I have noticed that at my parish at the Daily Mass I attend that the Altar server places only one host in the dish that is brought up to the priest. The priest then consecrates just that one host. We the attenders receive from a Host from the ciborium. I hope I have the terminology right here. Does this happen a lot or is this something unusual?
Yes, it happens a lot. It’s perfectly legitimate.
While there is a preference for everyone receiving Communion consecrated at that particular Mass, Communion consecrated at an earlier Mass (and kept in the Tabernacle) is still the Body of Christ and is no different.
Thanks for your answer Father. This is something new at our parish but we have a new priest.
You do not specify:
Is the ciborium taken from the tabernacle, is it consecrated alongside the paten holding the priest’s host (and having been brought from the credence table rather than carried in the offertory)?
(In either case, as FrDavid notes, it is legitimate)
It’s often a matter of practicality. If during Sunday’s Mass 400 hosts are consecrated, but only 360 are consumed then 40 will be reserved in the tabernacle. If there are only 10 daily communicants, then it makes the most sense to only consecrate the priests host and then use those that were consecrated earlier until the reserved hosts are consumed. If that didn’t happen then you’d eventually end up with an accumulation of hosts consecrated over several Masses.
The solution? Better estimating of communicants during Sunday Mass and more daily communicants. The first reduced the number of reserved hosts and the later consumed those earlier in the week.
The Hosts distributed to the attenders are taken from the ciborium which is taken from the tabernacle. At one Daily Mass the ciborium was filled with unconsecrated hosts to be taken up to be consecrated. I learned this because the gentleman who was acting as the Altar Server had to explain it to another attender in a loud voice.
We have 20 to 30 people at Daily Mass and almost all receive Communion. Attendance at the Sunday Masses varies enough that indeed we could end up with leftover Hosts. I gather that we have run out of consecrated Hosts because someone goes at gets the ciborium and adds more Hosts to the patens during the Sunday Masses.
When I first started attending Daily Mass we carefully placed an unconsecrated Host in the dish that was brought up to the altar. Then the dish was pre-filled and sometimes the priest had to split a Host because there were extra people there. So far though with the new system we haven’t run out.
If you’ve got a real good way of doing this, I’ll bet hundreds of priests and sacristans will petition for your canonization.
If you’ve got a real good way of doing this, I’ll bet hundreds of priests and sacristans would petition for your canonization.
Well I never said implementing said solution would be easy.
I do think some sacristans and priest are better at estimating the number of communicants, but it’s certainly a bit of art to consecrate enough hosts without having too many reserved through the rest of the week. Perhaps estimating drills are in order for sacristans that are always 5% or more off.
I chimed in because I liken it to my weekly task of ordering the donuts to be served after our three Masses on Sunday. I keep meticulous records going back several years and take into account the season, holidays, school vacation, soccer tournaments, even the weather and there’s just no foolproof way of predicting Mass attendance. Some weeks there are as many as 100 donuts left over and other weeks I have to make a mad dash between Masses to pick up as many as a hundred more. About once every couple of months I achieve my goal of not running short and having less than two dozen to leave for our maintenence crew to enjoy on Monday.
Just to note, only about 20% of those at Mass stay for coffee and donuts so our Mass coordinators have a harder task.
I have seen EMHC’s doing head counts during Mass and in one case making a tally on a piece of paper. In our parish many people come in late which messes the count up.
[quote=“Father David”] While there is a preference for everyone receiving Communion consecrated at that particular Mass, Communion consecrated at an earlier Mass (and kept in the Tabernacle) is still the Body of Christ and is no different.
It is my understanding that the preference for everyone receiving hosts consecrated at that Mass wasn’t necessarily the case before Vatican II. But. at our EF Mass, we are fortunate to have it happen. When he consecrates his host, our chaplain always consecrates a ciborium of hosts (if I am wording it right) for the people. The only time he takes hosts from the tabernacle is if he didn’t consecrate enough at that Mass.