How many hosts are usually kept in the Tabernacle at your parish?


I presume there is no rule as to how many must be inside the Tabernacle, as long as there is at least one host, so that Jesus is present. Whether there are more or not is probably a preference of the Priest or Eucharistic ministers based on parish attendance and such?

Anyone here know how many their parish has normally in the Tabernacle and their logic behind it?

My parish tries to keep around 75 in the Tabernacle at all times which means each mass they try to give out the 75 in the Tabernacle plus newly consecrated hosts so that after communion there are around 75 new hosts in the Tabernacle.

How long does a host last in the Tabernacle anyway? I assume the goal is to not have hosts in there more than a few days, to try and cycle them out.

For daily mass at my college, the hosts in the Tabernacle are used for communion as no other hosts are consecrated except the Priests big host. So the Tabernacle at my college has extra hosts for daily mass whereas my parish has extra hosts in case there is a larger mass requiring additional hosts.

No right or wrong answers here, I’m just curious :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes there is .


strongly commended and most desirable - it doesn’t seem like a firm rule, it’s more a preference or strong suggestion.

So wouldn’t this then fall to the priest’s discretion as to what is most convenient for the given parish?


“That more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest’s communion, receive the Lord’s body from the same sacrifice, is strongly commended” ( SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM) .

One would think that the clergy would aim for the more perfect form , which unfortunately in my experience most do not .


Around a cup and a half…? :smiley:


I don’t think most people would know how many hosts the tabernacle contains. I certainly didn’t until I became a sacristan. I no longer have that responsibility, but unless something has changed since I stepped down it’s something like 300-400. I objected and continue to object to this high quantity, but it’s not my call.


Depending on the parish, most keep between 15-50.

It is a big pet peeve of mine when, especially at Sunday Mass, the priest only consecrates a small host and the rest are used from the Tabernacle. There is no reason for this, as the link above shows.


No reason for which? Using the consecrated hosts from the tabernacle or not consecrating, again, the hosts from the tabernacle…because, once consecrated the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and need not be consecrated again (nor should it), no?


The hosts we receive “should” be consecrated at the Mass we attend.

I do not like the practice where a large amount of hosts are consecrated and stored in the Tabernacle to be distributed at later Masses. This was a common practice in a parish I attended, and they were not rotated properly and we ended up with about 150 consecrated hosts that became compromised and had to be disposed of. It was all done properly, of course, but it is something I will never forget.

From that point on, our Pastor made sure that it never happened again.


It really depends on the priest, and sometimes on the sacristan. One priest in our parish wanted only 5 or 6, enough for Viaticum if necessary and he didn’t go to the Tabernacle unless he ran out.

Our sacristan, OTOH, firmly believed there should be enough to accommodate a 777 full of Catholics in case of a crash. Our main ciborium can hold at least 300 and she usually kept it full. It distressed her to no end when Fr. only wanted a few. Even today, a couple of years since she’s had to cut back on her service, it still bothers her that the ciborium is not full at all times. Today I’d say there are usually about 100.

The reserved Blessed Sacrament is retrieved right after the fraction rite and Communion is always from a mixture of just consecrated and reserved. And that in spite of the fact that at Sunday Mass there is a bowl of hosts at the back of the church and if we are going to receive we place a host from the bowl into the ciborium that will be brought up at the Offertory.


This was the issue at my parish also.


It became a big pet peeve of mine when on an Easter Sunday we were unable to receive the Eucharist because the priest could not unlock the tabernacle . :roll_eyes:


I have no idea but maybe 1/2 of the ciborium is filled. Even though I am a sacristan I have no business in the tabernacle except for making sure the key is in its proper place when Mass starts and if we have a first time visiting priest ask him to open (and close) the tabernacle ahead so he knows how the key fits.

My old parish priest changed the ciborium to another one and cleaned the inside of the tabernacle one Sunday during Lent just to make sure the hosts are all rotated and the ciborium purified and cleaned. I think this would depend upon the climate if it needs to be done more times. The big host for the monstrance is changed every month.


Don’t know the count but our Ciborium usually is half full at most times. Whatever hosts are Consecrated at each Mass Father has in the ciborium that is on the altar(these were brought up Unconsecrated at the offertory), then he removes those from the Ciborium in the Tabernacle and pours them on top of those that were JUST Consecrated so those from the Tabernacle are given out first. It works out very well.


We usually have at least 100 unless someone at a recent (typically Sunday) Mass got a little overzealous and put out a lot of extra altar breads to be consecrated and they weren’t distributed at Mass. We keep 6-8 consecrated low-gluten hosts in the tabernacle as well.

During the week, the many people who visit nursing homes will stop in and take consecrated hosts as needed, and we were lucky to have a lot on hand when there was a family emergency and Fr. wasn’t available at the last minute before a weekday Mass was to have taken place. We had a communion service instead and used the consecrated hosts from the tabernacle. @HeDa, thanks for the reminder…this is the first week of the month so I need to put out 2 large altar breads for Father so that the host from the monstrance can be switched out! :blush:


In my Church, there are about 2-3 Ciboria in the Tabernacle at the 9 am Sunday Mass I go to. I assume that many of these Hosts are received in the Masses later in the day, so I dont really know if that number stays the same all week. (My Church does not have Mass during the week) :grinning:


Just sharing:
Chalices are for the precious blood. Ciboriums are for the Precious Body of Our Lord.


Oh my bad! I did not realize that. THanks for correcting me-I will fix that


It’s ok not gonna punish you. LOL!

I had to learn all of the proper names of all of the vessels and items in Church as a Sacristan. Father wants us to use the proper names.



If you dont mind me asking, what is a Sacristan?

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