An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


Eucharistic doctrine that affirms the simultaneous presence of Christ's body and blood in each of the eucharistic elements. It contradicts a narrow identification of Christ's body with the bread and Christ's blood with the wine. The doctrine of concomitance upholds the truth that the fullness of communion is available by receiving either the consecrated bread or wine. A Prayer Book rubric concerning the administration of Holy Communion to the sick states that “it is suitable to administer the Sacrament in one kind only” if the sick person is unable to receive either the consecrated bread or wine (BCP, p. 457). The doctrine of concomitance affirms that the communicant receives Christ's body and blood in this situation. The doctrine of concomitance was used in the Roman Catholic Church to justify the withdrawal of the chalice from the laity, thereby allowing their communion in one kind only. The term is from the Latin, “to accompany.”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.