A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


Communion Under Both Forms Curtailed in Madison

Following on the decision of Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, Bishop Morlino, of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has announced that Communion under both forms will be sharply curtailed in his own diocese as well. Its hard to believe it, butthis move is being presented as a universal necessity.Here is an excerpt from what the rector of the cathedral, Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes, has presented in the bulletin:

So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with current regulations (and with the rest of the world). In his comments at Chula Vista, Bishop Morlino mentioned a few instances in which Communion under both kinds is still permitted: the Chrism Mass, the Feast of Corpus Christi, for the bride and groom at a Nuptial Mass, and for those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts. Beyond those occasions and circumstances, Communion can be offered under both species at celebrations of special importance. But it is clear that we will not be seeing Communion under both species as a weekly practice. [emphasis added]

Needing to bring our practice into conformity? This simply isn't true. It says in GIRM 283:

The Diocesan Bishop may establish norms for Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which are also to be observed in churches of religious and at celebrations with small groups. The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the Priest to whom a community has been entrusted as its own shepherd, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and that there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rites becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or for some other cause. [emphasis added]

Both Madison and Phoenix will surely experience considerable blow-back from these decisions of their bishops, and deservedly so. This isespeciallytrue becausethe move to curtail Communion under both forms is linked to the implementation date of the new translation of the Roman Missal. The new translation will be jarring enough in itself. Add this to it, and I think the shock in the pewsabout bothwill bemultiplied.


Commenting Guidelines

"Its not subtraction but additiona gift of better theology."I don't recognize policy as theology. The foundation of Christ indicates: eat and drink. Are you presuming to stand against the Lord and suggest a better expression of the Paschal Mystery."Also, you have made a theological error in your comment: communing from the cup is not an additional grace. The fullness of the grace of Communion is given to me regardless of whether I receive under one or both forms."Reading comprehension, my friend. I'm not limiting my definition of the importance of grace to the sacramental realm only. Denying the laity the Cup was serious enough that a whole theological justification had to be invented to make people feel better. I pretty much reject the notion that sacramental policy exists to salve the consciences of the powerful.

Oh my Bill, you are on a roll: Yes, if we deprive folks of the eucharist; they might eventually better value Jesus Christ. Of course, if we take this to its logical conclusion, then we need to deny the faithful both bread and wine.Please; nobody is denying the Eucharist to the laity. Some people search very long and hard for a perceived injustice and relish the role of being a victim of the powerful; a the people against the man sort of storyline. Ugh..Mother Teresa: If you judge people, you have no time to love them! Indeed. If only some here would extend this idea to the bishop.

Ken,Our Church does not do very well with the concepts of "CONFLICT". In fact, in most of the social encyclicals that our popes have written---the role of conflict with and against power are undeveloped topics.But conflict is a very real part of life (and yes our life in the Church, too). Our young people, in protest against the corporate greed and financial unfairness demonstrated by the giants of Wall Street, understand this concept well. How long are people to put up with a system that is dominated by 5% of the population with 1% holding more than 50% of the nation's wealth---by not generating more jobs---or by taking them overseas. It is an INJUSTICE!Many of us also have viewed what happened in Egypt this week-end with horror. Coptic Christians (read Coptic Rite Catholics as well as Coptic Orthodox Christians) have been engaged in conflict with the government and many died. It is an INJUSTICE.Our Church is also a social institution. Human beings and human society do not exist without conflict. But before Vatican II, our Catholic teaching downplayed this concept---in fact we rationalized it away. We emphasized harmony, that we are all called to rationally look at natural law as a means of participating in eternal law---and to do so as rational creatures. Everything was to be so neat, so orderly. We were to live our lives by an ordering of reason, rather than by the will.And of course, this emphasis on order and reason fits very well into the pre-Vatican II's concept of a hierarchial ordering of society. A hierarchical approach to society (and to how the Church wishes to operate) downplays, even opposes, freedom, equality and participation. In Catholic thought, human societies are often compared to a body---each with different parts---that contribute to the functioning of the good of the whole body of society. In ecclesiology, we have the same comparison. The Church as the mystical body of Christ, is also compared to different body parts as well. Total equality of parts would mean that there could never be a whole. Therefore an emphasis on freedom, equality, and participation threatens the order, unity, and cohesion of the hierarchically structured body or organism.After Vatican II---our popes still had trouble with dealing with conflict. We still like a TOP down approach to issues. And as American Catholics, we still have difficulty with this. We want to believe that those over us (bishops, cardinals, popes) issue JUST rules----and all we as subjects (Good Catholics) need to do is simply obey God's law coming down to us from above.Sorry, Ken, but one of my heroes is Saul Alinsky. an agnostic Jewish founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation (Saul is also the adopted hero of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as well). He believed in conflictual tactics. But he knew----that conflict is the MEANS not the END. This is my belief also.Yes, I believe that the people of the Dioceses of Phoenix and Madison should engage in confrontations with their bishops. Otherwise, all the talk of the laity as being the People of God----would be nothing more than whispers in a wind storm. Under Catholic Social Doctrines, the people have a right to organize, a right to protest, and a right to confront.Christ charged the Apostles to be Servant-Leaders, not feudal rulers. If the Bishops are forgetting that this is what they are called to be----the People of God need to teach them what their true calling is.

