Blood and Body


Why we haven’t had the Precious Blood at the Church of the Incarnation

All articles published within this section of The Cor Chronicle are the opinions of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Cor Chronicle

A couple weeks ago while visiting a friend, I had the blessing of attending Mass at St. Mary’s at Texas A&M. It was a beautiful experience filled with praise and worship and beautiful art surrounding the church. But what captured me most was the fact that, after years, I was able to once again receive the Precious Blood of Christ at Mass. This set in me the desire to receive the Precious Blood more often and to figure out why we don’t have it at UD.

The Precious Blood has its unique meaning in our Catholic doctrine. There is a reason why the Lord consecrated both species at the Last Supper and why we reference John 19:34: “blood and water gushed forth from Jesus’ heart.” The Precious Blood reminds us of Christ’s hypostatic nature as fully divine and fully human, and is one of the most poignant, physical reminders we have of Christ’s sacrifice.

“On the Cross, the total emptying of Christ physically of His Blood, reminds us that He truly gave His all for our salvation,” said Karen Bless, cam- pus minister and assistant to the chaplain.

“At the Sacrifice of the Mass, when we commemorate this total gift of Christ, the Eucharist is consecrated under both the species of bread (which becomes His Body) and of wine (His Precious Blood) to remind us of that total separation of His Body and His Blood, that emp- tying of Himself on the Cross. This is why the Mass cannot be celebrated without the consecration of both species, and why the celebrant of the Mass must receive communion under both kinds.”

The separation of Christ’s Blood from His Body was the moment where the debt of man’s sin was paid and where He entered Hell to conquer Satan.

In 2020, when the world was rocked by COVID-19, we stopped seeing lay reception of the Precious Blood at Mass. Because it was a health concern, when Catholic churches started to reopen they only had the Body of Christ.

However, like I saw when visiting A&M, there are churches who have since brought the Precious Blood back. So why hasn’t UD?

Bless explained that while initially the Precious Blood could no longer be received at Church of the In- carnation as a COVID precaution, there are other reasons of which our community may not be aware.

“One of the reasons for not continuing the practice of the distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass on campus is simply the lack of extraordinary ministers who would be able to help in this regard,” said Bless. “This is a very hard ministry to find volunteers for. We already have trouble getting enough ministers to distribute communion that adding more communion stations just wasn’t feasible.”

Furthermore, “Adding more communion stations adds the risk of more accidents that can happen with the Eucharist (dropping the host, spilling the Precious Blood),” said Bless. Since we absolutely do not want the Precious Blood to be spilled, these practical challenges have been the main causes of the absence of the Precious Blood.

Given these obstacles, it seems unlikely that we will have the Precious Blood back at the Church of the Incarnation any time soon. But I want to provide encouragement to anyone who has been missing the Precious Blood, as I have.

Firstly, on a lighter note, one of the glaring issues that came up when interviewing campus ministry was that we need more extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. When asked what students can do to help bring back the Precious Blood, Bless responded that “a good start would be to get more students to volunteer and be trained as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.”

As someone who is a Eucharistic minister, I want to tell you that it is a true gift. To be the one to give Christ to people and watch them change as they receive Him is an experience you cannot even imagine. So if you feel the call and if you are willing, please get trained (it does not take much) and become a Eucharistic minister!

While I absolutely miss having both species at Mass, I encourage people to remember that we possess the fullness of the presence and gift of the Lord in receiving only the Host. “In the Real Presence, we know that Christ, the WHOLE Christ, is contained in every particle of the host and every drop of the Precious Blood. So whether we receive under one or both species, we still receive Our Lord, whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity,” said Bless.

As concerns the purpose of receiving Communion, we are not lacking anything, but still receiving Christ into ourselves so that we might be transformed more completely into His likeness.


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