Phoenix Q&A on both forms: some comments -UPDATED 9-23

As Pray Tell reported, Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix has drastically reduced permission for Communion under both forms in his diocese. (Our earlier report, since updated, was of a complete ban.) Church law does not require the bishop to limit both forms and would have permitted him to allow pastors to administer both forms as they see fit. But now Communion under both forms is virtually prohibited at Sunday Mass. The diocesan website gives Q&A – here are some excerpts with my comments. – awr

What is legally permitted:

The number of instances [of both forms] … is now reduced to three, but now the new GIRM states that the diocesan bishop may establish additional norms and, further, the diocesan bishop ‘is given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the priest to whom a community has been entrusted as its own shepherd, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and that there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament…’.

AWR: The diocese is admitting that the bishop could have allowed priests to continue giving Communion under both forms at every Mass, but chose not to do so.

Why the practice of both forms is limited:

To protect the Sacred Species from profanation (careless treatment, spillage, swilling, etc.

AWR: How do you suppose the western Church managed to give Communion exclusively under both forms for a millennium and more? How do Eastern Orthodox and Protestants manage to this day? Are Roman Catholics somehow given more to profanation than all other Christians?

Bread, symbols, role of priest:

Catholics believe that the appearance (or “species”) of bread or wine is merely symbolic; after the priest’s prayer of consecration at Mass, there is neither bread nor wine on the altar, only their appearances; for Christ is now present.

AWR:Merely symbolic”?? Developments in Catholic sacramental theology going back at least to the 1940s, anyone? “The priest’s prayer of consecration”?? The Eucharistic Prayer is everyone’s prayer, and the laity have a role in exercising their baptismal priesthood, under the leadership of the ordained priest, in participating actively in the Eucharistic Prayer.

Christ’s presence:

After the priest’s prayer of consecration at Mass, there is neither bread nor wine on the altar, only their appearances; for Christ is now present.

AWR: If Christ is now present, after the consecration, this suggests that Christ wasn’t present in the liturgy before the consecration. But the Catholic Church teaches otherwise. I bet they mean “sacramentally present.”

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

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.

AWR: All true, none of it answering the question. The kicker here is “drink.”

Why both forms:

Reception of Holy Communion does not constitute the reception of any greater reality.

AWR: I’m pretty sure they mean “Reception of Holy Communion under both forms does not constitute the reception of any great reality.” Unless they wish to claim that sacraments such as the Eucharist do nothing, which I doubt.

Not obscuring the role of the priest and deacon:

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.

AWR: Have you ever managed to miss which one is the priest or deacon at Mass? Is it possible for a man in the 21st century to wear alb, stole, and chausible/dalmatic and blend into the crowd?

*         *          *          *          *

See the Arizona Republic story here.


  1. AWR – In all seriousness, you should contact the Phoenix diocesan office, in a spirit of fraternal correction, and bring their attention to at least the most glaring mistakes in their Q&A.

    Unless it’s in someone’s best interest for the Q&A on their web site to continue being in a state of disarray.

    [Edit: I contacted them with some comments of my own, just in case no one else has yet.]

    1. In the 125 posts on this topic (1 and 2), you, dear Sir, have had by my count seventeen bites at the cherry. That’s a lot. Perhaps a day of recollection might be in order. But please understand it is only a suggestion, a friendly counsel.

      1. Point taken. And it is quite late here, and I should get to sleep. So, after this, I will!

        For those keeping score at home, the leaderboard is:
        Jeffrey Pinyan: 18
        Bill deHaas: 14
        Karl Liam Saur: 12
        Samuel J. Howard: 10

      2. Total score 54 out of 125 or 43% by only four people!

        Sometimes we get misleading ideas of the importance of a post by the total number of comments.

        I like Jeffery’s way of responding to this issue.

        Perhaps in the future when people get a little dissatisfied with too much commenting by too few people they could just post a leaderboard to help promote awareness without advice.

        We all have our own styles. For example I like the KLS style of many but often very short comments. So I don’t think we want to discourage something like that.

  2. I’m astonished… angry… and totally discouraged as a lay person.
    What is this church coming to?

    Thanks AWR.

  3. I came into the Church in 1965, as a teenager — my quip is that I was born a Vatican II Catholic, so God had to wait a little while for my baptism. One of the greatest experiences in those years was being able to receive from the Cup. I have become so used to it, that when it is withheld, it feels like a form of ostentatious clericalism. Can a priest even imagine what it is like to be denied the Cup? The rich patristic imagery — from many grains, one loaf for the Bread; from the one Cup, many share. What better imagery of eucharistic “font and summit” can there possibly be?
    Being told we don’t need the Cup is like Lazarus in the doorway, having to be content with the scraps falling from the rich man’s table.
    I know all about concommittance, all the theological rationalizing behind “Bread alone.” But the experience of eucharist isn’t about getting a minimal share of divine grace; it’s about being fed and feted and nourished and strengthened by the Word of God — from ALL its Real Presences among us. How sad; it’s as if they think the laity will get “too much” of the divine presence, or something. Good grief; we might even learn and love and know more about theology or Church history or liturgy or ecclesiology (Scripture, christology, etc) more than the clerics. Imagine that.

    1. Being told we don’t need the Cup is like Lazarus in the doorway, having to be content with the scraps falling from the rich man’s table.

      I don’t understand this analogy; it pits the Eucharistic bread against the Eucharistic wine, as if the Host is “scraps” and the Chalice is “the good stuff”.

      the experience of eucharist isn’t about getting a minimal share of divine grace […] it’s as if they think the laity will get “too much” of the divine presence

      I have not seen that mentality expressed implicitly or explicitly. What gave you this impression?

      1. I am not proposing a tight theological argument; I am doing a theological reflection on the experience of being denied the Cup. It hurts.
        I haven’t seen the most recent Roman Missal, but even GIRM 2000 called communion under both kinds a fuller sign (or richer sign; I am not quoting directly). The fruitfulness of reception can be affected by the quality of the sign. And liturgical richness is something other than, and more than, minimal validity.

      2. Jeffrey Pinyan, thanks for your good-natured acceptance of my ill-considered comment at 11:16 pm on the feast of Saint Matthew.

      3. The analogy pits ONLY the Eucharistic Bread against the FULLER symbol of Bread and Wine. When the GIRM means says the use of wine contributes to a fuller sense of the Eucharist, there is an implication that ONLY bread is less full. The rich man, with a full meal, and Lazarus with only crumbs is an apt analogy, even if it is a little exaggerated.

        This is central to the discussion. Do we portray God as fully, abundantly giving, or do we hide the riches we have received for fear of losing them, profaning them, etc? It is not a question of bread vs wine, either of which suffices, but of flowing abundance versus stingy crumbs.

  4. “How do you suppose the western Church managed to give Communion exclusively under both forms for a millennium and more?”

    Communion of the laity under the form of bread alone was the result of a natural and progressive evolution over the centuries supported by refined theology. Why do you want to bring the Roman Church back to anachronistic practices? This is the 21st century, not the 12th.