"I believe that the people of the Dioceses of Phoenix and Madison should engage in confrontations with their bishops."For starters, they might consider a withdrawal of their assistance in forming, scheduling, and recruiting lay Communion ministers entirely. Likewise the ordering of altar bread and wine. Let the faithful remnant have a turn at assisting Father. See how it suits them.For the past ten years, I have declined from organizing lay ministers for large diocesan or regional gatherings at which priests were expected to be present, but for which they rarely bothered to respond in advance. Let the clergy manage their own ministry, I figure.

Ed - I seriously doubt anyone would shout like that during mass.

The fact remains that when one receives the Eucharist in either species (i.e., bread or wine) he or she receives the full Eucharist. In other words, one does not get more grace by receiving the Eucharist via both bread and wine; nobody is deprived of anything when they recieve the Eucharist only under one species.With all the high-hollering and hissing around about this, I get the impression that those who are so upset with these two bishops (AZ and WI) do not understand that if you receive the Eucharist via only bread (or only wine) it is the same as if you receive under both species.With the truth in mind then, the bishops have simply decided to reserve the Eucharistic vino for special occasions.In any case, most Catholics around the world receive the Eucharist simply via the form of bread.

Suggestion for laity in Phoenix and Madison; In the distribution lines for the Eucharist there is a usual place for the distribution of the cup. over to the side aisles in most cases.. Just have a few brave souls line up [5-10 ] and await the cup distribution which does not come. A respectful stance for about 5 minutes till the final blessing. Three Sundays in a row should get the message across. Ignore shouts of ' sit down' which will come ...sad to say.

Ken, you've said several times that the communicant receives no more grace in communion under both forms than in communion under one form. I'm not sure that's correct.I reproduce for our consideration a comment posted at Pray Tell by learned commenter Brian Duffy:"DeLugo states that Francis Blanco, archbishop of Compostella, who took part in the Council of Trent, declared that it was the unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the Chalice imparts additional grace, but that they were unwilling to define it out of due season, lest occasion should be given to the heretics to raise an outcryhe refers especially to Sess CFO.c.3, where it is cautiously declared that those who receive only one species are not defrauded of any grace necessary to salvation. The implication, in De Lugos opinion, is that they are defrauded of some grace.Liturgy & worship, p. 614."I could not find the book to check his citation, but this sounds right to me theologically. If there were no grace at all imparted by the fullness of the signs, why would we seek them and why would the church approve them? You are perhaps unconsciously assigning the consecrated wine a merely decorative function, which is something I warned against in my post on Phoenix. Perhaps one of our historians could shed additional light on this subject. Consider, in parrallel, the case of emergency baptism. No one would say that a baptism consisting only of water and the words was invalid or insufficient for salvation. But the full celebration of the rites most certainly is grace-filled. Otherwise, why "supply the rites" as soon as possible once the emergency has passed?For years the church celebrated adult baptisms using the rite for children in danger of death. That doesn't mean those baptisms were invalid, but surely the way we celebrate today with full rites for adults has enriched our experience. Is this not a grace? We've heard and affirmed several times the right of bishops to make decisions for their dioceses. I stand by that. But I would add that they don't have any business using that freedom except in service to the good of their people. I'm just a little concerned that the bishop's discretion is being interpreted by some in this discussion as license to do just whatever he darn well wants to. No. The freedom is for the exercise of pastoral prudence and wisdom in particular circumstances, not for "proving something" about the ordained vis a vis lay ministers, or for indulging personal whims and preferences that have no relationship to pastoral needs. So I return to the strangeness of the case in which the pretexts given for doing something quite serious are not convincing, and I ask, "What is really going on?"

@Ken (10/10, 4:17 pm) I'll try to leave the theology of the Eucharist to you and the others here who are more knowledgeable about such things than I. Speaking just for myself, I've never really though about Communion as an occasion to "get more grace" as if the grace of the Eucharist were a matter of collecting more points. [If so, I'd have gone back for seconds. :-) ]And I understand that if I receive communion under one species, I've still received communion.This just seems to me like another of those situations in which I'd prefer that the bishops simply say (for example), "Under Church law, I have the power to decide how communion is distributed in this diocese; and from now on it's going to be bread only---except on special occasions. I could make a different decision, but it's my decision to make and this is the way I prefer to have it."Instead, we get bishops insulting our intelligence by playing games with (what are for most of the laity) obscure Church documents and regulations.

