Eucharist bits on flute?


#1

Hi everyone!

I hope someone can give me some guidance on this issue.

I used to play the flute at Mass. I have been diagnosed with OCD and this past year my obsessions have included worries that parts of the EUcharist could be on my flute (since I would play immediately after receiving Communion).

When you play the flute, deposits of food do form a crusty layer on the mouthpiece (I guess they just must come out with your spit and then harden). Normally, someone would wipe this off, but I am terrified that it could be the Eucharist.

I avoided doing anything with it for a while until my grandmother asked me to play the flute at my grandfather’s funeral Mass. I was asked to play immediately following Communion and my worries began again.

First I worried that I would blow out some old pieces of the Eucharist, so I began cleaning the food residue off the mouthpiece. I tried to clean it off with a cloth that I licked so that things might dissolve and the Eucharist might dissolve. Then I saw a chunk of something come on the cloth, so I tried to eat it off the cloth in case it was the Eucharist. Unfortunately, since I did it so quickly, I had not fasted before receiving it…is this a problem.

I think I noticed that there was slightly more discolored residue on the mouthpiece after playing at the funeral and at the grave. Since the only food I ate was the Eucharist, I am afraid this must be the Eucharist.

Now I am terrified to clean the flute or the cloth I used to wipe the inside and mouthpiece of the flute. I am also scared to play the flute.

What should I do? Please keep in mind that I have been diagnosed with OCD and am currently in therapy and on medication for it. Because of my OCD I have had major struggles with scrupulosity and have trouble separating real sins from innocent things.

Thanks!


#2

As long as you do not intend to profane the Most Blessed Sacrament, you did not commit a sin. If you continue to worry, for the next time, I suggest as you receive Communion, wet the host with saliva to make it soft and swallow it whole to be certain that no chewed fragments remain in your mouth.


#3

Drink water before you start playing.


#4

I would think that anything crusted on a mouthpiece of an instrument would no longer have the form of bread and thus would no longer be the Eucharist. I highly doubt you have anything to worry about.

If you have OCD and scrupulosity issues, I would encourage you to talk to a priest about finding a regular spiritual director to guide you through how this condition impacts your faith life. It's good that you are seeing a therapist. A spiritual director would be supplemental to help give you peace in regards to these types of questions.


#5

[quote="lg11, post:1, topic:296752"]
Hi everyone!

I hope someone can give me some guidance on this issue.

I used to play the flute at Mass. I have been diagnosed with OCD and this past year my obsessions have included worries that parts of the EUcharist could be on my flute (since I would play immediately after receiving Communion).

When you play the flute, deposits of food do form a crusty layer on the mouthpiece (I guess they just must come out with your spit and then harden). Normally, someone would wipe this off, but I am terrified that it could be the Eucharist.

I avoided doing anything with it for a while until my grandmother asked me to play the flute at my grandfather's funeral Mass. I was asked to play immediately following Communion and my worries began again.

First I worried that I would blow out some old pieces of the Eucharist, so I began cleaning the food residue off the mouthpiece. I tried to clean it off with a cloth that I licked so that things might dissolve and the Eucharist might dissolve. Then I saw a chunk of something come on the cloth, so I tried to eat it off the cloth in case it was the Eucharist. Unfortunately, since I did it so quickly, I had not fasted before receiving it...is this a problem.

I think I noticed that there was slightly more discolored residue on the mouthpiece after playing at the funeral and at the grave. Since the only food I ate was the Eucharist, I am afraid this must be the Eucharist.

Now I am terrified to clean the flute or the cloth I used to wipe the inside and mouthpiece of the flute. I am also scared to play the flute.

What should I do? Please keep in mind that I have been diagnosed with OCD and am currently in therapy and on medication for it. Because of my OCD I have had major struggles with scrupulosity and have trouble separating real sins from innocent things.

Thanks!

[/quote]

I second what has been said about taking a drink of water if this really bothers you, and I understand that, yes, some residue of what you eat remains in your saliva and can get on musical instruments...

HOWEVER, let's note that in this residue there is NO appearance of bread at all, and when the Eucharist loses the appearance of bread, the species no longer exists and the presence of Christ is no longer there. I would personally treat the remains after wiping with some dignity (perhaps by asking if you can rinse the cloth you use in an appropriate sink for cleaning vessels), but you don't need to LICK spittle off the cloth afterwards (nor would many people consider such an action to be incredibly dignified as befits something like the Eucharist).

So to recap: yes, you're being a bit scrupilous here, and you can solve this issue by drinking water before playing.


#6

Drink water after you receive Jesus.


#7

Thank you for your kind responses. I just can't stop worrying about this. I never want to do anything to disrespect Jesus in the Eucharist.

Thanks for the suggestion to drink water. I think that is a good idea. I actually did not think I would ever play flute at Mass again, but when my grandmother asked me to play for my grandfather's funeral I could not say no! My dad set up the stand before Mass and left water for me by the stand, but by the time I got there I did not want to make my cousin (who was playing with me) and everyone wait while I drank water in front of them so I played without drinking.

One final question. I certainly want to respect the Eucharist as much as possible, but is it necessary to wash the cloth in the special sink for vessels? My mother is not as religious as I am and we often get into arguments because she thinks I worry too much about religious things. If I were to tell her that I was washing the cloth at church she would be incredibly sad (she gets sad because she sees how much my worries are taking over my life). She already thinks I shouldn't worry about this, but because she is a lapsed Catholic (she thinks you can miss Mass and still receive, I am not sure if she believes in the Real Presence), I thought I should ask for others' opinions.

Thank you also for the suggestion about finding a priest to talk to. I have talked to a priest at my college about my many worries. I am currently on summer vacation and felt silly emailing him a long convoluted email with this current worry (especially since I have frequently emailed him frantic questions about potential sins), but maybe I should make more of an effort to have more consistent correspondence with him.

Anyway, thank you for your help and suggestions! I appreciate it!


#8

[quote="lg11, post:7, topic:296752"]

One final question. I certainly want to respect the Eucharist as much as possible, but is it necessary to wash the cloth in the special sink for vessels?

[/quote]

Given the situation as you have described it and your struggles with scrupulosity, I would say it's not necessary. I think the poster suggested it as a "better safe than sorry" option. When you're struggling with OCD and scrupulosity, though, it can often do more harm than good to try to always be safe rather than sorry. :o This is where a priest can come in handy. Hearing a priest you trust tell you not to worry goes a long way toward letting it go.

In general, I would just remind you that Jesus chose to become vulnerable in the Sacrament of the Eucharist under the form of defenseless bread in the same way that He chose to become a vulnerable baby made from fragile human flesh. Yeah, He loves us that much. He's a big God, He can take the risk that comes along with it. He knows you're not trying to be disrespectful or careless.


#9

This person is right to put this matter forward. I too have trouble with the Eucharist in that we are told that it is a sin to receive it unworthily. There is very little chance for confession in my country (UK) often, in fact the sacrament is hard to obtain due to the lack of priests. If I have sinned I make a good act of contrition and take the eucharist in a worthy way in spite of not having made a confession of sins.

I always feel at peace after the Eucharist and feel justified. I also may be over sensitive to my own worries. I applaud the flautist who brought this subject up.
God Bless You


closed #10

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