    1. But it’s not “to bring the Roman Church back…” since some communities in the Roman Church have been doing it now for decades. The question is whether to continue the established practice or to restrict it.

      I tend not to think that commands of Our Lord are “anachronistic.”


    2. “Communion of the laity under the form of bread alone was the result of a natural and progressive evolution over the centuries supported by refined theology.”

      Really? So Aquinas’ was actually wasting his time, then, so adamantly and poetically defending a sacramental practice of which the theology was already refined.

      Yes, this is the 21st century. And perhaps, with proper disposition, we can handle what the folks could back in the 12th and even earlier.

      I myself choose not to receive from the chalice, owing to the fact that I concur that I fully receive Christ under one species. But the value of the sign is marred when the option is not ordinarily permitted on Sundays and days of precept. And the value of the sign does matter.

      1. The bishop of Phoenix should spend less time ruminating over the GIRM,, fretting over spillage, maybe the cost of ordering wine by the jug, keeping his thumb and index finger together for the rest of his life, and take a little more time reviewing John’s gospel and the writings of the patristic Fathers on the Holy Eucharist.

  5. Ah, Victor….natural and progressive evolution? I pray that you are being sarcastic….please tell me you are, or at least being tongue in cheek.

    We Evangelical Catholics are anachronistic, and proud! Seriously….we commune under both species….have been since that little dust-up 300 years or so past your anachronistic period….and our folks don’t swill or make much of a mess, and when they do, we handle the spill in a most reverent way, though not as drastic as Fr. Martin Luther was said to have done when a Deacon spilled the Precious Blood….Fr. Luther fired him, cut out the section of the communion rail and burned it reverently.

    Yep, those darned Lutherans….how do they do it?

  6. Thanks, Fr Ruff.

    This is one of the worst examples of imprudence I have ever seen a bishop indulge in a liturgical context. If this is as bad as it looks, the man is a spiritual menace.

  7. DeLugo states that Francis Blanco,archbishop of Compostella,who took part in the Council of Trent, declared that it was the unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the Chalice imparts additional grace,but that they were unwilling to define it out of due season, lest occasion should be given to the heretics to raise an outcry…he refers especially to Sess CFO.c.3, where it is cautiously declared that those who receive only one species are not defrauded of any grace necessary to salvation. The implication, in De Lugo’s opinion, is that they are defrauded of some grace.

    Liturgy & worship, p. 614

  8. Thanks for posting this. I’ll have to think long and hard about what I would do if this ever happened in my diocese.

    1. For any right-thinking modern Catholic there can be only one response, of course, in the event of such a supreme slap in the face (hint: we laity have no cheeks left to turn anymore … this comes after Ratz opens his arms wide to the medieval, Jew-hating SSPX … unbelievable.)

      1. Speaking of repugnant, John. . .there may be a plank there.

        A substantial sabbatical from the Roman part of one’s Catholicism might be a legitimate response.

      2. Editor – please remove John Drake’s comment. I don’t concur with Sandi’s calling the Holy Father “Ratz”, but John’s last reference goes beyond what should be tolerated here.

      3. Also, I doubt that “medieval, Jew-hating SSPX” is useful in an ecumenical context, right? If some poor bloke is introduced to Christ’s Church by this blog post, I doubt we’ll win a convert!

    2. Ellen – What actions would you consider? 1- Leave the church. 2 – Find an eastern Catholic parish. 3 – picket the chancery. 4 – consider that the bishop may indeed have good reason. 5 – offer up your chagrin as suffering.

      Really. What would you do? What actions would you consider?

  9. As Pray Tell reported

    Actually, what Pray Tell reported was ” 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.”

    This was NOT true.

    Why the practice of both forms is limited

    That’s the first of 5 items on a numbered list. It’s not fair to quote one of those readings under the heading you use. It’s misleading.

    Not obscuring the role of the priest and deacon:

    Shortened to remove the meaning they give to it “as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion”.

    This post is not a fair response.

    1. Samuel, you’re repeating yourself. And, yet again, you’re nitpicking at peripheral issues as your preferred way of discrediting what you don’t like. You know, it does get tiresome.

      All news media abbreviate. I quoted only the part of the text I was critiquing. I stand by it.


      1. All news media abbreviate.

        News media also publish corrections when they get a story wrong, they don’t retrench. PrayTell didn’t break the news, because it’s not enough to be first, you also have to be right.

        I quoted only the part of the text I was critiquing. I stand by it.

        It’s clear that your critique is of the policy generally and not just small bits of the text. As such, you have a duty to represent them fairly and fully and you failed in that.

  10. The argument from profanation really is a non-starter. Profanation in reception under the form of bread is far more common, so perhaps we should ban that and instead revert to Communion from the cup only. The mediaeval doctrine of concomitance, invented in the wake of the disappearance of intinction after the cup had been denied to the laity, would allow that.

    I personally have never seen profanation in reception from the cup, and have only heard of one isolated instance of it. I have, however, seen many instances of profanation in reception under the form of bread, and have heard about many more.

    1. I don’t believe there is any major “intentional” profanation, but certainly there is spillage. It happened at one of my Masses when we were still allowed to pour the consecrated wine from a flagon into the chalices at the “Breaking of the Bread” and the deacon doing it dropped the flagon breaking it, getting consecrated wine all over the altar cloth, him, me, floor etc–it was an embarrassing mess which I ignored as I continued the Mass, but it was properly cleaned after Mass. But people have told me they’ve spilled the Precious Blood on their shoes as they drink from the chalice on their shirts, blouses, ties, etc. There were many stories about the improper purification of the chalices after Mass in the sacristy by EM’s. As far as the host goes, the reception of the host in the hand and by those who do it unthinkingly like children but also adults can be very “irreverent looking” although not an intentional irreverence. Certainly sometimes large particles adhere to the hands to be indelicately brushed off on the clothes or floor. And people taking the host back to the pews to give pieces to others or to take home or simply leave in a hymnal or on the floor is well documented in the parishes I’ve served and from others I’ve heard. I don’t know what happens in Protestant Churches when they have their “Lord’s Supper” but I do know the occurrences of intentional or unintentional “profanation” in my own experiences in Catholic Churches.

      1. What’s your point, Fr. Allan. Read Paul Inwood closely. So, to prevent any “accidents” we will just significantly limit our eucharistic liturgy and experience. Again, you make eucharist and communion into an object – it is the community’s action. What is the intent of folks when receiving eucharist? Are accidents intended and deliberate? If not, do you really think that God strikes us with a thunderbolt. Your reasoning reminds me of Sister Mary first grade in the 1950’s or the “seminary scruples” in the 1960’s. It smacks of Jansenism – scruples and Jansenistic approaches are not exactly positive marks of an adult faith or spirituality.

        So, let’s just lock everything in the tabernacle with a glass door so no “profanation” will ever happen.

