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Bishop approves return of Precious Blood on Corpus Christi

Says attending Mass virtually via the internet will no longer fulfill our Sunday obligation

Published: June 17, 2022   
CNS photo/Soe Zeya Tun, Reuters
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor has approved the distribution of the Blood of Christ to the laity on Corpus Christi Sunday for the first time since March 2020 when COVID began. In this Catholic News Service file photo, a chalice is seen at a Catholic church in Bangkok Nov. 12, 2019, ahead of Pope Francis' visit.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will mark the beginning of the three-year Eucharistic Revival with a recorded video/audio homily played at all weekend Masses June 18-19, the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Beginning with Masses June 18, the Precious Blood can once again be distributed to the laity during Masses. With the start of the pandemic, restricting the distribution of Communion wine was a precaution to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In a letter to Catholics March 1, 2020, Bishop Taylor suggested one health precaution was “temporarily” discontinuing the distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass. When public Masses resumed May 16-17, 2020, the bishop lifted all restrictions except the distribution of Communion wine and required physical distancing and masks. When asked in November when the Precious Blood would be distributed again during Masses, Father Juan Guido, diocesan divine worship director, said it would be at least Easter.

In a letter to priests dated June 1, the bishop said, “You can resume offering the Precious Blood to your parishioners during Mass, so long as you have a sufficient number of suitably trained Communion ministers.”

The bishop said the parishes are no longer required to sanitize the hands of Eucharistic ministers or surfaces.

He also emphasized, “Attending Mass ‘virtually’ over the internet no longer fulfills the Sunday obligation of those who can attend Mass in-person.”

Bishop Taylor plans to produce a series of recorded homilies over the next year to support the effort of the Eucharistic Revival.

Father Guido, chairman of the diocese’s Eucharistic Revival Committee, said the diocesan stage of the Eucharistic Revival will conclude with the two celebrations “in which people will gather to proclaim their love for the Eucharist” June 3, 2023, in northwest Arkansas and June 10, 2023, in central Arkansas. Details of the celebrations will be announced at a later date.

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