By Archbishop Michael Jackels
In preparation for Holy Communion, the priest breaks a piece of the consecrated Host and puts in the chalice, an action called commingling, and prays quietly that Holy Communion will bring eternal life to those who receive it.
Early in the history of the Church, the piece of the Host that was placed in the chalice came from the Mass celebrated by the local bishop.
It was meant to show that receiving Holy Communion not only strengthened our union with God, but also with the members of the Church. As the Church grew and spread abroad, it was no longer possible to bring a piece of the Host from the bishop’s Mass.
The practice continues, however, to signify the resurrection of Jesus: just as the separate consecration of the bread and wine signify the death of Christ on the cross, so uniting them in the chalice represents the new life of the resurrection.
The Church teaches that receiving the Eucharist is sure pledge and a clear sign of our hope to share in the resurrection of Jesus.