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When should Communion be distributed under both forms?

Full Question

When should Communion be distributed under both forms? My pastor said that it should be done regularly only in monasteries and convents.

Answer

Perhaps your pastor is expressing concern for the reverence with which Communion should be received or for preserving the understanding that Christ is fully present under both forms. However, he is wrong.

There have been times throughout history where the distribution of Communion has been limited to one form for reasons of practicality or to combat heresy. In the early Church, for example, where the Eucharist was received generally under both kinds on Sundays, Communion under the form of bread alone allowed for daily reception where Mass was not possible. Likewise, beginning in the late 1200s, distribution of Communion under one form only was required in order to combat the heretical teaching of some that reception under both kinds was necessary in order to receive the whole Christ.

By the time of Vatican II, the Council saw no reason not to begin restoring the reception of Communion under both kinds. This was done in stages. In 1970 the Holy See approved for the United States the bishops’ Appendix to the General Instruction for the Dioceses of the United States, which gave permission for Communion under both kinds at weekday Masses (AGI 242:19).

The Holy See extended this permission in 1984 to Sunday Masses in the U.S., when it approved the bishops’ directory, This Holy and Living Sacrifice: Directory for the Celebration and Reception of Communion under Both Kinds. The directory stated that, in addition to weekday Masses, “Communion under both kinds is also permitted at parish and community Masses celebrated on Sundays and holy days of obligation in the dioceses of the United States” (HLS 21).

The only exceptions are in those cases where the size or circumstance of the congregation would not permit reverent reception of the precious blood or when the congregation is so diverse that the priest cannot tell if its members have been sufficiently instructed about receiving Communion under both kinds.

And finally, far from being appropriate only in monasteries and convents, the law states: “Communion under both kinds is to be desired in all celebrations of the Mass, though this is not possible in all cases” (HLS 19).










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7 comments

  1. Silvano Reply

    My dear Mario,
    when we eat this bread and drink this cup, we eat the flesh of Jesus FOR REAL, not symbolically, and when we drink from the cup, we drink Jesus’ REAL blood FOR REAL, not symbolically. Besides all the teaching that the Church gives us, that this is the case, the Romans had no problems in killing the Christians, because they accused us of cannibalism, FOR REAL. So, already 2000 years ago, the Romans belived in what the Church was and still is teaching, and they were Pagans. So, the Church teaches that the bread is the REAL body, so it is, and not that the bread is the word of God, namely the reading of the bible, like you are saying. That is a non-denominational Christians approach, which is false and wrong. Now, if any one of us, you and me, have any doubts on what the Church says, we cannot argue against it! We have the duty to ask for clarifications, but once given, we MUST accept it. The Church is Christ, the two are the one and the same. You do not have the deposit of Faith, so please, have a bit of humility and say: “Who am I to have the final word? I believe what the Church says” then you will be following the example of our great saint and doctor of the Church Saint Agustin, who, in the matter of the Holy Trinity, once repriminded by the Pope, he said the same thing and believed. Our human reasonings, interpretation of the Bible and so on, are so poor and of no relevance, compared to the the teaching of Jesus to the apostles during the evenings and nights, a teaching only given to them, mind you, not to the public…and this private teaching, the so called DEPOSIT OF FAITH or GOOD TEACHING as Saint Paul puts it, is not in the Bible. So, listen to what the Church has to say in this and in all other matters and believe. May God caress your soul, so that you can open your heart to Him, for real, dear Mario. May God bless you.

    1. Silvano Reply

      Thanks for your reply. Unfortunatelly what I said of the Romans does not come from Hollywood, but from Emeprial documents in Rome. At Saint Paul’s time, when he was busy writing his letters, the Romans had nothing against the Christians, only later on, and Saint Paul paid the price from the Romans sword. That is also not in the Bible, dear Mario. When we are true believers, the devil attacks us in a special way, he becomes the angel of light (that is really what he was before he went against God: Lucifer), so he comes to people like us and decives us, with “special” effects. He makes us believe that we understand the real truth, not the church. I had the same experience, only I realized that on time and did what everyone should do, including you. If what we perceive to be true is really true, is really coming from the Holy Spirit, it cannot be different from the Holy Spirit intervention on others before us, e.g. Saints. And it cannot be different from the official line of the Church, because it came from the Holy Spirit as well. So, what do we have to do in order to distinguish if what we think we have “discovered” or “understood” comes from the Holy Spirit or from Lucifer? With HUMILITY we have to approach our spiritual dirictor, and if you don’t have one, go and get one, and tell him all about that. He will tell you if it is a Holy light or the devil’s light. Then, if you still think he may be wrong, write your new insight about the Word to the local Bishop, and he has the obligation to respond to you. That is why, my dear Mario, we have books about Jesus and the church with those printed words “IMPRIMATUR’ and “NIHIL OBSTAT or NULLA OBSTAT” printed in the first page of the book. That means that those authors had the HUMILITY, although they are in many cases famous authors, to give their srcipts to the Church, for it to double check if everything is in accordance to the teaching, on the same subject, that the Holy Spirit has already given to people before, before they go ahead and print it. If there is nothing in the contrary, then YES, the author was inspired by the Holy Sprit, and gets the Imprimatur and Nulla Obstat, but if there is something wrong, he/she does not get it. But at least, he/she has the proof that it was not the Holy Spirit talking to him/her.
      Did you do that, when, according to you, you got this special insight? Or did you just say.”WOW” and went on your own believing that what you now know, is the truth and what the Church is teaching since the year 33 AD is false? Saint Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, wrote a book about how to know, who is talking to you: God, the devil or yourself…..(and she got the Imprimatur on her book)….Growing in Grace is NOT understanding the Sacred Scriptures better than the Church, but is getting closer to Jesus, to God the Father, to the Holy Spirit and not going against His Church…. think about this, my dear friend. I went through the same thing, I heard inner voices, I saw things, but not all of it came from God. I did what I wrote above, and the result? I kept my faith as it was, and the Church was and still is right, not in one thing or two….but in everything. Because the Church and Jesus are one and the same. Unless you do understand this, you are in trouble. But I will pray for you, so that you will return to God, and delete from your mind the teaching of the false light, Satan.

