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Daniel wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why is the drinking of the blood of Christ at Mass optional?
  • Isn't the consecrated wine part of the Blessed Sacrament?

Many in our parish will only receive the consecrated Host.

  • Wouldn't Jesus, God, protect us from any germs or bacteria using the shared chalice?

If we really have true faith, we know we don't have to worry about these things.

Daniel

  { If the blood of Christ is part of the Eucharist, why is drinking the consecrated wine optional? }

Mike replied:

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the question. You can find that answer, and many others, in our searchable knowledge base. There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the database for you and found this web posting that should help answer your question:

In another posting a questioner asked:

  • Why doesn't the Church offer the blood of our Savior to those receiving Holy Communion?

Jesus said the blood is His life, but I have yet to see a Church do this, though I have heard some do. I also see the priest and deacons doing this.

  • Why not everyone?

And my colleague John replied:

I'm surprised you haven't seen this. It is quite common in Catholic parishes to offer the Precious Blood. In any case, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in either the Precious Blood or the Host, so doctrinally, it doesn't make a difference. There may be various reasons why it isn't done:

  • It requires employing many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, an idea strongly frowned upon by Rome (though more excusable for purposes of administering the Precious Blood).
  • There is more of a danger of sacrilege (through spillage).
  • There is a danger of spreading disease, and during the SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) scare, a while back, some dioceses forbade it.
  • There is also the danger that people will get the erroneous impression that they need to receive both the Precious Blood and the Host in order to receive the whole Christ. (This reason is why the practice was abandoned for centuries.)
  • Or, it could be as simple as that the priest is grossed out by having to drink afterward all the remaining Precious Blood that everyone has drunk from.

You said:

  • Wouldn't Jesus, God, protect us from any germs or bacteria from the shared chalice?

If we really have true faith, we know we don't have to worry about these things.

There is God's Permissive will and His Divine will.

While the Lord's Divine will could protect us from poor hygiene surrounding the Blessed Sacrament His Permissive Will may allow man to receive the consequences of our own poor hygiene choices.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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