      2. Bill since you like to repeat yourself and very articulately I might add, let me repeat what I posted yesterday from Archbishop Weakland way back in the late 1990’s as he seems to be a pioneer on the “reform of the reform” at that time and quoting him:
        “Has the reform at times led to a diminution of respect for and belief in the real presence in the Eucharist?” He points in particular to “the tendency to stand, not kneel, no more genuflections, the placement of the tabernacle in the church away from the central axis [and] the abuses concerning care for the Eucharist after Mass, and so on”.
        He also makes a point about “crumbs” and the use of bread that is prone to leaving traces on the hand and floor.
        I see no problem with a retro 1950’s approach to reverence but your 1970’s retro approach frightens me! 🙂

      3. Fr. Allan – with all due respect, Weakland’s liturgical style and decisions are well known. Like many public fugures, you need to take this one article in context. He was using a rhetorical method (questions) to raise and focus on the issue of the meaning of the eucharist and how it can become routine. Notice – his questions do not lead to definitive decisions; changes in liturgy; etc.

        That was not the purpose of the article.

        Do you really think that Weakland would agree with your decisions and responses to his questions? Can you imagine Weakland putting a tabernacle back on an altar? etc.

        You have taken his article out of context and used it to footnote your own opinion. So be it – but let’s not set this in concrete.

        There is a significant difference between a 1950’s retro and 1970’s retro – it is called VII and SC.

        (Sorry, JFR, did another post)

      4. Bill, as a rejoinder, your first comment could be taken as implying that the assembly conjures up the Holy Eucharist, rather than the action of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy. That seems to be a confusion of the modes of God’s presence in the Mass, but perhaps I am mistaken. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be careful with the consecrated species, and certainly don’t think it descends to Jansenism.

      5. In support of Bill DeHaas’s points concerning the Weakland article, yes, Fr. Allen is using the piece either in ignorance or disingenuously. Archbishop Weakland, as part of a Common Ground talk, produced a set of questions and challenges to BOTH sides of an ecclesiastical divide, not only one. To quote ONE part in isolation, as if he was advocating against liberal use of the liturgical reforms, is inappropriate.

        I was for several years the liturgy director at Archbishop Weakland’s cathedral, and I can assure you we had communion under both forms at every liturgy. The cathedral renovation over which he presided, and which was accomplished “non sine difficultate” and “completely in accord with the reforms of Vatican II,” (I quote from the stone plaque in the narthex), moved the tabernacle to a side chapel visible from the nave when the old high altar was removed from the center of the apse.

        To suggest that Weakland was a progenitor of the Reform of the Reform movement is foolish nonsense, and I hope no one reading this blog is taken in by this. He of course saw the beginning of the reform of the reform “program” while he was in office and he called that shot from the beginning in a number of articles in the 1990s. He forsaw the problems being created by the desire to reimagine the reform from the ground up rather than to build on the reform we actually have, and warned against it.

        Thank you, Bill, for bringing a reality check to Fr. Allen’s egregious misrepresentation.

        Paul Inwood, I agree. If the cup can’t be offered to the laity without profanation, neither can the bread.

      6. Rita, if you read Archbishop Weakland’s own words and his desire to advocate for common ground and in a respectful way, I don’t think you will find him quite as shrill as how you describe my words; in fact he is asking some very important questions. I posted his article from America because it speaks for itself–certainly he allowed for all that is allowed for the Mass including the common chalice as I do, but his ability to try to see all the sides of the variety of stances even in 1999 is very, very pastoral, wise and unifying. I like the fact that he as a progressive in the Church isn’t shrill and divisive by his comments. He’s an example to you, others on this blog as well as to me. For that I’m grateful.

      7. Allan, it’s too bad that you see my reasoned argument, offered calmly and with evidence, as “shrill.” It’s one of the reasons why you will never learn anything from blogging, or from Weakland, and why I didn’t address myself to you in the first place.

      8. Rita, as you do very often, and I suspect it is because you are quickly scanning what is written and reading what you wish into what is written, you have once again misrepresented my remarks which you do often. Read carefully what I wrote to you above: “I don’t think you will find him quite as shrill as how you describe my words.”
        If you read that closely, you will note I did not say you were shrill but rather that neither the Archbishop was shrill or I was shrill (implied in your first comments). That’s a big difference and I’m sorry you didn’t read it that way. But thanks for directing your comments on this to me on that although not to me in the other post! 🙂

      9. Rita, while I didn’t find your initial comment “shrill” this

        Rita Ferrone :

        It’s one of the reasons why you will never learn anything from blogging, or from Weakland, and why I didn’t address myself to you in the first place.

        could not be understood any other way than shrill!

      10. I have stated that the earlier statement about Weakland made by Allen was either ignorant or disengenuous, and also an egregious misrepresentation of the facts. All true and fair statements. I stand by them.

        Allen has not yet in any way acknowledged that he was in the wrong, hence my statement about how it’s too bad that he will never learn anything. I (sadly) expected it, which is why I framed my statement as one to correct the record, not as a comment addressed to him directly.

        Not shrill, Bruce, no. Sad, but standing my ground.

      11. Thanks, Rita. My memory did not have the exact details around the time period and the article Weakland had America publish e.g. Common Ground. Appreciate you trying to ground this post in factual information and standing up for the integrity of Weakland’s liturgical accomplishments. It can be hard with this crowd to risk setting the record straight.

        What is discouraging to me is that I have learned information and even changed some of my “thoughts” & “reactions” based upon some excellent articles and comments from the folks who participate here. And there are folks commenting who have had years of experience working with ICEL (1st or 2nd), ICET and its evolution – so, to ignore facts; well, it leads to professional & pastoral mediocrity.

        Folks write about blogs as if they are just a place to blow smoke but appreciate that PrayTell aims much higher than that. So, it is discouraging when facts, timelines, actual quotes, etc. are made and there is no response or; all too often, multiple responses that ignore, dismiss, etc. and just repeat, repeat, repeat the same old, same old.

        KLS’ Shibolleth and some of us using “meme” capture those misunderstandings or worse. How liturgy developed from the early 20th century; laid down principles in VII documents; and began to develop those principles is the context for most of the articles posted here. Unfortunately, spending time looking for ways to turn back the clock; or when one of the “memes” is identified as lacking any factual basis, we experience dodges, changing subjects, or labelling comments as “shrill”; etc.

        Bruce – did not respond to your last comment… did not understand what I said; but thanks for asking. Also, JP – same with your last comments – there is not enough space in this blog to begin to provide the information you need to understand the context, the history, Vagaggini, etc.

      12. Rita, evidently you think my comments on Weakland are shrill and that is what I was getting at and you confirm it with your latest diatribe. Evidently you did not go to a further post I made on 9/22 at 12:20 pm where I posted Archbishop Weakland’s actual America article to allow him to speak for himself to correct any prejudices my comments might have had. I do not find the Archbishop’s words or suggestions or perspective shrill whatsoever but unifying, respectful of the various positions (although certainly I don’t think he would embrace many of them) and very pastoral, unlike your approach to me which is neither constructive nor dialogical. It’s the manner in which he approaches the divisions in liturgical reform in a public forum that I applaud and recommend to you. You have to allow this to load before it appears:
        The best line in the article that liturgical blogs and commenters alike can learn from the Archbishop is this quote: “If no dialogue occurs, if no one is able to bring the various groups together for a fruitful discussion, little clarity can be expected in the future.”
        Of course 12 years have passed since this article and major developments have occurred and are occurring which all the more calls for respectful dialogue and flexibility in the liturgical world as well as charity toward differing views.