Not to get all scholastic on everyone, but the distinction between the effect of the sacraments ex opere operato and their effect ex opere operantis might help here. Receiving under both species might not affect the working of the sacrmanet ex opere operato, but why couldn't it be seen as increasing grace ex opere operantis ?

Joseph Jaglowicz wrote: "OK, Madison Catholics, your bishop has acted. How are you going to respond???"I will thank him, since I and many other people here in the Madison Diocese really appreciate this. It will help reduce the need for EMHCs, and correct widespread Protestant-influenced misunderstandings of the Eucharist. We receive Christ fully, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, when we receive even a tiny portion of the Eucharist under either kind. Communion under one kind (the form of bread) is the traditional practice in the Latin Rite and remains the practice in most of the world. On particular occasions, communion under both kinds will still be offered.It is bizarre the motives some people want to attribute to these good bishops, who are loving fathers to the people of their diocese, and amazing the hostility and attitude of rebellion many seem to have. Anyone who thinks they would be deprived of anything essential or any grace by receiving under one species only, misunderstands Catholic doctrine regarding the Eucharist, particularly as defined by the Council of Trent. After the consecration, the substance of the Eucharist under either kind is the risen Jesus Himself; the appearances of bread and wine are termed the "accidents". When you are in the state of grace and you receive the Eucharist, you are incorporated into Christ's very Body, you are united profoundly with God. He has given all. The appropriate response is total thanksgiving to God.Finally: Bill Mazzella wrote that "Olmstead and Morlino should abdicate their mansions for more humble abodes"He beat you to it, Bill. Bishop Morlino does not live in the Bishop's Mansion, he lives in a modest old parish rectory in downtown Madison. He is my neighbor. I don't know how the "bishop's mansion" is used, probably some of the retired priests live there.

Deacon Fritz,How would faith and love of God increase, with two forms? Could you spell that out? Would it really be hugely different for anyone, more than any other sign or symbolism?

Rita --You've hit the nail on the head -- if it makes no difference whether we receive both species, then why have both? And we can ask the same of the priests and bishops themselves -- why both for them? I think we need the help of the theologians here about what grace is and what it does. I learned that graces are helps to salvation and that there are many, many different kinds. But I never learned much more.Anybody know a reliable source online?

I think the question that should be asked here, is why the celebrant MUST consume both, and the laity needn't.I think the answer will shed light on the need for the restored translation: "Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

Kathy wrote: "I think the question that should be asked here, is why the celebrant MUST consume both, and the laity neednt."This is a good question with a simple answer. The forms of bread and wine are signs of the sacrifice of Christ. Christ shed all his blood for our sake, His blood was separated from His Body as He offered Himself to the Father in atonement for our sins. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass makes this already-consummated event present in our own time and place, present to us for our salvation. Christ is risen, He is not dead on the altar, rather as Revelation says of the Heavenly liturgy, "a Lamb was standing as though slain." Consecrating the Eucharist is not, as some people assume, simply making Holy Communion to give to the people. Rather, at the heart of the Sacrifice of the Mass is Christ's propitiatory self-offering of Himself to the Father, through the priest who acts in His person. This offering is not only for baptized Catholics who can receive the Eucharist, but for all the living and also the dead in Purgatory. All those who will be saved, are saved through Christ and His Church, even those who are not part of the visible unity of the Church. The priest's Communion under both species is essential to complete the sacrificial action of the Mass, and if the faithful are also to receive Communion this happens only after the priest's Communion. The Precious Blood is reserved in the tabernacle only briefly and under extremely rare circumstances, such as the need to take Communion to a sick person who cannot consume a Host. The Eucharist must never be discarded or put down the sacrarium, because truly it is the Lord. The Precious Blood is therefore normally always consumed completely during the Mass.So, to sum up, as best as I understand it, the Holy Sacrifice is offered by the priest and is complete with his Communion under both Species. The people receiving Communion or not, or under one species or two, is not essential to the Mass. When I write to the Carthusian hermit monks to request them to celebrate a Mass for the eternal repose of one of my loved ones, there is no congregation that receives Communion at that Mass, yet the Mass has infinite value for the salvation of all, and my deceased loved one in particular.

So, Kathy, does this quote protect us from neo-Arianism? And, how do we interpret what you have said - reading between the lines? Is this back to the "alter Christus" stuff and the laity in their place?Please, enlighten us - hopefully, your quote clears up any conspiracy that the rest of us have been hatching for 40+ years.

