Roman Catholic Church & intinction

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Kevin, Oct 25, 2011.

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  1. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    In an other thread someone posted the comment that the Church of Rome practiced intinction historically. I know that the cup was withheld from the laity, but I had never heard of the practice of intinction within the RCC.

    I know of many examples of it in many parts of the church at many points of history, but the claim that Rome practiced it was new to me.

    So does anyone know of a citation or a reference to the practice of intinction by Roman Catholic Churches?

  2. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    OK, so no one has a citation. Has anyone ever hear of this theory before?

    I had never heard this theory until it was posted here. So, has anyone ever heard of this theory?
  3. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    I know from my best friend from high school (who is eastern orthodox) that the EO church practices intinction. I know that the congregants have to kneel before the priest and they get the wine soaked bread served on a spoon from a vat or something like that.
  4. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    intinction: Definition from This is the most detailed account historically speaking I found within 5 minutes of a google search. Seems it became pretty big in the early 20th Century in Roman Catholicism but also Eastern Orthodoxy. Though I believe it was practiced prior to this (though perhaps not among laymen).
  5. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    I also did a google search and according to Redemptionis Sacramentum intinction may be practiced as long as the lay person does not do the dipping. It is regulated by paragraphs 103 and 104 in case someone cares to read it for themselves
  6. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    It was news to me in the last several years to hear Presbyterians actually practiced intinction. This seems to me to be a late development but I would be interested in knowing if anyone can put a time frame to when and how it came into practice and whether any revisions to directories for worship have been made to allow for it?
  7. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I know in the mainline PC(USA) intinction came to the fore in the more liberal churches in the 70's as a sign of ecumenicisity and worked its way into fairly run-of-the-mill church in the late 80's. I can remember doing intinction when i was at church camp in 1987.

    As far as Confessionally Reformed churches you'd have to ask someone else.
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    There was a PCA overture to prevent the practice in 2010, which practice, apparently, being a novel invention to biblical presbyterianism.

    The reasoning infers this historically but does not detail it.

    It's interesting the reasoning details both constitutional (Book of Church Order) and biblical support for it not being acceptable practice.

    One does wonder whether the practice was ever based on biblical precept, or merely the imagined convenience of administration.
  9. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    Probably for convenience of administration .... just as the tray with little cups was based on imagined convenience of administration and not on biblical precept.
  10. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Like BWP mentioned, I know the PCUSA had intinction in the late 1980's, because coming from the SBC, I was struggling to figure out exactly "What are they doing up there?"
  11. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I strongly suspect the practice's origins in the PCUSA does not rest in any argument from practicality or convenience, but it was probably introduced because it was thought liturgically "cool."
  12. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    For some the "coolness" factor may have been involved. But I have used it not for its "coolness" but because of the convenience and efficiency of administration. I used it in a field setting in the Army where there were many people, little time, and no trays with little cups.
  13. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I performed the same Google Search as others and saw the instructions for the Eucharistic service that others saw.

    I grew up Roman Catholic and it is interesting to recall my own memories. It was extremely rare when I was a child to actually receive the wine. Once a year, when we did receive wine, it was by intinction. It was not until years later that it became commonplace in Roman Catholic Churches to receive the wine in a separate cup.

    I'd be interested to see some historical analysis on this but I think the practice of intinction was probably much more widespread prior to Vatican II and that one would find nearly no practice of using a cup in the regular service prior to this point. It was also much more common to use the trays that caught little crumbs that might have fallen from each host as well as the fact that the priest would place the host into each individual mouth.

    The reason for this is quite simple. When the priest performs the sacrament of the Mass, he calls Christ down to the altar and the host becomes the literal body and blood of Christ. Christ's body is in the crumbs that fall and his blood in every drop that is spilled. If you've ever witnessed a Mass, one of the practices that is still carefully performed is that all the crumbs are swept into a chalice and the priest rinses it with holy water and drinks it. Also, the wine is not disposed.

