Consecration mistake?

I’ve been meaning to ask this.
Awhile back at daily Mass in our parish’s chapel I’m pretty sure that Father, who is elderly, prayed the consecration of the bread over both the bread and the wine. I’m not positive, but I noticed other folks do a double take.
In a sense it didn’t matter because the Precious Blood isn’t distributed to the faithful in our parish. BUT:

1.) would God have consecrated the wine in spite of the error? I suspect not.

2.) Father celebrates the OF in Latin on Sundays – what if he made mistakes & it being Latin, no one could catch it?

**1.) would God have consecrated the wine in spite of the error? I suspect not.

In the past I’ve seen rubric mistakes done by elderly priests but I would like to give the benefit of doubt in favor of your priest as long as his mistakes aren’t habitual.
I would think that the Spirit of God reads into the minds and hearts of priests who might be forgetful where such mistakes are not intentional or again habit forming.

But to be honest I’ve never witnessed a priest doing double consecration of both species a once and I too would do a double take.

First, I think many prayers are in order for the aged Priest. He has dedicated his life to his vocation and we applaud him for that.

Second, from what I have learned, the consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ relies on proper form, yes, but also intent. If it was Father’s intent that he speak the words properly and consecrate both species, but his mind scrambled them up, then there still is Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity on that altar. Intent is also applicable in the Latin Mass. If he is reading, it may be that he loses his place. If he is going from memory, he may think he’s doing it right.

If the intent is not there, if Father just has no interest in getting anything right and says whatever words he wants when he wants to (which I don’t believe is the case) and doesn’t even believe in the words - then you have a problem.

We get into the question of valid or licit. Did you receive a valid sacrament? If the intent was there - I would speculate yes, but can stand to be corrected by a liturgist. Was it licit? That would definitely have to be answered by a liturgist.

If an aging priest continually falters in his duties, it may be time for some intervention. Talk to the priest in charity, ask him if he realizes that the words are not correct sometimes. If he is a dedicated priest, he will seek guidance from his peers or his local Ordinary. He may also rely on one of you in the congregation right after those words to let him know he did it right. If not he should speak them again and avoid confusion. Help him to help himself in other words.

Let us pray for this man and all priests that they may be the good shepherds we need in this day and age.

A few years ago we had an elderly priest here who almost made the same mistake, but caught himself halfway through the mis-consecration of the wine. He corrected himself and continued Mass.

After Communion, he spoke about his mistake and said that there is an “intent of the Church,” or words to that effect, so that if a priest intends to celebrate Mass correctly, then the Consecration takes place, even if he mis-speaks. I can’t remember the exact words he used to explain this, maybe someone here can help me.


  1. Matter - correct bread and wine
  2. Form - correct words spoken = This is my body. This is my blood. *Technically, the other words could be changed, but it is a GRAVE sin. (de Defectibus)
  3. Intent - intends the Church’s intention OR intends to do as the Church does. Currently a debated issue here.
  4. Valid Minister

All four must be present and one of them does not cover the other.

This doesn’t seem right. Intent matters as well as form, but in the sense that both are required, not that one can make up for a deficiency in the other. According to De Defectibus, which has the force of law, “There is no Sacrament if any of these is missing: the proper matter, the form, including the intention, and the priestly ordination of the celebrant.” You can read the document here (I’m not too sure about the rest of the website, though), as it covers things like what the priest should do if he suspects he said the consecration incorrectly; and there’s Father Z’s discussion of related issues here, which may be of interest.

My interpretation would be that the bread was consecrated, but not the wine. It was therefore a valid Sacrament, but not a complete Mass, and you really, really ought to bring this to the priest’s attention so that he can offer another, valid Mass for whatever intention he tried to offer this one.

Apart from the contention on whether this particular Mass was validly performed, I’m just posting my thanks for the link to the “De Defectibus” document, which was interesting to read.


Yeah, it is an interesting read for sure! Check out Fr. Z’s posting about Mass in case of gunfire. It is hilarious!

Yes, I stand corrected. Thank you! According to my Liturgical Theology instructor and according to this instance, there was consecration of Body only. Since this is THE part of the Eucharistic prayer that involved Form, they must be proper. It is necessary for someone to correct the priest.

My thoughts were on the Ecclesia Supplica – the Church supplies, but it doesn’t apply here. That only applies in minor aspects of the Mass. I promise to do more research before I venture in again.

Sorry and God Bless.

Thanks for all your responses, esp. the link to De Fectibus.

Just to be clear, Father’s possible slip (which I can’t swear to) was obviously unintentional. I attend this parish b/c it is liturgically innovation-free.

So even though a grave error may have occurred no real harm was done, Father consumed the unconsecrated wine and both he and the congregation received the Precious Body.

Just a note: the few times I’ve been to daily Mass since (I work nights) our new pastor seems to be doing it more often.

I am glad it was unintentional. I am also glad I was corrected on the intent and validity. I am asking for clarification from my Liturgical theology teacher,

Since the new pastor is doing it more regularly, they may have addressed the situation. And it is awesome to find a parish that doesn’t take liturgical liberties.

God Bless

That was great! Hilarious :thumbsup:

The consecration of the bread would be valid, and people would receive the Body of Christ ( + Blood, Soul, Divinity). However the Consecration of the wine was invalid, and whoever received from the chalice would not receive the Precious Blood. Neither would the Mass itself, in its sacrificial aspect, be valid. For more on the sacrifice vs. sacrament distinction, there is this previous post, and a search will turn up other similar past threads.

A minor nitpick - De Defectibus does not currently have the force of law although it may serve as a helpful guideline. In fact, even before, when though it was religiously printed in front of all altar missals, several of its prescriptions were modified by the Code of Canon Law (of 1917).

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