Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why only Bread for the faithful laity?

by c.pio
Question: Bakit po Ostia lang ang ibinibigay sa mga mananampalataya tuwing Misa at hindi kasama ang Alak (dugo ni Kristo)? Salamat po. (Why only the Eucharistic Host is given to lay faithful during Mass and the wine (Blood of Christ) is not included? Thank you) – Carlo, Quezon City

(Author’s answers was originally written in Tagalog)

Utraquism Heresy

Dominus vobiscum!

There is nothing wrong with that. Sharing only the Eucharistic Holy Host can be traced back in apostolic time; they break the bread and share it to the faithful:

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. [Acts 2:42]
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts [Acts 2:46]

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. [Acts 20:7]

But there was a period in Church history when a group of people began spreading a Heretical Teaching: The Utraquist (Hussites):  according to them, Man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes under both forms of Bread AND Wine (sub utraque specie**). They hold the view that communion sub uraque specie is obligatory "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you" [John 6:54] To receive only the Sacred Host is not "drinking" but "eating" accordingly. The bread, they said, contained only the Body of Christ and the wine only His Blood.  ** sub utraque specie - the Holy Communion should be administered "in both kinds" — as both bread and wine — to all the congregation, including the laity.

The Church founded by Christ the bulwark and pillar of Truth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit responded and rebutted these heretical Doctrines:

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.
On the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist
The Thirteenth Session

In 1Corinthians 11:27 it is clearly understood that each specie (whether bread or wine) the body and blood, soul and divinity are both really and fully present.

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.

By eating the bread/host alone unworthily according to Apostle Paul, you are guilty in both the body and blood of the Lord. By drinking the wine unworthily, still again, you are guilty in both body and blood of the Lord. Hence, 'one species' alone is not invalid or lacking efficacy.

Christ himself declared and summarized in John 6:52-58 that (bread/host) could be enough to received his flesh and blood.

52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 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 forever."

So don’t think that bread/host alone is not sufficient, because by believing so, you are denying the truth that Christ was whole and entire under each form. 

To summarize this, to opt not to give them both: first(1) to combat the Utraquist Heresy, that posses a wrong teaching that one specie is not enough for salvation and second(2) every single drop of wine is holy, in large congregation this might cause to drip which is considered as sacrilegious act. [1Corinthians 11:27]
By the way, in some occasion like wedding both bread and wine are given to the bride and the groom, some Eastern Catholic rites gave the same to the laity in small congregation. Therefore, whether both or only one specie you received… they are the entirety of Christ.

If you want to send another question, feel free.

Thank you.

If Bread alone is sufficient, why do Priests bother to include Wine during the Eucharistic Celebration or if Wine alone will suffice, why Bread is needed?

Perhaps we might under the false impression that one specie is enough in celebrating the Mass. Let us assure that this is false. It is not valid Sacrament without bread and wine. Both specie (wine and bread) are necessary as Christ during the Last Supper, because during the institution of the Holy Eucharist, Christ speak of his death... as a Sacrificial Lamb. But the key distinction is this, one specie is enough to received BOTH the flesh and the blood of Christ. [John 6:58; 1Corinthians 11:27]

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