How do you do it?

This wasn’t addressed in RCIA, so I thought I’d ask it here.

After you receive the Sacred Host, do you chew real fast so that you can swallow before receiving the Precious Blood, or do you hold the Sacred Host in your mouth as you’re drinking the Precious Blood?


As a EMHC, I can say that people do it both ways, but most have/take time to swallow first, so as to be able to speak their “Amen” clearly after hearing the proclamation, “The Blood of Christ.” Others, especially children, don’t seem able to swallow that fast, but manage to receive the Precious Blood without incident.

Since the Precious Blood is received via a tiny sip, during which one is very careful not to “backwash”, it is possible for some people to clearly and politely speak an “Amen” without having entirely swallowed beforehand (that is, so that they aren’t visibly “talking with their mouth full”). Either way can work.

As long as you know you won’t lose the Blessed Sacrament from your mouth by your method, as long as you can speak your “Amen” safely and reverently, do what works for you.

Whatever the case, if you need a few extra seconds longer to collect yourself properly than some seem to take, take the extra seconds you need. We’re not working an assembly line; we have however much time as reverence requires. (If you do a “dry run” with food of a parallel amount, you can show yourself that we are talking about a matter of seconds.)

Being byzantine in praxis, it’s a slightly different issue, as we receive both at the same time… and we do not say amen. (The priest’s prayer over the communicants is not responded to, and there is no direct prompt, either.)

approach with a sign of faith… reverence the icon on the tetrapod, making the sign of the cross.
At the amvon, tilt my head way back, open my mouth wide, and get the Holy Eucharist under both species dropped into my mouth by the priest, as he prays for me.
Close mouth, kiss the chalice. Usually, Father’s done with the prayer.
Walk away, make sign of cross, and chew.

When I go to latin parishes, I chew, swallow, and then approach for the Blood, if offered.

I’ve never really taken to receiving from the chalice because we were taught (in the 80s) that you cannot chew the Host without showing disrespect for the Body of Christ.

That is not to say that I never receive the Precious Blood, but it’s usually with the Host stuck to the roof of my mouth or I have “worked” it with my tongue to dissolve quickly as I am in line waiting to receive the Precious Blood.


I receive the Body, and chew it very carefully, so it neither sticks to the roof of my mouth, or my teeth, then sip a little of the Blood, and swallow both together. I keep the Body toward the back of my tongue, so I can say Amen before sipping the Blood.

I remember when we were told not to chew the host, but that was years ago, and this theology has changed for some. The words are “Take and Eat”, so some have taught that it is following the instruction more closely to chew.


It is OK not to chew, but it is incorrect to teach that it is inherently disrespectful to do so.
(Well, unless a person’s mode of chewing is inherently impolite. That would be different.)

I always wanted to ask this question, too, and I am a cradle Catholic. I seldom receive the precious blood, because I’m afraid of the host slipping out of my mouth. I only know of one parish near me that uses small hosts that can be more easily consumed.

In our parish there is usually a line to receive the Precious Blood, so usually by the time I receive it, I have chewed and swallowed the host, or am almost finished. I don’t think it really matters, as long as it is done reverently, and you don’t try to swallow the host so fast that you end up choking on it. Just take your ordinary amount of time.

My parish uses a large circular piece of bread that breaks up into smaller chunks for the Eucharist. Said chunks are thick and need to be chewed in order to swallow them safely, so I try to chew it as discreetly as possible before receiving the Blood.

I’ve never really taken to receiving from the chalice because we were taught (in the 80s) that you cannot chew the Host without showing disrespect for the Body of Christ.

**O, res mirabilis!
Maducat Dominum
Pauper servus et humilis.

The Latin implies chewing.**

I was taught by the sisters in the mid 60’s that one doesn’t chew the host as if it were a piece of chocolate, but allows it to disolve in the mouth.

Well meaning, but theologically unsupported, Latin Rite pious practice.

And practically impossible in some other rites’ uses.

Typical byzantine use includes roughly 1cc cubes, tho’ I’ve received the Body of Christ in chunks up to about 2x2x2cm (about 0.8x0.8x0.8 inches…) on more than one occasion. When one gets a large piece of the Lamb, chewing is pretty much a requirement; chew or choke! And choking on Christ is NOT a good sign…

Oh, yes, I know. I didn’t mean to insinuate that one must absolutely avoid chewing the host or that there is only one way of receiving the host. I was just reiterating something the sisters taught me when I was young. As for this practice being theologically unsupported, you are absolutely right.

There are a lot of people who fear chewing the host because some ill-informed nun told them not to. And more than one has taken it a step further… chewing out others who don’t share their “pious” practice.

Again you’re right, and receiving communion isn’t the only area where folks tend to canonize their particular way of doing something pious. Of course, I do recognize the good intentions that people have when they insist that there is only one “holy” way of doing something, but there must always be room for a variety of ways to worship and honor the Lord, otherwise it would hardly be worth calling ourselves catholic.

When I was taught Holy Communion by the Domincan sisters back in the 70’s in Vietnam, we are not to chew but only let the host dissolve.
Often the host will stick onto the roof of my mouth and I was so afraid to touch with my tounge :blush:

This practice is more widespread than I thought.:shrug:


My religious education was done by Dominican Friars. We were told to chew. Mid 1970’s.

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