hosts on floor

When a priest spills several consecrated hosts on the floor while distributing Holy Communion what must be done?

They should be picked up, the area looked over carefully for any particles and then carefully cleaned after Mass. Usually a purifiactor is placed there to mark the spot and to keep people from walking there.

Thank you, a beautiful reply but nothing is said here about the hosts that were dropped. Is the priest to consume them right away on the spot?

I don’t know what is actually “supposed” to happen, but, I have seen this once on our parish. The monsignor accidentally knocked over the bowl containing the hosts, and a few dropped on the floor. One of the parish priests immediately gathered them up, and consumed them.

No , the priest is not required to consume them on the spot. He can save them to be consumed later perhaps with some assistance if there are many or them or they can be dissolved in water if they are soiled.

Sometimes they will be consummed then and there other times they may be taken and placed on the Corporal on the altar and attended to after communion.

Our pastor has said that if a Host were to be accidentally dropped that the EMHC should pick it up and give it to the person in line. I’m guessing it would be the same for several Hosts that had dropped. If the priest doesn’t mind consuming the Host (Hosts) and the EMHC doesn’t mind consuming the Host, then why should not a devout Catholic who is approaching in the line mind receiving a Host that has been dropped?

If several hosts have been dropped as described (the ciborium tipped a bit), they can be put back to be distributed to the next people in line. I doubt anyone’s church floor (in the US) is so filthy that the “5-sec” rule wouldn’t apply. :stuck_out_tongue:

The concern would be for hosts found in pews or other places of the church. Those should be dissolved in water and disposed of through the sactorium (sp?).

The person could have mysophobia. Also, what happens if a person has a disease or otherwise has a weakened immune system (which you can’t always tell from looking at them), and without their knowledge, they are given a Host from the floor (which, despite the “5 second rule”, is still contaminated with bacteria from the floor - think about what you walked on outside or in the restroom before walking on that church floor).

This could be a concern, however the hosts are perfectly dry and are designed not to be prorous or crumbly which would make them more likely to pick up ‘stuff’ from being dropped. The likelyhood of the situation you describe is small–that the next person in line would be so ill that taking a host with even a few extra germs would make them sick. Thankfully I’m not in charge of making policy on this for my parish.

5 second rule? funny. no, we dont gobble the lord, he is not a turkey.
they are dealt with in the proper manor.

man·or (mnr)
a. A landed estate.
b. The main house on an estate; a mansion.
2. A tract of land in certain North American colonies with hereditary rights granted to the proprietor by royal charter.
a. The district over which a lord had domain and could exercise certain rights and privileges in medieval western Europe.
b. The lord’s residence in such a district.

[Middle English, from Old French maneir, manoir, to dwell, manor, from Latin manre, to remain; see men-3 in Indo-European roots.]

ma·nori·al (m-nôr-l, -nr-) adj.

And you never make a typo? How rude of you.

Or is it intended for humor?

Wow. Not only was that uncalled for, but he said it to a priest. I just can’t imagine…

I’m not a priest.

Your post is a little confusing, FastLearner. Who is meant by 'he said it ‘’? Who is the ‘he’ you are referring to?

Zab. I’m using the universal “he”.

Who’s Zab?

Ah, right, thanks for the clarification.

And sorry, I should have asked this as well at the time :

could you also clarify what you meant when you wrote ‘he said it to a priest. I just can’t imagine…’

Were you being ironic, or do we take it at face value?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit