As I’m mentioned before, I’m a EMHC in my parish. Yesterday I was offering the cup. A couple times I had faithful who were offered the host come up to me and dip it in the cup and then comsume. it.

They should definitely not do that. It’s probably not your place as an EMHC to prevent them, although if you see that they have the host in their hand you might wait and look expectantly at them with a glance at the host instead of immediately offering the chalice. You may want to bring it up with the priest and ask him to discuss this practice at some point during his homily next week. People should be told not to do this, but I’m sure the ones who are doing it just don’t know any better.

I don’t have references but I’m sure it’s an abuse. Ordinary ministers of communion are the only ones allowed to intinct (Bishops, priests, deacons) - obviously you weren’t doing it, but you should have instructed the communicants to consume the host and then drink from the chalice.

Self-intinction is a pretty serious abuse. Ask your pastor what you should have done as well. I suspect he’ll say the same.

I disagree. As an EMHC it is not his job to deny someone communion, however, he is free to withhold the chalice if the person is not willing to communicate properly, i.e. by consuming the host first, and then drinking from the chalice. An EMHC is totally allowed to prevent someone from taking a host - although, they cannot refuse to give a host to someone.

Happens now and again in our parish, mostly by visitors, methinks.

How did you handle it?

We teach our EMHCs to politely let the communicant know that we don’t do intinction and that they should speak with the priest of deacon afterwards for clarification (so as not to hold things up).

I agree with the advice to ask your pastor what he wants you to do, in this situation.

The abuse started at the point of communion with the host. Walking with the host in hand is not permitted. The host should be consumed immediatly. Arrange a meeting with your pastor. Perhaps a usher may be needed to oversee and report anyone not following the rules. A couple of times at one station is evident that diligence is needed.
Intinction other than from a priest is never permitted.

At our parish, I heard that the EMHCs were told to cover the chalice with one one hand and draw it back slightly and whisper to the communicant, “Please consume the host before taking the cup.” I can’t imagine anyone insisting on self-intincting after that, but I suppose there could be an adamant few who would insist.

I agree that this is something that should be addressed by the priest from the pulpit and perhaps noted in the bulletin, with detailed directions on the proper way to receive communion (on the tongue, in the hand, and from the cup).

It is an abuse. Please note what Redemptionis Sacramentum states:

[104.] The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand.

Back in December (and again about three weeks ago), I called the CDWDS about the practice of intinction. I was told and (reconfirmed) that only the priest is allowed to administer Holy Communion in this manner. The CDWDS referenced the GIRM, RS and the Norms for Distribution of Holy Communion in the United States.

I hadn’t realized that a deacon may not intinct. Any reason for this?

Eastern Rite deacons are allowed to distribute by their form of intinction, although this obviously does not entail them intincting hosts themselves - they’re merely distributing pre-intincted hosts.

Benedictgal hits it on the head again. I would like to add a few things from experiance:
Intinction appears to be a very popular thing amoung hispanics, which means that at Spanish Masses due preperation can be taken (the Chalice can be held near the priest so that he can intinct).
This is also a popular practice in Scotland. I asked the priest of the Scottish parish I was visiting why that is (I don’t often see it in America). He stated that he thought it was a germ issue.
Anyway, the parish that I was visiting CLEARLY states in its bulliten that intinction is ONLY to be done by the priest. And yet communicant after communicant still tries to intinct themselves.
Realize that even if the announcment is made, some people are just too stuck in their ways and want to do it themselves.

As an EMHC, this is the instruction that our pastor has given us as well. The way our church is set up, and the way the lines for communion work, whomever is distributing the cup has a direct view of the individuals receivng the host. Whether an individual is receiving from the cup or not, the parishoner is not allowed to pass the cup without having consumed the host. We are to politely step in front of them and request they consume the host, or return it.

Our pastor does this frequently since we have a large amount of visitors at any given Mass. We have had occasion of finding the Eucharist in pews, etc. so our pastor has taken the gloves off, so to speak.

Easy and licit solution-have the priest intinct the Host and give it directly to the communicant.

Only if people are going to receive on the tongue.


Actually, if the priest decides to distribute by intinction, then the option of receiving on the hand doesn’t exist.

So … not an easy solution after all. :frowning:

Uh, nobody has to receive in the hand and nobody has to receive under both species.
With the large number of “Eucharistic Ministers” used in so many parishes, there is usually more than one Communion line anyway.

Right. (I thought that was what I said?)

Just curious…if you already knew this, why would you bother to call the CDWDS again?

Great! Just what we need… Is THIS what has happened to the holy sacrifice of the mass?!? Now we want to treat the species as if there are oreo cookies :bigyikes:

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