      13. Fr. Allan,
        Rita Ferrone is a published author of books and articles in leading journals. You’re not. You’re out of your league. Rita doesn’t just “scan” texts, she reads things carefully – including your comments with their sometimes tortured logic. Your claims (about Weakland, about Rita, …) are absurd.

      14. Well Fr. Ruff, that kind of academic clericalism is just as bad as if I were to say that I’m a priest so she’s out of her league. Let’s get real about all of this and get together rather than apart. If you wish this blog to be only for qualified academics and not for the rest of us (i.e. lay “academics”) then have a system that only allows the qualified and therefore privileged to log on for comments after you’ve proven their academic credentials.

      15. OK, then let’s do it in terms of content and not credentials.

        Rita’s content is solid. She reads accurately and writes incisively.

        Yours isn’t. You’ve misread her and been unfair to her.



      16. That’s better, but to go further would be best. Since I’ve acknowledged in the post above my own “prejudice” in terms of what Weakland wrote and thus posted his very own words, wouldn’t it be better then to comment on his article and what he wrote which I find very incisive, pastoral and conducive to dialogue about the various factions in liturgy today? Better yet, since Archbishop Weakland is a Benedictine and you have pull in the Benedictine world, get him to write something for the blog on how we should work toward common ground in an ever polarized liturgical world in 2011. Insulting one another gets no where; there’s plenty of that on this blog and the insults know no camp, but come from all persuasions of polarized perspectives.

      17. Fr. Allan – I apologize that I offended you. I overreacted.

        We want a variety of voices at Pray Tell, including yours! But all of us (me included, you included) have to be ready for others to correct us when we state incorrect things, or when well-informed people have a better understanding of things. I wish I had said more respectfully and gently that, in this case, I don’t think you were fair to Rita or hearing her well-written comments. FWIW.


  11. Oh my, Oh my, OH MY. In our experiences with parishes and with chancery, my boyfriend and I have seen such communications, complete with missing words and mis-intentioned sentences, but NEVER before the third Martini was consumed.

  12. On a related topic, if we are considering this under “diocesan tirads,” one might add another by our own diocesan, Bp Thomas Tobin on the topic of Communion and the practice of the faith directed at then Rep Patrick Kenneth
    We especially enjoyed the profile in courage slam and the whole thing is definitely a product of several Martinis.

  13. Ann (posts 6&8) – you stated *beautifully* (and intelligently) what I feel as well: “It hurts” to be denied the Cup. Our parish has Masses with and without, at different times, and we can choose accordingly. Also, if I happen to be an EM that Mass, the priest always shares the cup before handing us our vessels of hosts.

    While I don’t feel that the Eucharist under one species is reduced to being “content with the scraps falling from the rich man’s table”, I do feel something is missing; unfinished…

    Honestly, this is one more reason to believe all of Arizona has lost it’s collective mind! As a Catholic Californian, I will not venture over there for any reason until they come out of their hateful (immigration law) fog.

    1. Well, a lot that part of Arizona came over from the Valley after the Northridge quake. But Tucson is more progressive…..

  14. I remember vividly the one instance of spillage involving some unintended clumsiness of my own. In reaching beyond the chalice I somehow tipped it over. The precious blood poured across the altar cloth and onto the granite floor. The deacon hastened to get some towels and we sopped it up as best we could with the intention of a more thorough cleanup following the distribution of communion. Afterwards I went and got some new moistened towels and got down on hands and knees to finish cleaning up. It was then that I heard people sobbing, apparently touched by the sight of an overweight and aging priest showing such reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Reflecting on that later it occurred to me that no one would weep over spilt wine.

    People know authentic reverence when they engage in it and observe it. I believe I also recognize when people are running the risk of putting the worship of holy things before the kind of love that does no harm to our brothers and sisters. Withdrawing the opportunity to take and drink is in my view bordering on sin. Let those who have ears, hear.

  15. I remember vividly years ago when a host was dropped at the altar rail and the altar boy quickly reached for it,.. this in the days when only the priest could touch. The priest just as quickly put his foot into the back of the boy and sent him tumbling across the sanctuary, and no profanation occurred.
    We all got the lesson the Phoenix Bishop wants us to learn. Maybe Olmstead will find this pedagogical example enlightening.

    1. Without going into a river of battling anecdotes – please, no – it can help for others to an illustration the stories that complement the Clown Masses and what not, and how those stories rudder the fears that rudder the arguments being presented.

    2. So, it’s okay to knock back the server so he won’t pick up a dropped host? ISTM that there is indeed something like profanation going on here . .

  16. Confession: this sort of thing brings out the worst of my pre-adolescent playground side: what would happen if I or any of the faithful just walked up to the altar and helped ourselves to the cup?

    I truly wonder what the proverbial “they” would/could do about it?

  17. To follow up, more seriously – isn’t there an ecclesial parallel to civil disobedience? I think here of all the folks who, in ecclesial disobedience, celebrated liturgy in the vernacular for years, decades … before Vatican II gave it the hierarchical okey-dokey.

    1. Okay, but if it were to happen that the “civil-liturgical disobedience” somehow caused the Precious Blood to be spilled, then…? I hope you understand that I’m raising a hypothetical to the reminder of Fr. McDonald/Abp. Weakland (whom no one could accuse of being a traditionalist!) that we should focus on Who we are receiving, not the mode of reception?

      Perhaps I have a different perspective on this as a convert that lived the first 21 years of his life without the benefit of reception of the Holy Eucharist. For me, I am thankful to receive Christ in any way possible!

      Again, I’m not arguing in favor of withholding the cup in this case, but just asking us to step back and ask, “is that worth it”?

  18. I think it is all a plan to increase the funds available to Catholic laity during these challenging economic times. The laity can reduce their giving when they see dioceses with sufficient funds to pay those subect to sexual abuse; further reductions when they see parishes no longer have to support Catholic schools as they are closed; and now less need for funds to purchase wine. I think we should skip the intermediate steps and just lower our giving periodically so as to spare our bishops the need to need to create these pretexts for encouraging reduced expenditures.

  19. And remember, folks, as if Pell, Moroney, Ward and Johnson weren’t blinding luminaries enough, this Bishop has now been added to the array that illumines the Vox Clara firmament.

    Can’t wait to see the next batch of “corrected translations”!

  20. Maybe it’s not really relevant, but I can only imagine what crumbs and drops the disciples must have created during the last supper, and the amount of spillage when Jesus was cut with the spear while on the cross. No worries about profanation then.

    1. I think it’s highly relevant. This is, in fact, precisely the point. We are humans when we celebrate the sacraments, and sacraments are entries of the divine into our messy, human world with all that entails. Connections to the incarnation and the crucifixion are relevant.

