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Dear James,

That Alex is a treasure on this forum would not be disputed by anyone, no? wink

As part of my Lenten spiritual reading I have been revisiting John Meyendorff's "Catholicity and the Church" so believe me, I understand all too well your attraction to Eastern ecclesiology and spirituality because I, too, have come to recognize its beauty.

The Holy Spirit will lead you to where you need to be and if that is Eastward, God will be glorified thereby. smile

Khrystyna

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hi y'all ...
I'm slightly puzzled: as an RC, I have always seen Holy Communion offered under both species, at daily Masses and at Sunday Masses as the 'norm' ... I don't know what you're talking about when you speak of 'withholding the cup from the laity' ... but, carry on ... biggrin

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I'll go back a bit from what CofS has posted.

Now when I joined my present Parish [ Holy Cross] Communion was only under one kind except on very special occasions - Christmas, Easter and the Parish Feast.

At that time in the School where I was working, at all it's daily Masses offered Communion under Both Kinds.

Now the School Chaplain was an assistant in the Parish and eventually Communion was offered under both kinds at the Vigil/Sunday Masses and on Fridays as well. This has now been the practice for some 12 years.

As far as I can tell this is also the practice throughout the Diocese. However it is not normally offered where there are very large numbers of Communicants as noted by AmdG - I have always thought that this is for the Safety of Our Lord.

Of course with this comes the 'problem' of the use of EEMs wink - if you are going to offer the Chalice to the laity then you have to consider the number of people involved - this has been discussed many times in the past - so as an EEM I do not propose to start/restart that discussion here.

AmdG also commented on the practice of Communion by Intinction in the RC Church - I have to admit that I have only ever seen that once here - in a private House Mass, and not being used to it I found it uncomfortable.

I have no problem at all being given Communion from the Spoon and as most of you will know I do receive that way in Lourdes - [ as an aside I will be going there after Easter (NC) smile biggrin so if you have any intentions you wish me to take with me - send them along]

Anhelyna - ex Methodist, ex Anglican and Eastern wannabe:D

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Dear Christine,

I will not abandon my "Roman" roots wink ,they have been part of me for a long...time,I think of it of being a hybrid,best of both smile . Especially being partial to Gregorian Chant biggrin !

Might even change my forum name to James the Hybrid or shadow Alex as the Hybrid Catholic :rolleyes:

Never used these many graemlins before.

Peace in Christ,
James

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I don't believe that it is the truth to assert that the Latin Church somehow deprived or took away the chalice from the faithful as some sort of sinister act. I grew up with Protestant relatives who had learned a particularly nasty chant in Sunday School about Catholic priests that ends "all for me and none for you."

My own study of parallel historical events suggests that the development of Communion under one kind alone stems from the same period as the Black Death or Black Plague. One date that I could put my hands on this afternoon suggests that it reached England about 1347 and had raged on the Continent for some time before. I would rather suspect that this innovation was a pastoral reaction to the spread of this plague. It is interesting to note that two other practices seem to stem from this same period: the use of a funeral pall (originally a thick blanket used to cover the body of the poor when they were brought to church for their funeral--since the poor were buried without even a coffin; they were brought in on a stretcher or wooden pallet--this blanket concept makes tremendous sense to me as a practicing funeral director with daily contact with the dead and the consequences of having bodies around) and the removal of confessions to places where a double layer of linen cloth could keep people from coughing on the priest or worse.

Since the Latin Church did not use leavened bread, the use of a spoon would not have worked for intinction. I also suspect that the use of the spoon with intinction in the Byzantine Church may have become the norm, though Alex has informed me that the use of the spoon was also seen at an earlier date. It may be that the spoon was used for infants and became the norm when it was dangerous in general for large numbers of people to commune from the same chalice.

It's interesting to me that one of the extraordinary ministers I trained many years ago stopped helping with the chalice in our parish and stopped communing from the chalice herself. She noted that she taught public health as a nurse all week and drilled children about the dangers of using common drinking cups in school and at home and then found herself doing and modeling the exact opposite behavior on Sunday morning. So it made sense to me that the chalice was removed from common sharing for large numbers of people. (As an aside, I recently asked our pastor what to do when I observed a young child spit back into the chalice I was ministering--he had taken too much into his mouth and couldn't swallow it all so he spit part back.)

I have to wonder where the theologians are taking us when we look at what we receive in the Eucharist. If we see a move to some understanding that includes elements fo bread remaining during communion, it seems that we will never be united since the total lack of bread or wine elements when one receives is the Latin Church's faith on the matter. It seems to me that we have also to look at the formulations of those who have been separated from us in the Oriental Orthodox churches before we discuss the change in doctrinal formulations as if it were a Byzantine vs Latin dichotomy.

