Eucharist expiration


Once the Holy Eucharist is consumed it will, of course, find its way into the human digestive system.

At what point in the process does it stop becoming “holy”?

The reason I ask is, I am an usher at mass and one time one of the parishioners became very sick right after Communion and vomited. (We had to call EMS).

I know this sounds weird or gross, but should the vomited material (with the undigested Eucharist) be disposed of in a manner consistent Church rules on disposing of unused Eucharist wafers? Or can you just mop it up and send it down the drain?

(Yes, I know. Odd question.) :rolleyes:


Jesus is no longer present when there is no longer the appearance of bread and wine.



Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.


  1. If anyone vomits the Eucharist, the vomit is to be gathered up and disposed of in some decent place. (Pope St Pius V, in de Defectibus)

In practical terms, scoop it up, take it outside and bury it where people don’t walk. It doesn’t have to be deep.


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