Bishop Rhoades recently announced that parishes in our diocese may resume distributing Holy Communion under both kinds (or both “species”) beginning this Sunday. This means that, after almost three years, we will be able to resume distributing the Precious Blood at Sunday Masses! At Christ the King, we have decided to resume distributing the Precious Blood on the weekend of April 15th and 16th (the 2nd Sunday of Easter). This will allow us enough time to retrain our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, since no one has distributed Communion from the chalice in three years. It will also allow us time to get ready, since our ministry scheduling and sacristy supply need to be adjusted. We are very grateful to be able to offer Communion under both species once more.
The reintroduction of the Precious Blood (especially during this time of Eucharistic Revival) offers us a good opportunity to reflect on what it means to receive Communion under both kinds. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), which contains all the instructions for how we celebrate Mass, says “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds” (281). This reminds us of the Last Supper, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist by holding up bread and saying, “This is My Body”, and then doing the same with the cup, saying, “This is the chalice of My Blood”. Hopefully receiving under both kinds once again can drive home to all of us the incredible reality that we are actually receiving Jesus’ real Body and Blood every time we receive Communion.
At the same time, the GIRM reminds us that “those who receive under only one species are not deprived of any of the grace that is necessary for salvation” (282). This is extremely important when we reflect on this time in which no one has received the Precious Blood. The fact is, that even if you just receive the consecrated host (or even just from the chalice, for that matter), you are receiving both the Body and the Blood of Christ, as both are contained within each species. That means that no one has been receiving “less” when we weren’t able to distribute the Precious Blood, and those who choose to continue to receiving under only one species will not be receiving “less”. Now, as before, it’s simply up to the individual to decide whether they will receive under both kinds or just one. Either way, the Real Presence of Christ — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – in the sacrament is absolutely assured.
We are very excited to be able to reintroduce the Precious Blood, and I know that many of you are equally excited to receive it. Please pray that this step will help to deepen our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and that it will contribute to the efforts of the Eucharistic Revival to make this teaching more deeply known among the faithful.
Attention EMHCs: All new and returning Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion including MC’s should make plans to attend one of two mandatory training sessions during Lent. Training will be offered in church on Sunday, March 12, following the 12:15 PM Mass and again on Wednesday, March 15, at 7:00 PM. Please contact Fr. Geoff if you have any questions.
Thank you for your ministry here at Christ the King!