I am attaching some quotes that I use in catechesis in my parish to demonstrate the antiquity of the doctrine of the Real Presence as we understand it. We have, perhaps, one third of the people in our parish who believe in the Real Presence. Most of our fellow parishioners would tell you that this is some sort of symbolic act with no consequences for now or eternity. We've been inundated with so much emphasis on the "meal" aspect that the sacrificial aspect and the mystical aspect have all but been forgotten. I don't personally trust most Latin sources since the end of the Vatican Council but do regularly refer to people like Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, a world-class theologian and author.


St. Cyril of Alexandria, 4th Century:
When you approach, do not come with outspread hands and fingers, but make the left hand as it were the throne of the right, which is destined to receive the King, and receive the Body of Christ into the hollow of your hand and say, “Amen.” After you have purified your eyes by cautiously applying them to the Sacred Body, be careful, in consuming It, that no particle falls to the ground . . . Having partaken of the Body of Christ, step forward to take the chalice of the Blood; do not stretch out your hands, but drop them and assuming an attitude of adoration and homage, say “Amen,” and sanctify yourself by participation in the Blood of Christ.

St. John Chrysostom, 4th Century:
How many in these times say: would that I could gaze upon His form, His figure, His garment, His shoes! [Look!] You see Him, touch Him, eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not merely to look at, but even to touch, to eat, and to receive within . . . Consider at Whose table you eat! For we are fed with that which the angels view with [fear and trembling] and which they cannot contemplate without fear because of its splendor. We become one with Him; we become one body and one flesh with Christ.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, (d. 117):
The Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

St. Justin Martyr (d. 167)
We take this not as ordinary bread nor as ordinary drink, but, as Jesus Christ our Savior.

St. Irenaeus (d. 203)
Wine and bread are, by the word of God, changed into the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ.

St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235)
He has given us His own Divine Flesh and His Own Precious Blood to eat and to drink.


I use these quotes to demonstrate the common faith shared by Fathers from across the ancient world who did not have the opportunity to compare notes or quotes but who seemed to have a very common mind on what happens at the Liturgy no matter where it is served.

BOB

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I'm told that the quote from St. Cyril was from Cyril of Jerusalem, not St. Cyril of Alexandria. I'll have to check with the author of the book I took it from since I lifted it from his work as printed.

BOB

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Greetings, Theophan.

According to Hugh Wybrew's The Orthodox Liturgy, the use of the spoon to commune the Sacrament appears to have been introduced sometime around the 8th century and its use gradually spread through the East. The practice was criticized by Western writers in the 9th century. Interestingly enough, apparently the Council in Trullo in 692 forbade the use of any kind of receptacle for receiving communion and affirmed that that hands of a living human being, made in the image of God, was the only appropriate receptacle for receiving communion. I don't believe that anyone really knows why this practice was introduced and embraced. One liturgist I spoke to a year ago suggested that it was out of (excessive?) concern to "protect" the sanctity of the Sacrament.

The withdrawal of the chalice from the laity in the West appears to have occurred in the 13th century. Liturgical historians typically suggest a concern to prevent spillage as a primary motivation here.

I do not know of any evidence that would support your hygiene hypothesis. If you are concerned about hygiene and the common cup, you might find the following articles of interest:

Hygiene and Common Cup

Common Cup and Infection Rates

Pax,
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Quote
Originally posted by Fr Kimel:

One liturgist I spoke to a year ago suggested that it was out of (excessive?) concern to "protect" the sanctity of the Sacrament.
I've also heard the above explanation. Apparently it was the "fashion" to bring a sort-of home artophorion, presumably to partake throughout the week. Supposedly abuses crept in and it was withdrawn from the hand and given instead on a spoon. One abuse that is often mentioned is mixing the body and blood of Christ with paint to paint a "living icon" of our Lord.

Priest Thomas

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I wonder if the availability (or lack thereof) of wine could have contributed to withholding the chalice from laypeople. Bread was a basic food in one form or another. But wine came from grapes. It has just occurred to me that the "Little Ice Age", a period of cooler weather, happened started around 1150 which affected what could grow where. Here is a page about it that has a section about wine and grapes and bad years:

http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html


Hilde

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It is my understanding that in the Roman Church the way communion was given changed after the 60's and communion under both species was re-introduced. I have seen that usages in Roman Catholicism vary a lot from parish to parish and from priest to priest, sometimes communion is given by intinction, in some places only the host is given, and in other situations people receive communion from the chalice. However, I know that only the priest is allowed to sel-communicate, and traditional Roman Catholics have told me that it is ilicit and abusive when Altar boys or deacons self-communicate.

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Hilde, my uneduated guess is that you are probably right about the limited availability of wine, especially in Northern climates, as being a factor in the decision to limit the chalice to the celebrant.

