is a minimalist sign. The same can be said about receiving under one species (legal; it is the eucharist; but it is not the fullest sign/symbol). That, I believe, was why conferences of bishops strongly insisted upon both species.

        Wonder if you aren’t mixing apples and oranges here.

      8. Bill

        I am saying your understanding of what the sign value is is effectively limited to the Last Supper as the only reference point. That’s not the only reference point (and I am not talking merely historically): the Mass is not merely supposed to be a re-enactment of what the Last Supper looked like. The fullness of the sign can take into account the many different reference points I previously noted.

      9. Karl,

        I think there is sign value to drinking from the cup — as opposed to dipping in the cup — that goes beyond the Last Supper. In both the Old and New Testaments “drinking from the cup” is associated with accepting the suffering that goes along with prophetic witness. And while intinction, of a sort, has a long history in the East, it really has no precedent in the West prior to the council (which makes me wonder why R2 folks are so enthusiastic for it).

        Even with regard to the East I seem to recall Robert Taft saying somewhere (though I may be wrong about this), that restoring separate reception of the species would rank high on the to-do list should the Eastern Rites ever be reformed.

      10. Fritz

        I will tell my practical concern: there are those in influence who would deny the Precious Blood to the faithful in general under the pretext of avoiding the risk of profanation. It does not help us to denigrate intinction when that is a very feasible response to those who will hear nothing else. I do very much fear that the critique of intinction will be ending being used as a weapon by other people and that, yet again, we will have unwittingly helped that in the end.

        I would dial down the critique considerably. It is sufficient to say that intinction has not historically been the principal way the sign has been made in the Western liturgy. And leave it very much at that and resist the temptation to go further.

        It’s always helpful to remember that our arguments can and will be used against us in a court of hierachical opinion….

  18. Okay – like your humor. And for most homilists (or foreign priests with heavy accents) I am subjected to, would agree with your last two suggetions.

    Thankfully, our pastor is an excellent homilist.

  19. Jeffrey, thanks for your contributions to this thread. I wasn’t aware the of the original 1970’s Roman conditions on the distribution of the Cup. I can’t say I would disagree with those conditions, much as I can’t disagree with those who feel the faithful should be able to receive both species from time to time rather than the traditional, pre-1970 practice of only host.

      1. Understood, and likewise for me. I was pointing out that somehow (as someone mentioned above) communion under the host alone seems to be some sort of “neo-con” test of orthodoxy to some nowadays. I don’t understand that. Like Margaret fears below, I favor communion under both species from time to time so as to reduce the need for EMHCs. If they are needed fine, but all priests and deacons should assist with distribution, too.

    1. Again, the issue here is the VII and SC moved liturgical decisions (such as both species) to conference of bishops.

      Okay – so you can cite Vatican documentation; and that means what? We are back to the never ending tension between centralization and collegiality especially when it comes to liturgy.

      1. VII and SC moved liturgical decisions (such as both species) to conference of bishops

        Communion under both kinds is an issue both for the conference of bishops and for the individual bishop:

        “1. Communion may be distributed under both kinds, at the discretion of the Ordinary[.]

        “2. The conferences of bishops moreover have the power to decide to what extent and under what considerations and conditions Ordinaries are empowered to grant communion under both kinds in other instances that are of special significance in the spiritual life of any community or group of the faithful.” (Sacramentali Communione)

        So yes, this is an issue touching the tension between centralization and collegiality.

  20. A point which has occured to me is that with withdrawing the chalice there will be less need for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.
    If the reports are true, then I would not be too surprised if this was the next thing on his agenda.
    I am aware that among more conservative Catholic circles there is an aversion to receiving Holy Communion from anyone other than a priest or deacon.
    I find all this incredibly sad and further emphasising the separation between the clerics and laity.

    1. The avoidance of laity reminds me, inversely, of the aversion I witnessed in some communities I once inhabited of asking priests or deacons in the congregation to administer communion when lay ministers failed to show up on schedule. I can vividly recall one discussion where a beloved priest was sitting right next to the agitated “Who else can we ask?” discussion before Mass…. It was like his collar rendered him invisible. When I suggested “What about Father D?”, there was a surprised look on some people’s faces, and he was actually quite touched.

