EMHC Question about Consuming Remaining Precious Blood


I am a college campus minister who just finished up my first year doing this ministry. At Mass, I fill in whichever liturgical roles (reader, usher, EMHC, Cantor) need filling. Before being campus minister I was not an EMHC at my home parish so I have nothing to go on from experience. Part of my job is to train students and community members in their liturgical roles. The chaplain I work under has a tendency to give vague/ambiguous short answers when questions are asked so it is hard to get specific answers in regard to liturgical norms (his area of function at the Newman Center).

My question regards the consumption of Precious Blood that remains after communion has been distributed. We have been instructed by the priest to consume the precious blood that remains and then walk over to the sacristy where we are to run the chalice under water (about 1/4 full) and then drink so as to make sure all the Precious Blood is consumed. As far as I know, I have not received any instruction in regard to using soap and water to clean any of the vessels. We generally, make sure to consume all the Precious blood, use a purificator to wipe out the chalice, then put the chalices in the cabinet for next week.

Is this considered liturgically correct? I am not sure if this would qualify under “purifying” a vessel considering I am not saying any prayers of any kind, just making sure that I consume all the Precious Blood that remains. This is way the priest has instructed myself and other EMHCs to do consume the remaining Precious Blood.

Thanks for the help/clarification.


I would hope that the chalices get a proper wash around the rim at some point in the week for hygiene and also to remove any lipstick.

Just rinsing them in water doesn’t seem adequate. In our parish, the chalices get a soap and water wash round the rim and inside after every Mass.


As a Sacristan that’s what we do. OF COURSE Father does all of the purification of any of the vessels he needs to at the altar. But once they make it to the Sacristy they are washed inside and out with hot soapy water BUT NOT immersed in the hot soapy water because this can get inside the layers at the base and cannot be completely properly dried. Same with the vessel that the hosts are brought up for offertory in. Everything else gets DUNKED and washed thoroughly.


The General Instruction of the Roman Missal is your guide:


There should be some guides from the Liturgy Office at your Diocese as well.

Faith Publishers has a handy “Sacristain’s Manual”


It’s just that the OP says they rinse them in the sacristy then put them in the cabinet. It doesn’t sound as if there’s any proper washing going on.


Is the OP’s question.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Father ritually purifies the chalices after Mass, and then hand-washes them, especially if this is a smaller college chapel.


Have you read the OP?


By definition what the OP is doing IS purifying the vessels, something the priest should be doing.


He is consuming the Precious Blood, rinsing the chalice and consuming the water, and drying with a purificator. The prayer accompanies the purification but it’s still purification without the prayer.


It sounds like some short cuts are being taken. If the chalice is flooded with water, then, there is no longer any precious blood present, but it is not being done according to the rules. I would ask a sacristan from a local parish to train your candidates. Tell father you are doing this so that they learn how to do it right and will make good sacristans when they return to there home parishes. I don’t think he would object. Thanks for your service to the church.


The EMHC should consume the remaining Precious Blood. The rinse/consume step with water is the ritual purification action that is reserved to those ordained or instituted. The chalices need to be washed after that by anyone.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the remaining Precious Blood had to be consumed by the Priest, and not by the EMHC. :confused:


You’re wrong. :grinning: There’s no rule about who has to consume the remainder of the Precious Blood, but it’s ideal to have the same minister that’s been attending that chalice empty it. The priest (or deacon or instituted acolyte) must be the one to purify the vessels.


Norms for Communion in the U.S.A.

  1. “… When there are extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they may consume what remains of the precious Blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the Diocesan Bishop.”

  2. “The sacred vessels are to be purified by the Priest, the Deacon or an institutes acolyte.”


Thanks for your response. The whole idea of this happening still breaks my heart. :anguished:


this seems an extreme reaction. Why does it break your heart?


Why? There isn’t anything to be heartbroken over unless I’m missing something…



See Lori Tebo


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