Host dropped during Eucherist

At Mass we kneel at the rail to receive communion on the tongue. The railings have a white cover placed over them when communion takes place. Today, the priest made the sign of the cross with the host while saying the blessing. The host slipped out of the priest’s hand and landed on the railing. Father picked the host up, held it over the chalice, blessed it again and placed it on the tongue of the intended recipient. The person took communion, crossed himself and got up. I kneeled and my husband just stood beside me. The priest turned to the altar boy who was holding the paten, said something to him and took the paten. The altar boy got an altar cloth, gave it to the priest, and Father placed it over the area where the host fell. My husband knelt and we went on with communion.

Usually, after communion is finished, two of the altar boys will uncover the railings. Today they did not. I asked my husband, a cradle catholic, what the priest was going to do. He said that after mass ended, the priest would carefully inspect the area where the host fell and if any remained, place it in the chalice or on the paten. He would wipe it with his fingers and put it in his mouth as he would during communion. He would then use holy water to wipe the area, remove the cloth to have it washed and pour the holy water down a special drain that exits into the earth instead of the sewer.

I apologize for the length of this post. I felt it was something that needed to be shared. Has an experience like this happened to anyone else?

The respect demonstrated in this act is amazing.

God Bless good priests who respect the host!

Pax Christi.

This is typical of traditional reverence shown for the Blessed Sacrament, particularly at the Tridentine Mass. I have been present three times when this has happened and each time it has been handled as you described.

I have seen hosts drop to the floor, and the communicant picks it up, puts it in his mouth, and everyone proceeds as if nothing has happened. I always thought that this was wrong, especially since people may be stepping on the area where the host fell. Is there anywhere I can go to read about proper procedure if this should ever happen to me?

[quote=soonersvi]At Mass we kneel at the rail to receive communion on the tongue. The railings have a white cover placed over them when communion takes place. Today, the priest made the sign of the cross with the host while saying the blessing. The host slipped out of the priest’s hand and landed on the railing. Father picked the host up, held it over the chalice, blessed it again and placed it on the tongue of the intended recipient. The person took communion, crossed himself and got up. I kneeled and my husband just stood beside me. The priest turned to the altar boy who was holding the paten, said something to him and took the paten. The altar boy got an altar cloth, gave it to the priest, and Father placed it over the area where the host fell. My husband knelt and we went on with communion.

Usually, after communion is finished, two of the altar boys will uncover the railings. Today they did not. I asked my husband, a cradle catholic, what the priest was going to do. He said that after mass ended, the priest would carefully inspect the area where the host fell and if any remained, place it in the chalice or on the paten. He would wipe it with his fingers and put it in his mouth as he would during communion. He would then use holy water to wipe the area, remove the cloth to have it washed and pour the holy water down a special drain that exits into the earth instead of the sewer.

I apologize for the length of this post. I felt it was something that needed to be shared. Has an experience like this happened to anyone else?
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Was the host fragmented or was it whole when the priest picked it up? If it was whole, he should have simply consumed it and moved on. If it fragmented into pieces it should have been cleaned-up on the spot and the fragments consumed

Using holy water seems a bit dramatic. It’s certainly nothing I have ever heard in the past. The water used to do the cleaning should indeed be poured down a sacrarium or in a garden, and not down the sewer.

[quote=14er]I have seen hosts drop to the floor, and the communicant picks it up, puts it in his mouth, and everyone proceeds as if nothing has happened. I always thought that this was wrong, especially since people may be stepping on the area where the host fell. Is there anywhere I can go to read about proper procedure if this should ever happen to me?
[/quote]

Nothing wrong with this practice as long as the host does not fragment.

[quote=Chalice]Was the host fragmented or was it whole when the priest picked it up? If it was whole, he should have simply consumed it and moved on. If it fragmented into pieces it should have been cleaned-up on the spot and the fragments consumed

[/quote]

Assuming the Host and the Railing Coverings could be a close to similar color, the Priest might have assumed it be best to thoroughly examine it after Communion. Though, that’s just an assumption, so it could be horribly off. Forgive me if it is.

First of all, I would like to apologize to you for my lack of proofreading—Eucharist not Eucherist. :o

Second of all, I thank each of you for your comments. I have learned and will continue to learn a great deal from CAF.

In my original post, I stated that the priest would inspect the area for particles of the Host, put the particles on a paten, wipe the area with Holy water…

Yesterday I e-mailed Father and asked him to tell me what he actually did after Mass. He said that he inspected the area for particles of the Host. There were none present. He did nothing else. IF the Host had fallen on the floor or another hard surface, then he would have purified the area with Holy Water and a towel.

Thank you again and God Bless :slight_smile:

When I received communion at Mass Thursay morning, the EMC placed the host on the edge of my hand and it dropped to the floor near my feet. I picked it up and consumed it since I had already replied, “Amen”. I hope I did the right thing. I did not intend any disrespect.

This happened to me just this morning. As I am only 16, I had NO IDEA what to do. The person who gave me communion was shocked at ordered me to pick up the host. I grabbed it and handed it to her, and she put it in her hand, turned away from me and then proceeded to give others communion. I was extremely embarrassed. Should I have asked for another host? Or just walk away like I ended up doing?

There were probably small, visible fragments on the ground.

If the host falls, you can certainly pick it up and consume it. The EMHC probably asked you to pick it up so she would not accidentally spill the rest of the ciborium while bending down. If you do not want to receive that host for some reason, yes you can ask to receive another. After the EMHC was done distributing communion, she took the host she’d reserved in her hand to the ablution cup to allow is to dissolve. It behooves us all to learn what to do in case of an accident like this. Hopefully it will never happen to you again, but just in case we should be prepared.

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