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Liturgy Forum: communion under both species

by Catherine Frakas 23 May 2001

communion under both species QUESTION from Theresa Vidos February 18, 2001 I know of the HLS document approved by the Holy See in 1984, that people are able to or are encouraged to receive Eucharist under both species. What does one do if one wants to receive both and it's offered during Mass but it's made a rule by the pastor that one cannot receive from the cup if they are a child who hasn't received Confirmation (because it's an alcoholic beverage)?
I also have a friend who does not believe that receiving under both species is encouraged by our Holy Father unless he sees the exact quotes from the Holy Father himself. I've heard that the Holy Father encourages receiving both species but cannot find a document where he is stating it. My friend says that receiving under both species is a modern practic (I've read it was an ancient practice) and that children have no business receiving the Precious Blood.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 12, 2001 Dear Miss Vidos:
The instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, states that Holy Communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the eucharistic banquet. Moreover there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lo9rd and of the relationship of the eucharistic banquet to the eschatological bnaquet in the Father's kingdom.
This was the instruction from the Congregation of Rites which means that it was approved by the Pope. No Curial Office of the Holy See may issue a proclamation or instruction without approval from the Pope.
You friend is very wrong in thinking that it has to come from the Pope's lips personally. This is such wrong thinking that it could get your friend in serious trouble. There are many Church laws and teachings that do not come from the personal lips of the Pope that are absolutely binding under sin if we disobey them.
In this case, one is not bound to take communion under both kinds. It is a choice, but the Pope and Magisterium have clearly taight the communion under both kinds is a fuller expression of the symbolism of communion.
Communion under both kinds is allowed only if the people properly understand that Christ is whole and entire in His Real Presence even under one kind only.
Communion under both kinds is under the discretion of the bishop and after the proper catechisis is done.
I haven't seen the final edition of the new GIRM, but the 1975 GIRM then outlines the times when communion under both kinds are allowed. I don't see any prohibition to children.
If the reason children are not allowed to recieve the Blood in your parish is because of the alcoholic content, then I suspect this practice is not licit. The alcoholic content is meaningless in this context as far as I know.
I should say that my area of expertise is not the fine nuances of litugical law, but I can find no provision in the liturgical documents present to me at the moment where children are prohibited from the Blood species.
I would suggest that you ask your pastor, or your friend, for documentation from an OFFICIAL source where it says children are not allowed the Blood.
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