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    [color=#000080:3resqfl5]Does anyone know why the priest [i:3resqfl5][b:3resqfl5]must[/b:3resqfl5][/i:3resqfl5] receive both species of body and blood during Mass, while the laity can take either or?

    Also, it was brought to my attention that the laity are under no obligation to recieve the Eucharist at all at any given Mass, apart for once per year during the Easter Season.

    That’s news to me.[/color:3resqfl5]


    Did you read somewhere that it is a mandate for priests to receive both? <img decoding=” title=”Confused” /> I bet LARobert would know.

    I think I had seen the other part about receiving the Eucharist at Easter in the Catechism. Obviously frequent reception is encouraged.

    If you want to look at it from a rules standpoint, then no, you don’t have to receive except for once a year, but from a spiritual standpoint one should receive the Eucharist as often as is prudent.


    In reference to the Eucharist as a sacrifice, the communion, under both kinds, of the celebrating priest belongs at least to the integrity, and, according to some theologians, to the essence, of the sacrificial rite, and may not therefore be omitted without violating the sacrificial precept of Christ: “Do this for a commemoration of me” (Luke 22:19). This is taught implicitly by the Council of Trent (Sess. XXI, c. i; XXII, c. i).

    As our Lord is whole and entire in both the chalice and the hosts after the consecration, a priest who is not celebrating the Mass, or a layperson is not obliged to receive both “species” as theologians refer to the consecrated wine and bread. In His glorified body it is impossible for Jesus to be diminished, so we do not have to worry about “missing out” if we only receive one or the other elements in the Blessed Sacrament.

    So the majority opinion of theologians and the legislation of the Church is as the priest offers the sacrifice in “Persona Christi” or in the person of Christ, he must complete the Sacrifice both in reality and symbolically by reception of the host and the chalice. I know some priest who offer the Latin Mass who use a very small amount of wine, just what is needed (10-15 ml), as they do not have a liking for wine.

    Some of the reasons why in the Western Church communion of the Faithful and of a priest not celebrating the Mass was limited to only the host included the fear of profaning the Sacrament through spilling the chalice, hygiene, and most important the assertion of early Protestants that everyone Must receive both species in order to receive the Sacrament. From the earliest days of the Church when communion was taken to the sick it was only the consecrated bread, and not the chalice that was taken, if the chalice was needed to make a complete Christ for the Faithful, it surely would have been required for the sick.

    Even in the Eastern Rites, communion of the sick is only the consecrated bread. Because of the manner they distribute communion, the priest does take a small chalice, spoon and some unconsecrated wine to give communion to the sick, as the Byzantine custom is to use Zyme, or yeast bread and it would be more difficult for a sick person to swallow the Eucharist if it was dry in the form of a small cube of bread.


    I’m posting this in a separate post because it is a horse of a different color.

    The legislation that a Catholic must make his or her “Easter Duty” or go to confession and receive communion at least once a year during the Easter Season is due to the practice that developed (Primarily in the West) where people would put off confession and communion until they where on their deathbeds. The Church enforced legislation so people would not deprive themselves of the graces in both Sacraments.

    I mentioned “Primarily in the West” because Eastern Catholics are not obliged by the same laws as Western, or Latin Rite Catholics. There was never an issue of denial of the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, nor did people stay away from the Sacraments for great lengths of time in the East. The heretical teachings that rose in the East where different than those of the Protestant Reformation, therefore the Eastern Catholics, (and Orthodox) do not have the obligation to attend Mass (or the Divine Liturgy) on Sunday, nor the Easter Duty.

    Pope St. Pius X encouraged frequent and even daily communion. He also relaxed Church legislation allowing younger children to receive communion. The age for first communion was older before his papacy.

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