      I admire neither polarity on this one. This is big shibboleth territory.

  21. Maybe I shouldn’t be asking such basic questions here, and if so, sorry, but why did the Council to Trent restrict communion in both kinds in the first place? Is that reason still valid/coherent? And why, if there’s a concern about health, isn’t wine served in individual containers? Thanks.

    1. Everyone receiving the the Precious Blood from their own little drinking vessel (like some Protestants do with their Lord’s Supper) really defeats the sign value of “one cup”.

      1. Crystal, to be fair, I think the wafers are a practical solution to avoid desecration of the host. Whether or not we eat a loaf or a wafer, we humans always tend to forget we’re receiving Christ. At Masses with a loaf-as-host, I confess I have never seen a Mass ended without crumbs (which are still distinguishable as bread) on the altar and surrounding floor (usually carpet). I’m one person, but if a wafer reduces the likelihood of “crumbly Christ” on the ground, then I’m fine with that.

  22. There is an element of politics involved in lay people insisting on receiving from the chalice. It is not necessary for valid communion and at the same time the practice has been a source of abuse of the sacrament. It is just possible that the good Bishop in reforming communion is freeing the sacrament from political manipulation forced upon the Church in the name of the Spirit of Vatican 2.

    1. And there’s a considerable element of politics in the insistence in some quarters that the laity not receive from the chalice. That argument gets us zilch.

  23. I guess that offering Communion in one form only saves money. In hard economic times that may be particularly relevant.

    1. Saving money is actually one of the more plausible arguments offered. I don’t particularly think it’s the most convincing, but there’s room to make the case. Personally, I’d want to see a painfully detailed financial report first, but. . .

  24. At 5:38 pm, September 20, 2011

    “I believe that EVEN (emphasis supplied) Archbishop Weakland lamented ….”

  25. Wow. This sure has engendered a plethora of posts, and it seems like the discussion has evolved from a discussion of one man’s power grab to one about hygiene. I can’t help but point out that if you are concerned about hygiene there has never been a requirement that you must drink from the cup. In my experience it has always been voluntary. So, if it concerns you, walk past.

    As for the “from time to time” argument, I have to ask, Why? What would be a reason to offer it or not? Aside from one’s personal preference to limit the practice, why would you offer it one day, but not another? What would cause you to say yes one day, but not another? if you can do it all, why not every Mass? It makes no sense to me.

    1. from time to time

      It would be nice to hear the reasoning of the Council Fathers and those who implemented their decisions, on that issue.

      Personally, receiving from the Chalice is particularly meaningful to me on days like the Feast of the Precious Blood, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood, Holy Thursday, the Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and Christmas. (Although I readily admit some of these are days “when the number of communicants is great” and the assembly is not a “specific, structured, and homogeneous” one.)

  26. To receive the Eucharist has always been a deeply spiritual experience for me, whether it just receiving the Host, or being able to receive both the Body and Blood. There have been circumstances where I can only receive the Host, but I really look forward to those opportunities when I can receive under both species. To restrict the opportunity to receive both species to only ordained clergy, to me smacks of reducing the laity to “second class” membership in the Church.

  27. Yawn. This thing still going?

    “It would be nice to hear the reasoning of the Council Fathers and those who implemented their decisions, on that issue.”

    Read the documents from the 60’s and early 70’s. You get them.

    I don’t see the problem with organic development taking root and the common cup restored to the laity at every Mass the wine is consecrated. If there’s a liturgy at which the wine is not consecrated, then no cup, common or otherwise.

    If someone doesn’t want to receive from the cup, then they don’t. If someone doesn’t want someone else to receive from the cup, tough.

    As Frank said above, use common sense. And clergy and lay Communion ministers all should use more care in how they conduct the sacraments. Everybody, probably even Bishop Olmsted, has room for improvement.

    1. There’s no completed Mass where the wine is not consecrated. It’s a canonical, theological and sacramental impossibility.

