Why Bread Only and Not Wine?

I’ve been wondering about this issue for a while now and wanted to get some (name removed by moderator)ut *(please forgive me if I don’t get all of the terms correct). *

I always SEE the priest consecrate the body first; then the blood. The priest partakes of both. He consumes the body (host), then drinks the blood (wine). However, when the people line up to receive the same, they only receive the Eucharistic Host (body). No wine, whether diluted or otherwise, is ever given to those who attend the mass.

Someone told me that decision to withhold the “blood” dates back to the Council of Trent. Still another tried to convince me that the body AND blood are contained within the Host. But if this were true, the priest would have no need to even bother with the wine because the body AND blood are already in the Host.

Therein lies my biggest confusion.

I know it can’t be “symbolic” because Catholics believe that this is the real body and blood of Jesus, so why can’t the priest share the WINE blood with everybody else? Why is it that only the priest drinks the wine, while the rest of us just consume the Host if the Host truly is the body AND BLOOD of Jesus?

We Catholics believe that the body and blood, soul and divinity are both really and fully present in each species of the Eucharist. In order to have a valid consecration, the priest must consecrate both the bread and the wine. However, since the body and blood are both present in both forms, it is not necessary to partake of both in order to make a full communion. The reason the cup is witheld from the laity in some churches (and not all–my parish allows the people to receive the cup) is for practical reasons–it would be a grave disrespect to Our Lord if we were to spill the contents of the cup.


Where do you attend Mass that the congregation does not receive in both kinds? Are you not in the United States. Although it is globally normative for the congregation to receive only in one kind, in the United States it is far mor common to receive both species.

The Priest must consecrate and consume both elements because the Lord said: “Do this in remembrance of me.” For a survey of the complex history of the practice of Communion for the laity, see this article: newadvent.org/cathen/04175a.htm

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I attend mass in Somerville, MA, sometimes in Allston, MA (same as Boston essentially). Other times, I’ll attend in my hometown of Waltham, MA. Within ALL of those churches (and several others in MA), the setup is the same. The priest eats the Host and drinks the wine. The laity only get the Host.

Hm. It’s a bad day when I don’t learn something. In my diocese this would be quite rare, although in NYC where I attend daily Mass, we receive in only one kind.

There are at least two and possibly more churches in the San Diego Diocese where communion is not offered under both species. Both are fairly conservative Novus Ordo Parishes, and no one seems to even care that communion is offered under only one species. I don’t think the vast majority of the laity receive under both species anyway, at least not in my experience. I know those that do are really into itm but it really doesn’t seem like a big thing to most people.

There is no question that we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ from BOTH species of the Eucharist – the Precious Blood and the Body of Christ.

There reason that both wine and bread are consecrated seperately during the Mass is to show the death of Jesus Christ – the Body absent of Blood…

In my memory, I am practically certain that I have read and heard that in the past, the Catholic Church has denounced as heresy the belief where people separate the Blood of Christ from the Body of Christ and take Holy Communion in BOTH SPECIES PRECISESELY BECAUSE THEY THINK THAT ONE SPECIES ALONE IS NOT SUFFICIENT. This heresy I think I learned while talking to people at the eastern subforum of Catholic Answers.

The following statement I am sure- because I have heard this statement even from Mother Angelica’s program in the past.
(1) You cannot divide and separate the Body of Christ from the Blood of Christ. When you eat the Body of Christ, you have also received the Blood of Christ - even though you did not drink the Consecrated Wine. That’s why in the past, Catholic Churches were giving Holy Communion to Catholics only in the form of Consecrated Bread.

I think that the Catholic Church distributing Holy Communion in the form of Consecrated Wine — is only openning the door to people receiving Holy Communion IN HERESY and IN SACRILAGE.



But if your reason for receiving Holy Communion in both species is because you believe that by receiving Holy Communion in the form of Consecrated Bread alone you are not receiving the Blood of Christ — THAT IS HERESY!!!

The name of the heresy is ultraquist. And yes, the reason the Church started to withold the cup was to help get the heretical idea out of people’s heads.

one reason why a given parish may not be offering both the consecrated bread and wine to all parishioners is that they only have one priest, perhaps one deacon, and prefer not to use extraordinary ministers of holy communion because they are adhering more closely to the GIRM than most American parishes and interpret “extraordinary” in a strict construction. This conscientious priest of course has the option to administer by intinction but has chosen not to in his best judgement.

far more useful for purposes of discussion on this forum is an actual citation and source of such a statement, especially one with inflammatory overtones like accusations of heresy.

"CANON III.-If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema. " (Trent, session 13)

Is this what you have in mind?

To oversimplify this as I understand the issue, and I do not assert any competence as a liturgical historian . . .

