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Help?? Infant Communion... #337478 11/17/09 03:30 PM
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Precentrix Offline OP
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I nearly posted this in the Ukie thread but thought it warranted its own space as being more than slightly off-track.

I'm in debate with some Coptic Orthodox about receiving Holy Communion under one species only in the Latin Church, the priest alone receiving from the chalice. The theological arguments for the acceptability or should I say possibility of this practice boil down to: [i]'Christ now rising from the dead dieth no more; death hath no dominion over Him.'[/i]

What I need, if anyone can help me, is the liturgical argument - the argument from praxis.

I am aware that, at least theoretically, the Eastern Churches do practise reservation of the Blessed Sacrament; I believe that in some churches which still practise infant communion, only the Most Precious Blood is given to the very youngest.

Can anyone confirm this for me from experience of what happens in their parish? Can anyone give me any relevant sources?

It would help me enormously - fortunately these guys haven't yet realised that their Church doesn't even consider my Church to have valid Baptism, but I'm assuming they won't take over-kindly to Western sources.

If anyone can give me anything from the Orientals, even better.

<looks hopefully>

ps I did post this in the Orthodox Question Box but no answer yet.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Precentrix] #337482 11/17/09 03:45 PM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

Why are you "debating" this? It's a difference in praxis that has historic roots in Western history, but it seems to me that any theological arguments came later to defend this practice. In the meantime, you have to ask yourself what purpose this has. It surely doesn't help with understanding the other Church nor they understanding the Latin Church.

My parish has had Holy Communion under both species up until this past month when the bishops of my state decided that it would be better to stop until the H1N1 flu has passed.

There have always been differences in liturgical practices and they've been debated for the entire period of Church history. And they've caused schisms and lots of division.

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 11/18/09 05:57 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: theophan] #337485 11/17/09 04:02 PM
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Theophan,

The reason is that, based on the fact that we commonly only receive under one form, they make the argument that we do not, in fact, communicate. Now, the Copts may come up with plenty of arguments for why Holy Communion in a Latin church isn't valid (starting, I dare say, with the fact that none of us are Christians at all since we don't practise baptism by triple immersion, though we accept that it is preferable... and therefore our Orders and so on must also be invalid)... but that one doesn't hold water.

I know the historical reason for the laity not receiving from the chalice in the West is just the typical overreaction in the other direction because of the Hussite heresy; before that we received both species, though separately. I also know that there are various pragmatic reasons.

It comes down to the fact that these acquaintances have been receiving Our Blessed Lord in an RC parish, contrary to our discipline, their discipline and their beliefs about the Latin Church, and they brought up the question 'Why do you only receive half of Jesus?' [sic]. I'm trying to give them as full an answer as possible and would like to be able to point out that in other Churches, too, people sometimes receive under only one kind.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: theophan] #337486 11/17/09 04:06 PM
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In other words, I'm not debating whether or not it should be done - I'm trying to defend its validity.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Precentrix] #337490 11/17/09 04:51 PM
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theophan Offline
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Christ is in our midst!! He is and always will be!!

First of all, why are they communing in a Latin parish if they don't hold our belief in the Eucharist? Our discipline assumes that persons who come forward share our belief in the Eucharist. They are to observe the discipline of their own Churches and if they're not supposed to come forward, you've got to ask why they do it. For them to do so and not hold our belief and to hold their own that this is not the Body and Blood of Christ borders on blasphemy and artolatry.

The belief of the Apostolic Churches is that Jesus is whole and entire under either or both species because we receive the resurrected Christ. We consecrate separately to bring into the present his crucifixion, but we do from the vantage point of the empty tomb. In other words, all of these saving events overlap liturgically.

But back to your original question, your pastor needs to know of their objections to Our Lord's Presence and he needs to go to them and tell them to stop.

I don't know of any other Church or ecclesial community that receives under only one form.

BOB

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: theophan] #337492 11/17/09 05:52 PM
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Bob,

If I read Precentrix's question correctly, the debate is over the legitimacy of the practice of ever giving out or receiving Holy Communion under only one kind, at any time for any reason. Not so much a question of "why" the practice was adopted in the West, but of "how" it can be justified, based on Eastern theology and/or praxis.

