Q. 1. Why is it that prior to Vatican II, Holy Communion could only be received in the form of the Body (Bread/Host) of Christ? Yet, in the early days of the Church, as is presently practiced, Holy Communion is received in the form of the Body (Bread/Host) and Blood (Wine) of Christ.
A. 1. Prior to A.D. 1414, many of the Catholics did not perceive that at Consecration of the elements (the bread into the Body of Christ and the wine into the Blood of Christ), the entire Body and Blood of Christ was contained in the smallest particle of the host and in the smallest drop from the cup. At that time, it was indicated that when the communicant received only the Body of Christ, he was receiving the fulness of the Body of Christ, there being no need to receive the Blood of Christ. To correct the misunderstanding that existed regarding the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Church discontinued to distribution of Holy Communion under two elements.
Another concern at the time, which still exist today, is that by giving the cup to the laity, there is a chance that the Blood of Christ might be spilled. Out of respect for Christ, the above mentioned restriction was imposed.
This restriction was never lifted within the entire Catholic Church after Vatican II. Permission was granted to a small group in one country to implement Holy Communion under the two species as a spiritual experience. "Today, the practice of Communion under both kinds is gaining in popularity throughout Catholicism, and is common in Europe and English-speaking regions. Regular use of Communion under both kinds requires the permission of the bishop, but bishops in many countries have given blanket authorisation to administer Holy Communion in this way." [Note]