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  #1  
Old Apr 4, '09, 3:39 pm
AlwaysCatholic AlwaysCatholic is offline
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Default Storing the Eucharist at home

I overheard a conversation at a church dinner where someone mentioned they take a supply of consecrated hosts, the Eucharist, to his parents house, and they keep a weeks supply. The parents are elderly, not well, and don't get out to Mass. They watch Mass on TV and give themselves communion at the appropriate time of the TV Mass.

I am certain we are not supposed to do this, (keep a supply in reserve at home), but can someone tell me where I can find that in writing so I can inform this person? He says a priest told him it was ok to do that.
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  #2  
Old Apr 4, '09, 3:54 pm
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

This is from canon law. It doesn't anticipate having people keep the Eucharist in their homes. There is an emphasis on having the Eucharist in a church, kept secure in a tabernacle, marked by a lamp, etc. Take a look at canon 935 -- I wonder if the priest considers this a "pastoral necessity."
CHAPTER II.

THE RESERVATION AND VENERATION OF THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST

Can. 934 §1. The Most Holy Eucharist:

1/ must be reserved in the cathedral church or its equivalent, in every parish church, and in a church or oratory connected to the house of a religious institute or society of apostolic life;

2/ can be reserved in the chapel of the bishop and, with the permission of the local ordinary, in other churches, oratories, and chapels.

§2. In sacred places where the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved, there must always be someone responsible for it and, insofar as possible, a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month.

Can. 935 No one is permitted to keep the Eucharist on one’s person or to carry it around, unless pastoral necessity urges it and the prescripts of the diocesan bishop are observed.

Can. 936 In the house of a religious institute or some other pious house, the Most Holy Eucharist is to be reserved only in the church or principal oratory attached to the house. For a just cause, however, the ordinary can also permit it to be reserved in another oratory of the same house.

Can. 937 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, the church in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is to be open to the faithful for at least some hours every day so that they can pray before the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Can. 938 §1. The Most Holy Eucharist is to be reserved habitually in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory.

§2. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is to be situated in some part of the church or oratory which is distinguished, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer.

§3. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved habitually is to be immovable, made of solid and opaque material, and locked in such a way that the danger of profanation is avoided as much as possible.

§4. For a grave cause, it is permitted to reserve the Most Holy Eucharist in some other fit-ting and more secure place, especially at night.

§5. The person responsible for the church or oratory is to take care that the key of the tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved is safeguarded most diligently.

Can. 939 Consecrated hosts in a quantity sufficient for the needs of the faithful are to be kept in a pyx or small vessel; they are to be renewed frequently and the older hosts consumed properly.

Can. 940 A special lamp which indicates and honors the presence of Christ is to shine continuously before a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved.
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  #3  
Old Apr 4, '09, 4:04 pm
Lycoming Lycoming is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

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Originally Posted by AlwaysCatholic View Post
I overheard a conversation at a church dinner where someone mentioned they take a supply of consecrated hosts, the Eucharist, to his parents house, and they keep a weeks supply. The parents are elderly, not well, and don't get out to Mass. They watch Mass on TV and give themselves communion at the appropriate time of the TV Mass.

I am certain we are not supposed to do this, (keep a supply in reserve at home), but can someone tell me where I can find that in writing so I can inform this person? He says a priest told him it was ok to do that.
I really dislike hearing that, and I hear it all too often. Sometimes I wonder what would be found if these matters were really dug into? What did the priest really say, if anything at all?

One wonders where they get their supply of consecrated hosts?
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  #4  
Old Apr 4, '09, 4:07 pm
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

The Code of Canon Law has in Canon 934 §1 2º about the blessed Eucharist: "may be reserved in a Bishop's chapel and, by permission of the local Ordinary, in other churches, oratories and chapels."

So a question is: whether there is a chapel or oratory in the home? What is a chapel? From canon 1226: "The term private chapel means a place which, by permission of the local Ordinary, is set aside for divine worship, for the convenience of one or more individuals." More information is given in canon 1229: "It is appropriate that oratories and private chapels be blessed according to the rite prescribed in the liturgical books. They must, however, be reserved for divine worship only and be freed from all domestic use."

So I think it is possible that the necessary requirements for keeping the Blessed Eucharist in a chapel or oratory, at home, have been met. Other issues would be:
- Is there an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
- Is there compliance with canon 934 §2 "In sacred places where the blessed Eucharist is reserved there must always be someone who is responsible for it, and as far as possible a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month."

