We are now well over two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and to a certain degree the crisis seems to be behind us. While we have lost many people and society is still suffering from a lot of trauma in many areas. But in some areas things seem to be more or less back to normal. Shops and stores are open again, as are many businesses. Thankfully in most areas churches have reopened. Indeed, other than somewhat smaller in person congregations and increased virtual ones, many of us would consider our Sunday liturgy to be more or less back to where it was in 2019: there are no limits on attendance numbers, choirs and cantors are singing again, most people are unmasked, people are less anxious about hand sanitizers.
However, I hope PrayTell readers will forgive me to again sound the alarm that the Emperor has no clothes – the Eucharistic Cup is not being distributed to the Christian faithful! Other than seeing that clergy seem to occasionally receive from the same cup (as opposed to intinction or one cup each), I have not seen the Eucharistic Cup being distributed to the assembly since before March 2020.
There are very few things that Jesus told us to do when he instituted, but one of them most definitely was to drink from the cup. Looking at my history on PrayTell I see that I have a similar post nine months ago to the day! I still stand by what I said there and the links to further information are still valid. But I do feel that I need to keep the topic in the public eye. I realize that I am nagging readers about this issue. But surely this is a major liturgical issue as important as any that is discussed here?
This week I did see two encouraging signs, there was an article on the lack of the chalice in America and the letters page of London’s Tablet has a number of letters on the subject (behind the paywall). In one of these Ruth Wood wonders if the bishops, “are they simply taking the easier, and cheaper, option of saying nothing and hoping that the laity have too much else on their minds at present to notice?”
While the offering of the Eucharistic Cup was quite widespread in the United States. It was not as common in other countries and almost unheard of in others. Additionally, prior to COVID many US Catholics chose not to receive from the Eucharistic Cup. Surely this needs to be a common concern of our readership and the safe reintroduction and promotion of the Eucharistic Cup should be a pastoral priority for all who love liturgy not to mention an important goal for the Catholic Church in the United States as she celebrates her National Eucharistic Revival?