[quote="deacon2011, post:1, topic:351316"]
I am a deacon and recently served Mass with a retired guest priest in our parish. He refused to use a paten during the Mass, not only for distribution of Holy Communion, but for the principal host as well. After the elevation he simply placed the consecrated Host on the corporal and not in any sacred vessel. I have never seen this before in my life and it struck me as wrong.
It's a difficult topic to search as I can't seem to find the correct terminology to direct me to any documents that might concern this. The GIRM, paragraphs 78, 79, 141 and 151 address the actions but not if the paten must be used.
Can anyone refer me to a document that addresses or discusses the use of the paten for the host? I have also asked this question of our diocesan liturgical expert and am awaiting his answer. I am discerning if this needs to be mentioned to the bishop.
Given that he's an older priest (or rather, assuming so since he's retired), my guess is that this is a hang-on from the 1962 Missal. In the Extraordinary Form (and probably the first few versions of the Mass of Paul VI) the "principal host" had to be placed directly on the corporal, with no option for using the paten during the Eucharistic Prayer until after the consecration.
This is because the corporal is meant to represent Calvary, and sacrifice, while the paten is a plate which represents the meal aspect. The sacrifice must take place before the meal.
That being said, I don't think it's a major problem.
If this is allowed by the rubrics, with the host being on the corporal beforehand, and the paten afterwards, I think it has a beautiful bit of symbolism around it.
That being said, I think you did the right thing by referring to the diocese's liturgist. Please let us know if he comes back to you with a verdict!