My extracts above are from: The Code of Canon Law: New revised English Translation, HarperCollins Liturgical, 1997, ISBN 000599375X. Another translation is available at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM .
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  #5  
Old Apr 4, '09, 4:17 pm
Lycoming Lycoming is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lilburne View Post
The Code of Canon Law has in Canon 934 §1 2º about the blessed Eucharist: "may be reserved in a Bishop's chapel and, by permission of the local Ordinary, in other churches, oratories and chapels."

So a question is: whether there is a chapel or oratory in the home? What is a chapel? From canon 1226: "The term private chapel means a place which, by permission of the local Ordinary, is set aside for divine worship, for the convenience of one or more individuals." More information is given in canon 1229: "It is appropriate that oratories and private chapels be blessed according to the rite prescribed in the liturgical books. They must, however, be reserved for divine worship only and be freed from all domestic use."

So I think it is possible that the necessary requirements for keeping the Blessed Eucharist in a chapel or oratory, at home, have been met. Other issues would be:
- Is there an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
- Is there compliance with canon 934 §2 "In sacred places where the blessed Eucharist is reserved there must always be someone who is responsible for it, and as far as possible a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month."

My extracts above are from: The Code of Canon Law: New revised English Translation, HarperCollins Liturgical, 1997, ISBN 000599375X. Another translation is available at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM .
There is a retired priest in my diocese and he reserves the Blessed Sacrament at his home in a "chapel" room dedicated to that purpose with the written permission of our bishop.

For many years in his retirement he was a personal caregiver and it was very difficult for him to leave home. Although he celebrated the Mass every morning at home, he longed to spend time in prayer before the reposed Blessed Sacrament. He also preferred to write his homilies (he would celebrate a Mass for us on Sunday 1-2 times/month) while sitting in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

When he read in our diocesan newspaper that the bishop encouraged private chapels in all rectories in the diocese where the Blessed Sacrament would be reposed to give priests the chance for private devotional time, he wrote the bishop asking for permission to repose the Blessed Sacrament at his home.

It was granted by the bishop in writing. So it is possible as John Lilburne has shown, just not very common. It's far more common for people to have ministers visit their home to give them communion or by hook or by crook actually attend the Mass. It would take a truly extraordinary reason for this to be allowed I think for the most part.

While I have no proof, I would guess some wealthy Catholics (like the Kennedys) have chapels on their estates where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed.

Last edited by Lycoming; Apr 4, '09 at 4:30 pm.
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  #6  
Old Apr 4, '09, 4:21 pm
zab zab is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycoming View Post
I really dislike hearing that, and I hear it all too often. Sometimes I wonder what would be found if these matters were really dug into? What did the priest really say, if anything at all?

One wonders where they get their supply of consecrated hosts?
If I ever heard of this happening in my parish, I would report it immediately to my pastor. Regardless of what would actually be found, this needs to be looked into.
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  #7  
Old Apr 4, '09, 4:49 pm
AlwaysCatholic AlwaysCatholic is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

Thank you all for the good information. I need to talk with this person more, as I was not part of the "circle of conversation" but just overheard it. I did hear him say that a priest had said it was OK. That is why I am seeking a definitive official answer, as it is hard for someone to take a laypersons word for it when a priest has told him otherwise. I need "proof" of what the official Church teaching is.

I'm not positive what our parish priest would say, but, unfortunately, it's my best guess he would say it's OK also. I will ask him.
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  #8  
Old Apr 4, '09, 5:12 pm
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Monica4316 Monica4316 is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

wow.. yes, I'm pretty sure that's wrong... if someone can't make it to Mass, that's no problem, they can get a priest to come and give them Communion... or a Eucharistic minister.. but we can't simply store the Eucharist in our homes
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  #9  
Old Apr 4, '09, 5:16 pm
Lancer Lancer is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

You need to tell the right persons about this...first the pastor...and if no action to correct it (maybe even a teaching moment for all parishioners at Mass)..., but if no action, ASAP...tell the Bishop...no action...tell the Vatican...The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

All in charity (with specific prayers -- maybe a novena -- throughout the ordeal)...but we must tell the right persons...otherwise we are cooperating with sinful actions. Always start with the person/priest most directly involved in the "wrong"...but don't stop until the wrong is corrected...or you have run it up...all the way to the Vatican. If that does not change it...I would get out of that parish.