    2. I don’t think we should be surprised that Christ’s blood was spilled on the cross, nor that the Roman soldiers did not appear concerned about profanation (or executing the Son of God, for that matter). But Jesus didn’t splash his blood about in the upper room, from the accounts we have, and we have no way of knowing how fastidious the eating and drinking was done, or how particulous (?) the bread was that Jesus used.

  21. “Reverence is a virtue, not a neurosis, and God can take care of himself.”
    Aidan Kavenaugh, “Elements of Rite”

    In the, (pause for effect) Episcopal Church for 60 years, a priest for 34.

    Never have I seen major spillage; never intentional or malicious. I have spilled once or twice- in all that time.
    Mostly we still use altar rails, not so much lines, in parishes at least.

    Really, this is not a problem, you just have to learn how to do it, and… another pause really want to do it.

    Mark Miller

    1. There would, I think, be just as much protesting here if Bishop Olmsted mandated kneeling at the rail to receive from the chalice. And, if he did so, he would be (in the ordinary form of the Roman rite) be completely legally unjustified, which he’s not in this case.

  22. Quote Bruce: “Again, I’m not arguing in favor of withholding the cup in this case, but just asking us to step back and ask, “is that worth it”?

    In one word: YES!

  23. I prefer to follow Christ’s command rather than the lowly bishop’s command.

    Christ said: Take and eat. Take and drink.

    He also said: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and DRINK his blood you have no life within you.

    Bishop Olmsted vs Christ. I’ll take Christ any day of the week.

    So it’s simple, I will eat and drink and let Christ worry about the spills.

  24. One more thing to show the silliness of it all.

    It seems the good bishop is worried about spills (profanation) by the LAITY. But there are always morsels left in his paten and the ciborium, and his chalice is wiped w/ a purificator. What happens to the consecrated morsels and wine on his purificator? It gets washed. What happens then? The water is poured down the sacrarium, a sink w/ a drain into the soil under the church floor. Isn’t this where spills by the laity end up? Yes.
    So it seems like the bishop is guilty of profanation too.

    So I guess no Eucharist at all in order to prevent profanation.

  25. From the website”; “when both forms of Communion are used frequently, ‘extraordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.”
    Women??? of course!
    Forget profanation that’s a ruse. This is an outright attack to limit lay ministry. Some of the poor clerics are feeling upstaged. Notice how in the ‘early’ days, many people went to the line where the priest was distributing? [more Jesus?] Not happening any more.
    CARA study shows that 17% of the laity are involved in lay ministry. EM, Lectors, RCIA. DRE. Sac. Prep. CCD etc.
    As priests become more scarce the ‘ disproportionality ‘ B.Olmsted worries about will multiply exponentially. not good for a VATICAN I church. Snowbirds from Canada will be in for a surprise this winter.

    1. “Snowbirds from Canada will be in for a surprise this winter.”

      Not if they’re from Toronto. Without the cup, they’ll likely feel quite at home.

  26. I do not think anyone should have to contact the dioscese. He is a bishop, and has priests under him should know this or maybe they should not be in that position of authority. Peace. Carl

    1. Well, sure, in an ideal world, no one would have to contact the diocese to point out mistakes in a press release, because it would have been checked and re-checked and triple-checked. But we don’t live in that ideal world.

      And besides, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and as this coming Sunday’s second reading reminds us, we should “do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others.”

      It’s the least we can do for others, and I’m sure you and I would be most appreciative if someone were to do so for us.

  27. Thank you, Dr. Rodriquez. To my mind most of these posts refuse to take the Incarnation seriously. The sacraments use good earthy stuff, water, public baths, oil, bread (and crumbs) wine (and occasional spills), etc., all of which are messy. I am content to live with: let’s blame the the Christ Jesus and live with it.

  28. I ask again. Does Olmsted expect us to believe he was chosen by the Holy Spirit to be bishop? He was chosen by the cardinal-bishop-politics of the leadership. Test the spirit to see if it is from God! Olmsted fails the test. What he is doing is clearly sin. Just because he has the power to do something does not mean it is correct. It is an abuse of power. He is so free in accusing others of sin. Why do we beat around the bush when it comes to a bishop?
    We know the teaching of our Church about the real presence. This has to do with much more than the real presence!

  29. Many of the dioceses around the world do not have Communion under both kinds. From the hysteria among some people here, you would have thought that the rest of the dioceses in the world are in some sort of heresy!

    Personally, I think it is good to receive from the Chalice if that is available; but if the Chalice is not offered to the laity, I wouldn’t be upset either. Why be upset if I, unworthy as I already am, has already been granted the great joy of receiving the greatest Gift of God – Jesus himself, in Holy Communion under one species? Holy celibacy is a better sign of commitment to the Kingdom of God than marriage, but that doesn’t mean marriage is bad compared to holy celibacy. Similarly, the sign of Communion is better when it is received under both species, but it doesn’t mean Communion one species is bad.

    Be careful with what some posters ask: to avoid profanation from receiving Communion under the species of bread, the answer is Communion on the Tongue. Maybe the good Bishop will withdraw the indult for Communion in the Hand soon too. Then there will be more wailing and gnashing of teeth for some posters here.

  30. Re: #33
    With all due respect, Fr. McDonald, this “Protestant” Lutheran presides over an altar where, upon the conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer, the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus is distributed to the faithful. Upon completion of the distribution, the remaining elements are reserved reverently.

    Your use of “their Lord’s Supper” is unnecessary and derogatory and does not rightly describe what happens in Lutheran parishes.

    1. Pastor Poedel, where Fr. McDonald is from, there are, as I understand it, a lot more Baptists than Catholics and probably a lot more Baptists than Catholic-leaning Lutherans.

      What happens in those Churches is decidedly not what happens in your Church. They call it “the Lord’s Supper” and they like it that way and for you to assume that the term is offensive would be, well, offensive to them.

    2. I wasn’t describing Lutheran parishes as there is only one small such parish in Macon, Ga. The majority are Baptists and Methodists and they proudly call their service “The Lord’s Supper” and it is normally offered once a month. I recognize that Lutherans and Episcopalians have a variety of approaches to Holy Communion. I spoke recently to First Baptist Church of Christ in Macon, right next door to my church and one of the questions I was asked was about “The Lord’s Supper.” I was not offended that they referred to the Mass as that. You’ll also be happy to know that I’m allowing a very small Lutheran parish in Warner Robins, GA to have a rather large Lutheran wedding our our historic Church in November. I don’t know if this will include the celebration of the Eucharist or not, but they are free to choose the method they wish to use for this Lutheran wedding.

      1. Pastor Poedel, you better get “Wikipedia” to change their description of Lutheran Liturgies:
        “The Eucharist in the Lutheran Church (also called the Mass, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Table, (Holy) Communion, the Breaking of the Bread and the Blessed Sacrament[1][2]) refers to the liturgical commemoration of the Last Supper.”

