Holy Communion

Last week I helped a priest to administer holy communion to about 400 sick patients in Hospital. I was shocked to witness two particular situations which developed in front of my eyes.
**The first one **was when he was giving Holy Communion to a patient and a piece of the communion fell to the ground. The patient`s relative picked it up and asked the priest “Shall I receive it as holy communion?” He nodded and said yes.
**The second one ** was when we arrived near a confused female patient and the priest decided to give her Holy Communion. He asked a nurse to bring some water. He gave her holy communion by putting it on her tongue, touching her tongue in the process. In a place like a Hospital were there is disease such as Hepatitis etc. Can one do such things? I wish that somebody very responsible to answer me.
Sorry If my English is not 100%


In the first case, the relative wasn’t allowed to pick up the Sacred Host. As far as I know, this is the priest’s job. He should have picked up the Host and consumed it himself. Then put a cloth, (there’s a name for this cloth) over the spot. I also think the relative shouldn’t have picked up the Sacred Hose and consumed it because this could be considered self-communication; it is not allowed. Although, the relative might not have known it; but the priest should have.

In the second case, I’m not clear on what you were concerned about. Is it because the priest touched the tongue of the communicant in a hospital setting? If that’s the case, I don’t think there’s much that can be done. I’ve had my tongue touched many times while receiving the Sacred Host.

My concerned is when you said the communicant was “confused.” What was she confused about? Maybe you could elaborate a little more on the second case.

Thanks and God Bless.


Thank you for your reply. By confused I meant that she did not know were she was. She didnt know what she was doing. I am very concerned because lets say she has hepatitis, the priest touches her tongue while giving her the Host. Then he goes to other patients to give them the Host. He could be spreading disease. Dont you agree? Sometimes I think that its the devil who is showing me these instances. Another question, Should I report this bad practice?
I know that the priest was acting in good faith. But should he continue to do these things?


I don’t understand your point in the second case.
Are you suggesting that patients in hospital should never receive Communion?

Patients in Hospital should always receive Holy Communion.
But I believe that the priest must not contaminate the Host somehow. I dont want to give a bad example to somebody. So I dont want to elaborate further.

As I understand your second scenario, you feel concerned over the fact that the Priest has touched the tongue of a person who may have a contagious disease (especially since the setting is taking place in a hospital). With all do respect hospital or not, that scenario can happen anywhere. I would suggest not worrying too much about it; the Priest isn’t doing anything wrong in this scenario. Also, perhaps I am an idiot, however, I receive “on the tongue” all the time and catching an illness has never been a concern of mine. I am simply happy to be able to take part and I don’t sweat the little stuff. God bless.

PS - I never caught ANYTHING by receiving “on the tongue.”

I’m more concerned about the woman receiving Communion when she didn’t know where she was than any of the other behaviours (not that any of them are desirable or anything)

No-one should receive any of the sacraments (except for children being baptised) with less than full knowledge of and consent to what they’re doing - and in the case of Communion, who they’re receiving.

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