Q: I was at a conference recently where communion was distributed under both kinds. However, at the time of the Preparation of the Gifts, only the hosts were carried up in procession. The wine was pre-poured into the chalices before Mass. Would you be able to comment on that practice?
A: We don’t have clear guidelines on this, so I’ll comment more from the perspective of theologically symbolic preferences.
Both the bread and the wine represent gifts of the community – not just gifts from the community, but in some ways images of the community itself. It develops the sense of offering if all the bread and all the wine are carried up the aisle in procession and received at the sanctuary. However, it is permissible to carry the gifts up from the credence table.
At times, the number of chalices for communion under both kinds is quite large, and the pouring of them during the preparation of the gifts is judged to take too much time. Sometimes a deacon unfamiliar with pouring so many chalices will feel uncomfortable under the glare of lights and on full view of the assembly. Mistakes can be made. Time may be lost. The liturgy may become unbalanced.
I think that the best solution is to carry flagons of wine in procession together with the bread, and to have more than one minister pour the wine into chalices at the altar.