Much confusion resulted from (and contributed to) last week's quick overview of a variety of Communion practices. Here's more information on Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as other reader feedback.

Roman Catholic Policy

from The Documents of Vatican II (Walter M. Abbott, S.J., general editor)

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, II.55:

Hearty endorsement is given to that closer form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest's communion, receive the Lord's body under elements consecrated at that very sacrifice.

The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent remaining intact,* communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think fit, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the laity, in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See, as, for instance, to the newly ordained in the Mass of their sacred ordination, to the newly professed in the Mass of their religious profession, and to the newly baptized in a Mass following their baptism.**

* Council of Trent, Session 21, July 16, 1562, c.1-3

Doctrine on Communion under Both Species:

CANON I.—If any one saith, that, by the precept of God, or, by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament not consecrating; let him be anathema.

CANON 11.—If any one saith, that the holy Catholic Church was not induced, by just causes and reasons, to communicate, under the species of bread only, laymen, and also clerics when not consecrating; let him be be anathema.

CANON III.—If any one denieth, that Christ whole and entire—the fountain and author of all graces—is received under the one species of bread; because that—as ...

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