Lay person receiving communion in a pyx?


I just got back from my usual 8PM Wednesday mass and one thing that confused me during communion is one of the congregation received two hosts, one consumed right after receiving as usual and one placed in a pyx. Is this allowed? I was going to ask the priest about it but my nervousness prevented me (I always get nervous about little things).


Presumably the person is an EMHC who will be bringing Communion to a sick person.


That person is most likely an EM who would be visiting someone to distribute communion to him/her. Yes it’s allowed.


I am uncomfortable with this method of giving the consecrated host for someone to take during Mass. I think it should be done at another time.

It is not described in the Roman Missal as something to happen during the Mass.

The 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum has:

“[133.] A Priest or Deacon, or an extraordinary minister who takes the Most Holy Eucharist when an ordained minister is absent or impeded in order to administer it as Communion for a sick person, should go insofar as possible directly from the place where the Sacrament is reserved to the sick person’s home, leaving aside any profane business so that any danger of profanation may be avoided and the greatest reverence for the Body of Christ may be ensured.”

So the person going “directly” to the sick person’s home would be leaving during Mass, before the Prayer After Communion and the blessing.

Again from Redemptionis Sacramentum:

“[92.] … However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.”

Taking a consecrated host in a pyx is similar to this. So there are problems of confusion about what is permitted.

The full text of Redemptions Sacramentum is at .


Normally, one will leave the pyx before Mass starts where the priest may fill it/them after Consecration. We would leave a little piece of paper inside indicating the number of hosts one needs depending on where we will be ministering.
My take is that this person arrived perhaps not in time to leave the pyx behind the altar,felt she would be disruptive and the priest knew her and quickly understood what had happened.
Sometimes it takes coordinating with the homebound persons and they are waiting for Communion. She needed only one host,probably ministering to a sick person at home
I have never seen this done like this personally but generally Visitation Ministry people go to a variety of places sometimes more than once a week and the priests knows them well through sending them with the blessing to minister at the end of the Mass.
I cannot tell if this was " tidy " or " untidy " but that is my take .And I do not see any harm done.


Directly is not the same as immediately but yeah, I didn’t stick around, I went right to my mom’s home.

It isn’t really. Receiving the host in a pyx like this is prearranged, the priest knew who I was and to whom I was bringing communion. He wasn’t giving the host to a visitor or random person. If that was the case the priest could ask the person to return right after Mass.


I’ve seen in like this - the priest knows the man was taking in to his invalid wife.


We have exactly the same situation in our parish, that is to say, an elderly gentleman taking Communion home for his wife.

I find the idea so moving - they have shared so many years together through all the troubles and sufferings of life, and now he is able to do this for her.


This is the regular method for EMHCs to receive the extra hosts to distribute wherever they need to go after Mass around here. There’s nothing unusual in what the OP has described.


It says nothing about having to leave before mass is over. It says directly from where the sacrament is reserved. You are reading your own bias into this situation.

Taking a host in a pyx is not the same thing as walking away with the host in your hand and consuming it later. Again, this is your personal view and not the Church. I would caution you not to question what this priest has allowed as there is nothing wrong with the manner in which is was done.


This person is most likely bringing Holy Communion to a homebound person in the parish. They must have permission from the Priest to do this.


If they’re in an invalid marriage situation, neither should be receiving Communion.


My brother does this for our homebound parents, a friend’s sister does this because she is homebound, my SIL brings Holy Communion to the Homebound.

They either put the pyx on the altar before Mass in the black bag that they carry around their neck and Father usually puts the Consecrated host in the pyx after Communion before he places the Ciborium back into the Tabernacle, before he purifies the Sacred vessels. After Mass is over they go and get the pyx from the altar and go straight to the homes to distribute Holy Communion.

Now if it’s not being distributed directly after Mass the EMHC will access the Tabernacle on their own time and get the hosts they need and bring Holy Communion to those who request it.



feeling mischievous today?

Homophones can be fun.


Taking Holy Communion to the sick is perfectly acceptable, assuming all other conditions have been met (such as the priest is unavailable, the person is rightly disposed, etc.).

However, the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) should not be receiving the Host(s) during the Mass itself.

As far as anyone walking away from the Communion line carrying a Host, the Church has been quite clear: it’s not permitted under any circumstances. The communicant must actually consume the Host, and must do so in the presence of the Minister (or EMHC)—which means not receiving in the pew, nor doing anything else.

…However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand…
Redemptionis Sacramentum 92

Those words “no one goes away carrying the Eucharist” mean exactly what they say: no one…goes away…carrying…the Eucharist. Period. “No one” means no one. It doesn’t mean “sometimes someone.”

We are not to mix the various rites (ie rituals) of the Church into the Mass, except as it’s provided in the approved liturgical book.

People should not have Holy Communion in their hands (or worse, pockets) during the Mass itself; even if it is towards the end of Mass. The moment of distributing Holy Communion is exactly that, and nothing else, distributing Holy Communion to those who are receiving It.

There can be some kind of “rite of sending” (I forget the exact words) after the Mass, meaning giving Holy Communion to EMHCs to distribute to the sick. If memory serves, it was printed in the old Sacramentary.


I actually did read it that way the first time.

I really did think “they’re in an invalid marriage, so the husband takes Communion to his wife”??? What kind of nonsense is that?

It took me a few reads to realize what the poster was actually saying.


My parish does that before the final blessing.


This is why English needs more accent marks, because the difference between “inválid wife” and “ínvalid wife” is pretty huge.



Yes, this is what happens in my parish. Directly after everyone receives communion, while the hymn is still being sung, the laywoman comes forward and Father gives her the pyx and says a special blessing over her. It’s not disruptive or disrespectful.


The wife is disabled - not “Invalid” marriage.

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