Found a Host in my Dear Wife's shirt Pocket

Just wondering what others think of this situation.

My dear Wife has Alzheimers.
When I went to the closet to get her shirt one day I found a half of a host in the pocket.
Apparently when she received her host she consumed half and put the other half in her pocket without my seeing it.
The Shirt had not been washed of course, and the host must have been in the pocket for some time since she doesn’t wear that short very often.

Anyway - having found the host I gave it to her to consume right away.
So there is no problem with what we have done and I believe we handled it appropriately.

My question is this -
Would a host, in this situation, basically being “Lost” through accident, continue to be sacramental? Would it continue to be the Body of Christ?


Yes, it continues to be the Body and Blood of Christ as long as it retains the appearance of bread (or wine). Since you were able to recognize it as part of a host, it was definitely still the Body and Blood of Christ.

I guess you’ll have to keep close watch on your dear wife to make sure she consumes her entire host.

God bless you both!


[quote="baltobetsy, post:2, topic:187187"]
I guess you'll have to keep close watch on your dear wife to make sure she consumes her entire host.


Perhaps talk to your priest about giving your DW half of a host if a whole is too difficult for her to consume at once.


The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist remains as long as the Precious Body and the Brecious Blood retain the accidents (I think this means the physical properties) of bread and wine.

Just for future reference, I think in this situation after consuming the host it is safer to wash the shirt in a bucket of water and then dispose of the water respectfully directly into the ground. Even the tiniest crumb of the Precious Body retains its properties as being the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

God Bless you both

Trust me - I DO. :smiley:


I had not thought of that.
Something to remember for sure.


Another thing–in this case try to make sure she receives on her tongue.

Perhaps you could set her an example?

I suspect you have never had to deal with an Alzheimers patient. :smiley:
They can have a will of iron, even when something makes no sense. :shrug:
But thanks for the input. I do appreciate it.

Actually I do receive on the tongue.
She continues to receive in the hand.

We now go up side by side (when we can go) and I receive first, then I watch her carefully and coach her to take the host.


James, I think it is wonderful that you take such good care of your wife and see to it that she receives Communion as long as she is able. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and I know how difficult this is, esp. knowing that it is a deteriorating condition, and is literally a 24-hour a day job. God Bless You for this.

As to the poster who suggested receiving on the tongue for her, my experience from both my grandmother and from the patients with Alzeimer’s I have taken care of in the hospital, it is difficult sometimes to get them to open their mouths for anything, even food, if they have a mind not to, and the risk of getting bitten is high. They seem to think that it is an intrusion on their body and their personal space, and is frightening to them when someone unfamiliar to them is trying to put something into their mouths. That has been my experience anyway. It is probably only because you are familiar to her that she will do as you wish and consume the host, as you noted, with coaching. I pray that she will be able to receive Our Lord for a very long time with you coaching her. You are such a wonderful example of the marriage covenant. I pray for all those who are taking care of people with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia. I know God is smiling upon you.

My prayers are with you both.

God bless you.

As others have pointed out, that’s not exactly helpful in these situations. From the point of view of someone who gives communion I can say its not any better for Alzheimer’s patients to receive on the tongue. For a few reasons:

  1. If the host is too big, the patient at least breaks it in their hand before consuming it. If I place it in their mouth and its too big they might choke on it. We need to be alert that a host is being broken or not consumed, but I’d rather have that than someone choking to death.
  2. As others have noted, patients often refuse to be “force fed.”
  3. Placing communion in the hand requires alertness in case the host is not consumed. However, just because I place the host in a patient’s mouth doesn’t mean its going to remain there. Patients are known to spit it out or take it out of their mouths. I’d rather deal with a host that was placed in their pocket than one that was taken out of their mouths.

[quote="JRKH, post:8, topic:187187"]

We now go up side by side (when we can go) and I receive first, then I watch her carefully and coach her to take the host.


James, God bless you for your love and devotion for your wife. It is truly a shining example of the sacrament of marriage. Please keep in mind that God knows that you and your wife are doing the best that you can. There is no culpable sin being committed here. You and your wife are in my prayers this Ash Wednesday.

Thanks everyone for your replies, prayers and support.

I was not thinking that I had committed any sin in this, certainly my DW had not.
When I made the discovery, I was taken aback to be sure. I then disposed of the host in, what seemed to be, the best and most reverent way. This is we consumed it, or more accurately, I had my wife consume it since she needs it more than I.

The reason I decided to post this was just to get insights into what might be considered, “best practices”, as it were. The suggestion about washing the shirt in clear water was an interesting one that I did not think of.
Also I figured there might be others who could find themselves in this situation and perhaps this thread could help them avoid it, or know how to handle it should it occur.

Perhaps the funniest thing about it is that, it was a half of a host, not a full one. That must be why I did not notice it at the time. She consumed half the host, thus her hand went to her mouth, and then put the other half in her pocket which apparently no one saw her do.


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