Kathy --Why must the celebrants take both? Because Jesus told them to, saying "Do it in memory of me". The question is, did He mean to include the rest of us when He said "Take and eat . . .". As I see it, either He meant that only the priests should consume both, or He meant that all should consume both, or He meant that the priests should consume both but the others should consume only one, the bread. Since all the members of the early Church received both, it would seem to me that they understood that Jesus meant that *all* should receive both. Do you mean to say the early Christians didn't really know what Jesus was intending, but we do?We need an exegete here.

Kathy,We are creatures that live by symbols, right? The symbolic nature of the liturgy acts upon us to create certain dispositions. Off the top of my head, I'd say that receiving from the cup could help to dispose us to make use of the grace offered by reminding us of Psalm 23:5 or Psalm 116:3 or Matthew 20:22-23 or Matthew 26:39 (and the parallels in the other gospels) or of Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 10:21. It can call to mind the wine of Wisdom's feast, or simply the festivity of natural human celebration. It can also, of course, help us to focus on the saving blood of Christ poured out for the life of the world.We can do all of these things, of course, without receiving from the cup, but then we can also do them without beautiful music or buildings or vestments, without good preaching or a prayerful celebrant. But why should we poor sinners, who need all the help we can get to open ourselves to the grace given to us in the sacrament, have to do without any of these things? Cui bono? Not, I fear, the people of God.

I felt a small sense of despair come over me as I read this this afternoon.The loss of sense of pastoral theology and the defenders of Mor;lino, Olmsted and others of that ilk who join the move backward to drive people away astonishes me.I know conserbative Catholics are big on hierachy, authority and loyalty bu t the Church's mission is to build up the body of christ, not keep knocking it down.

I found a particularly excellent and fascinating theological explanation, likely to be of help to many people:

Ann - You raise an important point. The preist takes both bread and wine because he is acting at that moment in persona Cristi; both the body and blood.

I second Elizabeth D's comment at 6:51.Deacon Fritz,Why indeed to we have to do without beautiful music or buildings or vestments? Why, in this era of the image, do we have image-less churches? My guess is that someone decided that there is another theological principle that outweighed the benefits of statuary and polyphony and dignified vestments. So I'm assuming that Bishop Morlino has in mind either theological principles that outweigh the sign-value of Communion under both kinds, or the sign-value of Communion under one kind only, which I've tried several times to describe here.

And is it not amazing that Eastern Catholics, from time immemorial, have received the Eucharist under BOTH species? Eastern Catholic infants are baptized, chrismated (confirmed) and receive the Holy Eucharist (a drop of the Precious Blood) all on one day.When the little ones are able to take in solid food---and are able to understand that they can receive the Holy Bread (yes, that's what the little pre-schoolers call it), their parents carry them up in their arms. And the young children receive Communion under both species, as do their older siblings, parents, and grandparents. Reception of the Eucharist under two species is more than just symbolism for the Eastern Church since the Apostolic Age. Just try telling Eastern Catholics that they can receive Communion under only one species....By the way, Elizabeth, it has only been since the year 1123---Lateran Council I that it was deemed necessary to limit the Eucharist to the reception of only the Bread (hosts were not as uniformly thin as they are now). Because there already was hostility with the Eastern Church (The Council of Constantinople IV, 869-70 was the last ecumenical council to be held in the East), Pope Callistus II---was seeking reform within the Church. He also wanted to change the concept of the reception of Communion so that it would be markedly DIFFERENT than what the Orthodox Church had. The actual break with the Eastern Church had occured 1055 (actually had been building up long before that point). It was easier to reserve the Eucharist (convenience was also important to the Western Church) as only bread, sans wine. And the theology for why we receive Communion under one form was finally supplied by the most powerful (and saintly) church leader of the day---Bernard of Clairvaux (a Cistercian monk)---around the year 1136. "When we receive the Eucharist, we receive the living body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ."Of course, in the next century----the great schoolmen---such as Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotis----would bring in a deep and rich theology to support the Latin Rite practice, after all----by their time----reception of the Eucharist under one species was TRADITION. I would like to say that from being both a student and a teacher of Church History, I know that there are plenty of personal motives involved in Church decisions both from the past and TODAY. Synods and ecumenical councils from the ancient past often ended up turning into brawls. This is one of the reasons that Bishops started wearing such largerings. Usually bishops were of nobility and they wore their family's coat of arms on their rings---but it also served as a form of 'brass knuckles' if the bishop got into a fight with another bishop. Council of Chalcedon in 451 was one example of some very upset members of the hierarchy. A synod or second council of Ephesus (called the 'robber synod')had been held after the last official ecumenical council in Ephesus in 431----and the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops and others were in a very foul mood as a result of the shenanigans that occured there. While actual fistfights usually don't occur today----there is enough 'political wrangling' going on during bishops' meetings, and especially during a conclave----to make the national conventions of either the Democrats or Republicans look like a nursery-school picnic. To believe that the dear bishops discussed on this blog don't have personal motives behind their proclamations is the height of naivete---sooner believe in the Tooth Fairy.