Regarding a personal chapel or oratory being permitted in the home by the Ordinary...for a priest...I can see it...but for others --laity/home bound or shut-in/sick...it seems very problematic. What if you are the bishop...and you allow a home bound or shut-in/sick person to have a private chapel (blessed and used only as a chapel) with the Blessed Sacrament stored...then next week two more want it...then five more the next week.

For the laity, it is a misread of Canon Law. I believe the law implies that the chapel or oratory is already set up and in use for prayer or worship...like for a group of nuns or brothers...or Third Order consecrated laity...and then , they request the Ordinary to permit them to have the Blessed Sacrament added to their chapel. For the Ordinary to allow it at all...in the homes of laity....is a misread of the quoted Canon Laws. You also get into the issue of self-communicating.

Most importantly, a significant part of the EM Holy Communion (EMHC) visiting and bringing the Blessed Sacrament to a person who can't attend Mass...is the extension in time and space of the communion of persons at Mass...they (home bound) when visited by the EMHC...literally become part of the active participants of that Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Lastly...the EMHC brings the whole congregation -- in spirit and prayer -- to the home bound person's house. Why do otherwise...than to have an EMHC make a visit...and not only bring the Lord Jesus...with the Father and Holy Spirit...but the whole "gang" from the Mass' congregation...even the choir and all the angels and saints?

Pax Christi
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  #10  
Old Apr 4, '09, 7:18 pm
The_Prodigal The_Prodigal is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

I realize this is slightly off topic and in no way meant to suggest that the practice described in the OP is acceptable at the present time, but it is my understanding that taking the Eucharist home was described by Hippolytus in the 3rd century. The custom seems not to have been proscribed at that time.
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Old Apr 4, '09, 8:23 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

A pastor cannot use his discretion to allow someone to keep the Eucharist at home.

Even if one were to have a "private chapel" at home the permission of the bishop would still be required. Yes, rectories might have chapels (with the bishop's permission) but this is very different from a private home.

If the info in the OP is accurate, this should be brought to the attention of the pastor and if nothing changes, brought to the attention of the local bishop. What is happening in that home is violating all kinds of canon law, liturgical law, and just plain common sense.

The pastor has a solemn obligation to safeguard the Eucharist.
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Old Apr 4, '09, 10:50 pm
Lycoming Lycoming is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

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Originally Posted by Lancer View Post
"...What if you are the bishop...and you allow a home bound or shut-in/sick person to have a private chapel (blessed and used only as a chapel) with the Blessed Sacrament stored...then next week two more want it...then five more the next week..."
That's why the Church leaves such important decisions to bishops...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer View Post
For the laity, it is a misread of Canon Law. I believe the law implies that the chapel or oratory is already set up and in use for prayer or worship...
Canon Law does not say that. I'm certain a bishop has the authority to allow the reservation of the Eucharist in a private chapel in a layperson's home. Under what circumstances would any given bishop allow it is a whole different discussion.

I know locally there is a private chapel on a huge ranch where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed. The nearest church is a long ways away. They have communion services and sometimes Mass in that chapel for the local inhabitants...
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Old Apr 5, '09, 4:49 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysCatholic View Post
I overheard a conversation at a church dinner where someone mentioned they take a supply of consecrated hosts, the Eucharist, to his parents house, and they keep a weeks supply. The parents are elderly, not well, and don't get out to Mass. They watch Mass on TV and give themselves communion at the appropriate time of the TV Mass.

I am certain we are not supposed to do this, (keep a supply in reserve at home), but can someone tell me where I can find that in writing so I can inform this person? He says a priest told him it was ok to do that.
This is forbidden, Let the pastor know. If you get a "I know, it's ok" let the Bishops know.
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Old Apr 5, '09, 7:16 pm
Mommomamats Mommomamats is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

boy it would be nice to keep the blessed sacrament at home... I imagine there would be a lot more peace around here!

On a side note, I saw a guy take 2 hosts from the priest last week, he stuck one in his coat pocket
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Old Apr 5, '09, 7:32 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Storing the Eucharist at home

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Originally Posted by Mommomamats View Post
boy it would be nice to keep the blessed sacrament at home... I imagine there would be a lot more peace around here!

On a side note, I saw a guy take 2 hosts from the priest last week, he stuck one in his coat pocket
How does one "take" two hosts from the priest?
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