  31. I can’t help but perceive in the undertones of this whole debate that the laity are somehow too unintelligent and clumsy to take and eat or distribute the body and blood of Christ. As many have attested, profanation happens with priests and deacons as well. This reasoning for Bishop Olmsted’s new regulations is simply ridiculous. I am also saddened by the poverty of thinking that lay ministry is simply “extraordinary” and not a wonderful gift to the church. Even if we suddenly have a huge influx of vocations to the priesthood, the Church will still have a great treasure and gift in her lay ministers. If the laity and clergy ignore the gifts of the Spirit which are given for all of us to minister to each other, we are failing in our vocation as disciples of Christ. I can’t help but think that the actions of Bishop Olmsted are due to a deafness to the Word of God.

  32. Simon Ho believes that the practice of receiving from the cup in the US is the exception, not the rule. He is incorrect in that assumption. He also thinks that Communion on the tongue will eliminate the danger of profanation. Once again, he is sadly mistaken.

    On Alan Hommerding’s question of discipline, John Ainslie reminded us in the other thread that the Dutch bishops banned Communion from the cup for their entire country last Advent. That hasn’t stopped a lot of priests from continuing to offer it to their people. I imagine the same will be true in Phoenix.

    1. Simon Ho believes that the practice of receiving from the cup in the US is the exception, not the rule. He is incorrect in that assumption.

      Do you have any empirical data to back that up or are you just saying it?

      He also thinks that Communion on the tongue will eliminate the danger of profanation. Once again, he is sadly mistaken.

      He thinks it will “avoid” it. This doesn’t mean it will never happen or prevent it entirely.

    2. Paul, you misread what I wrote. I never claimed any of the two points you attributed to me. Many dioceses around the world do not have Communion under both species regularly. Perhaps you could do a study of which dioceses permit what the US and UK Bishops permit.

      No wonder some people find the new translation too difficult to understand!

  33. Perhaps some would be less apprehensive about the administration of the chalice to the laity if the minister guided the chalice to the mouth of the communicant and helped him or her sip from the chalice. A purificator should be placed between the chin, lips, and chalice, held either by the communicant or minister. The Byzantine tradition always accompanies the spoon and chalice with a purificator, and I have seen Anglo-Catholics use purificators at the altar rail. Perhaps Bp. Olmstead would allow the administration of the chalice if the preceding practice were compulsory in his diocese.

    I might receive from the chalice if the preceding actions accompanied the administration. I do not feel comfortable self-communing from the chalice by grabbing it from the minister’s hands. I also do not feel comfortable with communing from the chalice without the minister’s use of a purificator. Similarly, I prefer to worship at parishes which use communion patens for the administration of the Host.

    Even if profanation does not happen, the use of purificators and communion patens communicates an enhanced reverence for the Eucharist. Who could be against that?

  34. I’d be against that because it is entirely unnecessary. No one “grabs” the chalice from the minister of the cup. The ministers carefully wipe the lip of the cup after each communicant. It is far more problematic for the minister to hold on to the cup and attempt to guide it to the lips of the communicant. Christ said “take and drink”. You need to be holding the cup to comply with that directive. Intinction is but another way for clergy to maintain control of the sacraments. It implies that the latter are “holy” or “sacred” while the ordinary folk are somehow less worthy. This kind of dualistic thinking is unacceptable in my view.

      1. Jeremy, a Byzantine priest tips the communion spoon into the open mouth of a communicant. There’s no communicant contact with the spoon. The purificator on the chin is necessary to make sure that particles of the Eucharistic Bread and Blood do not drip from the spoon or out of the mouth and onto persons or the floor.

        I’ve communed at plenty of Divine Liturgies. Never has the spoon touched my mouth or lips. Never has the Eucharist fallen from the spoon or my mouth. The spoon is more sanitary than drinking from a common communion cup.

    1. I’ve got to go with Samuel on this one. Byzantine Christians and all others who receive via intinction are in fact complying with the good Lord’s command. A newborn infant surely drinks mother’s milk without holding any cup. And the Anglicans I have observed (having sung in an Anglican choir in college) did not touch the chalice but at the very bottom (and not all), as the chalice-bearer guided the chalice towards their mouths.

      Come to think of it, maybe this could be a solution to the current Roman Rite problem (if there really is one): a chalice-bearer (deacon, priest or EMHC) following the priest along a communion rail and offering the Precious Blood. I’d go for that.

  35. If my Diocese were to do the same thing it would not bother me in the slightest. Drinking from the chalice does not give me a fuller sense of reception at all. I am perfectly happy and grateful with the Wafer alone. In fact it would probaly cut down on the need for so many EMHC’s which according to the law should be done only when truly needed or emergency situations. Too many people act like being a EMHC is a right due them in order to “actively participate” not knowing that the role is to be utilized only in extraordinary circumstances.

  36. For scholars of liturgical history, I have a question concerning this whole debate. Symbolism is important in Catholic Liturgy. During my seminary days, the liturgists had the students bake the Eucharistic bread in a more substantial form. Nothing invalidating was added at least during my time in seminary. During the Fraction rite, every morsel was broken from the one loaf. At the same time we had communion under the chalice, but why did they not insist we all take from the one cup? Why were several chalices utilized? So my question is this: is not the multiplication of chalices on the altar an anachronism? When Communion was offered under both kinds before it died out in the middle ages, did they use multiple chalices or just one? I would appreciate some insight into this aspect of liturgical praxis. My assumption is that only one chalice was used in the Roman Rite from the earliest times. Is this assumption correct?

    1. From Paul Inwood:

      “[In the] Ordo Romanus I […] not only was the pouring from one chalice into another at the Fraction normative but carried a high symbolic meaning and was very important in the rite. This was what the earlier Christian Church did, and they had no problem with it.”

      I didn’t ask then, but perhaps I should ask now: is there still a “high symbolic meaning” associated with the pouring from one cup into another (or from a flagon into cups)?

    2. I have seen a 16th century German chalice (on a much older stem) which had been deliberately modified to have a much larger capacity -about 20 fl ozs at a guess – in order to be used in a reformed church which restored the cup to the laity.

      The priest who acquired it had it re-modified for current use. But it does suggest that in some traditions there were efforts to present a single cup.

    3. I think multiple chalices go back to at least the 8th century if not earlier, but I’m sure not so many as to cover the entire top of the altar as we see today. This is largely a Lutheran and Anglican innovation. I’ve never heard of consecrating the wine in the flagon or the cruet in the Roman Church, but from a very large chalice with handles, definitely yes.

  37. Yes Bryan I would agree w/ the symbolism:
    Christ Himself broken for all.
    Christ Himself poured out for all.
    (I will not get into the argument about pro multis)

    I understood that prior to the most recent GIRM changes that a flagon was recommended because it symbolized Christ in the same way one Host broken for many symbolized Christ.

    Alas, scrupulosity, fear of profanation, spills and EMHC’s has overtaken the Church.
    Come Holy Spirit and “dispossess” us of our fears and laws that bind and separate us fully from you.

