Blood of Christ
In your issue of May 6, your correspondent Gerald B. Lyons says that "there is no general cal. :tom the laity for Communion under both kinds". I ask him how could there be when they know so little about it?
What instruction is there ever given to the laity on this subject? Not only are we denied the Eucharist under both kinds but we are also deprived of the teaching which should accompany it.
Both Mr Lyons and also Mr H. Jones, in the same issue, state that Fr Hastings' action is against the teaching of the Church. Neither he nor anyone else supporting him is denying the Catholic Eucharistic doctrine in any of as aspects.
Indeed it is their firm belief which impels them to advocate in the strongest terms available to them the giving of Holy Communion to the laity in its fullest and most symbolic fUFM.
Looking across from a striferidden country, it seems to me that it is your correspondents who are ignorant of the Church's teaching. The giving of Communion to the laity under both kinds was authorised by the Second Vatican Council and I could quote from various subsequent official documents, but just one is'sufficient to illustrate why it Is important for the laity to receive in this way. Here is the one:
"Holy Communion is more symbolic when it is received under both species. For thereby the signification of the Eucharistic meal is more perfectly manifested, voluntary acquiescence to the new and eternal testament in the Blood of the Lord is more clearly expressed, as also the relationship between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father". (Clause 240, General Instruction on the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969.) This General Instruction is a document which should be read and studied in its entirety by both clergy and laity. If Mr Jones — a teacher! — had done so he might have spared himself the embarrassment likely to arise from the final paragraph of his letter.
If the people .of my own country were given the Eucharist in its fullest form, under both species, more often than once a day when required, and normally with Species consecrated in the Mass attended (all of which can he supported from official Church documents) together with the doctrine in all its detail which the Holy See so ardently desires, we mignt yet become to the rest of the world an example of Christian living and practical faith. John Kirby Cork.
' On reading the letters on the receiving of the Blood of Christ — which, by the way, I agree with — 1 feel that H. Jones (May 6) was a little pompous (although he or she receives the chalice). I don't think Fr Hastings (April 22) said anything condemning anybody for receiving just thc Body of Christ. As to his knowing better than the Church of Christ, well, we are the Church of Christ, the people, and there is only one person we should be listening to and that is Christ himself. If we are prepared to make our own rules and regulations we cannot be called Catholics — or, for a better word, Christians.
For the comment "pathetic old man", we should not judge anybody for what they believe in. We should pray that Our Lord will direct them on the right path and that Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr Hastings, or anyone else, listens to him alone. (Mrs) Merle Sutcliffe Bradford, West Yorkshire.