I wonder about the accuracy of "So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with ... the rest of the world." I don't recall the cup being offered in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, or Bamberg, but then I really wasn't aware that this fracas might arise. Ten years ago in Vancouver, I recall that in the Cathedral we were expected to to kneel at a Communion rail, but my knees would not bend all the way.----The Madison and Phoenix pronouncements remind me how, in 1975, a priest in our parish argued against communion in the hand. Shortly thereafter, we were at Sta. Maria Maggiore and found that the congregants received all standing and many in the hand. ----Can anyone provide examples of Asian, African, Latin American, European or Australian Latin-rite reception under both species?

"When someone utters a false statement, it seems to me that the only two options are 1) he is ignorant of the truth or 2) he is lying."F.C.There may a third option, for example, I don't think a spouse's response to the question, "Honey, do you think I've put on weight?" would fit either category. The monsignor here may be trying to spare feelings. But I agree with you that fuzziness (my word) doesn't help.L.B."Saul [Alinsky] is also the adopted hero of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as well."Hmmm, that's interesting. Never saw that in the CCHD promotional material accompanying the 2nd collection in our parish.

As to reasons why some prefer to receive communion under both forms:The Instruction "Sacramentali Communione" of June 29, 1970 published a list of 13 cases in which an Ordinary could authorize distribution under both forms (leaving to conferences of bishops to define other cases). It said:"Among the ways of communicating prescribed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, receiving from the chalice itself ranks first."GIRM 1975 said:"240. 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 Lord and of the relationship of the eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father's kingdom.[68]"GIRM 2002 said the same thing, renumbering that item as 281

I must say that this all is of no surprise to me as I have written several time in this forum about the insidious takeover of the American church by those who would deny Vatican II and return us to the days when the Priest in the Parish was GOD and the people were to be kept dumb and obedient. Opus Dei, SSPXII, Legionnaires of Christ, whomever. I do not need everyone to agree with me, but there will soon be a day when you all will say, "O My God, How did this all happen; why didn't we see it coming; we don't like being religated to the masses of powerless Catholics like our ancestors.Girl Altar Servers are disappearing in some dioceses, now the EM's, look next for more chant and plainsong and Latin.Practice up, folks, 'et cum spiritu tuo' is back. 'worthy to come under my roof' is back, the 'Lord God of Sabaoth' (hosts) is back, 'Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa' is back and so much more is on the way. I guess most of you will not notice the completed takeover of the American Church until you enter church one Sunday and find your Altars reversed and the Priest (no longer called the 'celebrant') will say the 'prayers at the foot of the altar' and be dressed in fiddlebacks.Elie Wiesel said it best, "those who do not condemn evil condone it'. Cheer up, though, there is always good Episcopal Liturgy and Lutheran Liturgy.

Perhaps these excerpts from an article by the former professor of liturgy at Munster, Arnold Angenendt, will be helpful. The article, "Questionable Praise of the Old Liturgy," is found in the May 2011 issue of WORSHIP (vol. 85). This is not available on-line. I hope that I am in the bounds of "fair use." As well, my typing is laborious and erratic. (For long years I wrote literally thousands of letters and memorandums in longhand, and always with a fountain pen. Others did the typing for me. Not too difficult. The Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia drilled into us (in Bethesda, Maryland) the Palmer Method, and I pretty much succeeded, though now it is a bit idiosyncratic.)The excerpts from WORSHIP:None of the eastern liturgies gives any indication that "the saying about the offering points to anything other than the sanctification by means of the gifts of bread and wine that the Spirit of God has placed before the faithful. An offering of Christ, or even merely a consecratory interpretation of the words of institution, is excluded from the sequence of ideas of the eastern anaphoras."The Roman Eucharistic Prayer [Canon] reveals yet a third change of direction. Jungmann also pointed out a singular peculiarity of the Roman Canon: "The remembrance should be realized not only in and by the priest but also in and by the entire congregation assembled." The Roman Canon is explicit in mentioning that the subject of the act of remembering includes both priest and people ('nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta'). By specifying that "we" includes priests and people it is made clear that all the participants offer spiritual sacrifice without exception and that they enter into the self-offering of Jesus Christ by their own self-sacrifice. Even the Ambrosian interpretation of a metabolic change in the elements does not exclude this idea common to East and West: everyone, and therefore the entire Church, offers the sacrifice.Precisely this approach, however, was revoked and reinterpreted in a clerical sense in the early Middle Ages. Instead of the totality of clergy and people, now only the priest emerges as the one who truly offers. ( WORSHIP, 85,202)--- --- ---The history of the "Orate, fratres" is quite complex. Jungmann says: "The version familiar to us, which appeared but seldom outside Italy, had become the only formula current in Italy since the eleventh century, and thus reached the Missale Romanum." (The Mass of the Roman Rite, II, 88)So this clericalist tendency is quite a late development.

