"Half a Eucharist?"

By Paul Dion, STL

In this time when communion under both species is not reserved to the priest in our Western, Latin Catholic Church, it is possible that even some fairly mature participants at the Holy Mass could sometimes ask themselves a similar question.

For this reason, we reproduce the question of the neophyte in the hopes that you will share your answer to this person with the rest of us:

"I have a question. Last Sunday I attended the 7 AM Mass. When it came time for me to receive the Blood of Christ the cup was empty. This is the 3rd time I've been denied the full Eucharist. Is my Eucharist valid or am I in sin for taking half a Eucharist? The Catechism says that the "Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life." I really want to celebrate the whole Eucharist and look forward to Mass because of it. Why can't the Extraordinary Ministers prepare an extra cup or at the very least direct us to someone else?"

What do you say? What do you think it is? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Post a comment below.

CLICK HERE to view the answers to this burning question.


  1. The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether one receives under both species or only one he/she still receives the complete body and bloodof Christ. The Precious Body and Blood symbolize the kind of death that Jesus undertook. In the Old Testament the sacrifices were killed by draining their blood. Our Lord used this symbolism to show his sacrifice, the separation of his body and blood. There is no advantage to receiving under both species, nor is there anything lacking, it does, however, bring a greater symbolic fullness in receiving under both species.

  2. I agree with the above statement... I wouldnt mind practicing intinction, but this is part of the Eastern tradition and not the Latin. If tho Flesh alone were half the Eucharist, then would that mean that receiving the Host twice in a day brings us the "full Communion"? Simple math here :-)