The Answer to the BURNING QUESTION of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL
Here 's the Burning Question:
"Half a Eucharist?"
It is true that it can be a little disconcerting to arrive at the communion station of the Sacred Blood and find the supply exhausted. This is in no way sinful, nor is it a diminishment of the Sacrament. The doctrine of the Church and and our unshakable belief in faith state that the complete body and blood of Jesus Christ is present under the species of the Bread and of the Wine as well, separately.
Communing under the species of bread and wine therefore is the fullness of the Sacrament when celebrated during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The partaking of the Eucharist under both species is a more personally complete celebration of the Sacrament, and a fuller symbolism of Jesus' sacrifice, but not an action that is required for the complete fullness of the Sacrament.
There is no way that coming upon a station for the dispensing of the Sacred Wine could be a sinful act. Sins can only be committed when a person's act is wilfully performed and is against the Will of God. It is impossible to sin when confronted by a situation that is absolutely out of your control.
It is true that at some Masses, if not all, the amount of Wine may not be sufficient. There are reasons for this. In order to avoid spillage, the amount of liquid poured into the chalices is kept low. It is also important that there not be too much sacred blood left over since it must all be consumed at one event. It is not permitted to be stored in the Tabernacle. Most extraordinary ministers would not be aware of the supply that exists at other stations.
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