I just returned from a visit to that part of Wisconsin. I went to my old home parish for mass and met a couple who used to attend a parish in Platteville, WI - 9 miles north of my home town. They said that the parsh which has been "given" to the 3 uber conservative priests from Spain to ruin lost about 40% of its membership. They indicated that this new episcopal misdirective will only help exacerbate an already upset diocese. But what to they know, right? Morlino is, after, a direct descendant of the apostles.Life outside of the wretched arms of an increasinly-reintrenched episcopacy is most certainly looking better by the day.

Joe MacMahon: in France when I go to Mass at a monastery or a place with religious, usually communion is offered under both kinds; and when I go back to my old university and attend the small group Mass in the tiny chapel, communion is offered under both kinds. So there are at least those two locations where I can pretty reliably find it.

Jimmy Mac wrote: "They said that the parsh which has been given to the 3 uber conservative priests from Spain to ruin lost about 40% of its membership."...and people actually come from far and wide to their beautiful and reverent Sunday High Masses with Gregorian chant and magnificent Renaissance polyphony. The Society of Jesus Christ the Priest are diocesan priests who do also celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. When they arrived some of the parishioners got excessively upset for strange reasons such as the priests said no altar girls (my pastors at St Paul's on the UW Madison campus who are keen to promote priestly vocations did away with altar girls too and I am not aware of anyone even noticing), and EMHCs became unnecessary since they have 3 priests, and the priests wanted to make sick calls personally rather than have EMHCs do them. I'm not kidding, some parishioners seemed to feel even that was an affront even though priests can hear Confessions and administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick when appropriate and EMHCs cannot. They also renovated St Norbert's church which is absolutely GORGEOUS now, and you guessed it there was great complaining. There is nothing strange about these priests, they are just good Catholic priests and people who appreciate what they are doing are seeking out their parishes. Other Catholic groups pitched in to fundraise for the school they run, etc. The SJCP priests are doing a great job. It just isn't what some of their former parishioners were used to.

Rather, at the heart of the Sacrifice of the Mass is Christs propitiatory self-offering of Himself to the Father, through the priest who acts in His person. Well, if that were correct then my life would be quite different. If I am not participating directly in the Sacrifice of the Mass myself, then I don't have to go so regularly any more. If the Mass only serves to satisfy my own needs by the reception of Communion, then, in good periods of my life, attending once in a while will suffice. After all, I'm the only one who might be hurt by my absence from the Mass. It's selfish to always be going to Mass instead of spending my Sunday morning taking care of other people, preparing an elaborate meal for my family, or doing something else that would be useful for others. I can always do my own private prayers at another time, or by myself while I am peeling my vegetables. Why should I watch the priest do his thing Sunday after Sunday? Others need me. He doesn't need me. But that's not my understanding. I believe that when we are not present at Mass, the communion of the church as a whole is weakened. I believe that we're all participating in the Eucharist. As Pope Pius X strongly recommended, we are saying the priest's words with him (internally, for some parts of the Mass), we make them ours, his sacrifice is our sacrifice, his prayer is our prayer, and as Pius X explained, that's what it means for us to pray the Mass. Our participation is what gives meaning to our presence. Frankly, if I was merely a spectator watching the consecration being done solely by the priest at the altar, that would be a great impoverisment. The idea is almost as offensive as if someone turned to me and said: "What you do or think doesn't matter. You thought your presence was useful? You are superfluous. You are not needed here. You are nobody." I know I am not saying quite the right things, that I should be more careful and use quotes rather than a subjective reality rooted in nothing other than my personal experience, but Elizabeth D's description of the Mass is disturbing. I protest. I thank John Page for his objections. And that's enough from me on this thread.

"Well, if that were correct then my life would be quite different. If I am not participating directly in the Sacrifice of the Mass myself, then I dont have to go so regularly any more.... Frankly, if I was merely a spectator watching the consecration being done solely by the priest at the altar, that would be a great impoverisment."Fortunately we are certainly not just spectators at Mass, and Vatican II calls for our "full, conscious and active participation". Even when for some reason I am not able to receive Communion, I do not ever feel that I am just a "spectator". Of course I cannot consecrate the Eucharist (which is plainly impossible since we are women and could not ever validly be ordained as priests), but through our Baptism we are able to participate in the Liturgy profoundly.This is a quote from the Vatican II Constitution on the Liturgy: "The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God's word, and be nourished at the table of the Lord's Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to offer themselves." There is more explanation about how we participate at Mass here: reason you have a grave obligation to go to Mass every Sunday is because of what the Mass IS, the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of your soul, and source and summit of the whole life and activity of the Church, and what the Eucharist IS, Jesus who loves you completely and deserves the love of your whole heart, soul mind and strength--certainly not because Mass cannot occur without you. Sunday Mass attendance is also the way in which Christians observe the Commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (for us, now, this is not the 7th day of the week but the "8th day" the day of the resurrection, of the new and eternal life in Christ). It is also a requirement of canon law. Because there is a grave obligation to attend Sunday Mass, it is possible to sin mortally by skipping it without something serious preventing you.