    1. Based on my reading of Cipriano Vagaggini, he seems to say that it is the pouring of the wine (and water) into the cup before it is passed around that symbolizes the pouring (out) of Christ’s blood, just as it is the breaking of the bread before it is passed around that symbolizes the breaking/bruising of Christ’s body. The Last Supper accounts do not make it sound like there was more than one cup of Christ’s blood at the table, let alone that Jesus poured the contents of one cup into another. The only pouring that happens is the wine poured into the cup, and perhaps (though this might be a stretch) the wine-made-Blood poured out of the cup and into the mouth.

  38. JP – your literalism is breathtaking?

    Mr. Pederson – others here can better answer but you ask a good question. Please keep in mind that we focus on the community’s actions – a large community requires multiple cups (possibly from one flagon?) just as a community make need multiple eucharistic breads. Over the course of our liturgical history, folks have usually developed various “symbolic” stories and meanings for our actions – these appear to change by culture, time period, etc. Would suggest that you are reading too much into this.

    The focus is on the presence of Christ in the eucharist – we take, bless, break, serve, eat/drink – those are the primary symbols.

    1. JP – your literalism is breathtaking?

      I don’t know, is it? Would you mind going into more detail? To clarify, I don’t know what in my post you’re referring to as my “literalism”. For the most part I was paraphrasing C. Vagaggini’s interpretation of the signs of bread and wine being broken and poured: he explicitly links the shedding of Christ’s blood with the pouring of the wine INTO the cup, not OUT OF the cup. My one addition to that paraphrase of his idea is my final sentence.

      1. Vaggagini (NB spelling) was correct. What you did was then append an opinion that because Jesus only used one cup at the Last Supper therefore we also should only use one cup. That is fundamentalism, I’m afraid, and it’s what Bill is objecting to when he talks about literalism.

        The fact is that if 1200 people instead of just 12 had been present with Jesus at the Last Supper, things would have been very different. (And indeed they apparently were: at the feeding of the 5000, with 5 loaves rather than 1 and 12 baskets of crumbs left over at the end……) Alternatively, restrict Mass attendance to just a handful of people at a time, because that’s what Jesus did…..

      2. (Regarding the spelling, Vagaggini is the way it’s spelled in my copy of “The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform”)

        What you did was then append an opinion that because Jesus only used one cup at the Last Supper therefore we also should only use one cup. That is fundamentalism…

        I did not say we should only use one cup. When multiple chalices are necessary, I advocate the pouring of wine into them before they are consecrated (Ordo Romanus I notwithstanding). I brought up the “one cup” issue because of the question of pouring and where the symbolism in the pouring lies (is it in the pouring INTO the cup, or the pouring OUT OF the cup?).

        Now, one could say that I’m “reading too much into this”, but in a lot of the books I’ve been reading on the Eucharistic Prayers lately, there seems to be a lot of attention paid to symbolic actions like this. That’s where I’m taking my lead from.

      3. The whole point of pouring consecrated wine from one cup into another in Ordo Romanus I is to provide a tangible link with the Pope presiding at the liturgy in question. It’s an important symbol of the unity of the entire celebrating community in the sacrament of Christ. Pouring unconsecrated wine from one container to another has no symbolic significance at all.

      4. Wait, Paul… first you said Vagaggini was correct, and now you’re saying that “pouring unconsecrated wine from one container to another has no symbolic significance at all.” Vagaggini says it does: “The sign contained in the rite of the cup is not simply that the wine signifies his blood, but that the wine poured into the chalice signifies his blood poured out for the salvation of the world in the remission of sin.” (The Canon of the Mass, 103)

        Now, he’s talking about the rite as it took place in the Last Supper, not the rite taking place in the eucharistic liturgy (which is the context of the Ordo Romanus I), so perhaps that’s where we’re speaking past one another.

  39. Noticed a one page description of the manner of receiving communion at St. Thomas (Anglican) in New York, including

    Although communion is received at an altar rail, and kneeling is customary, you can stand.

    They describe their manner of communion in the hand (but they say they are familiar with other customs).

    They encourage people communing from the chalice to assist by holding the base and guiding the cup.

    If you do not wish to receive the chalice, you simply cross your hands across your chest.

    You can receive communion by intinction simply by leaving the host in your hand and letting the chalice minister perform the intinction or you my dip it yourself (but be care not to dip you fingers in the chalice!)

    Please remove gloves before receiving the host, and lipstick before receiving from the chalice!

    You may bow, genuflect or cross yourself as befits your piety.

    After the person following you has received the chalice, rise and return to your pew (maybe this and the altar rail instead of a line really helps in giving some order and thoughtfulness to the process)

    You may just receive a blessing by crossing your arms.

    There is open communion to anyone who is baptized,
    They must have people from throughout the world.

    An amazing number of options! Check out the last page!

    1. Jack, the manner that Episcopalians allow for the reception of holy Communion in terms of the various options is rather striking and the times I’ve attended I’ve been impressed with their reverence and I don’t think there is hysteria in the Episcopal world when it comes to kneeling or ad orientem or other traditional practices. They’re rather open minded even when particular congregations mandate particular ways, (a diocese in the Catholic Church is “congregational”). What impresses me most though is that they allow for these options although most kneel for Holy Communion, but receive in the hand and do it the “correct” and “ancient” way, bringing the palm of their hand with the host to their mouth and making sure all is consumed with a “lick” of the palm. And yes, the chalice minister keeps a hold on the chalice and not everyone receives from it. I attended an Episcopal funeral of the spouse of one of my parishioners who was well known in my parish. The majority of people at the funeral were my parishioners. While the Catholics knew they couldn’t receive Holy Communion in the Episcopal Church, although invited, most went to the altar railing, knelt, crossed their arms and received a blessing. Back home, many of my parishioners commented on how nice and intentional it was to kneel at that point and since my parish still had an altar railing from 1863, why couldn’t we? Because some Catholics in the liturgical world go hysterical if people kneel because they are so rigid about these things! In terms of literalism written in other places about pouring, breaking and taking and eating and drinking, verses 12 people or 1200, I again point to all the legitimate options we should be celebrating in our tradition and not go crazy if some employ one way and others another way, all of course within reason and our tradition. But let’s face it a liturgical literalism has crept into the manner in which some celebrate the Mass after Vatican II and I’m not speaking about traditionalists on this point.

  40. What will they sing for the Communion song in Phoenix? Eat this Bread (Taize) will have to become: Eat this bread, La la la la, come to him and never be hungry. Eat this bread, la la lala, trust in him and you will not thirst?
    or perhaps Haugen’s “Come and Eat this bread” will become: Come and eat this bread, la la la la, come share the feast our God has spread….!

  41. My point was that the one flagon represented the One, the Christ (singular) poured out for all as the single loaf/host represents the One, the Christ (singular) broken for all.

    I don’t necessarily agree w/ Vagaggione. The pouring of wine into a chalice doesn’t, in my opinion, represent Christ because it is unconsecrated wine poured into the chalice prior to consecration.

    Whereas, the wine in the flagon is consecrated prior to pouring and therefore, in my opinion, much better symbolizes the pouring of the blood of the One Christ into each chalice/communion cup for all.
    I also agree w/ Bill, there are various symbols developed over time, for many different ways of receiving communion.

