Radio Show

Are We Allowed to Receive Just the Blood of Christ?

On “Twitter Tuesday,” Father Dave responds to questions that listeners tweet @BustedHalo, including this one: “Is it okay to skip the Body and just take the Blood, kinda like some people skip the Blood and only eat the Body?”

Father Dave first puts the question in context: “At Mass … when you come up in the line for Communion, you can receive—typically first—the Body of Christ in the form of a Consecrated Host and then step over to another minister who’s got a chalice with the Blood of Christ … Is it okay to skip [the minister with the Body of Christ] and go right to the chalice?”

Brett takes a stab at answering the question first and explains the doctrine of concomitance, which states that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ are all present in both the bread and the wine of the Eucharist. “So,” Brett says, “you aren’t missing out on the sacrament or the divinity or the grace … if you receive just one or the other.”

Father Dave elaborates further, “Not only is that true, but the Church offers—for those who have various degrees of gluten intolerance—that their option really is to receive from the chalice only … However, because it is fairly rare, you may find one or two Eucharistic Ministers that would raise an eyebrow and think this is unusual and would wonder what you’re doing. But strictly speaking, yes, of course it’s okay—and, in fact, it’s the only option that is given at certain parishes.

“Now, some parishes will have the extremely low-gluten hosts … but not every parish does,” Father Dave says. “So the official teaching of the Church is that if someone can, for whatever medical reason, not receive under the form of the Host, they should be given the opportunity to receive from the chalice … even if the chalice is not typically offered to the entire congregation.”

It is helpful to the presiding priest, of course, for one who has to receive either a low-gluten host or only from the chalice to have made themselves known before Mass begins, and, as Father Dave adds, “Preferably more than 30 seconds before Mass,” so the proper preparations can be made. (Original Air 01-17-17)