The bishops of England and Wales announced this week that the distribution of holy Communion from the chalice during Mass will resume starting Holy Thursday.
The bishops’ announcement comes after COVID-19 transmission concerns caused a three-year hiatus in the use of the chalice to distribute Communion.
Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of the Archdiocese of Westminster explained in a letter to priests that the resumption of Communion through the chalice on Holy Thursday allows pastors a period to educate the faithful on the importance of Communion in both forms.
“The period leading up to Holy Thursday presents an opportunity for appropriate catechesis of the faithful regarding the significance of the reception of holy Communion under either or both species,” Sherrington wrote.
“Important teaching, such as the totality of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Lord is received in either or both species, the personal disposition of those receiving holy Communion, and the reverence offered to the Blessed Sacrament should be included,” he wrote.
The bishops’ announcement has been met with enthusiasm.
“I understood and supported the temporary withdrawal of the chalice on health grounds, but it still felt like a loss,” said Father Philip Dyer-Perry, a parish priest at the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Staines. “There is so much richness in understanding the Eucharist not only as food but also as drink.”