Did You Know? The Privilege, Not the Right, to
Receive Under Both Species Expired in 2005
Father Z writes: “As I understand it, the 1975 edition of the Missale Romanum gave 14 instances when Communion could be distributed under both kinds. Since 1975 in some regions – including the USA – experimental privileges, not rights, were granted for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. These privileges, not rights, expired in 2005. These privileges, not rights, were not renewed by the Holy See. Therefore the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) for the 3rd edition of the Missale Roman and the 2011 Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America are now to be applied. However, diocesan bishops can to a certain extent lawfully establish other instances, such as important local feasts, etc., for Communion under both kinds. This is what Bp. Olmsted intends to do. He will implement the Church’s law.
. . .
The conditions for Communion under both kinds were matters for a test period. Communion under both kinds is now assumed, by some, to be an absolute right all of the time. On the other hand, conditions for the use of the Extraordinary Form are not matters of experimentation or a test period. The provisions of Summorum Pontificum, clarified in Universae Ecclesiae, are not temporary trial runs. They are actual laws for the whole Latin Church. Stable groups have the right to make a request and pastors have an obligation personally to respond positively or to find another way to see to their needs.”
Why is this news now? Has something recently changed?
Yes, something has changed: there have been some new changes in the “GIRM” (General Instruction on the Roman Missal), which is the “how to” book for the Mass.
Why is Holy Communion under both forms only permitted at certain times and under certain conditions?
One of the Church’s basic duties is to establish norms or guidelines for her liturgical practice. With respect to Communion under the form of wine for the faithful, she limits the practice for a number of reasons:
- To protect the Sacred Species from profanation (careless treatment, spillage, swilling, etc.);
- The practice is not in any way necessary for salvation — it is a fuller sign of Holy Communion, but not a fuller reality of Christ Himself than what is received under the form of bread alone;
- The practice is used to emphasize special feast days and other special moments in the lives of the faithful;
- The unity of the practice throughout the world is an act of solidarity in the universal Church — rich and poor countries alike; and
- In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion; when both forms of Communion are used frequently, “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.
Bishop Morlino Takes the Strongest Stance.
Bishop Morlino is instructing his priest to re-catechized the faithful.
Please help your people to know and understand the beautiful gift we have in the Eucharist, to know our obligations of preparing for reception of the Sacrament, both in terms of our preparation through the Sacrament of Confession, our observance of the pre-communion fast, our attending to our attire as best we can, and the like.
Please help them to know of Christ’s presence, fully and entirely in the Sacred Host. Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist at the Memorial of Christ’s loving Sacrifice for them. Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christ’s Body and Blood, present in the Host.
Here is the official press release.
Here are some of his concerns.
“In practice, the 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 ministers might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species…(Norms, 24)”
“The Diocesan Bishop is also 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 or of the rite’s becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or for some other cause (Roman Missal, 283).”
However, I have been told of, and have personally experienced, the reality that the provision both that the faithful be well instructed and that there be no danger of profanation of the Sacrament, is not being met.
- The official press release from the Diocese of Phoenix. Here
- Questions and Answers: Norms for Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Forms – Diocese of Phoenix
So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with the bishops? Did this surprise you? Neither comments below. Thank you!