    As an aside:
    One of the most unusual utensils used was the “Tube” (calamus, fistula, pugillaris) or in modern terms a “straw”.

    “The archdeacon then hands the smaller chalice to the subdeacon, who gives him the pugillaris (tube) with which he communicates the people.” Roman Ordo, I, III Papal Mass.

    It was used from the eight century to the thirteenth century and on special occasions by the Pope himself.

    Since it passes the “papability test” from a lost bygone era bishop Olmsted might be interested!

    1. But if there was only one “cup of blessing” holding the blood of Christ at the Last Supper (a reasonable inference from the scriptural accounts), where was the “pouring out” of Christ’s blood at the Last Supper?

      1. His blood was poured forth on the cross. Your postings strike me as liturgical allegory rather than liturgy as a celebration of the paschal mystery. The mystery that has it’s culmination in the Resurrection. The Eucharistic prayer is anamnesis that recalls the past, celebrates the mystery in our midst, and points to the future. I think Vagannini may like allegory more than contemporary liturgical theologians do.

      2. His blood was also poured out at the Last Supper; it wasn’t poured out of His body, but the wine in the cup was identified with His blood poured out: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

        Maybe this is a tangent on this post that’s gone far enough.

    2. Perhaps, bishop Olmstead might wish to consider the use of tweezers for picking up each host. Then dipping it into the consecrated wine.

      1. I am reminded of a dear friend of mine who, when visiting her aunt’s parish in New Jersey about 20 year ago, was refused communion in the hand by the pastor, who glared at her presumption, and put his two consecrated fingers in front her face and seethed, “Only these are consecrated to touch.”

        This is not ancient history, and I see plenty of evidence that there those who are eager to return to this mentality. SCGS (Small Church, Getting Smaller)

    1. Bill, I guess I don’t understand the finer rules concerning literalism and crystal-methaphors. 😉

      From the arguments put forth on the blog here, intinction is not literal enough, since the communicant doesn’t “take and drink” the chalice, despite the symbolism of the mingled consecrated elements.

      But because of the symbolism of pouring the Precious Blood from one vessel into another, it is favored, although it is not a literal occurrence from the Last Supper.

      Is this what you’re getting at? If not, could you please, please, be more specific and verbose in your comments? I feel like I’m constantly guessing at what you mean.

  42. Not to be too technical Jeffrey but Christ stated that the blood at the last supper “will be shed for you”, future tense. Mass is more than just reenacting the last supper as trads have bludgeoned into our heads. Yes, the cup was the blood of Christ at the last supper but it had not been literally shed or poured out yet.
    Mass and especially the Divine Liturgy also focuses on Easter and the resurrection hence leavened bread used in Eastern Orthodox liturgies, the risen Christ, and blood poured out on Good Friday, not Holy Thursday.

    A flagon of consecrated wine, the blood of Christ, poured into chalices for us to receive is a heck of a better symbol that pouring wine into chalices that has not been consecrated. You’re only pouring wine, it’s not the blood of Christ. When pouring from the flagon you are literally pouring the blood of Christ.

    In any event, I once read a Protestant professor describe the Eucharist/Last Supper as a beautiful and perfect diamond. Many shiny facets, symbols and all so very beautiful. Regardless of which symbol or facet of that diamond one prefers it’s all beautiful and Holy and whoever attempts to restrict any part of it (Olmsted) will have to answer for it eventually. He is so concerned about laws and scandals how about the scandal HE is creating from withdrawing the cup from weekly Mass? He needs to remember a famous quote:

    The floor in Hell is lined with the skulls of bishop (priests)”.
    St. John Chrysostom.

    1. Christ stated that the blood at the last supper “will be shed for you”, future tense.

      That depends on the translation and possibly also the textual tradition. The Greek of Matthew 26:28 here has the word ἐκχυννόμενον which is classified as a “present passive participle”. One version of the Latin Vulgate uses effundetur (future tense), another uses effunditur (present tense).

      The Latin text of the Eucharistic Prayers in use in the Roman Rite all use the future tense, it’s true, but the scriptural account appears to indicate otherwise. And I think the present tense is an important point: Jesus was making present what would happen on Friday, just as He makes it present for us today. For His disciples, it was anticipatory (pre-presenting); for us, it is memorial (re-presenting).

      Mass is more than just reenacting the last supper as trads have bludgeoned into our heads.

      Polemics aside, I’ve tended to hear “trads” talking about the Mass as Calvary more than the Last Supper (e.g. Ottaviani’s displeasure at what he interpreted as the limitation of the definition of the Mass to the Lord’s Supper in the GIRM), and I’ve heard “libs” emphasizing the Last Supper aspect (e.g. I’ve heard of “libs”, never “trads”, breaking the bread during the EP).

      When pouring from the flagon you are literally pouring the blood of Christ.

      Pouring unconsecrated wine (esp. wine which is destined to be consecrated) is still pouring a symbol of Christ’s blood.

  43. You might like pouring wine, a symbol.
    I’d prefer to pour the real thing.

    Regardless, the poor parishoners in Phoenix aren’t getting any of it on a regular basis.

  44. Fr. Allan, since you support many different options (…”I again point to all the legitimate options we should be celebrating in our tradition and not go crazy if some employ one way and others another way, all of course within reason and our tradition. “) would you have an objection if we kept the present missal translation from 1974 as a Rite II to be used at Mass? You wouldn’t go crazy would you 🙂 ? Blessings.

    1. It would be kind of confusing for two English translations in the same parish, but if a parish wanted to be that exclusively and there were other parishes in that city or even let’s say one Mass in a multi-Mass parish, and everyone had a hard time with change, why not? My 83 year old predecessor retired in the parish might have to do the older English, privately–no problem whatsoever. Maybe a religious community just focused on the 74 missal but at least willing to do the 2010? 🙂

  45. Paul Inwood :

    The whole point of pouring consecrated wine from one cup into another in Ordo Romanus I is to provide a tangible link with the Pope presiding at the liturgy in question. It’s an important symbol of the unity of the entire celebrating community in the sacrament of Christ. Pouring unconsecrated wine from one container to another has no symbolic significance at all.

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    I’ve read the pope’s chalice in the 8th century was probably quite large. That it had handles on the bowl to facilitate the pouring of presumably consecrated wine from it to other smaller chalices–Christ’s blood being poured out?

  46. Jeffrey Pinyan :

    Point taken. And it is quite late here, and I should get to sleep. So, after this, I will!
    For those keeping score at home, the leaderboard is:
    Jeffrey Pinyan: 18
    Bill deHaas: 14
    Karl Liam Saur: 12
    Samuel J. Howard: 10

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

  47. Jeffrey Pinyan :

    Point taken. And it is quite late here, and I should get to sleep. So, after this, I will!
    For those keeping score at home, the leaderboard is:
    Jeffrey Pinyan: 18
    Bill deHaas: 14
    Karl Liam Saur: 12
    Samuel J. Howard: 10

    Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Jeffrey, Don’t let anyone intimidate you. Please keep up the comments.

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