Elizabeth wrote, "people actually come from far and wide to their beautiful and reverent Sunday High Masses with Gregorian chant and magnificent Renaissance polyphony."Well, well, well. I thought many people had complaints about masses being used as a show -- but now the people should be happy that their own mass isn't for them, but a show for people who are not from the parish! How nice!

I find arguments about "what happens around the world" which ignores the Eastern Churches to be dangerous. More importantly, I think Todd is right -- the subtraction being done is dangerous and indicates a "do as little as possible" mentality -- in spirituality as well as in liturgy. If there were legitimate reasons for communion under one species, fine. But it must be something which counters the symbolic value being lost. I don't see it. I don't see the need. Does the bishop have the authority to do this? Yes, and it should be followed until changed. However, this doesn't mean one can't question, and point out why people think the discipline is not needed.

Little BearI also see a dangerous misunderstanding of liturgy, one which ignores the people, something which the East also finds problematic.

Little Bear: that was not about you, but rather, those you are responding to... they seem to misunderstand liturgy -- the work of the people -- and return it to a thing of clerics alone.

The idea that it is a gift of a better theology is also -- wrong. What better theology is being given which is not already known or appreciated? Better theology, I would say, comes out of the fullness of symbolism, not the lessening of it. There can be reasons to limit reception to one species -- but to say it is because it is better theology to do so -- is utterly ridiculous. It is worse theology, because it is worse symbolism. There is, after all, a reason why Jesus offered both species and not just one. I think he is the best executor of theology of all. I would say, without proper reasons for such discipline, we are actually getting closer to a semi-gnostic idoelogy, because the full incarnational theology of the symbolism is lost!

@Little Bear (10/10, 8:03 pm) Thank-you for the brief history of how the 12th century innovation of receiving Communion under only one species developed in the Roman Catholic Church, and of the subsequent development of a deep and rich theology around that innovation once it had become a tradition.That is evidence (as is this thread)---as if more were needed---that we humans have a seemingly endless capacity for reflection---including theological reflection---on our lives and experiences. It's also evidence (or so it seems to me) of the Church's ability to adapt to different cultures and different times.

Yes, how odd that parents of female altar servers would be upset when their new priests--missionaries from Spain installed in Catholic Wisconsin--have told their daughters that they are no longer welcome to serve the Mass, presumably because they believe mingling altar girls with altar boys stymies priestly vocations. Why in the world would such parents find that transparently sexist?

Good News!Bishop Morlino has issued a letter to priests on his own stationery clarifying his position. It doesn't have any references to Indults expiring, etc, but says:"The Third Edition of the Roman Missal reinforces the right of bishops to make additional allowances for reception of Communion under both species, beyond that which the documents already mention:The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the Priest to whom a community has been entrusted as its own shepherd, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and that there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rites becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or for some other cause (Roman Missal, 283).This permission has been assumed, if not expressed directly in the past. I recognize this, and I understand fully that communion under both forms at every Mass has become common practice at some parishes.However, I have been told of, and have personally experienced, the reality that the provision both that the faithful be well instructed and that there be no danger of profanation of the Sacrament, is not being met. As such, while recognizing the need for patient, prudent and practical steps according to your individual parishes, Ive asked you to move in this direction.Thus, I cannot in good conscience, allow us to go forward without addressing these matters. Thats specifically what Ive asked you to do. Please help your people to know and understand the beautiful gift we have in the Eucharist, to know our obligations of preparing for reception of the Sacrament, both in terms of our preparation through the Sacrament of Confession, our observance of the pre-communion fast, our attending to our attire as best we can, and the like. Please help them to know of Christs presence, fully and entirely in the Sacred Host. Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist at the Memorial of Christs loving Sacrifice for them. Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christs Body and Blood, present in the Host.Christ offers Himself, whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Mass to every woman and man who is prepared to receive Him. At the end of the day, our goal should be to help every, man, woman and child really to understand this, in a profound and life-changing way. If we recognized the gift that we already have, what an impact that would make upon us and upon the world! So, let us tell out this Good News!

