Can a priest consecrate the entire contents of a bread bakery or a wine cellar?

I was interested to see the SSPX says ‘yes’.

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During the most solemn part of the Mass, Jesus Christ becomes truly present in the form of the sacred elements. It’s not magic. It’s not the priest saying certain words. It is the power of God, acting through the priest, fulfilling the promise of Jesus.

The priest’s attention is focused on the elements placed upon the corporal. If he notices that the congregation is unusually small, he may take a ciborium off the corporal and place it further away on the altar. The contents of that ciborium are not consecrated. Nor is the bottle of chardonnay and loaf of sliced white that Mrs O’Flannery has in her shopping bag.

Whatever SSPX may have to say, a priest acts on the authority of his ordinary who gains his authority from the Pope and apostolic succession. If a priest were to attempt to consecrate the contents of a bakery or wine cellar without the authority of ordinary and Pope, it would be a sacrilegious act and not at all in keeping with the mandatum of Jesus. How God would act in these circumstances is God’s business, but the Catholic Church would certainly not regard the consecration as valid.

If the Church ever approves the consecration of bakeries and wine cellars, it would require this to be done in the context of a Mass and the celebrant would need an extremely large corporal.


Indeed, but, as far as I know, the contents would become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.


Your representation of the consecration here seems slightly off. Placement of vessels isn’t what’s relevant; the priest’s intent is what’s important. If a ciborium is left on a side table and the priest is aware of it and intends to consecrate it during Mass along with the rest of the things he’s consecrating at the altar, that side table ciborium is also consecrated, regardless of whether a corporal or whatever distance, etc is involved.


The linked article is problematic, because the title question makes no sense. If bread and wine are consecrated, it is a mass. If a whole bakery, or whole wine cellar is consecrated, it is a mass. Consecration takes place only at a mass, and if a consecration takes place, it is a mass no matter what other deformations of the ritual happen.

The OP must have noticed the problem, since he changed the article title to something that makes sense. The amount consecrated does not matter. How much bread is consecrated at a mass with 500,000 attending? It may be more than a bakery might have.

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Note the difference between Ruthenian and other Byzantine practice: with the same words, actions, and placement, Ruthenian’s consecrate all of the brad used, while other byzantine only consecrate the specified particles. The only difference is the intent the priest. ( Note: in both cases, all of the “bread” used is added to the cup, and is distributed by spoon, since the fourth century [save for the Melkites, who started using strips and intiintincting them them a couple of hundred years ago in a transition with only foggy records])

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“If a ciborium is left on a side table and the priest is aware of it and intends to consecrate it during Mass along with the rest of the things he’s consecrating at the altar, that side table ciborium is also consecrated, regardless of whether a corporal or whatever distance, etc is involved.”

Are you certain of that? I’ve heard the opposite. If it isn’t on the Corporal during the Consecration it has not been Consecrated.


I’m not a priest or a theologian, but I believe he’s correct. The key here is intent. The reason why the priest can consecrate what’s on the credence table is the same reason why a ciborium full of bread secretly placed near the priest’s feet doesn’t become Christ: intent. If the priest intends to consecrate the bread on the credence table, then it’s consecrated when he says the words of consecration.

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If Father says Mass and he has NO altar servers we place everything on the Altar before Mass instead of on the Credence table… He makes ABSOLUTELY sure that once he’s poured the wine and water in the Chalice that the cruets are well off of the Corporal because if not they would be Consecrated too.

How do you suppose it works at huge Masses with hundreds of thousands in attendance?

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The corporal is the preferred, ideal, prescribed placement but there’s no limitation as such. It is about intent.

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How and what would the water be consecrated as?

I think I’ve seen that some part of the Ciboriums have to be on the corporal. I’d be very interested to hear from our 2 resident priests here.

I just KNOW that he makes absolutely sure they are OFF of and away from the Corporal. Just sharing what I’ve observed. Another question I’ll have for my Priest when we go out to eat with him.

Many priests do this as a way of “focusing” their intentions. An internal monologue of “I’m consecrating everything on the corporal.” (And of course, only valid matter is applicable.)

Exactly this. When I saw the title, I was thinking that a bakery would not be consecrated as almost nothing would be valid (You can’t consecrate Kringles, Krum kakas, Pierogis, Cornish Pasties, Profiteroles, Pfeffernusse, ,Creamhorns, Crumhorns, Zeppole, Tiramisu, Baba au rum, Zuppa Ingles, Eclairs , Napoleons, Canolli, Charlotte Russe, Baklava, Blintzes, Blini, Pappadam or Naan – bonus points if anyone got the reference :smile: ), but a wine cellar would be more likely…

What about large Masses, like when the Pope visits a foreign city?
The priests are scattered through the crowd and holding the vessels with bread and wine ready to be consecrated and then distributed.

The priest has an intention regarding what is and isn’t to be consecrated. So, for example, if I have a ciborium of hosts that I’ve left on the credence table as they’re “surplus to requirements”, I have no intention to consecrate them. In the same way, if the altar servers forgot to bring them over, then they remain unconsecrated since I can’t say I had an intention to consecrate them along with the other hosts. Typically, priests will have in mind an intention to consecrate everything in front of them (which may or may or may not be the same as everything on the corporal).

The whole bakery / wine cellar question is one of those things that gets bounced around with no definitive answer mainly because, just as with absolution, consecration is the work of God and not man! A good argument can be made that the priest who attempts to consecrates the whole bakery or wine cellar (presumably not both at the same time!) doesn’t intend to do what the Church does (so doesn’t have the mind of the Church) because of the absolute prohibition in Canon Law of consecrating the eucharistic species separate from each other and of consecrating either (or both) outside of mass. Of course, that said, priests can and have violated this canon (for example finding themselves a few hosts short on communion rounds) but there’s still something of an argument to be made there. Besides this, not everything in the bakery (or wine cellar) would be licit (or even valid) matter for the Eucharist - it would be odd to have an intention only to consecrate valid matter without any attempt at separating it out first. Finally, it could also be argued that such an act is so crazy that it’s doubtful the priest is capable of forming the requisite intention. Again though, all this is speculative and basically we trust that Our Lord is capable of protecting his Church (and himself) from such things!


The only time I heard of something like this actually happening it involved a priest who was elderly and had dementia.

What? Actually happening?

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