Monday, October 10, 2011

Communion Protocol

Writing in the weekly bulletin for the Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes instructs the reader on the changes that are due regarding the reception of Holy Communion under both species. Here's an excerpt:
In the last couple of decades, Communion under both species (with the congregation able to receive the Precious Blood as well as the Sacred Host) has become routine in our experience. I knew (as many of you do) that Communion under both species was first introduced, on a limited basis, after the Second Vatican Council, and that it has become much more common since. What I did not know was that the widespread American practice of offering both species at most Sunday Masses began here under an indult (special permission) given by the Vatican in 1975, which expired in 2005.

Almost no one realized that until very recently. Maybe we can be forgiven for forgetting that we were operating under a temporary indult. After thirty years, something can seem pretty permanent. But it wasn‟t. The bishops of our country did apply for an extension of the 1975 indult, but that was denied.

So for about six years now, parishes that have been offering the Precious Blood on regular basis on Sundays and weekdays (which is probably most parishes in the US) have been doing so despite the expiration of the indult and the denial for an extension. One can only hope that, as this garners more attention, bishops across the nation will follow Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison and demand that their priests follow the proper instruction on this matter.

Addendum: Bishop Morlino offered some clarification in this letter.

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