Breaking the host


I have volunteered to be a sacristan. I was given several pages of detailed notes of the responsibilities for the various Masses. There is instruction that after Eucharistic Adoration Service is over, that I am supposed to remove the Host from the Monstrance, then break the Host into 4 pieces over and into the Ciborium. Is this correct? It seems like something my priest should be doing, not me.


Have you asked the priest?


Nope, just read through the instructions today. Let’s just say I would also like to hear from others if this is correct, without going into details.


i think your priest should do this. i dont even think a lay person is allowed to touch the monstrance. even the priest wears a veil to hold it because he recognizes he cant touch it knowing what it contains. not sure though. i know my parish priest would never let a lay man touch the monstrance. and i come from a very tradtional church where the latin mass is still said.


I think you are right. The priest should be doing that part.


Yes, that’s the responsibility of the priest or deacon. I would forward a photocopy of those notes to the bishop if I were you…


whoa…don’t you think they should talk to the parish priest first?


I’d do both.


Do you spend a lot of time sending stuff to your bishop?

It seems that the best approach would be to speak first to the person with whom you have the problem, rather than jumping straight to the bishop?


Doing what the priest asks you to do, in all except sin, is holy. Resisting what the priest asks you to do is scruple, or pride, or both.

The sacristan who runs complaining to the bishop could be suffering from false humility, as the showing off of humility is far from humility, whereas going forward with the priest’s instructions to the letter might engender true humility.


I’m not going to run to the bishop, he’s got enough on his plate. I went to Mass today, what I observed was the priest taking the Host out of the Monstarnce, then putting it into the Ciborium. After Mass, the Sacristan took the Host out of the Ciborium, broke it into four pieces, and then put it back into the Ciborium. Is that still correct?


First off, there is no reason to remove the Eucharist from the lunar, which is the center part of the monstrance that slides in and out. The lunar is reserved, with the host in it, in the tabernacle. We replace the host every quarter, I take care of this duty. this not a lay minister’s duty typically, however, this is one of those situations that a pastor could commision a person to do this as it is outside of teh Mass. I can assure you that the commissioning does not come from reading a sheet of instructions. Before I was ordained I was commissioned to expose and repose for adoration with the CCD classes. You need to meet with your priest and express your concerns, if this does no good and it is bothersome, call your dicesan diretor of worship, not the bishop first. Check with the DOW and he can direct you further.


If the priest is handling the host, why does he not breakit??? Why hndle the Eucharist twoce if it is not necessary?


This is a miscinception. The priest or deacon does not use a vail to keep his hands off of the monstance, it is to keep the hands invisible to the people. There is no reason to not touch the monstance, except with the physical damage that can come from skin oils over years. And yes, with commissioning, a lay person can touch the monstrance to expose and repose for adoration. In this case he would not be able to wear the cope and veil so he would touch the monstrance. He can wear an alb but there is no benediction, you must be ordained to bless the people with the blessed sacrament.


Thanks, Deacon, for setting us straight.


No, because he understand the importance of the liturgy, and has dealt with most of these liturgical/eucharistic problems in the diocese already.


You’re welcome, after re-reading my post,:eek: I hope I didn’t come accross too strong, I didn’t intend to. And my spelling is terreble this morning!!! :smiley:


terreble, huh? :slight_smile:




how frustriting that must be sometimes.

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