Host Elevation


After saying the words of consecration, how high should a priest elevate the host?
I ask this because I have seen different priests doing it differently. I have seen one priest who barely elevates it to eye-level, and I must admit that it kind of surprised me.
(And no, he is not affected physically due to health or old age)
Another time, I have seen a priest elevate the host so high that his arms were completely extended and stretched out. This also kind of surprised me.
For daily mass on campus at my school, the priests there usually elevate it a bit higher than their own height. (If I am not mistaken, I’d say that most priests do it this way right?)
I never really thought about it before, but I was wondering if there is a rule about a maximum or minimum height a priest must elevate the host to (and the chalice as well)?


All it says is that the priest ‘shows’ the Host/Chalice. When Mass is celebrated ad orientem, obviously the elevation has to be much higher than if it’s celebrated versus populum.

In a course I took on Mass, a priest taught that elevations were progressive, at least when Mass is celebrated versus populum. His description: just slightly above the altar for the prayers over the offerings, chest high after the Consecration, and eye level or higher at the Doxology. Now, considering where I took the course, not sure how orthodox this teaching was. :shrug:


There is a principle in liturgy: rubrics mean what they have always meant.

That means that the Church does not always describe in great detail what is to be done. Instead, the Church simply says “do ‘this’, and it means what ‘that’ has always meant.” For example, there are plenty of rubrics calling for a sign of the cross, but the rubrics don’t specify exactly how that happens. It means “do it the way the Church has always done it.”

When it comes to the elevations of the offerings, that’s the principle to follow: do it the way the Church has always (at least from time immemorial) done it.

At the Consecration (well, immediately after each one) the Host/Chalice should be raised at least a little above the priest’s own head.


Except that we’re not, strictly speaking, “doing it the way it’s always been done.” The “way it had always been done” was ad orientem, and therefore, the elevation was over the head (ostensibly, since an elevation any less than that would not be visible to the congregation.) What we’re doing today isn’t “what had always been done” – we’re largely versus populum now. Inasmuch as that’s not “what had always been done”, it stands to reason that the elevation, too, won’t necessarily be what it was since “time immemorial.”

At the Consecration (well, immediately after each one) the Host/Chalice should be raised at least a little above the priest’s own head.

It can be; but that doesn’t mean that it should be (or worse, that there’s a value judgment that may be made upon the priest who doesn’t elevate the host as you suggest).


How do you do it when you raise the Host after you consecrate It?


I recognize that you mean this dismissively and as a way to put me in my place and get me to shut up. That’s disappointing on a number of levels – not the least of which is the erroneous notion that only priests have studied the history of the Liturgy of the Church.

I’d respond to your question with an honest answer… but I believe you have no interest in me treating your question as if it were asked in good faith. :nope:

If you would like my answer, however, please send me a PM.

closed #7

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