Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?

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Some Eastern Catholics use spoons to dispense both the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ.

In the Roman rite, Holy Communion is generally distributed first with consecrated unleavened bread, and then with consecrated wine. Very few parishes of the Roman rite practice extinction, it is then that the priest plunges the consecrated host into the consecrated wine chalice.

This practice of extinction is much more common in the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church, as well as in the Eastern Orthodox churches.

However, what is different is that many Eastern Catholics use surveybread, making the extinction a bit trickier.

In Eastern tradition, the leavened bread represents the resurrection of Jesus, and very early on they did not feel that it was necessary to directly imitate the Last Supper. (Some scholars still debate the type of bread Jesus used when he instituted the Eucharist.) They believe that the Eucharist is much more than a representation of the Last Supper and focuses on the connection to the heavenly banquet. .

With this in mind, Eastern Catholics had to find a solution to reverently distribute Holy Communion to the faithful, ensuring that the particles of the consecrated bread and the drops of the consecrated wine did not fall to the ground.

This protection of the Holy Eucharist revolves around the belief that Jesus is really there, body, blood, soul and divinity, in the guise of bread and wine.

As a result, a communion spoon was invented, facilitating the distribution of communion with reverence, ensuring that no particles or drops would reach the ground. The receiving person opens their mouth and tilts their head slightly back. The priest drops the contents of the spoon into the recipient’s mouth, without the spoon itself touching the lips, teeth or tongue.

It is a unique expression of the Eucharistic faith which continues today in many parts of the world.

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