One of the "victims" of pandemic restrictions was receiving the Eucharist under both species. Things might be changing.
Some Catholic parishes in the United States have begun a practice that was halted early in the COVID-19 pandemic: distributing Communion under both species.
Parishioners in several churches in the Archdiocese of Denver are now able to receive not only the Communion Host but also drink from a common chalice, an archdiocesan spokesman confirmed to Aleteia.
“In the Archdiocese of Denver, all archdiocese-wide pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted, and so every pastor is directed, as always, to make local level decisions which are prudent in caring for his parish community,” said Mark Haas, director of media and public relations for the archdiocese. “More simply put, each pastor is free to once again distribute Communion in both Species, but he doesn’t have to. I know some parishes have resumed, while others have not.”
When the pandemic began making headlines in early 2020, churches set rules for behavior that was meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus. There was precedent for this, in isolated times and places, when the seasonal flu was more virulent than usual.
Thus, parishioners were asked to refrain from actions that put them in touch with or in close proximity with one another, such as shaking hands or standing close by other worshipers, or would assist the spread of the virus through the air, such as singing, or through saliva. The last category led to a requirement that holy Communion be received on the hand – and the prohibition that communicants share a common cup.
Haas said in an email that over the last several months he has heard from a “handful of people either wanting the return of the distribution of the Blood of Christ in their parish, or concerned if it has returned.”
A Eucharistic conversation
Meanwhile, a pastor in the Midwest, who oversees a large Catholic campus ministry, has tried to begin a conversation possibilities to get people thinking about life in a post-pandemic Church.
“After 2 years of Holy Communion with just one species, what are the compelling reasons for bringing back Holy Communion under both species?” Dominican Fr. Patrick Hyde, the pastor and director of Campus Ministry at St. Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University, asked on Twitter this past week.