  2. mb503 Reply

    I don’t understand ” Both Kinds?” I thought we always get one kind… The true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ… Can someone explain this better for me?

    1. Silvano Reply

      Dear mb503,
      Both kinds, meaning the holy host and the chalice, containing the Holy Blood of Christ. Before they usually used to serve the Holy Host, one kind, and lately it is very common to receive also the chalice for you to drink a sip from it, thus receiving the Holy Blood as well, the second kind. By receiving the Holy Host, which means you are receiving Jesus’ flesh, you also recieve His blood, as the flesh contains also blood, that is why it was common to receive only the Holy Host..

    2. Susie Pennington Reply

      When Do We Partake of the Lord’s Supper?

      The First Day of the Week:
      Acts 20:7 – Christians met to break bread.
      John 20:19 – “Being the first day of the week” – Understood that was when they met…

      Acts 2 – Day of Pentecost – Sunday. Day of the Starting of the Church – The rising of Christ’s Body.
      All makes sense when we consider Christ was risen on the first day of the week. Mk 16:2,9; Jn:20:1
      History also tells us that the early church always partook of the Lord’s Supper and gave upon the first day of every week. Pliny, in his Book X, Justin Martyr in his Second Apology For the Christians and Tertullian’s De Ora pg. 135, testify that it was practiced universally by congregations. Weekly assemblies have always been a part of the Christian service to God.
      Why would the church have held to assembling on the first day of the week, if the beginning of the church had been upon a Saturday?

      Answer: We take the Lord’s Supper on the First Day of the Week – Sunday.
      Is it the Real Body of Christ? “this bread is my body… and this fruit of the vine my blood” NOT LITERAL

      Christ said that He was a vine – John 15:1
      Christ said that He was a door – John 10:9

      Answer: The doctrines of Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation are not in the Bible. Jesus is not bread, water, wine or a door. The representation of the Lord’s Supper as the fruit of the vine and the bread is simply figurative. The bread and fruit of the vine is just that, bread and fruit of the vine, to be taken to represent The body and Blood of Christ….He said, Eat this bread and drink this cup, DO THIS to remember me till I came again.

  3. Susie Pennington Reply

    The Lord’s Supper:

    1. What Is The Lord’s Supper?
    Christ himself instituted the Lord Supper on Thursday night at the Passover meal. He taught his apostles that the bread represented his body that would be slain and the fruit of the vine would represent his blood that would be shed for the remission of sins. This gave the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine a whole new meaning. Until now the bread and fruit of the vine were looked upon as a memorial of the Jews deliverance out of Egypt. They were now told to partake of them “in remembrance” of Jesus. This is very significant because when Jesus died he delivered us from the law (the old covenant Colossians 2:14), which didn’t give a person forgiveness of sin (Galatians 3:11). He established a new covenant that allows us to have forgiveness of sin through his blood (Hebrews 9). Jesus has become our Passover 1Cort. 5:7. So you see, he delivered us from darkness into the light.

    Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
    See Also ( Mark 14: 17-26 and Luke 22: 14-23)

    1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

    The verses above tell us that the Lord’s Supper consist of breaking of bread, which represents Jesus body, and the fruit of the vine which represents Jesus blood. We also learn that it is a communion or fellowship with the Lord. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper we proclaim that we belong to Christ. Paul was trying to correct the Corinthians here, because they were also partaking of food from sacrifices made to devils.(1Cor.10:18-21) Paul tells them that if they partake of this sacrificed food to the devils that they are in fellowship with them instead of God.

