On the Distribution of the Precious Blood

On Monday, June 5, 2023, Bishop Jaime Soto sent the following letter to the priests of the Diocese of Sacramento regarding the distribution of the Precious Blood for Holy Communion:

Dear Brothers,

On the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Sunday, June 11, 2023, pastors may resume the traditional practice of distributing the Precious Blood from the Chalice along with the Body of Christ for Holy Communion.  

Pastors should properly instruct the Faithful for the reception of Holy Communion under both species.

  • In each of the Eucharistic species, both the Consecrated Hosts and the Precious Blood, the Lord Jesus offers himself completely to the Faithful.  The Lord Jesus is present body and blood, soul and divinity under the appearance of bread and wine.
  • Receiving Holy Communion under both species is a fuller sign of participation in the Sacred Mysteries of the Lord’s death and resurrection.  This fuller sign is a response to the Lord’s command to “take and eat”, “take and drink”.
  • Members of the Faithful who have pre-existing health concerns or who have flu-like symptoms should refrain from receiving Holy Communion from the Chalice.   Those with flu-like symptoms should also remain home as a preventive measure.
  • The Faithful are encouraged to continue the practice of frequent handwashing.  Pastors are encouraged to have sanitizer available for the Faithful before and after receiving Holy Communion.
  • Ministers are encouraged to continue the practice of cleaning the vessels with soap and water following the Mass.

The Diocesan Office for Worship will monitor regional health statistics in two areas:

  • Levels of clinic visits for influenza and other pulmonary conditions.
  • Levels of new hospitalization for COVID-19.  

Should either statistic deviate from the norm, the Bishop will instruct the pastors to suspend offering the Chalice of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion.  Offering the Chalice will not resume until the normal levels have been sustained for two weeks.

As we prepare to enter the second year of the Eucharistic Revival – Real Presence, Real Life – may the return to the traditional reception of the Lord’s Precious Body and Blood provide a fuller form of the Eucharistic sign, encouraging all the Clergy and Faithful to participate actively, consciously, and reverently in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus presented to us in the Most Holy Eucharist.  

Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, may we taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


+Jaime Soto
Bishop of Sacramento