In the United States, the recent observance of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ marked also the beginning of a three-year Eucharistic Revival under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops note on the official website for the revival that
“our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith—his Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist . . . . We launch our national response to the Lord’s call with widespread eucharistic processions and adoration on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.”
The website explains that the
“first year of the Revival invites diocesan staff, bishops, and priests to respond to the Lord’s personal invitation and equips them to share this love with the faithful through eucharistic congresses and events.”
Beginning in June 2023,
“the second phase will foster Eucharistic devotion at the parish level, strengthening our liturgical life through faithful celebration of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, missions, resources, preaching, and organic movements of the Holy Spirit.”
The revival will feature a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in June 2024, where the bishops envision “more than 80,000 Catholics of all ages will gather in Indianapolis to reconsecrate their hearts to the source and summit of our faith.” In the third phase, after the congress and running through Pentecost 2025, “the Holy Spirit will send us out on mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord.”
According to a podcast by Bishop Andrew Cozzens [Crookston, MN] who is spearheading the revival, although there was already some talk in 2019 of planning a revival, the release of a Pew survey in summer of that year catalyzed events. The survey (which has been challenged) found that only 30% of Catholics accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation; hence the emphasis on returning to the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. In his podcast, Bishop Cozzens also mentioned confusion on the part of some Catholics about the nature of the Mass as a sacrifice. He rightly pointed out that the self-offering of those in the assembly is joined to the one sacrifice of Christ on the altar.
Yet I could find no reference on the website or in his podcast to the importance of partaking in the same sacrifice by avoiding recourse to the tabernacle for distribution of Communion at Mass. Nor was there reference to the symbolic fullness of receiving both the Body and the Blood of Christ at Mass, with the latter understandably suspended in places for the time being because of the COVID pandemic. The website mentions processions and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament but not practices in / of the Mass itself. In the podcast, the only reference to practices within Mass was a brief mention of Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone’s directive to withhold Communion from the Speaker of the House if she presents for the sacrament at a Mass in that archdiocese.
Neither one website nor one podcast can be all things to all people. Still, I wonder about the degree to which the revival will abstract the Eucharist as a thing from the Eucharist as the sacramental / liturgical context in and from which the Body and Blood of Christ have their meaning.