    2. What’s the purpose of the Lord’s Supper?
    1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

    This was written to the Corinth church and teaches many things about the purpose of the Lord’s Supper. It tells us that we do it in remembrance of Jesus. It proclaims Jesus death. It also tells us that we take the Lord’s Supper until his second coming. We know that he hasn’t returned yet, so we continue to take of the Lord’s Supper today.

    3.Who Should Partake of the Lord’s Supper?
    Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    Here we have members of the church.
    Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

    Here we have disciples (one who follows one’s teaching) breaking bread. When Jesus instituted the Lords Supper, it wasn’t just for the apostles to take it. It was for everyone to take. You cannot say that Jesus was referring only to the 12. Jesus taught the apostles many things that they were to teach to the world (Matt 10:27). Paul wasn’t sitting around that table when Jesus instituted the Lords Supper, yet we find him partaking of it in Acts 20 and he makes reference to it in 1 Corinthians 10 and he teaches others how to partake of it in 1 Corinthians 11. We can see Paul taking the Lord’s Super on the first day of the week with the followers of Christ in the above verse.

    There’s not one example in the bible where it is taught that a non-Christian could take of the Lord’s Supper. You will not find where a child under the age of accountability partook of the Lord’s Supper. Now you might say, you don’t know for sure if a non-Christian or a child took of the Lord’s Supper. First off, yes, a non-Christian and a child could take of the Lord’s Supper but it would be in an unworthy manner. Even if a non-Christian took of the bread and cup and knew what it represented and did it with sincere intentions, it would serve no purpose. They would be going through the motions of what a Christian is supposed to do but yet they are lost. They can take the Lord’s Supper all day long but it won’t make them a Christian. For the Lord’s Supper to have meaning and to be done in a worthy manner you have to be a Christian. The only reason a child under the age of accountability should not take of the Lords Supper is that they are not mature enough to reflect on true meaning of Christ Death and be in remembrance of what he did and represented. Now heed the warning of this verse.
    1 Corinthians 1127 .. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

    4. When should we take it?
    Here we have steadfastly.

    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    Here we have upon the first day of the week. Every week has a first day. As we read….Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
    Now we need to look at the significance of the first day of the week. Remember how I said Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on Thursday night at the Passover Meal. The reason why the disciples meet on the first day of the week because it was a memorial of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and he arose out of his grave on the first day of the week. This is important, because anybody could die and be buried, but only Jesus could defeat death and rise again and become our high priest by which we can inherit eternal life.

    5. How do we know that Jesus rose on the first day of the week?
    If you read in Matthew after the Passover meal where Jesus is in Gethsemane praying, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss and then Jesus was talking before Caiaphas the high priest which is Thursday night.

    Then in Matthew 27 1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

    Ok now its Friday and this is the day that Jesus is hung on the cross and dies.

    Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
    So we have Friday as the death the first day, Saturday is the second day, and Sunday is the Third day. Even better yet, just read this verse:
    Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
    Now lets look at a few more things that were done on the first day of the week.
    The church of Troas assembled on the 1st day of the week. Acts 20:7
    The church of Corinth assembled on the 1st day of the week to give of their money as they were prospered. 1 Corinthians 16:2
    So surely you can see that the 1st day of the week is the day that we assemble as one body and one spirit singing praises (Eph. 5:19), Teaching, (2 Tim.4:2),Praying,(Acts 2:42),Giving (1 Cor.16:1-2) and partaking of the Lords Supper (Acts 20:7).
    Some people read 1 Cor. 11:17-22 and misunderstand what these versus are talking about. Some might think that it teaches not to take of the Lord’s Supper, while others may think that it teaches that we should not have a fellowship meal at the church building. You have to understand that the Corinth church had a lot of problems and these versus are talking about how they were abusing what was suppose to be the Lord’s Supper. Corinth was the center for the immoral worship of Aphrodite, goddess of love, whose followers practiced ritual prostitution. So as you read in these versus they were getting drunk and just having a big old party on what was suppose to be the Lord’s Supper. That is why it is said in verse 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. That’s right, when they came together they were ready to party and get drunk. When you meet to partake in the Lords Supper all Christians take of it in unity, as one body and one spirit. Now if you examine 1 Cor. 11: 23-34 you see how you are suppose to observe the Lord’s Supper.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fellowship meal at the church building because the church building is just a building. The people that meet at the building are the church. Wherever the bodies of Christians are that’s where the church is. So, to have a fellowship meal is no different that having one at a pizza place. I have presented to you Gods word in truth and in spirit but don’t just take my word for it, study this for yourself. Search the scriptures so that you can be strong in Christ Doctrine and recognize when someone is trying to present you with mans doctrine (or false doctrine).

    1. Silvano Reply

      Susie, it is clear that you are not Catholic, but a protestant or at worst a “non-denominational Christian”, may God have mercy on you.

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