Fallen Hosts at Mass...advice needed please

I moved to a new town a few weeks ago and went to confession and Mass on Saturday at a parish I’ve never been to before. It looked fairly traditional from the architecture and website so I expected a reverent Mass; however there were many liturgical abuses - glass chalices (which I have seen before, unfortunately), but also a glass ciborium, an EMHC self- communicated (VERY bad). As the EMHCs were receiving their ciboriums, two Hosts fell to the floor. They were picked up and put back in the ciboriums, but nothing was done to cover the spot, and the EMHCs then walked over the area :eek: As I was leaving Mass I decided to leave via a side door in the front to see if I could see any Particles that may have fallen…well I did see something white on the floor, but I could not tell if it was a Particle or just some lint/etc on the floor…I didn’t want to make a scene of going onto the altar area for a piece of lint, so after some hesitation I left. I sat in my car for several minutes trying to figure out what to do, but ultimately ended up leaving…now I am worried that it may have been a piece of Host and that I have abandoned Jesus :frowning: I have some OCD and scrupulousity issues though so it may just be that. The priest showed no concern over any of this…the Hosts that fell were round, small ones, not fragments of the larger Hosts (thank goodness)…did I abandon Him and sin somewhere in this??? I’m sorry if this is silly… :frowning:




That all said, I don’t see any abuse there. I know you are supposed to use a purificator is some of the blood falls. Unfortunately I have had to do that myself once as a kid slammed a chalice back into my hand and about 2 drops hit the carpet. I have never heard of that for the body.


I do agree with the OP that this parish seems too lackadaisical towards the Blessed Sacrament, and that they would be better off to try another parish that is more careful to follow the rubrics.

What I was taught in RCIA is this–if consecrated hosts fall to the floor, the EMHC or the priest should pick the hosts up and consume them, not put them back into the ciboriums. If a layperson observes a host on the floor, that layperson should find a priest or EMHC so that they can consume the host, but the layperson would not be wrong to consume the host himself rather than leaving it on the floor. This seems like a practical way to handle this situation.

In case the person is a germ-o-phobe, the host can also be dissolved in water, but the priest would normally handle this. If I were you, I would make an apt to discuss this with the priest. perhaps he was not aware of what occurred. You did nothing wrong and probably should seek out a spiritual advisor to help you with your scrupulosity. I understand how upsetting iit is to witness an abuse like this where a person seems unconcerned about the precious body and blood. I once went to receive Our Lord and noticed the EM was straddling a fallen host and continuing to distribute to those in line. I knelt down, retrieved Jesus and consumed Him on my knees. Later, the EM sought me out and was upset, claiming he was going to “get it” after the communion line was served, so as not to “slow things down”. I asked him to get some additional training before participating in the ministry again. His first responsibility is to protect Our Lord, not worry about inconveniencing the faithful with a one or two minute wait.

Not at all. The answers provided by 1ke were correct. What else needs adding?

Actually, when I was an altar boy, thirty or more years ago, I noticed that my pastor would pick up the host, consume it, tell one of us to bring a purificator from the sacristy, and then place the purificator over the spot where the host fell, so that no one would step on it. Later, he would clean the spot, to ensure that there weren’t any visible particles of the Eucharist there.

Actually, an EEM self-communicating is an abuse, and the use of glass vessels for Holy Communion is a serious abuse, as that has been expressly forbidden.

Thanks guys…I wish I could find a spiritual director. I’ll see what I can do in my new area. It would be at least a few weeks though, but it would be helpful for questions like this. Maybe a nun/sister could be a spiritual director, since it seems that most priests that I would have wanted to ask in the past are just very busy. But it sounds like everyone thinks it was ok and I didn’t sin.

Thanks, yes, I do know this. I was shocked to see those things as I have never seen anyone self communicate before. I don’t know why he did, either, since the other EMHCs received normally. It was just one of them. But yes this was an abuse.

Would it make sense for me to write to a bishop, or maybe just to the parish priest about this? I’ve only been there once and don’t know the name of the priest who celebrated Mass, but I could do that if it might help fix some of the abuses.

Okay more than a few problems here:

Self-communicating is a no-no (as well as being a contradiction in terms) - we receive the Eucharist; we don’t take it.

Glass chalices - again, not good. Glass (perhaps surprisingly) is porous - it absorbs liquids (admittedly, gradually, over time). when the liquid in question is the precious blood this creates a problem for purification and proper disposal!

Dropped hosts - it happens. By itself it’s not a problem, the EMHC should just pick it up and put it either to one side of the patten or (better still) on their palm underneath. then, After the distribution of communion has finished, they should consume it discreetly. Particles probably aren’t an issue as long as it’s not a piece of the larger host but a quick check should be done anyway (it only takes a second).

Last Sunday, our priest dropped a Host while transferring from one ciborium to another (he had run out during the distribution of Communion.) He quickly knelt down, picked up the fallen Host, consumed it then licked the wooden floor. :wink:

Wow. May he have received a big smile from Jesus… Great priest.

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