Sunday, October 03, 2010
The Legality of EMHCs
I really do think the re-introduction of Holy Communion under both kinds is a good thing, providing the faithful are sufficiently catechised to the point where they recognise the Blood of Christ for what it is.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal sees the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds as being an exception, normally when there will be a number of priests present at Mass, such as at an ordination or profession or on Holy Thursday.
Extraordinary Ministers are envisaged by the documents to help the priest in extra-ordinary circumstances, such as when the number of communicants is too great for the Ordinary Ministers to cope with. Extraordinary Ministers are not understood to be either ordinary or normal, indeed outside of the English speaking world, possibly with the exception of France, Communion under both kinds is rare.
Where the Chalice is distributed, it strikes me that less than half of communicants receive from it, it could be because of the obvious problem with hygeine or it could be that a vested priest standing in the centre of the Church distributing the Host is a greater "sign" of Communion than a lay man or women standing off to the side.
There is also, perhaps, a problem of the multiplicity of chalices, somehow the biblical "one bread, one cup" is diminished by the normal two distributors of the Chalice to every distributor of the Host.
The real problem for me is that people will often refer to the "Bread" as "the Body of Christ", "the Host", "the Blessed Sacrament" or even "Jesus", yet the same people will often simply refer to the "Precious Blood" simply as "the wine".
Posted by Fr Ray Blake