Can only a priest or higher bless the host?


What if there is not priest around? How can someone receive the eucharist? Are there exceptions?

What about in Protestant churches that only believe it to be symbolic? If I myself receive it there and believe it’s the Real Presence, is it? Is it a “believe and it is” thing, or it only changes if the proper authority blesses it, in which case even if a Protestant pastor believed and asked for it to be blessed by God, it would not because he’s not Catholic?

If I was home w/family / friends and we wanted communion, could we offer it to the Lord and and bless it and receive? As a Protestant, I’ve always liked that I can share this experience anytime anywhere w/my family or Bible Study group , but it is sad that if I become Catholic, I lose that priveledge if there is no authoritative figure around.

Thank you.


Only a priest can consecrate bread and wine at Mass. No exceptions.

If no priest is available, then a layperson can conduct a Communion Service using the Eucharist consecrated at a previous Mass.


If there is no Priest, there is no consecration and thus no Eucharist.

Without a Priest or Bishop, there exists no other means for consecration… no exceptions.

No, and if you are Catholic, you are not to take part in the Protestant “communion.” < Do they call it that?

It’s not simply a “believe and it is” thing. Only a Priest or Bishop may consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord.

No, you simply have bread and wine.

I don’t believe that I understand you completely here. What is it that you think that you will lose? If you are speaking of changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, you have never had that ability so how would you lose it? You can continue to share a glass of wine and bread with friends.


Many call it communion. Lutherans call it the Sacrament of the Altar as well.

Correction, you have blessed bread and wine, but not consecrated. We can bless things too, but not in a sacramental way. :thumbsup:


If there is no validly Ordained priest then there is no Eucharist Consecrated. There are no exceptions. ( Previously Consecrated Eucharist being distributed is not being considered here.)
All Protestant Eucharists are only symbolic and no Consecration actually takes place. The belief of the person receiving it has no effect. Even if an unbeliever receives a validly Consecrated Host they receive the Real Presence of Christ. By becoming Catholic you do not loose anything, you only gain the Real Presence which you never had.


All the above posts are correct.
Only a divinely called, ordained priest who has been ordained by a prior bishop who himself was ordained by the laying on of hands from a succession of bishops originating from the original apostles can effect the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. This is why all the other non-apostolic religions are utterly and gravely deficient. Further, none of these other Protestant and non-apostolic religions can EVER go back and remedy this deficiency since none of them extend from anyone with priestly authority who ever personally knew Jesus. No one can self appoint themselves as an ordained priest of God. It requires the apostolic authority and without accepting that authority that only Catholics and Orthodox have it is impossible to accept Jesus fully since Jesus told us “those who reject you reject Me”. Just like one must live by every word that comes from the mouth of God Christians MUST live by ALL of scripture as properly taught by the apostolic teaching authority and tradition. The word of God is indivisible - it can not be divided against itself anymore so than the 3 Divine Persons of the Trinity can be divided against itself. One either accepts ALL of the Scriptures or one accepts NONE of the scriptures. One can not rightfully call themselves Christian by picking and choosing what portions of God’s word appeal to them.

I want to add that true orthodox conservative Anglicans are the closest Protestant thing to us Catholics in terms of having a liturgy that “emulates” the mass they CAN NOT EFFECT the sacraments because they have NO valid priestly orders.

The final thing I would like to mention is that is may even be a sacrilege, a grave matter, for Protestants and non-Catholics to attempt to effect the sacrament of Eucharist without having the priestly authority to do so. If they do this out of no malice and out of ignorance it is probably not a mortal sin - buts its subject is grave.

If some Protestant tried to hijack the apostolic succession by getting a rogue bishop to lay-on hands to give them the apostolic succession I think that would be a case of instant excommunication and the ordination would be illicit and immediately invalidated. The key concept necessary for effecting the eucharist is the priest being in communion with The Church. Even ordained priests must effect the sacrament with the proper form, and with the proper intent. Again we can see that it becomes impossible to “hijack” the office of the priesthood even if someone were illicitly laid-on hands inappropriately since “proper intent” necessitates communion with The Church and an illicit and invalid attempt to transform the bread and water would be an act of division and disunity - another grave sin.

