Fernando Ceniceros, communications director for the Diocese of El Paso, told CNA that the diocese felt it was “the right time” and that the decision was made to help the faithful have “the opportunity to have Communion in full by both species.”
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, under the leadership of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, resumed Communion through the chalice on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 8.
“Cardinal DiNardo asked all parishes to resume their customary pre-pandemic practice of distributing the precious blood to the faithful at holy Communion on Epiphany Sunday,” said Dan Girardot of the archdiocese’s worship office. “While Communion under one kind is not lacking in any way theologically, there is a fullness in the outward expression of the sacred reality of the Eucharist when receiving both the body and blood of Christ.”
Father Nile Gross, director of the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ Office of Worship, announced last November that Archbishop Gregory Aymond had removed all restrictions on the distribution of Communion.
Gross added that the decision marked “an important moment in the life of the archdiocese.”
“COVID happened and continues to pose serious health threats. However, guided by prayer and the guidance of health officials, Archbishop Aymond has decided it is time to strengthen our liturgical life in this important gesture,” Gross said.
It’s important to note that many dioceses that have lifted COVID-era restrictions on the Communion chalice still leave the ultimate decision to individual pastors and parishes.
Other dioceses that have returned to the use of the Communion chalice include the Archdioceses of Seattle and Denver and the Dioceses of Youngstown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City.
When the Diocese of Colorado Springs resumed Communion with the chalice last fall, Bishop James Golka wrote that while the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of eucharistic grace,” it also says that receiving it in both forms is “more complete.”
He referred to the Catechism: “The sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly’” (No. 1390), and the third edition of the Roman Missal:
“Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.”
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The General Instruction further states that “at the same time the faithful should be instructed to participate more readily in this sacred rite, by which the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is made more fully evident” (GIRM, 281; Norms, 20).