Recently, Canon Chris Thomas, the General Secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, was asked whether the time was right for Holy Communion from the chalice to be restored (Holy Communion under both kinds) now that many other COVID restrictions in society have been eased. This was his response on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference:
“The Bishops Conference have been asked to look into the possible resumption of the reception of Holy Communion under both kinds to the congregation. Having taken advice from Professor Jim McManus*, it was thought that it would not be prudent to resume this at the moment, but that this would be kept under review as further research becomes available. It was noted that most parishes are taking sensible options over the Sign of Peace where nods rather than shaking hands were becoming more commonplace. It was noted that clergy could decide for themselves if they wished to continue to wear face masks to distribute Holy Communion.”
* Professor Jim McManus is the Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire and Vice President of Directors of Public Health. He is also a key contributor to the Bishops’ Conference Healthcare Reference Group for the Catholic Church and worked on the Bishops’ Conference Covid guidelines for Catholics.