I also suspect that the Hussite heresy (ultraquism)--i.e., communion in both species being absolutely necessary to salvation--also played a huge role. Just to prove that the Hussites are wrong, we will universally prohibit the communion of the laity from the Chalice. It was after all the same Council of Constance that tried, condemned and executed John Hus (not one of the Church's better moments) that also established as the universal law of the church that the laity may not be given communion in both kinds. The council declared the following (A.D. 1415):

Quote
[J]ust as this custom was sensibly introduced in order to avoid various dangers and scandals, so with similar or even greater reason was it possible to introduce and sensibly observe the custom that, although this sacrament was received by the faithful under both kinds in the early church, nevertheless later it was received under both kinds only by those confecting it, and by the laity only under the form of bread. For it should be very firmly believed, and in no way doubted, that the whole body and blood of Christ are truly contained under both the form of bread and the form of wine. Therefore, since this custom was introduced for good reasons by the church and holy fathers, and has been observed for a very long time, it should be held as a law which nobody may repudiate or alter at will without the church's permission. To say that the observance of this custom or law is sacrilegious or illicit must be regarded as erroneous. Those who stubbornly assert the opposite of the aforesaid are to be confined as heretics and severely punished by the local bishops or their officials or the inquisitors of heresy in the kingdoms or provinces in which anything is attempted or presumed against this decree, according to the canonical and legitimate sanctions that have been wisely established in favour of the catholic faith against heretics and their supporters.

That no priest, under pain of excommunication, may communicate the people under the forms of both bread and wine

This holy synod also decrees and declares, regarding this matter, that instructions are to be sent to the most reverend fathers and lords in Christ, patriarchs, primates, archbishops, bishops, and their vicars in spirituals, wherever they may be, in which they are to be commissioned and ordered on the authority of this sacred council and under pain of excommunication, to punish effectively those who err against this decree. They may receive back into the church's fold those who have gone astray by communicating the people under the forms of both bread and wine, and have taught this, provided they repent and after a salutary penance, in accordance with the measure of their fault, has been enjoined upon them. They are to repress as heretics, however, by means of the church's censures and even if necessary by calling in the help of the secular arm, those of them whose hearts have become hardened and who are unwilling to return to penance.
The Anglican reformers were particularly insistent that the Church did not possess this kind of authority over the sacramental mandates of the Lord. As it is the dominical institution, given in the canonical Scriptures, that creates the blessed Sacrament, and as the Lord's Supper is a primordial instantiation of the Gospel, so the Church must seek to obey the sacramental commands of the Lord as fully and eagerly as possible. There may be times when contingent historical circumstances prevent us from fulfilling the mandate as fully as we would might under normal circumstances; yet it remains the duty and joy of the Church to respect the integrity of the sacrament and to obey the Lord. Jeremy Taylor has a wonderful discussion of this somewhere in his writings. I'm sure I have a copy of it in one of my many boxes of xeroxed material ... in the black hole of my basement. smile

Pax,
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Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel,

Actually, only the Hussite Taborites insisted on Communion in both Kinds as necessary.

The High Church Hussite Utraquists actually asked for the "possibility" of Communion in both Kinds and never denied the validity of Communion in one Kind, even though they preferred Commuion in both Kinds.

Russian Orthodox theologians writing in the 19th century felt that Jan Hus (commemorated in the Anglican Church of Canada on October 30th, by the way), was a herald of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition in this and other respects.

Communion in both Kinds symbolizes, in the East, the Resurrected Christ, as you know.

This doesn't mean that the Latin practice of Communion in one Kind is invalid.

But the symbolism if very important and intregrally linked to the celebration of the Sacrament in the East.

Also, how is giving Communion via the Spoon "withholding the Chalice?"

And it was St John Chrysostom, at a much earlier date, that insisted on Communion in both Kinds.

Before his time, Christians often took the Communion home with them to keep in their homes or private oratories.

They then communed of the Holy Eucharist daily by themselves before breakfast.

Chrysostom felt that the fervour of the earlier ages had waned and forbade the practice out of respect for the Eucharist. To ensure it stopped, he recommended that both Kinds be mixed.

But, to this day, Eastern Christians still take the blessed bread left over from the Liturgy and distributed at the end (although not Holy Communion) home with them.

They partake of it daily in the morning before breakfast as part of their morning prayers - as I do each day.

One may also partake of the Holy Bread when one reads the Service of the Typika or the "Dry Mass" as your Tradition would call it.

Alex

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Thank you, Alex, for the clarification on the Hussites. I was simply using the terminology from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Ultraquism

AFK+

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Bless me a sinner, Father Kimel,

Yes, that really is a heresy, but the "high church" Hussites didn't subscribe to it.

The Taborites made the Chalice into a war emblem and placed it on their cannon etc.

Did I mention that the Orthodox found that Jerome of Prague, Hus's friend, became Orthodox in Latvia before he too was burned?

They found his baptismal certificate and there are those in the Czech Orthodox Church that would like to see him canonized an Orthodox saint . . .

While it is very true that Hus borrowed from John Wycliffe, he gave Wycliffe's views a "Catholic inflection."

Again, I think the whole Hussite era is better understood from within the perspective of a possible Cyrillo-Methodian connection.

But I don't know . . .

Alex

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