      1. Todd

        I am generally in agreement. Of course, I see a problem with mega-Masses: but, then, as you know, I would be quite happy to see the end of mega-Masses entirely.

      2. Ditto.

        One alarming aspect of this involves the use of the meme of the “poor, ignorant laity.” We don’t know enough to be able to receive properly.

        I’m afraid that the Bishop of Phoenix may be endorsing a kind of creeping gnosticism by alluding to a proper knowledge and formation of the laity as a major reason for this initiative.

        Nearly as unimpressive is to suggest that Catholics elsewhere don’t receive from the cup, so his people shouldn’t either. Personally, I’d think a bishop who was truly solicitous of his people’s spiritual welfare would want to give them every possible window of grace.

        I’m waiting to see more specifics before I write this up in detail. But I don’t think I overstate the situation by citing this as yet another example of clueless bishops promoting the antigospel.

  28. Is the rumored embargo on the Cup for lay persons part of Bishop Olmsted’s plans?

    I emailed the diocese to ask, but there has been no reply.

  29. In whatever way Holy Communion is distributed or received, i.e. on the tongue, hand, chalice or by intinction, the point is not to follow the “command” to “eat and drink” which is given to the first priests/bishops of the Church, the 12 apostles, but to receive our Lord and His sacrificial love. Receiving worthily by means of consuming the Eucharist in order to be made part of the Body of Christ, i.e. the Head of the Church, our Lord, and His body–the Church, who in receiving share in His one Sacrifice but also share in that sacrifice if the lay person merely attends the Mass and does not receive.
    Archbishop Rembert Weakland many years ago, in the late 1990’s wrote this about the preoccupation with signs and symbols to the detriment of forgetting Who it is that is “received:”

    “In seeking to make the liturgical symbols more true and clear, has the renewal made the symbol more important than what is symbolized?” He notes the use of “real bread” where “ministers” become sloppy about the crumbs and thus diminish belief in the real presence. He asks, “Has the kiss of peace ceased to be a symbolic gesture of reconciliation with one’s neighbor and become a moment for greeting everyone in the church—to the detriment of the symbol and breaking the liturgical moment of preparation for Holy Communion? In the desire to emphasize the nature of the community, has one introduced rites of dubious origin, e.g., holding hands?”

    I’m not opposed to the common chalice and offer it at every Mass in our parish. I would prefer intinction for a number of reasons. I believe that the laity should also receive hosts consecrated at that particular Mass as the GIRM indicates. The question that all of us should be asking is how much more Catholic are we when we are dismissed with the new words: “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” Are we kinder, gentler and more charitable, or do we polarize ourselves from each other, the hierarchy and our Catholic faith?
    To conclude with his article titled “Liturgy and Common Ground” in America magazine (1999), Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland critiques the various factions who are concerned about our Holy Mass. He writes, “Something that should be a point of unity in the church, the Eucharist, has now become the most conspicuous point of disagreement and tension.” But he adds reason for hope, “that people—from prelates and scholars to worshiping faithful—are genuinely concerned about the quality of the prayer life of the Church.”

  30. How is it that the Church has the authority to withold the Chalice from the laity, but of course “has no authority” to ordain women?

    The Lord said, “take this all of you and drink from it.” Yet the chalice has been witheld for a long time in various ways.

    The “non-authority” to ordain women is based on no words of Christ, but the implication of no women apostles, etc.

    Authority. Used when it suits us, I’d say.

    Mark Miller

    1. Because the Church interprets the doctrine of concomitance to mean that reception under the form of bread is no less a reception in substance (if not sign) of the Precious Blood as it of the Body. And that goes back centuries before the issue of ordination.

    2. The doctrine of concomitance aside, Jesus himself repeatedly speaks of EATING AND DRINKING. What part of this call to
      participate in the banquet of His Body and His Blood do theologians not understand? I see here a
      deliberate effort to subvert years of effective sacramental and pastoral ministry in the English-speaking Church by a few who are deliberately contravening Christ’s own commands in holy scripture by falling back to clever-by-half word games by scholastic theologians. Little more than “a slight-of-hand” to be sure. More like chicanery by theologian-tricksters.