In my excerpt of the Bishop Morlino's letter, my symbol to indicate a jump from one point to another disappeared in the HTML. THe paragraph starting "Thus, I cannot in good conscience..." is after the break. See the linked original text for the complete text of teh lettehe

So, because of crumbing and other problems are possible with the species of bread, why not just make the species of wine the one given to everyone? The logic being given still is not satisfactory, because if it followed, as many pointed out, there would be greater restriction on the species of bread than what we find. This is never done. While we might agree with the bishop having the authority to do this, it is not the same thing as it is a good idea. So far I have seen nothing which has been said which shows why this is a good idea.

@John Hayes (10/11, 8:49 am) Many thanks for your post and for the link to Bishop Morlino's letter. Here's hoping that the priests of his diocese will undertake the pastoral catechesis needed so that their parishioners may continue the ancient practice of the Church of receiving both bread and wine at Communion.

Thank you John, for posting the Bishop's clarification; that settles the matter.

"Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred Banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist as the memorial of Christ's loving Sacrifice for them. Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christ's Body and Blood, present in the HOST [emphasis supplied]."Luke Hill:These two sentences, especially the second, cause me to be less optimistic than you are, and not only for reasons related to the question of Communion under both kinds.

What would Jan Hus (1369-1415) do? He was the Czech priest who demanded communion in both kinds. His followers soon split along moderate and radical lines into three groups: Utraquists, Calixtines, and Taborites. As far as I can tell, Huss theological patrimony is most clearly to be found in contemporary Moravian churches. Here are excerpts from one discussion of the Moravian communion ceremony from a faculty member of the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA:A typical Moravian communion is conducted with quiet reverence and simple dignity, punctuated with lots of joyful singing, as the presiding clergypersons personally serve the communicants in the pews, first distributing the bread, then the wine (juice)...The manner of distribution in the Moravian Church presents another set of issues. Most members seem to appreciate the way in which the presiding clergy come down to the pews to distribute the elements individually and personally to each communicant. I have no quibble with this in principle except that the whole procedure becomes laborious and time-consuming . Bread is given to each person, after which all partake together; then the wine is handled in the same manner. Thus the meal becomes somewhat fragmented, as well, with the partaking of the wine separated by perhaps ten minutes from the partaking of the bread...The Moravian form of communion simply takes too long to complete and thus discourages a weekly celebration. If the church wishes to return to the basic structure of worship that calls for table fellowship every Lords Day, then the question of efficiency needs to be addressed... page)------------------------Ive looked at a few Moravian church websites. Many congregations appear to be very small and the schedule of their services doesnt seem to allow for what Catholics consider to be frequent communion. BTW, many have an interesting ritual which they call a love feast. As the excerpt points out, it may be that practical considerations at some point become spiritual concerns since unwieldy methods of distribution might discourage frequent communion.

Today, Tuesday, is the feast of Blessed Pope John XXIII---a member of the Third Order of St. Francis---Secular.On November 2, 1962, Cardinal Bea (leader of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity) addressed the General Session of Vatican Council II. Bea was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII---and his words---were actually the words of John XXIII. Bea stated:"The faith of the Church should be presented in all its integrity and purity, but in such a manner that it will be received today with goodwill. For we are shepherds...What our times demand is a pastoral approach demonstrating the love and kindness that flow from our religion."In too many of the decisions made by bishops today----the managerial style overrides the pastoral, and the people know it.John XXIII was a pastoral pope whose background in history and his life's experiences---trained him to truly be a good shepherd who did all that he could to restore the lively faith of the early Church in the Church in the Modern World. And he inspired hope in millions by stating that he 'disagreed with those prophets of gloom who are always forecasting disaster as though the end of the world was at hand.Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by the very effort of the people of this time, is directed toward the fulfillment of God's great plans for us. Everything, even human differences, leads to a greater good for the Church.'

Ken: that settles the matter.Well, yes and no. It settles the matter of the bishop offering the bogus excuse of an expired indult. It leaves open several other matters, not least of which is why catechesis is the answer for every problem except when it isn't.People don't understand "consubstantial"? CATECHIZE! People don't understand that "many" really means "all"? CATECHIZE! People don't catch the allusion to the healing of the centurion's servant in the Domine non sum dignus? CATECHIZE!People are confused about the doctrine of concomitance? Stop communion from the cup.

So much for the words of Christ in the Gospels when, at the Last Supper, he invited His disciples to remember him by eating bread and drinking wine. These were the elements for communing and sharing in his sufferings (broken bread) and pouring one's life out for others (drinking wine from the cup). Sounds to me like another betrayal of Christ's teachings -another rationalization and accommodation to man made norms and guidelines. Here we are as Catholics sailing along in our Roman Titanic which is fasting going down and with "leaders" more concerned with rearranging the chairs so everyone will be more confortable. How does this latest gesture speak to you?