News from the Diocese
Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds
November 7, 2011
According to the GIRM, 283: "The Diocesan Bishop may establish norms for Holy Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which are also to be observed in churches of religious and at celebrations with small groups. The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the priest to whom, as its own shepherd, a community has been entrusted, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rite's becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or some other reason."
I. Local norms for the Diocese of Phoenix for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under both kinds
A. In the Diocese of Phoenix, Holy Communion under both kinds may be offered to all the faithful in the following instances whenever it seems appropriate to the priest to whom a given community is entrusted, provided that the conditions listed are met.
i. Solemnities, Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation
ii. The occasions listed in the ritual books
iii. Weekday Masses
B. Conditions for the use of Holy Communion under both kinds:
i. The faithful present at Mass are properly catechized and continually receive catechesis regarding the dogmatic principles on the matter laid down by the Ecumenical Council of Trent.1
ii. The ordinary ministers (i.e., priests and deacons) are able to purify all the sacred vessels either during or immediately following Dismissal of the people at the conclusion of the Mass.2
iii. There exists not even a small danger of the sacred species being profaned.3
iv. There is not such a large number of communicants that it is difficult to gauge the amount of wine for the Eucharist. There is no danger that more than a reasonable quantity of the Blood of Christ remains after distribution of Holy Communion.
v. There is an adequate number of ordinary ministers of Holy Communion for the distribution of Holy Communion.4 When this is not the case, there is an adequate number of properly deputed and trained extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.5
vi. The role of the Priest and Deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion is not obscured by an excessive use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; the bond between the ministerial priesthood and the Eucharist is clearly manifest.6
vii. There are no health concerns such as influenza or some other contagious disease that would deter the faithful from approaching the chalice.
viii. "The chalice should not be ministered to lay members of Christ's faithful where...a notable part of the people continues to prefer not to approach the chalice for various reasons, so that the sign of unity would in some sense be negated."7
C. Further Provisions
i. During those times when Holy Communion under both kinds is not distributed to the faithful, pastor and priests are permitted to make appropriate provisions to receive under the form of wine for those who are unable to receive under the form of bread for medical or health reasons, such as gluten intolerance.
II. In accord with universal norms, Holy Communion under both kinds may be offered in the following instances:
A. Those occasions specified by the specific ritual books, namely8:
i. The Easter Vigil (to the newly baptized, their godfathers, godmothers, Catholic parents and spouses, and their lay catechists
ii. Ordination (to the newly ordained deacon)
iii. Confirmation (to adults who are confirmed, their sponsors, parents, wives and husbands, and catechists)
iv. First Holy Communion (to first communicants and their families)
v. The Chrism Mass (to priests)
vi. Nuptial Mass (the Catholic spouses)
B. Those instances listed in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, namely9:
i. for Priests who are not able to celebrate or concelebrate
ii. for the Deacon and others who perform some duty at Mass, such as altar servers, lectors, and others assisting at Mass.
iii. for members of communities at their Conventual Mass or the "community" Mass
iv. for seminarians
v. for all who are on retreat or are participating in a spiritual or pastoral gathering
Promulgated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted on November 7, 2011.
- Bishop Olmsted reflects on the new norms for Holy Communion under both kinds (The Catholic Sun, Nov. 17, 2011)
- Bishop issues new norms on reception of Holy Communion (The Catholic Sun, Nov. 17, 2011)
- Holy Communion, Marriage as a Vocation, and a Saint in Waiting (The Bishop's Hour, 1310 AM Immaculate Heart Radio, Nov. 15, 2011)
1 These catechetical principals are identified in “Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America,” 25. Redemptionis Sacramentum, 100. Cf. Ecumenical Council of Trent, Session XXI, 16 July 1562.
9 GIRM 283.
Director of Communications
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 750,000 Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.