    1. “From 1975 on, the United States, United Kingdom and Oceania were given experimental privileges for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. These privileges expired in 2005 and were not renewed by the Holy See. The new norms issued in June 2011 are what guide the liturgical practice today and in the future.”

      What what what?

      Edit: Let me clarify. What document attests to these “experimental privileges” which lasted thirty years?

    2. It should be noted that this is not actually the legislation for Phoenix, but a press release and a Q & A about the plan to publish legislation:

      The priests of the Diocese of Phoenix recently discussed the new norms and a provisional text for its local implementation. At the present time, these diocesan norms, together with a time frame for implementation in the Phoenix Diocese, are under preparation and should be completed within the next few months.

      There seems to be a typo in the Q&A #12

      As highlighted in the GIRM, the practical need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary (or lay) ministers might in some circumstances constitute a reason for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species. This is explained in the GIRM, paragraph 24.

      But GIRM 24 is not about that.

      24. These adaptations consist for the most part in the choice of certain rites or texts, that is, of the chants, readings, prayers, explanations, and gestures that may respond better to the needs, preparation, and culture of the participants and that are entrusted to the priest celebrant. Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.

      1. OK… I found it. Q #12 is supposed to refer to paragraph 24 of the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America:

        24. The General Instruction then indicates that

        the diocesan Bishop may lay down norms for the distribution of Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which must be observed. . . . The diocesan Bishop also has the faculty to allow Communion under both kinds, whenever it seems appropriate to the priest to whom charge of a given community has been entrusted as [its] own pastor, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants or for some other reason. (36)

        In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary minister might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice.

        Norms established by the diocesan bishop must be observed wherever the Eucharist is celebrated in the diocese, “even in the churches of religious orders and in celebrations with small groups.” (37)

    3. Oh my – George Orwell’s Animal Farm is alive and well.

      Example: 1. Is the Catholic Church forbidding Holy Communion “from the chalice”?

      No. In fact, just the opposite. The New Roman Missal is, according to the new norms, “significantly expanding those opportunities when Holy Communion may be offered under both kinds.” This is explained in the new document titled The Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the United States.

      Unless of course – “13. You say this is a “relaxing of restrictions,” but my parish “has the chalice” at every Mass, and under these conditions, we won’t. It seems more restrictive, even extremely restrictive. Is there some sleight of hand happening here?

      From one perspective, you’re correct — for the Catholic Church in the United States. We have had special permission to experiment with Holy Communion under both forms for 25 years. The practice of both forms became very common in certain parts of this country, including parishes in Arizona. However, the vast majority of the parishes throughout the world have not had Communion under both forms. From the broadest, most inclusive perspective, the new norms are a great expansion of the practice. But it is true, from the more narrow perspective of a very small segment of the Catholic population, the norms could seem like a restriction. You can see, then, how the new norms will promote unity of practice around the world, even as it challenges almost every parish in the world to update its normal liturgical life. The norms invite us as U.S. Catholics to a more global and inclusive perspective, especially with those poor countries which cannot afford large amounts of wine for frequent usage.”

      Appears that eucharist is now defined by:
      – don’t want to confuse the priest/deacon and too many EMs
      – don’t want to provide chances where there may be “profanation”
      – achieves the goal of unifying the communion practices around the world…

      1. Bill, As much I don’t tlike intinction because it isn’t the ideal sign for participating in a banquet (hard to imagine eating and drinking here), it would accomplish two objectives which the Church is trying to achieve by applying universal principles for receiving holy communion under both forms.

        First, a little wine is needed for intinction compared to
        flagons, having to purchase gallon bottles, numerous chalices. As in the east, only one vessel is required. Either a chalice with leavened hosts mixed with the Precious Blood as in the Byzantine rite and spooned to the communicant (which is already an option), or a plate of hosts with a small cup in the middle. The latter is the intinction set, already used in many churches.
        My parish continues to reserve a small flagon of the Precious Blood in addition to the ciborium in the tabernace which can be seen through the golden door with a grill. The two separate signs are visible even if communicants don’t drink directly from the chalice.

