Why Catholics Receive Bread (Host) and Red Wine On Good Friday

Why Catholics Receive Bread (Host) and Red Wine On Good Friday

Why Catholics Receive Bread (Host) and Red Wine On Good Friday

Q: On this most recent Good Friday, at my parish, Communion was offered, at the evening service, under both forms (i.e. the Host and Precious Blood). I am new to the parish, and this surprised me. When I asked the pastor, he said it was a long tradition at the parish to save the precious blood from the night before and receive it on Good Friday. He told me, of all days, Good Friday, when Christ shed his blood, was the most fitting day to receive the Precious Blood. Is this practice allowed?

A: No, it is completely irregular to have done this.

Not only is the practice itself wrong, but the sacramental theology to justify it is erroneous. The doctrine of the Church teaches that under either species alone, the whole and complete Christ, and the true sacrament is received. To suggest, therefore, as it seems the Pastor does, that the Precious Blood is somehow not received, or less perfectly received, when only the Sacred Host is consumed, is a flawed notion.

Further, since no Mass is celebrated on Good Friday, the practice you describe requires that the precious blood be reserved overnight. But the norms currently in force forbid the reservation of the Precious Blood after the celebration of Mass, stating: The consecrated wine, on the contrary, should be consumed immediately after communion and may not licitly be reserved. (Inaestimabile donum, n. 14; GIRM 163, 182, 247, 249; Redemptionis Sacramentum,  n.,107).

Canon Law (# 925) does state that, in the case of necessity, it is permitted to give Communion under the species of wine alone to a sick person. In this case, the Precious Blood may be reserved briefly in a properly sealed vessel in the tabernacle after Mass. However, it should not be considered an ordinary occurrence.

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