Concomitance

I have been asked a few times why we are not distributing the Eucharist under both species (both the precious body and blood) during communion at our liturgies. The main reason is due to logistics. We do not want to take unnecessary risks in spilling the blood of Christ. The distribution under both species is a relatively new practice which has come about since the Second Vatican Council, and generally only in the United States (It is not common practice in other countries). “Concomitance” is the theological principle which deals with this issue. Simply put, it means that Christ is indivisible; therefore, whenever his body or blood are invoked, he comes in his entirety. Whenever we have partaken of one or the other species (body or blood), we receive the same grace as if having received both. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace” (CCC 1390).

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