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Why the Chalice As Well?

4 Responses

  1. John E Cunha says:

    Thank you Mr. Shackleton for this explanation, it has been a matter of discussion with my friends and family on more than one occasion.

    What I would like to point as a matter of concern is that at Mass Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are often provided with both species where the rest of the congregation is only provided with one. I believe that this creates a feeling that extra-ordinary ministers are a class above the rest of the congregation. (Classism)

    Surely extraordinary ministers should receive once species as well?

  2. Rosemary Gravenor says:

    Very, very good point John

    In view of the claim that the presiding Priest is in the ‘person of Christ’ why does he first partake in the Eucharist? Jesus gave to all his friends, family and disciples – there is no record of Him ‘partaking’ either first or last!!

  3. John E Cunha says:

    I’m afraid you misunderstand me Rosemary. My question is posed at “extraordinary ministers”, not the ministers of communion themselves (priest or deacon).

    I believe there are theological reasons why the priest is required to have both species. In fact a Catholic priest, who is both my friend & spiritual director, has advised me that it is a must that a priest have both species that were consecrated at the Mass.

  4. Mark Nel says:

    John, the correct term is extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. Not extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.

    In addition to the example you give, I have also noticed in two parishes that the EMHC actually receive Holy Communion together with the priest, as if they were concelebrants. This is definitely wrong.

    This is one of the problems with EMHC. They are no longer treated as extraordinary but as ordinary. We must return to reserving the use of EMHC for only those rare situations where it really is necessary because the Mass will be prolonged for longer than is reasonable. (I don’t believe an extra 5 or 10 minutes is so significant that it requires the assistance of an EMHC.)

    In the two parishes where I have been able to observe it, the EMHC seem to have taken it for granted that they would be administering Holy Communion at every Mass because they have been designated as EMHC. So, even when the number of people at Mass did not necessitate that anyone assist the priest, the EMHC would assist. This is also clearly wrong.