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Vatican normalises communion under both species

Catholics of the Roman rite will be able to receive Communion ordinarily under both eucharistic species, according to a note published by the Holy See.

The document on Communion Under Both Species was written by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and sent to bishops. However the Vatican Press Office is yet to publish the document.

The note anticipates the imminent third edition of the Roman Missal, approved by John Paul II in April 2000.

In No. 283, the new missal "contains several dispositions that extend, only in the ambit of the Roman rite, the possibility of distributing holy Communion under the two species of bread and wine."

The Vatican note explains that it will be up to the diocesan bishop to "issue norms" on this matter, without waiting for instructions from the episcopal conference. The document does not go into details on how the Precious Blood will be distributed during Communion.

Reception of Communion under both species by the faithful has been regulated by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 242.

According to that normative, the episcopal conferences had the power to decide the extension and conditions in which bishops could allow Communion under both species, on special occasions, for the spiritual life of any community or group of faithful.

Communion under both species is common in the Orthodox Churches.



11 Mar 2002