One thing that I would hasten to point out here is that the practice of Presanctified Liturgy, which is very much an Eastern tradition, involves Communion under only one kind: the most precious Body of Christ is placed into the chalice with unconsecrated wine and given out that way. (While some have tried to argue that the wine becomes consecrated by contact, there is little theological basis for this assertion.)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Epiphanius] #337494 11/17/09 07:26 PM
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Nelson Chase Offline
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Also, I could be wrong, but don't the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic Church recognize each other as sister Churches? Isn't there intercommunion between the Syrian Orthodox (which is communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church) and the Eastern Catholic Churches in Syria and other parts of the Middle East?


Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Nelson Chase] #337496 11/17/09 07:36 PM
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I don't think it's mutual. The Catholic Church, to my knowledge, recognizes the Coptic consecration as valid. But they aren't in formal communion with each other.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Terry Bohannon] #337498 11/17/09 07:49 PM
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Hey Terry,

I could have sworn that the Coptic Orthodox had a rather positive view of the current Catholic Church and that at least in Syria the Oriental Orthodox and Syrian Catholic can, if there is no Priest of their Church take communion in the others Church.

I frequently read Abba Antony, a publication of Saint Antony’s Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Ca. and they quote from the Imitation of Christ all the time as part of their spiritual guidance section. When I visited HRM, when they were still in Newberry Springs, Abbot Nicholas had me drive over and visit the Coptic Monastery. (I meet the Abbot, even though I didn't know he was the Abbot until after I got back to HRM)

Oh well, I hope that in the future all the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Communion can restore full visible unity!

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 11/17/09 08:04 PM.
Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Nelson Chase] #337500 11/17/09 08:57 PM
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I can say that the Syriac Orthodox who are in communion with the Coptic Orthodox, give out communion using only the precious blood to infants. At least that is what happened when my goddaughter was baptized, chrismated and communed in the Syriac Orthodox Church when she was just about a month and a half old.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: countertenor] #337501 11/17/09 09:20 PM
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Well, but of course. Small infants are incapable of ingesting solid food, so they are always communicated with the Precious Blood alone. This was the practice in the Latin Church as well, until, in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council withdrew the Chalice from the laity. This effectively ended infant communion in the Latin Church, though there was no deliberate intent or any theological rationale behind it.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: StuartK] #337505 11/17/09 09:44 PM
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Thank you!

The theological basis behind the withdrawal of the chalice from the laity in the West was precisely that Holy Communion received under only one species is still Holy Communion - that's what John Huss denied. We have a tendency to do things just to make the point. I hadn't realised the drastic effect on the Communion of infants, though.

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Nelson Chase] #337511 11/17/09 11:49 PM
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Hey Nelson,

That could be, but the times I was at liturgy were during consecrations of two churches. I was told not to take communion by my Coptic friend, I did not ask a priest, there were many around, but I participated spiritually. It was nice seeing Pope Shenouda III take the time to answer questions. I just wish I knew Arabic so I could have understood the other half of what he said.

Terry

Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Terry Bohannon] #337513 11/18/09 12:35 AM
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Hey Terry,

I didn't mean to come off saying Catholics could take Communion in Coptic Orthodox Churches, I just thought/think that Coptic Church had/has very good relations with the Catholic Communion.

I have to been to a Coptic Liturgy and it was a very spiritually rewarding for me. I pray for the day we can share communion with them.


Re: Help?? Infant Communion... [Re: Epiphanius] #337518 11/18/09 01:44 AM
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Quote
If I read Precentrix's question correctly, the debate is over the legitimacy of the practice of ever giving out or receiving Holy Communion under only one kind, at any time for any reason.


Deacon Richard:

Then I'd have to say we all do it because I know of no practice wherein the consecrated Precious Blood is reserved for the communion of the sick. We don't take the Precious Blood to the sick, but when I accompanied an Orthodox priest to commune a sick person, he took unconsecrated wine with him for the sam reason that you mention for the Presanctified Liturgy.

BOB

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