After a long pause due to the pandemic, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi resumed offering the Communion under both kinds to the community starting Holy Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Reception of the Precious Blood by the Laity has had a long and at times turbulent history. Reception of both the Body and Blood of Christ by both the clergy and the laity was the original practice of the Church. This practice lasted in the west for more than a thousand years.
However, by the 13th century the cup had begun to be removed from the laity for a variety of reasons, and by the time St. Thomas Aquinas was writing in the late 1200’s he referred to is a “custom prudently observed by some Churches” (Martimort, A.G. The Church at Prayer, Volume 2: the Eucharist, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, pg. 138-139). Eventually the church began to regard drinking from the chalice as a privilege restricted only to the presiding priest or bishop. Eventually this practice was enshrined into Catholic law at the Council of Trent. Despite this, many theologians and faithful fought to have the ancient practice of the Church – for everyone to be able to receive both the Body and Blood of Christ – to be restored.
Communion from the Chalice was not returned to all of the faithful until after the Second Vatican Council.
Many people still choose to receive only under one species – either the Bread or the Wine. This is totally fine. We believe that Christ is really and fully present in both the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine. Nothing is lost to anyone who receives only one or the other.
Despite this theological truth, many have missed being able to participate in the sacrament in the way that the Lord handed it over to us: To eat his body and drink his blood.
Therefore, we think it is time to return the precious blood to the community for those who chose to receive under both kinds. The Archdiocese of New York has lifted the pandemic-based prohibition of reception from the chalice. (Liturgy Update, Archdiocese of New York, March 2023)
As always please follow the directions of our ministers of hospitality.
Director of Evangelization