Communion wine

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: In the parishes I had served, youth under 18 years old did not receive Holy Communion with the Blood of Christ because of the accident of the alcohol remaining in spite  the substance has changed into the Body of Christ. In the last parish I was serving the situation is treated differently. Is there a special document or policy from the USCCB that treats this matter directly? Thanks.


A: There is no universal or national age limit on receiving communion under the form of wine. If someone is eligible for communion, they are eligible for communion under both kinds. In my diocese I’ve served in a variety of parishes, including a hispanic community, and I have not experienced limited access to the Blood of Christ due to age. We have offered the chalice. 

If parents have a concern, they are in the best position to instruct their children how to receive communion. The percentage of alcohol in altar wine is usually quite low, and communicants learn to take only a sip.

Even children can learn the value of communion under both kinds as expressed in GIRM 281: “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.”