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Directive regarding Holy Communion from Bishop Libasci
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
Holy Communion is to be distributed only under the form of the Consecrated Host
The Diocese of Manchester’s Office of Worship under the direction of Bishop Libasci has issued the fol- lowing directive effective on the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states with regards to "Holy Communion under Both Kinds", that "whenever the opportunity for instruction is present, the faithful should be properly catechized ... "(25). We all know that the flu and cold season raises all sorts of questions with regards to the transmission of germs when the faithful receive the Precious Blood from a chalice. I feel that it is most timely to address these concerns now.
There are two issues, as I approach this:
1. Health (the possible spread of contagion vis-a-vis the approach to the Sacred with an attitude of heroic faith. "Because it is Precious Blood, in Faith, I won't get sick or
transmit sickness to another.")
2. The doctrine of concomitance (one never is denied reception of the Precious Blood when one receives Holy Communion under the appearance of Bread since the Body and Blood of Christ are both fully pre- sent as one under either Form) vis-a-vis the admonition that receiving Holy Communion under BOTH forms is a "fuller sign".
These two discussions rest on both Faith and Reason and, as in most theological discussions, opinions can be strongly held on several levels.
It is my contention that our belief in the concomitant Presence of Body and Blood must be reiterated in these days. Our people need to know what we believe and hold as truth and, in this matter, the truth is greater than the "fuller sign". Therefore to receive under ONE Form is a true reflection of our true doctrine.
Traditionally the one form to be received is the form of Consecrated Bread, not the Precious Blood un- der the appearance of wine, though for one whose manner of obtaining nutrition is by liquid administered through a feeding tube, this stands to perfect reason and is acceptable.
For the seasons beginning with the First Sunday of Advent and, in fact, until Holy Thursday, Holy Com- munion is to be distributed only under the form of the Consecrated Host (except as noted for the special feeding need).
Prior to Holy Thursday a renewed catechesis on the practice of Holy Communion under Both Kinds will be made available under the direction of Bishop Libasci from the Diocesan Office for Worship.
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