    In other words, there used to be far greater care in the handling of the host to prevent lay people from spilling Christ's blood or even having crumbs fall on the floor where mice could eat the crumbs and Jesus would be in a rat's stomach. I suspect that the Church set up special times for the use of actual wine for the lay people and the way to ensure Christ's blood would not be spilled was intinction.

    I don't have time to research all of this to give documents but my own catechetical training as a child has put some of the above together. I also know that my brothers, who serve communion (another post Vatican II introduction) are trained to make sure the host actually goes into the mouth and that it is not carried outside the Church. This idolatrous belief has some really odd consequences that follow from GNC.
  14. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    That's my understanding, having grown up in Roman Catholicism as well Rich.
  15. Stargazer65

    Stargazer65 Puritan Board Freshman

    Growing up in the RCC during the early 70s we had intinction on special occasions. The rest of the time it was dry, and no cup at all. I assumed it had been that way for a long time. Somewhere around the 80s we started having the cup separate.

    When I was an altar boy there was a lot of pressure to catch the wafer on the metal tray we held, should somebody inadvertantly drop it. I was proud when I caught one, but I remember when one bounced and rolled off the tray onto the ground. I felt like I fumbled the winning touchdown pass. At the time I felt really bad and wondered if it was a serious sin. Years later I recall realizing that the sin was in my idolatry, not in my clumsiness.
  16. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I was speaking of the practice as far as it coming into the liberal and apostate PCUSA. Why it is practiced in the PCA and other conservative denominations I don't know considering how clearly the practice is unscriptural and contrary to the standards we say we uphold.
  17. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Here's what I received from a Church Historian when I posed the question to him:
  18. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    :judge: The thread is specifically asking what the RCC history of intinction is. This thread needs to stay on topic.
  19. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    That's also my understanding, having been a Roman Catholic at one time as well as Rich and Andrew. Just to note intinction as far as I know was not practiced in the RCC it was only in the Russian Rite churches. Before Vatican II I received only the bread wafer. Then in recent years the bread was taken in the hand by the person and the cup was offered to be drunk from. I prefer the small cups or intrinction and not the current RC practice which I think is unsanitary. The person holding the cup cleans the rim after each person sips. At least that was the way until I left the catholic church in 2006. Some catholic churches still deny the wine to the laity.
  20. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    Intinction is illicit under the rubrics of the Tridentine Mass. For a period of time, prior to the Reformation, The Church of Rome in Bohemia [reforms in the wake of Huss] offered the cup to the laity. Some think this was done via intinction. In Anglicanism it seems to be a novelty introduced by the tractarians.

    ---------- Post added at 06:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:49 AM ----------

    A related question is what is the history of individual cups rather then the common cup?
  21. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    According to an article in a 1906 edition of Lutheran Quarterly,

    We find that the use of individual cups, in modern times, was first suggested by Mr. A. Van Derwerken, of Brooklyn, N. Y., in the year 1882. In 1887 he wrote an article advocating the use of individual cups in the communion service; but being opposed by his pastor, he did not publish the article until a year later, when it appeared in the Annals of Hygiene, of Philadelphia. One year passed ere any one braved the idea of putting Mr. Van Derwerken's suggestion into practical use. In November, 1893, the Psi Upsilon fraternity, of Rochester, N.Y., celebrated the Lord's Supper with individual cups. The news spread like wild-fire; like a river gathering new volume as it goes to sea, so this question has gathered new volume as it wends its way into the sympathies of Christian hearts.​
  22. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    As I said, I grew up RCC and was even an altar boy. I always thought it was weird when I was a kid and would see the Protestants and their individual mini cups. The Catholic Church I've been a part of wipe off the metal chalice and then rotate it a little so you're sharing the same "lip spot" and germs as every 8th person. Sadly, I think pragmatism caused the little cups and would not have a problem going back to a common cup but it would seem strange (gross?) to Protestants that didn't grow up with it.
  23. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Even the RC synagogue of Satan that I attended didn't have ONE cup, it had two; which is actually what I see with my congregations that do intinction. So in wanting to do one common cup it basically becomes less cups...weird.
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