By the time of Trent, the Catholic Church was no longer customarily distributing Holy Communion in the species of the Precious Blood to the lay faithful. Those more familiar with liturgical history could address the dates and reasons though.

Certain of the “Reformers” had asserted that this was insufficient and used it as a point of condemnation of the Church. Trent responded by the above canon.

This brings to mind a couple questions:

Why would one receive both?

How does John 6:53-58 affect our discussion? I will post it here:

53So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”

Mostly I intend to ask if the actual action of partaking of both is the command, though both are present in each part of it.


Puzzle Annie, thanks to Cameron and Axolot. Though I only heard this from some catholic discussing I think in the Eastern Church subforum, even with little knowledge, with God’s help, our discussion can go somewhere. It is amazing, how this little box of a computer, prophecied centuries ago in Napoleon Bonaparte’s time by Blessed Maria Taigi, a little GOOGLE, with a few keywords supplied by Cameron and Axolot can immediately lead to so much information.

I do not know much about this LINKING RULES. But paying attention to the QUOTE MARKS " ", just GOOGLE the following:

ultraquist heresy

ultraquist heresy wenzlick

trent “session 13” “canon 3”

Indeed, this discussion is very serious. the past, I’ve just learned from the wenzlick article that this has led to such things as riots, the 1419-1434 war, the death of Vaclay IV as a result of his rage during the riot, I think the death of 1/3 Bohemia’s or Czechoslovakia’s population.

Just out of curiosity, Eurasian, you weren’t implying that I was speaking heresy with my post were you?


I realize the thread has not been active for a few days, but I have been perturbed (and uncharitable to people whom I love and who love me) by the fact that this is yet unresolved for me.

What I have found on New Advent is that the apostles (through whom we inherit Tradition, as I understand it) understood Jesus to be speaking to them on that occasion as it regards the partaking of the body and the blood. About halfway through part (2) of section I, this matter is addressed, beginning with “Of doctrinal points…” (It’s really long to post here, in my opinion).

St. Thomas Aquinas also addresses the issue. Another valuable read, it can be found in the Summa. This merely put it in terms that made sense to me. I don’t know that I’ve offered any new insight to the thread.

How does intinction work, exactly? Does the priest dip the Host into the Precious Blood and then place it on the tongue? Does the deacon hold the chalice for him? Doesn’t this cause a high risk of Blood dripping from the Host onto the ground?

I know I’m a little late on this one, but let me give you my two cents:

I think that it has to do with the verse in John 6 which says that it is the spirit which gives life: the flesh profits nothing. Flesh without spirit is dead. Now, when’s the last time you saw blood outside the body which was still alive? The symbolism is all wrong! We partake of Christ’s blood because by It we are saved, but we don’t partake of dead blood, we partake of living blood. Not if the consecration of the blood happened first, that would seem to indicate that the blood is outside the body and thus is dead. That wouldn’t hold with the meaning at all.

Of course, my reflections are irrelevant. The real reason it is done is that Jesus did it that way. I’m just speculating about why Jesus did it that way.

About receiving only the body, the reason is twofold: 1) it avoids spilling the blood (which I ahve seen happen all the time when people receive out of the chalice!), of course this could be accomplished with intinction as well, and 2) there was a heresy which said that one doesn’t receive the full Christ unless he receives both. This heresy was combatted by mandating that everyone only receive one.

The practice of the laity receiving the blood was never fully supressed. Certain saints have received permission and in certain areas the blood was received via a gold straw which worked on suction. Actually that’s also how the Pope used to receive it when he wasn’t celebrating. The whole problem is: how do you keep a liquid from spilling? The Anglicans try hold on the chalice instead of giving it to the communicant, the Easterners intinct, we just ignore the problem, for the most part, or only have it under one kind.

And in all the years I rec. as an Anglican, KNEELING AT A RAIL, mind you, never once did I see the chalice tip. The chalister (usually a layman or woman) extended it to you, holding it by the stem, you took the base in your fingertips, you both moved it to your lips, you drank, he pulled it away, and Bob’s your uncle. Our EMHCs could learn something from this.

Still another tried to convince me that the body AND blood are contained within the Host. But if this were true, the priest would have no need to even bother with the wine because the body AND blood are already in the Host.

Not exactly. The priest receives both because he is acting on Christ’s orders to do so. The communicant in the parish receives one because he is acting merely on Christ’s injunction that ‘whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood’ will have eternal life. Since the flesh and blood are contained in each species, they only need to receive one.

What about 1 Cor 11:27?

27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. 12

By eating the bread you profane the body and blood of the Lord. By drinking the cup you profane the body and blood of the Lord. Hence, the body and blood is contained under both species.