      2. Dunstan – understand but you capture why I would not move in that direction in your opening sentences. It is not the Western tradition; it is a weak sign which plays havoc with the actual actions – eucharist is an action, verbs of action – not a theological concept. I was educated that we start with nature which is then graced.
        Nature – a shared meal in a community; taking, breaking, pouring, eating/drinking.

        You would weaken those actions to achieve what I would consider as secondary or tertiary concerns – sameness (is this really a value? seems to fly in the face of SC liturgical principles? what happened to unity in diversity rather than uniformity?); profanation (sorry, this seems to place a negative value higher than the meaning and action of the eucharist; it makes it a sacred object – common practice and sense has developed – not sure that there are huge numbers of profanations?; the concern about money/costs – as said above, no one is mandating this; but they are trying to increase the meaning of the signs. Individuals and communities (cost reasons) can make their own decisions. This bishop is restricting and limiting (despite SHoward’s take).

        Let’s switch gears – how would an Eastern community like to be told that their communion practice will change and intiction will be eliminated or limited?

      3. Bill It is not the Western tradition

        EP IV displays features that are not from the Western anaphora tradition, but it’s there nonetheless.

        This bishop is restricting and limiting (despite SHoward’s take).

        You are misrepresenting Samuel Howard’s position. He did not say Olmsted is not restricting or limiting permission for Communion under both kinds. He said that the actual situation is not what the sources reported it would be: “withdrawing permission for Communion under both forms [so that] only priest and deacon may receive from the Cup.”

      4. JP – not sure what your first comment is referring to? Could it be that you also didn’t understand what I was referring to?

        Sorry – you & SH can play all the semantics that you want. If you basically say that communion under both kinds will only happen a few times a year when it has been happening all the time, then the statement Fr. Ruff alluded to makes sense – you can nitpick all you want but let’s not waste creation doing that.

        Again, your “gotch moments” eventually wear thin; as does your self-appointed “minder” role.

      5. Bill, my first comment was about what appears to me to be a selective playing of the “Western tradition” card. The Roman Rite now has a very Eastern anaphora (and if things had gone differently, it would have had an Eastern anaphora transplanted directly into it with no changes). The fact that intinction does not enjoy a place in the Western liturgical tradition does not mean it can’t or shouldn’t.

        And if you want to respond to me calling you out on misinterpretations of comments (mine and others) by saying they’re simply “gotchya” moments, that’s your prerogative.

        But I think you avoid issues that are brought up by some people here by interpreting them your own way, rather than according to the intent of the author; case in point, SJH’s remark that the announcement out of Phoenix is not what the “several sources” reported it to be. You’re the one playing the technicality-and-semantics game, avoiding the need to retract a statement or acknowledge a misunderstanding by insisting that you’ve got it right.

        To say that the Phoenix policy (which we still haven’t actually seen) “withdraw[s] permission for Communion under both forms [so that] only priest and deacon may receive from the Cup” is, from what we have seen in the Phoenix Q&A, untrue. According to Q&A #12, if Communion under both kinds can be done without requiring a large number of EMHCs (e.g. one priest, one deacon, two EMHCs), there’s no reason it can’t continue to happen Sunday after Sunday.

        your self-appointed “minder” role

        Maybe there needs to be better moderation around here, then.

      6. JP – your comment still makes no sense. See that you now have read AWR’s next post clarifying much of the Phoenix Q&A – some points I had previously raised in two posts and making most of your comment incorrect and ridiculous as were SH’s. Time for you to retract some of your assumptions.

        You continue attempts at trying to explain away this poor bishop’s lack of pastoral and liturgical sense. So, you called Phoenix = and learned what?

        Please, your asides are merely that – they go along with your lazy gotcha attempts.

      7. Bill: your comment still makes no sense

        My apologies.

        See that you now have read AWR’s next post clarifying much of the Phoenix Q&A – [and?] some points I had previously raised in two posts and making most of your comment incorrect and ridiculous as were SH’s. Time for you to retract some of your assumptions.

