Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Some have commented that they thought "intinction" was no longer lawful in the Latin Rite. What is unlawful is for the communicant to take the host in their hand and dip it into the Precious Blood themselves. However it is perfectly lawful minister of Holy communion to intinct the Host for the communicant and the General Instruction of the Revised English and Latin Roman Missal makes it quite clear that it is:


284. When Communion is distributed under both kinds,

a. The chalice is usually administered by a deacon or, when no deacon is present, by a
priest, or even by a duly instituted acolyte or another extraordinary minister of Holy
Communion, or by a member of the faithful who in case of necessity has been
entrusted with this duty for a single occasion;

b. Whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ is consumed at the altar by the priest or
the deacon or the duly instituted acolyte who ministered the chalice. The same then
purifies, wipes, and arranges the sacred vessels in the usual way.
Any of the faithful who wish to receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone
should be granted their wish.

285. For Communion under both kinds the following should be prepared:

a. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by communicants’ drinking directly from
the chalice, a chalice of a sufficiently large size or several chalices are prepared. Care
should, however, be taken in planning lest beyond what is needed of the Blood of
Christ remains to be consumed at the end of the celebration.

b. If Communion is carried out by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too
small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being dipped partly into the
Blood of Christ they can still easily be distributed to each communicant.

286. If Communion of the Blood of Christ is carried out by communicants’ drinking from the
chalice, each communicant, after receiving the Body of Christ, moves and stands facing the
minister of the chalice. The minister says, Sanguis Christi (The Blood of Christ), the
communicant responds, Amen, and the minister hands over the chalice, which the communicant
raises to his or her mouth. Each communicant drinks a little from the chalice, hands it back to the
minister, and then withdraws; the minister wipes the rim of the chalice with the purificator.

287. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a
communion-plate under the chin, approaches the priest, who holds a vessel with the sacred
particles, a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The priest takes a host, dips it
partly into the chalice and, showing it, says, Corpus et Sanguis Christi (The Body and Blood of
Christ). The communicant responds, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the priest,
and then withdraws.


Templar said...

Slightly off topic, but I much prefer to receive Communion in the EF Mass when the Priest states: "May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.”

It just seems so much more "special" to me than the Priest saying "Body of Christ", as if such a gift can be adequately presented with such a spartan statement.

Anonymous 5 said...


Continuing your digression: That is probably exactly why it was simplified into the more pedestrian version. Make the churches and the liturgy ugly and it helps you drive people away.

"The Body of Chist" also has an additional (dis)advantage in that it might refer not to the Host but instead to Christ being spiritually/generically present in the "gathering" (let's not call it a Mass, that's too Catholic and not ecumenical). By all means let's downplay the real Presence.

"The Body of Christ" is also a lot faster, so as to keep that standing communion line moving as quickly as possible towards the golf course. I mean, going to Mass (excuse me, church) is good and everything, but let's not get carried away with it. God loves us and wants us to spend time on the golf course on our day off.

Gene W. (formerly Pin) said...

Anon 5, I never thought about that (Body of Christ stuff), but you are probably correct. How many times have we seen Priests hurriedly repeating "Body of Christ, Body of Christ," like some Sacramental parrot.
However, your comment about the possibility that it refers to some generically "present" Christ is theologically much more insidious.

John Nolan said...

The 'Corpus Christi' formula was introduced in 1965, a good ten years before Communion standing and in the hand was authorized. It was part of a general abbreviation and not necessarily meant to downplay the Real Presence. Cranmer's formula in the BCP was a lot longer: "The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving."

The first sentence is doctrinally Catholic; the second suggests a protestant understanding of the Sacrament. Bugnini's expressed intention was to remove from the liturgy those prayers which might alienate protestants, rather than add anything with a protestant slant. So we might well lament the ommissions in the NO, and regard it as deficient (in the strict sense of the word) therefore preferring the EF; but we can attend it with a clear conscience, just as the Holy Father celebrates it every day with a clear conscience.

ytc said...

I think intinction should be the only legal way to distribute the Sacred Blood. The chalice takes too long, is inconsistent with Roman tradition, and I can't imagine how much backwash there is in there at the end of Communion.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. While I am very glad we have a priest who comes to us out here in the boondocks, he is not the staunch defender of the Eucharist I would expect. We have some parishoners who walk off with a consecrated host in their hand so they may "dip" it into the chalice containing the Blood of Christ. Is this one of those big-deal liturgical issues which should be brought to the priest's attention?

Marie R.

Joseph Johnson said...

My first experience with intinction was when the late great Msgr. Daniel J. Bourke (1909-1998, ordained a priest 1934) was our parochial administrator in the mid-1970's. I served Mass for him many times and his ways still influence the way I look at things today. He was one of those older priests who, at that time, still adhered to the older practices regarding finger position after Consecration and the purifying of those fingers over the Chalice after Communion.

At that time, we still only had Communion on the tongue (though standing) but Msgr. Bourke brought the special combination hand paten/cup and introduced us to intinction. I think this makes a lot of sense for having Communion under both forms and removes a lot of the justification for EHMC'S (for the cup) if this is done. It also, obviously, does away with Communion in the hand.

Carol H. said...


Yes, it is a big deal. That "self-dipping" is referred to as self intinction, and that practice is strictly forbidden. (It is also the reason why some Catholics thought that all intinction is forbidden).

rcg said...

I remember that self intinction issue coming up once in a military parish. Apparently this was common in some Hispanic parishes. The Chaplin set that straight and was pretty fired up about it.


Denise said...

I am grateful for the ability to receive the the Precious Blood without intinction as I have two daughters with celiac disease. They would not be able to receive Communion at all.