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Pastors have discretion to offer Precious Blood at Masses starting with Corpus Christi

Return of common chalice comes two years after public Masses resumed in archdiocese

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has lifted a restriction on the use of the common Communion chalice used to distribute the Precious Blood, beginning Sunday, June 19, the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

The return of the common chalice comes more than two years after the return of public Masses in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in May of 2020. The decision to offer the Precious Blood at Masses will be at each pastor’s discretion, according to a memo from the archdiocesan Office of Sacred Worship.

Additionally, Catholics are reminded that Jesus Christ is fully present under either species of Communion — the Eucharist and Precious Blood — and are not required to receive both.

“Pastors should use this opportunity to remind the faithful that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is present (Body, Blood, soul and divinity) under either species of Communion,” according to the memo.

The decision from the archdiocese comes as pandemic restrictions in Missouri have eased over the last several months, along with “many requests from the faithful to return to the distribution of Holy Communion under both species,” the memo stated.

Several other guidelines were provided, including:

• Ministers who do not feel comfortable offering the Communion chalice should not be forced to do so;

• Volunteers who help with sacristy needs will be instructed about the importance of properly cleaning Communion chalices after they have been purified;

• Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must completely wipe the chalice after each use with a purificator, and should consider having one or more purificator(s) available for use, depending on the volume of parishioners;

• Parishes should have a sanitation procedure in place if a minister has come into contact with a person’s saliva.

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