Consecrated Hosts


#1

Here’s another one I’ve been wondering about:

 I had been under the impression that the only time Jesus is physically present in churches is during the Sacrifice of the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.  But what happens when the Adoration is over, does Christ leave the bread and wine?  Or do we believe that He stays and the hosts are put back in an enclosed container (tabernacle?) so Jesus is living in an enclosed container for some period of time?  When we genuflect before the Eucharist when taking a seat in the pew for Mass, are we genuflecting before the Lord himself, physically present, or just bread and wine?  And if He is already physically present already behind the appearances of bread and wine, why is there even a 'moment of consecration' during the Mass?  You guys will have to forgive me, I was only confirmed last Easter and I still have a lot to learn.  I didn't go through the best RCIA program, but I've been striving to learn more everyday.

#2

good question, just the type of thing you should feel free to ask during RCIA or Confirmation class. Jesus Christ is truly, sacramentally present in the Eucharist, under the appearances, or “physical accidents”, of bread and wine, from the moment of consecration, until such time as the sacred species are consumed or no longer has those accidents. For instance, after we receive communion, it takes 10-15 minutes for the sacred species to be dissolved, when it no longer has the appearance of bread and wine, so Jesus is physically present within us only for that period. His spiritual presence of course remains as long as we are in a state of sanctifying grace.

So yes, the hosts that are reserved in the tabernacle for the purpose of brining communion to the sick and dying are just that “hosts” for Jesus truly present. That is why we may adore Him when we pray in front of the tabernacle or before the host exposed in the monstrance, because he is there. that is also why the priest takes care that the hosts are consumed within a reasonable period of time to avoid the possibility that the “accidents” or characteristics of the now consecrated bread to mold or decay.


#3

Jesus becomes Truly Present at the moment of consecration on the altar and remains truly present until the form of bread or wine no longer exists (for example, if the hosts began to mold).

Any remaining consecrated bread (now truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ) following Holy Communion is placed in the Tabernacle for safe keeping following communion. Near the Tabernacle is an Eternal Flame – a candle that burns always to remind us that Jesus is present in the Tabernacle. This reserved sacrament is then available for people who are sick and unable to attend Mass to receive Jesus. It is also available for those who are near death and receive the last sacraments, including their last communion, called “viaticum” which literally means “food for the journey.”

The consecrated wine is normally not reserved because it could be easily spilled. Any remaining wine following Holy Communion is consumed.

Now because Jesus is truly present in the Tabernacles of every Catholic Church throughout the world, people come at all times of the day and night to pray before His Holy Presence. Many parishes have set times for Eucharistic Adoration, where the Host, Which is Jesus, is placed in a Monstrance, or special holder where the Host is visible and is then placed on the altar for Adoration. There are many Catholic Churches that offer Perpetual Adoration, which means that Jesus is always present in a chapel in the Monstrance for people to pray to and adore Him around the clock.

Because of our great reverence for Jesus in this Sacrament, during Adoration time Jesus is never to be left alone. Someone is always present keeping Him company. This is also done to be sure people do not steal the Blessed Sacrament and defile Jesus or use the Sacred Host in satanic rituals.

I hope this helps!


#4

what about when the communion wafers and wine are beside the altar right before Mass? Are they just bread and wine?


#5

Thanks to both of you, those replies helped a lot.


#6

[quote=CollegeKid]what about when the communion wafers and wine are beside the altar right before Mass? Are they just bread and wine?
[/quote]

The bread and wine that are set out in preparation for Mass are not consecrated, and are not the Body and Blood of Christ. They remain bread and wine until the Consecration during the Eucharistic Prayer.


#7

so we’re not genuflecting before them, but before the Consecrated Hosts in the tabernacle?


#8

[quote=CollegeKid]so we’re not genuflecting before them, but before the Consecrated Hosts in the tabernacle?
[/quote]

Correct. No point in genuflecting to mere bread, is there? :slight_smile:


#9

These articles may help:
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha1a.htm
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha4.htm
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/eucha5.htm


#10

CollegeKid:

I missed this when I was younger and would like to share a bit.

The bread and wine are brought to the altar in the offertory for the Sunday Mass. Did you ever notice that it comes from the back all the way to the front? There’s actually a reason.

Bread comes from human work gathering wheat then mixing it together. Wine is squeezed out of many grapes. Both of these symbolize our “work”(study, play, work, etc) and we offer it to the altar for God. Therefore at every Mass, we can reflect during offertory all of the things that we’ve done. Since at Mass there’s many people present the bread and the wine symbolize our collective deeds. We literally offer up all of us. Then Christ does the miraculous. He converts our offering to Himself. Then we are invited to recieve Him.

It’s quite poetic and romantic if you truly think about it.

There’s many more levels and dimensions to this. Christ having offered bread and wine as the passover feast is anticipating the separation of his blood from his body and will ultimately cause his death. So when we have the lit. of the Eucharist, it is a clear remembrance of how his death came to be.

Lastly, that single drop of water into the chalice represent the baptized and the wine represents Christ. Again this is where we unite with Christ. Furthermore, it also reminds us of Christ being true God represented by wine and true man represented by the water.

When God designs something, it is beautiful. It’s up to us to keep diving in and going deeper and deeper into the mystery.

in XT.


#11

[quote=AquinasXVI]Lastly, that single drop of water into the chalice represent the baptized and the wine represents Christ. Again this is where we unite with Christ. Furthermore, it also reminds us of Christ being true God represented by wine and true man represented by the water.

When God designs something, it is beautiful. It’s up to us to keep diving in and going deeper and deeper into the mystery.
[/quote]

So true!

The words the priest says as he puts the drop of water into the wine are also beautiful:
“Through the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, Who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”


#12

What happens if all the hosts are consumed during communion, and there is no host left to put back in the tabernacle? Does that mean Jesus is no longer present in the tabernacle?


#13

If there are no consecrated hosts in the tabernacle, then Jesus is not there in His True Physical Presence: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. In this case, the eternal flame is not lit to indicate He is not present. I believe that priests do try to reserve some Sacred Hosts for communion for the sick and last rites.

On Good Friday at the end of the service (no Mass on Good Friday), any Consecrated Bread is removed from the tabernacle to symbolize the emptiness felt at the time of Jesus’ death. It is one of the few times that Jesus is not Truly Present in the tabernacle.


#14

Correct me if I speak wrongly, but my understanding has always been that Christ is “physically” present with His Father in Heaven until He comes again and “Substantially” present in the consecrated species. Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity being a real substantial presence. :confused:


#15

[quote=Didi]If there are no consecrated hosts in the tabernacle, then Jesus is not there in His True Physical Presence: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. In this case, the eternal flame is not lit to indicate He is not present. I believe that priests do try to reserve some Sacred Hosts for communion for the sick and last rites.

On Good Friday at the end of the service (no Mass on Good Friday), any Consecrated Bread is removed from the tabernacle to symbolize the emptiness felt at the time of Jesus’ death. It is one of the few times that Jesus is not Truly Present in the tabernacle.
[/quote]

My Parish is one of those that have perpetual adoration; we have a specific adoration chapel to house the Eucharist. At the end of each Mass the consecrated hosts are brought to the chapel. We don’t keep a flame lit at the main alter. It’s funny how often people genuflect out of habit, not even noticing there is no candle lit, I often do myself even though I pay attention to the true presence.


#16

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