        Please be specific. What did I say in my comment that is incorrect?

        Note my very first comment on this post: “It would be far less rash for him to have simply restricted permission for Communion under both kinds to certain situations, rather than revoke it completely.” I made that comment because this post said, unqualified, that the diocese was “withdrawing permission for Communion under both forms” and that “only priest and deacon may receive from the Cup”. That is not what the diocese’s statement and Q&A says. If you can’t understand that, I don’t know how to help.

        You continue attempts at trying to explain away this poor bishop’s lack of pastoral and liturgical sense.

        No, that’s not what I’m doing. I’m disagreeing with the misrepresentation of what the diocese of Phoenix is doing.

        So, you called Phoenix = and learned what?

        I emailed them and received this response: “Thank you for the thoughtful email and comments. I’m grateful for the time you’ve spent reviewing these documents and your feedback. This is helpful for us as we prepare future communications on this matter.”

      8. Bill, you say ” You can see, then, how the new norms will promote unity of practice around the world, . . .”

        I’m not so sure that ‘unity’ is the right word here. ‘Uniformity’ seems to me a much better fit. Personally, I think uniformity for its own sake is generally a Really Bad idea, and in the Church maybe even more so, at least on any large scale. We are individually very different, and our local communities are very different. ‘Unity’ would have us doing the same things, but not necessarily in the same way or using the same words, at least not beyond a bare, bare minimum. The rest would be what best fits the local community as it seeks to worship and serve God.

    1. See above – double speak.

      Here is a great pastoral story from a bishop, Conley, in Indiana:


      Go to Monday, May 2, 2011:

      “When I first came on board as pastor, the cup was not offered to the laity at any of the Masses. That soon changed. Now the cup is offered at every Mass. Working with the religious ed. director, we changed the manner in which the children were prepared for First Communion so that when we spoke of Communion we made every effort to speak of the Host and the cup. At meetings with parents we explained that we would be offering both the Host and the cup at First Communion and that they could make the decision as to whether or not their child would receive from the cup. As it turned out, about half the children did receive from the cup. We changed the altar wine that we used to one that was sweeter and less apt to be too bitter for children’s taste. We also had a little girl in the parish who was allergic to wheat and could only receive from the cup. She received her First Communion with her classmates and continues to receive from the cup at every Mass.”

    2. See above – double speak.

      Bill, my comment is not double speak. The policy (as described in the press materials) simply doesn’t do what Fr. Ruff’s post alleged it would do, restrict communion from the cup to ordained clergy only. It provides for Communion under both kinds to be offered to the laity in a number of circumstances.

  31. Upon reading and re-reading the Q&A, it sounds like the issue is one of implementing the edition of the GIRM which accompanies the English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal, in place of the previous GIRM in the Sacramentary:

    “Since 1985, there were 14 instances listed in the GIRM when Communion under both forms could be offered, and only a Conference of Catholic Bishops could extend the practice. The process of extending the practice has been greatly simplified. The number of instances listed in the GIRM is now reduced to three, but now the new GIRM states that the diocesan bishop may establish additional norms…” (Q&A 3)

  32. I must say, #14 made we want to start yelling at my monitor. So now “more restricted” means “less restricted”? Talk about doublespeak. And the idea of restricting communion to one species as an act of solidarity with poor countries. . . I’m sorry, but the same logic could be used to argue that we ought normally celebrate Mass in tin-roofed shacks.

    1. I think you mean #13, right?

      13. You say this is a “relaxing of restrictions,” but my parish “has the chalice” at every Mass, and under these conditions, we won’t. It seems more restrictive, even extremely restrictive. Is there some sleight of hand happening here?

      From one perspective, you’re correct[…]”

      Ouch! What a poor response! “Q. Is there some sleight of hand happening here? A. From one perspective, yes!”

      This Q&A suffers from some poor wording and from some non-answer-phobia, such as #8:

      8. Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Take this all of you and drink from it?’ How can the Church disallow reception from the chalice at some Masses? Isn’t it a divine command to receive from the chalice?

