February 12, 2004 at 6:06 am #649
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[quote:smgj189u]Granted that the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ, why do Catholic clergy deny their laity the wine (blood)? Why do the laity only receive the bread (body), and not the wine (blood)? I have heard some say that we do not want to spill the blood of Christ–but Christ said that unless you drink His blood, you have no life. Why hold this from the laity? Also, why withhold communion from the baptized infant? The Orthodox church does not withold it. Why does Rome? Thanks for your time.
I am not sure where you got your information from, but the Catholic clergy do not withhold the blood. Mass can be celebrated without distributing it because we believe that Christ’s entire body and soul and divinity is present wholly in either species, it is not necessary to receive both. This is also why it is not required that people drink from the cup during mass if they are afraid of disease because they have already received Jesus in the “bread.” However, the priest must use both bread and wine during the consecration because it is a reenactment of the Last Supper, but since Jesus is wholly and completely present in both it is not necessary to receive both.
Regarding your question about infants, we withhold it from them because they have not yet reached the age of reason to understand in what they are partaking, that the little “wafer” is actually Jesus Christ, not just a little wafer that everyone says is Jesus. I think it is a matter of making sure that people are well informed of their faith before they commit to it. I hope this helps.
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