Genuflecting and the Eucharist


#1

I have a scenario related to genuflecting in the main sanctuary and around the tabernacle. I normally genuflect even if there isn’t a tabernacle in the main sanctuary because I have yet to run accoss a church (lived in 9 dioceses and visited dozens of churches inside and outsite of the 9 dioceses) where the Eucharist is not present in Crumbs and Flecks of the Host and Stains on the floor of the Precious Blood from spills and dropped Host, on and around the altar. I know and can see with my own eyes that the Eucharist is still Present, and sadly, the only time those churches may be without the Eucharist physically Present (churches without a tabenacle in the main sanctuary) is after the cleaners come through. Any thoughts on this phenomena???


#2

Your piety is commendable, but it is a sad state of affairs if the Eucharist is being handled so carelessly.


#3

[quote=urquhart]Your piety is commendable, but it is a sad state of affairs if the Eucharist is being handled so carelessly.
[/quote]

Thanks, but piety wasn’t my main concern. I just believe with the modern carelessness that occurs in a lot of Churches, the Eucharist is still present even without a tabernacle. :frowning: If I may say though, it is not “IF”; the phenomena above happens and is a sad state of affairs. Isn’t that what patens were used for traditionally to prevent Hosts and Specks and Crumbs from falling on the floor??? Also, with the Crumbs and Precious Blood spilled on the floor, what would be the proper mode of disposal or removal??? :hmmm: Thanks and God Bless.


#4

I think it’s a bit silly to worry about that. If the Blessed Sacrament is not present in the Tabernacle it isn’t proper to genuflect. A profound bow towards the altar would be appropriate in such a case to show reverence.

-Michael


#5

[quote=SouthCoast]I think it’s a bit silly to worry about that. If the Blessed Sacrament is not present in the Tabernacle it isn’t proper to genuflect. A profound bow towards the altar would be appropriate in such a case to show reverence.

-Michael
[/quote]

I think the proper handling and disposal of the Blessed Sacrament and how to avoid the Drops and Crumbs from being trodden underfoot is not “silly” at all. If I have read the forums correctly, the Crumbs and Spills do not cease to be th Eucharist if They are dropped or spilled on the ground, correct??? And do Catholics genuflect for the Tabernacle itself or in reverence of the Blessed Sacrament within??? I am seeking guidance on how to ensure reverence for the Blessed Sacrament which is why I asked about patens for example (which I have only seen used once or twice as I young and not familair with their use.). I want to know if anyone on these boards have run across the phenomena and what they have found is the best way to handle such accidents. Thanks and God Bless.


#6

You might talk to whoever trains the EMHC’s in your parish and/or diocese. Or your priest, who has been trained in the proper procedures.

My understanding is that whenever a crumb or spill fail to have the appearance of bread or wine, they are no longer the Eucharistic presence. There are clear rules for dealing with spills, for example. However, if a spill goes unnoticed and evaporates, it becomes a wine stain - which is not wine, therefore it is no longer the Eucharist. Likewise, I think a case could be made that a “speck”, a tiny crumb, does not have the appearance of bread.

In response to your question about genuflecting, Catholics worship God, not images or empty tabernacles. If the tabernacle is closed, we presume that the Eucharist is inside and if it’s in the church body (not in a side chapel), we genuflect upon entering our seat. You will not find any instruction to genuflect in the absence of a tabernacle, because one “suspects” crumbs in the carpet. This is scrupulous behavior, a bad thing.


#7

[quote=slinky1882]I have a scenario related to genuflecting in the main sanctuary and around the tabernacle. I normally genuflect even if there isn’t a tabernacle in the main sanctuary because I have yet to run accoss a church (lived in 9 dioceses and visited dozens of churches inside and outsite of the 9 dioceses) where the Eucharist is not present in Crumbs and Flecks of the Host and Stains on the floor of the Precious Blood from spills and dropped Host, on and around the altar. I know and can see with my own eyes that the Eucharist is still Present, and sadly, the only time those churches may be without the Eucharist physically Present (churches without a tabenacle in the main sanctuary) is after the cleaners come through. Any thoughts on this phenomena???
[/quote]

In order for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist to remain you must be able to identify the Blessed Sacrament in the form of bread and the form of wine with your senses. The elements must be perceptable to the human senses. Suspecting that there might be a particle of Host or spot of Precious Blood is not sufficient. Also remember that a dried spot is no longer in the form of wine.


#8

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]In order for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist to remain you must be able to identify the Blessed Sacrament in the form of bread and the form of wine with your senses. The elements must be perceptable to the human senses. Suspecting that there might be a particle of Host or spot of Precious Blood is not sufficient. Also remember that a dried spot is no longer in the form of wine.
[/quote]

Wait. I was taught that even in the tinyest crumb there still remains the Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity…if this is on the floor… :frowning:


#9

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]In order for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist to remain you must be able to identify the Blessed Sacrament in the form of bread and the form of wine with your senses. The elements must be perceptable to the human senses. Suspecting that there might be a particle of Host or spot of Precious Blood is not sufficient. Also remember that a dried spot is no longer in the form of wine.
[/quote]

Hey, thanks for the advice, but I must say I am not “suspecting” as I generally attend the Sunday evening Mass with my fiance as she works in the medical field. By that time, three Masses have been offered at the local Cathedral so I can see with my own eyes the Crumbs of the Euchartist from the previous Masses. I do not want to be scrupulous, but I am disheartened that every Sunday new Pieces of the Host make there way onto the floor and are left there.