      Whenever someone receives Holy Communion under either the form of bread or the form of wine, he or she receives Christ, whole and entire. There is one Jesus Christ — and He is received really, truly, and substantially under either or the two ‘disguises’ of the form of bread or the form of wine.”

      Okay, thank you for the explanation of concomitance, but could you answer the actual questions asked?

      Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Take this all of you and drink from it?’ Yes

      How can the Church disallow reception from the chalice at some Masses? [Paraphrase of Trent XXI, c. 2]

      Isn’t it a divine command to receive from the chalice? [Paraphrase of Trent XXI, c.1]

      It might also have served well to have explained that the sick and homebound receive Communion under a single species with regularity.

      1. The Q & A in general is so poorly done that it does more harm than good to its cause.

        Perhaps it was written and published in haste because the policy and the Bishop were publicly attacked before the policy was even announced.

  33. From the USCCB Norms #24: “the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary minister[s] might in some circumstances constitute a reason […] for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species.”

    I had always interpreted “excessive use of EMHCs” to mean “excessive (= very frequent) use of EMHCs”, not “use of several (= an excessive number of) EMHCs”, but the Phoenix Q&A 12 appears to interpret it in the latter way:

    12. What are the conditions that must be met when both forms are offered?

    The conditions are:
    * The faithful have been well instructed (especially on the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist), and
    * There is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants, or for some other reason.

    As highlighted in the GIRM [sic], the practical need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary (or lay) ministers might in some circumstances constitute a reason for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species. This is explained in the GIRM [sic], paragraph 24. [cf. USCCB Norms, 24]

    For example, let’s say a pastor deemed it appropriate to have Holy Communion under both species on the feast of Corpus Christi, but his particular situation would necessitate a dozen extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. While he and a deacon would be the only ordinary ministers, it is common sense that he would not be able to judge the necessary conditions as met.”

  34. Wow. I guess because I’m a convert, and one who slept through most of my RCIA classes, that I’m responding to all this differently than most Catholics. From the time I became Catholic, every mass I attended offered the cup – I had no idea it ever was not offered until I recently read a book about the history of communion and the Council of Trnet – even then I thought it was a medievalism that no longer obtained. It seems amazing to uninitiated me that something so simple – friends, take this bread, this wine, eat and drink in memory of me – has morphed into the surrealism of eucharistic adoration and a withholding of the cup to only clergy.

  35. Is this the last drop?

    When do we stop mourning and start revolting against the backwards drift of our holy, beautiful, Catholic church?

    How do we even express our displeasure? I have a sudden desire to flatly reject the new missal and stubbornly (and loudly) continue using the old words.

    1. I remember hearing that Tolkein did the same thing as you Claire, “et cum spiritu tuo!”

      I’ve taken from the Cup and continue to do so. I’m not opposed to it in principle and generally not in practice either. Still, modern liturgy is such an atrocious, pathetic train wreck that I’ve begun to care little what anyone does with it anymore.

  36. …work of human hands…fruit of the vine. These treasures are to be shared, not lost. Please remember the growing number of people who need to be gluettn free. Intinction is not available because of cross-contamination. The sacred cups has been such a joy. Our share in passover and last supper should be full and right. Now even more treasure will be lost. Please include – not dismiss.

  37. When I worked for the public mental health system, we were given responsibility for alcohol and drug services. Many of us in management were not familiar with this area, so it was very enlightening to be educated by people for whom alcohol is a problem. Part of our consciousness raising was just to realize how routinely alcohol is present in many social, business, and civic gatherings. Our Board before we got this new responsibility had routinely had a “happy hour” before the annual board dinner, at the Christmas party, etc.

    Many of us in management decided to change our personal practices, e.g. namely routinely not consuming alcohol at these many public occasions as a way of being in solidarity with this new population whom we had been asked to serve.

    So I get a little disturbed with liturgy people who go so far as to put pressure upon people through catechesis to drink from the cup. When one parish did so, I decided to abstain from the cup as part of the asceticism of solidarity with this population. I have not continued to do that now that I am retired.

