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Lorraine wrote:

Hi, guys —

A new convert to the faith asked me why the Minister of Holy Communion says:

The Body of Christ. or The Blood of Christ.

instead of

The Body and Blood of Christ.

to those receiving Holy Communion.

  • Since we believe Jesus is truly present: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in both species,
    is there a specific reason that the Church has decided to stay with these words in the liturgy, as we have them today?

I really appreciate your website. It has helped me so much in answering questions from Catholics and non-Catholics that I meet.

Thank you for all you do!

Lorraine

  { Why doesn't the Church distribute Communion to the faithful saying, the Body and Blood of Christ? }

John replied:

Hi, Lorraine —

Thanks for your question.

I don't know whether this is the official answer but the Lord Himself said, This is My Body.
after He broke and blessed the Bread, and likewise said, This is the Cup of My Blood so while we believe Jesus is present under both species, the Church says Body of Christ when distributing the consecrated Hosts and likewise — the Blood of Christ when offering the cup with the Precious Blood to the recipient.

John

Paul replied:

Hi, Lorraine —

What John stated was important. In the sacraments, Jesus provides the Church with the proper form (how to perform the sacrament including the proper wording) and the matter (the 'stuff' that must be used). The Church follows what Jesus said, did, and used at His Last Supper when He instituted the Eucharist.

While you are correct that Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity are fully present in either species and that no more grace is objectively offered by receiving Him under both species, it is more symbolically significant to receive Him under both species, as did the Apostles.

Paul

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