Finally, those who wish to receive communion may petition God directly for a Spiritual Communion as many times as they wish each day. We hold in faith that if one is not in mortal sin that God will grant this petition. But the the real-presence of Eucharist is body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus and the graces received from real form taken together with the community worship is substantially preferable and generally more efficacious since it is actually living out the precise normative manner in which Christ instructed us to commune with Him.



Lutherans believe in the Real Presence.


This would be one reason why I would want to be a Catholic. Catholics actually receive the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass, whereas Protestants are only receiving bread and wine as a symbol. Only priests and bishops through the power of the Holy Spirit can consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Priests are successors of the apostles and the “Laying on of hands” can be traced back to the apostles. This is why they have the ability to consecrate the bread and wine. Protestant ministers do not have any direct trace back to the apostles and therefore the bread and wine can only be used as a symbol.


The point is they may believe that, but they don’t in reality have it.


What do you mean by “don’t really have it”?


Again, Lutherans belief is that there is the real presence, not merely symbolic.

Lemme ask this; if Protestant ministers lack “cred” in terms of the sacraments, are their baptisms valid?


It DOES NOT MATTER a hoot what somone believes. What matters is the truth. The truth is Lutherans have no valid priestly orders. They broke from The Catholic Church and fabricated their own rites and lost ALL validly ordained priests when they died off 400 years ago. Lutherans can pray till the sun sets but at the end of the day all they have is crackers and grape juice and a gravely deficient faith that has only 1 valid sacrament - baptism.



The Catholic Church through her authority to loose and bind recognizes and accepts Lutheran baptisms. Even though Lutherans are well outside of the full communion of The Catholic Church she permits them this one sacrament since The Church deems that it is better to have somone imperfectly joined to the Body of Christ than not at all in the hopes that some will be saved. ALL GRACE flows from Jesus THROUGH His Body, The Catholic Church. There is no spiritual way to do an end-around-run of The Catholic Church - impossible since Jesus is inseparable from His Body - The Church.



So if their ministers are not valid, why is their baptism still valid? I’m not arguing that this point is right or wrong, just looking for an explanation.

As far as the “crackers and grape juice”, CFLJ, I think that’s a less-than-charitable response and doesn’t advance the Catholic side of the argment.

First, they use wine, not juice, at least in the Missouri Synod. Second, the main difference in the sacrament is the rejection of transubstantiation, not the real presence. So, a successful argument should refute their claim that:

“Roman Catholics share with Lutherans a belief in the real presence of Christ’s true body and blood in the elements of the Sacrament.” -from

The difference, as I’ve experienced it, is that Catholocism is able to explain, as best as humanly possible, the real presence while Lutherans “adhere to the simple words of Christ and be content to believe them as a divine mystery beyond human comprehension or explanation.”

The disbelief of transubstantion was anathamatized, but I am not aware that the reception of the real presence for Lutherans is officially denyed. Anyone have a reference to the contrary?

That’s one of the lesser stumbling blocks that I had when converting from the LCMS to Catholicism. :wink:


The elements received in Lutheran Communion are only bread and wine/grape juice. They do not receive the Real Body and Blood of Christ.


These are inconsistant; if all grace flows only through the Catholic Church, then how can Lutherans receive grace through non-Catholic baptism?


That’s not what they claim. Do you have a reference for your claim?


Any person even an unBaptized person can validly Baptize another person. All Protestant ministers are Lay Ministers, no Protestant Community has valid Holy Orders.


Good answer. I disagree in part (maybe just semantics) about the highlighted part, though. Separated brethern, methinks, not completely cut off. Invincible ignorance, you know. :wink:

But since they are “not valid”, are Protestants completely devoid of Grace? If not, how do they receive it?

Do you have any reference that the RCC denies the real presence being received by Lutherans, in a way other than through reception of consecrated bread and wine?


Yes: the sacrament of Baptism does not need to be conferred by a priest. So Protestants can issue the Sacrament without valid priestly orders.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist, however, calls for a priest. As Protestants do not have valid Apostolic succession, they have no priests by which the Eucharist could be blessed. It really isn’t a matter of “your ‘sacrament’ is invalid because we say so.” It’s simply that the Eucharist requires a priest. Baptism does not.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit