From the Instruction from Bishop Golka on Resuming the Distribution of Communion Under Both Kinds in the Diocese of Colorado Springs “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26)
The gift of the Eucharist and the celebration of the sacrificial banquet always include the offering of bread and wine. It has always been essential to the celebration of the Sacrament that the priest offering the Mass receives both the Sacred Body and Precious Blood. The practice of the early Church was to offer the laity communion under both kinds as well.
This practice eventually fell out of use for numerous reasons by the twelfth century. Although the Eastern Churches continued to widely offer communion under both kinds (mainly through dipping the Host into the Precious Blood in what is called “intinction”), this practice disappeared in the West. This acquired the force of law by the Council of Trent, especially considering preceding heresies which asserted that the reception of both species was required by Christ, as if receiving only under one kind the sacrament was somehow incomplete or contrary to the Divine Institution. Against this, the Church
reaffirmed the doctrine of “concomitance.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite” (CCC, 1390).
Over time and with changed circumstances the Church revisited the great value of offering Communion under both kinds to the faithful. The Catechism continues, “But ‘the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly’” (CCC, 1390).
We will resume the distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ at all Masses here at St Francis beginning on November 19.
Rev. Mark Zacker