#10

May I ask how these particles get on the floor? In the Sanctuary? or other places?

We have 8 Masses each weekend, and I have never seen crumbs or stains when I come to Monday morning Mass.


#11

Misty, I am grateful then that there have not been in your parish such accidents. As to how, Hosts are dropped, communicants are sloppy with the Precious Blood, and when the priest or ministers break the Hosts if they believe they will run out, they do not break the Hosts over the ciboreum and pieces fall to the ground. (I have seen whole Hosts fall under the altar or dropped under a persons foot crushing the Bread into a bunch of small pieces, and the minister, ordinary or extraordinary, I am guessing to keep the Mass moving along does not take the time to clean up the Fragments.) I hope this answers your question. Thanks and God Bless.


#12

Slinky1882,
I can identify with your feelings. I have been scrupulous in regard to the care of the Eucharist for decades, and have suffered much anxiety over particles that may fall to the floor.
Often I find my eye catching a suspicious piece of matter on the floor which might be a dropped particle of the host, and then staying after mass to check to see if it is a particle of the host. Usually it is not, but there have been times that it was, and I take it to the priest in the sacristy to put it in the sacrarium.
Then there are times I convince myself that it would be excessively scrupulous to worry about it, and then find myself going home and ultimately worrying about it anyway.
There will be accidents, and Jesus surely doesn’t want us to worry about every little speck, but it sure would help if more care was generally taken, both by the priests and distributors, and the communicants. I personally think more instruction from the pulput would foster a more careful attitude in both distributing and receiving the Eucharist, and thus greatly reduce the number of dropped particles and spills.


#13

This probably is because many priests do not express a belief in the real presence. More a spiritual one.

This not only is expressed by priests but also by the majority of laypeople, which is why I do not look at them anymore as we go up for the Eucharist.

As it is the Body and Blood of Jesus present, I make sure to identify where the Tabernacle is and properly give Him respect. Unfortunately this is not expressed by many Priests and laypeople which teach others by their actions that they do not truly believe in the Real Presence and therefore it is ok to ignore or halfheartedly express their belief.

Now if someone halfheartedly expresses belief what kind of belief is that. Is it a truly reverent expression of truth or a reluctant submission to something that isn’t accepted as truth. If it is a true belief we would see an expression of it just like it means something to the person.

I would express respect to the parts of the Eucharist that fall to the floor when I see them. While my parish is full of abuses and disregard for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, (we don’t use patens either) I see few times when the Eucharist falls. Usually I have my eyes closed in prayer anyways so I don’t have to see the abuses and so I probably miss it.

You cannot force a belief in the Real Presence and it is all the more difficult to accept the belief if it is not expressed in the actions of the parish. Catholics don’t act like Jesus is there so why should we respect the inside of the Church? What is there to believe in if we don’t act like we believe?
So there we go, what you can do is continue your expression of faith as in the end all that matters to you is if you get to heaven. So concentrate on changing yourself and faithfully doing God’s will, but don’t kill yourself worrying about everyone else. People have been ignoring Jesus since the beginning.

Now don’t get all overworked either and kneel to every white speck in the Church, as if you cannot identify it as the Blessed Sacrament then it is not necessary. But we do have respect for the altar area as that is the holy area where the Sacrifice is presented and where any particles of the Blessed Sacrament usually are.

In Christ
Scylla


#14

Its not silly at all. Whilst I was training tha Altar servers, I used to bring them to the Altar to show them the Sepulchrum and explain the story of the saints whose relics were contained within. On one occassion I was actually moved to tears because the corporeal was left on the Altar and it had very visible fractions of the sacred Host on it. So big in fact that I was moved to place them into a ciborium and reserve them in the tabernacle. At least I knew the ciborium would be cleansed at some stage and the fractions dissolved.
By the way, I was a EMHC at that stage.


#15

I should clarify my above statement.
Actually, a particle from a Host that is still recognized by the “common estimate of man” to be “bread” should either be consumed, or dissolved. When dissolved, the liquid is then poured into the sacrarium (or poured into the earth). Since it would not normally be recommended to consume a particle found on the floor, dissolving the particle would be the recommended route and then pouring the liquid into the sacrarium. When unable to consume the Precious Blood, it must never be poured directly into the sacrarium. First it must be diluted with more than an equal amount of water, allow the consecrated Wine to dissolve into the water, and then the solution poured into the sacrarium. When the Precious Blood is spilled or dripped, it should be wiped up with a dry purificator and then the area wiped over with a dampened purificator. The purificators are then rinsed in water, and the water then poured into the sacrarium. This is explained better in the General Instruction of the Roman Misal abbreviated as the “GIRM”).

Just remember, when the Eucharist ceases to have the appearances of bread or wine as recognized by the “common estimate of man”, it is no longer the Body and Blood of Jesus. When drops that have shattered so small, or have dried up, and when very small particles from the Host no longer have the appearance of bread (how small is not undefined), the True Pesence ceases. It is out of respect for what was once the Body and Blood of Christ that I think we should still show some respect for these remnant remains.

As a side comment:
Genuflecting should be reserved for the Eucharist. If a situation exists where we are not sure of the Eucharist is presence, I would think a bow to the altar would be the proper gesture. We should reserve the act of genuflecting (an act of adoration) to the known presence of the Eucharist.

(Having written this reply has helped me deal with my scruples better. Thanks Catholic Answers for giving us the opportunity to express our faith in your forum !)


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