This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).



  1. Ah, from yesterday’s first reading, from Isaiah…
    “On this mountain the LORD of hosts
    will provide for all peoples
    a feast of rich food and choice wines,
    juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
    On this mountain he will destroy
    the veil that veils all peoples,
    the web that is woven over all nations;
    he will destroy death forever.”

    Rich food and choice wine – for some perhaps. I do not think it intentional but this certainly fuels the all and many conversation, does it not?

  2. Gosh I think you miss the point! Why do we receive under both species and what have the repercussions been of this experiment? Surely the Bishops cited are merely attempting to restore due reverence to the reception of the Eucharist? What harm is that? We know that we receive Jesus body, blood, soul & divinity under either species, so are we really being deprived of anything? No, of course not. It is merely the fulfilment of Christ’s instructions that we attempt to honour through this practice.

    1. Mark, No one is arguing that we can receive Christ under one species, but both forms is what Christ instituted and also what our Eastern Rite Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox brothers and sisters have always done. We should be faithful to Scripture and to the most ancient tradition of the Church. God bless.

      1. David,

        Intinction would be a happy answer for all I think. As you probably know, the Orthodox receive the Body, Blood, Soul and divinity of our Lord via a spoon delivering the consecrated, leaven bread, soaked in consecrated wine directly in the mouth of the recipient. They also commune infants.

        Intinction provides communion under both species, removes the fear of germs some may have and has the added benefit of mitigating some of the more egregious profanities made possible by receiving in the hand.

  3. Mark L, how is receiving under both species harming the “due reverence” of the reception of the Eucharist? I am unclear on your point here. Furthermore, if we are only trying to honor Jesus’s instruction on the Eucharist, then we need to go back to the Institution Narrative and see that Jesus instructs us to take the Body and the Blood and “Do this in memory of me.” He did not pick up the cup and say, “Now, for only those who are special or on a special occasion, do this in memory of me.” Besides, excluding the Body of Christ (present through the assembly) from the cup is totally against the over arching theme of being Catholic, of being universal. But then again, our Church seems to do a good job of being exclusionary of late. So, I’m not surprised. Dan-great post. You have not missed point at all!

  4. Once again the Church leaders are showing themselves as occupying another planet, much like the flat earth crowd on the far right wing of our political process. Maybe they should join the tea party.

    1. I am more than happy to join the Church leaders on their planet. This all sounds most sensible and in accord with the Church’s tradition. The moot point is whose planet is the other one.

  5. Interesingly, we recently received a new pastor. Last week he announced that, as from the 1st Sunday in Advent, we would not only be adopting the new translation of the Liturgy but also be receiving Communion under boths species (something our previous, long term and aged, pastor was reluctant to introduce) each week. It is not all gloom and doom.

  6. I am trying to understand these decisions. This post may have helped. If I understand correctly:
    1. There was permission for extraordinary ministers of communion to purify the sacred vessels. That expired in 2005.
    2. In 2011, at least two bishops decided to no longer allow the laity to receive communion from the cup, except on a limited basis.

    Here is where my brain cramps. What does No. 1 have to do with No. 2.? Is it b/c it’d take deacons, priests too long to purify the chalice therefore communion from the cup will no longer be offered?
    I must be missing something because that seems oulandish to me. Please tell me I am missing something here.

    1. Andrew, I think the connection is the dish washing part. Fewer dishes for the extraordinary ministers of communion to purify. I could be missing something but I think that is it. The alternative, that the ordinary of us are unworthy to receive under both species, is just too offensive a position to place. Signed, Pollyanna

  7. With all the insidious goings on and inconsistancies on the inside, one would think that would be the prime concerns by the bishops, not who does what, even at Canon Law, that maize used to confuse and bring the faithful to heel when expedient.
    It’s all a distraction from the real issues of morality, ethics and interigritry.

  8. I wonder what St. Max. Kolbe and St. Pio would say about all of this…

    I stumbled across this blog looking for something fruitful and all I found was poison.

    1. Many thanks! I see you must have been confused in your translation of the Greek word Pharmakon, which can both be translated as “Poison” and “Medicine” — I’m delighted to know that what you found here on this website has provided you with the medicine of faith, for as St. Bonaventure makes clear in his Breviloquium, Christ is the physician who heals us through the Sacraments. Enjoy the Pharmakon of!

  9. I could not help but stop back here… I just opened the new issue of Pastoral Liturgy (November/December 2011) and in the first big article of this issue developed to the NRM, I turn to page 4. On this page I find, “Examining the Missal’s Contents” by the esteemed Paul turner.

    To quote paragraph one, which addresses Additions: “Some sections are new to the third edition of The Roman Missal. The introductory material includes the pertinent decree from the Vatican authorizing the use of the book. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal for this edition, first published in English in 2003, reappears now in its proper context with a revised translation. The norms for Communion under both kinds, which were approved for the United States in 2002, are now included as well.

    (emphasis mine) (hope my code works too, for emphasis)

  10. So are you saying that the indult never existed? If you cant seem to locate it in order to pin point the expiration than how did the practice become so wide spread so quickly? Also, what’s the point of quoting a soon to be outdated GIRM?

    If receiving under both species is the real issue, lets call for the universal practice of intinction. If not than what is the real issue?

    1. Bill- Dan is not quoting a soon-to-be outdated GIRM. The General Instruction from 2002 is the one to be included in the newly revised Roman Missal (if memory serves me correctly, there may be some slight edits, but the 2002 GIRM is indeed included in the 3rd edition of the RM.)

    2. The following is from the new (third) edition of the Missale Romanum:
      “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 sign of the Eucharistic banquet shines forth. Moreover there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lord and of the relationship of the Eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father’s kingdom.” (GIRM, no. 281)

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