Anonymous Anthony wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If you are a Eucharistic Minister and are assigned to distribute the wine, what should you do if you don't want to receive the wine but are still willing to distribute it?
  • If you are a Eucharistic Minister distributing the wine, what should you say to each person who receives the wine?

Anthony

  { As a Eucharistic Minister, what should you do if you want to distribute the wine but not receive it? }

Eric replied:

Anthony,

There is no wine involved in the distribution of Communion. None whatsoever.

There is the Blood of Christ, and the Body of Christ. The wine ceases to exist when it is consecrated by the priest. This is an essential point of Catholic theology and anyone who administers the Eucharist needs to be very careful in what terms they use.

The term Precious Blood is also a suitable term. You can also speak of administering Communion under the form of wine.

The second point is, the official term is Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, not Eucharistic minister. I think it's a mouthful too, but that is the title of the office — them's the rules.

  1. As for your first question, I'd work this out with the pastor. If there is an official, standard protocol, I don't know what it is.
  2. As for your second question, the proper thing to say when administering the chalice is: The Blood of Christ, which goes back to my first point.

Eric

Mike replied:

Dear Anthony,

I just wanted to add to Eric's fine answer.

From Wikipedia:

When at His Last Supper Jesus said: This is My Body, what He held in His Hands had all the appearances of bread. However, the Catholic Church teaches that the underlying reality was changed in accordance with what Jesus said. That the substance of the bread was converted to that of His Body. In other words, it actually was His Body, while all the appearances (open to the senses) or to scientific investigation, were still those of bread, exactly as before.

The Church believes that the same change of the substance of the bread and of the wine occurs at every Catholic Mass throughout the world.

So while all the appearances open to the senses, (like taste, touch, smell, and looks) make the Sacred Species:

  • look like wine
  • taste like wine, and
  • smell like wine;

it is not wine, but His Precious Blood . . . actually both His Body and Blood since when you receive under one Species (either His Body or Blood), you actually receive both His Body and Blood.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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