    1. And what about those who are gluten-intolerant?

      And the thought of offering the Precious Blood putting pressure on recovering alcoholics? You’re really grasping at straws. That attitude is insulting.

    2. Jack – have worked in the behavioral health field for 26 years. Agree with your direction but no liturgical person commenting here is demanding that anyone MUST partake of the cup – we are questionning a bishop who wants to all but remove any chance for most catholics to participate in communion under both kinds.

      Your last paragraph is a little over the top.

      1. Alcohol is a problem for about 10% of the general population, among mentally ill because of self medication it reaches about 20%. We have significant drinking while driving and young adult binge drinking problems.

        I have no problem with liturgists maintaining that the cup should be made available all the time. I have a problem when catechesis about this turns to encouraging individuals to regularly use the cup as somehow better or more perfect. That could be true but such catechesis is unwise.

        There has always been a very significant portion of the congregation who for health concerns has abstained. Their concerns may be unfounded, but they should be respected. Let people have the freedom of the cup, to partake or not partake as they see fit.

        In response to the Bishop’s ideological agenda, liberals should not adopt an ideological agenda that emphasizes the importance of communion under both species.

        Let’s emphasize the importance of laity having the freedom to respond to the invitation of Jesus to the cup, let’s not make it into a commandment.

      2. I have only received from the Cup a few times. I tend to abstain because I have difficulty controlling the chalice and fear spilling the wine or splashing it on myself. I have never felt pressured to receive from the Cup and and make it a point to acknowledge the Cup with a simple nod of the head. I don’t receive from the Cup, but it is important to me that others can.

        I am disgusted with Bishop Olmsted. If he gets this simple thing so wrong, what else about the Christ has he twisted beyond all recognition?

  38. I have a sudden desire to flatly reject the new missal and stubbornly (and loudly) continue using the old words.

    Reminds me of an anecdote I heard about J.R.R. Tolkien doing the same thing when masses went from Latin to the vernacular.

  39. The statement that experimental permissions in the UK expired in 2005 is incorrect.

    (a) There was no date limit that anyone is aware of.

    (b) The permission was not experimental and was not perceived as such. Communion under both kinds had already been widespread in England and Wales for a number of years before the official permission came through.

    (c) Communion under both kinds continues to be normative in England and Wales (though less common the farther north you go) and in Scotland. There is no sign that the bishops are minded to chnge this.

    (d) The statement fails to recognize the situation in Ireland (not part of the UK!), Gibraltar, Germany, and France (where I received from the cup only this last Sunday), and probably many other countries too.

  40. I wonder if this text “http://www.diocesephoenix.org/policies/documents/SacredVesselPurification.pdf” will taken off the website of the diocese. The last paragraph begins with “In public comments on the decision of the Holy Father, Bishop Donald Trautman, Chairman of the Committee of the Liturgy, recalled the conciliar mandate for more frequent reception of Holy Communion under both kinds as a fuller sign of the Eucharistic Banquet.”? (Although you could do a Q&A where you explain that more frequent implies less often”!)

  41. This is closely related to a recently emerging requirement for Q&A (catechesis) to explain that for many actually means for all.

  42. What really amounts to profanation? An errant droplet or particle? Is that what Thomas Olmsted is so concerned about? What is truly profane is “churchmen” who have degraded Catholicism to a totemic religion.

  43. With all this talk about hygiene[#48-#49], I am reminded of something in the pre-Christian era when polytheists found Hygeia to be the coldest bitch goddess in the pantheon.

    1. To put it in the bon mot of one of America’s latter-day late goddesses:

      “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” (Elizabeth Taylor)

  44. Over 50 years ago, I remember laboring over the thesis on the Body and Blood being present in both species in dogma class (in Latin,no less).

    It made about as much sense to me as trying to figure out how many angels fit on the head of a pin. My faith was and is not threatened by the answer to either question.

    I believe Shakespeare wrote a play about this and all liturgy quesions considering the effect on our eternal salvation – Much Ado ABout Nothing.

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