Priest holding multiple communion wafers like a roll of quarters during communion


I was disturbed at this morning’s mass when I witnessed the priest holding a stack of communion wafers in his hand and handing them out very quickly, as if he was in a hurry to get out of there. To get a sense of what I mean when I say he was holding a stack of wafers, think of it as holding a roll of quarters in your hand and he was using his thumb to push a wafer into people’s hands like he was counting out change or something. The Deacon, however, was holding one wafer at a time and doing things like I have seen them done for the past 30 years.

Is this something that is allowed? It just seemed to me to be very disrespectful toward the Eucharist. Should I say something to the Pastor about it?

Thank you,



I don’t think there is anything that says that the priest must hold one Host at a time, but what the priest seems to be doing is extremely irreverent.


Maybe he had arthritis and could not pinch with his thumb and forefinger. :shrug:

Charity demands that we assume the best, not the worst.



It certainly seems to me that there is a particular reason for this priest to be distributing in this way.

When I worked as a sacristan there was a way the priests asked us to arrange the wafers in the ciborium (around the edge of the ciborium, half overlapping each other) which would make distribution easy for them. To distribute in the way the OP describes, the sacristan would have had to arrange the wafers in the ciborium the priest was to use in a straight line; this, to me, supports that there is a good reason for this priest choosing this method of distribution.


It is odd to distribute that way but I'll bet he had tennis elbow or something going on with his rotator cuff or carpal tunnel or something like that.



Assume the best. Don’t read too much into it. Pray for your priest.



My circulation is so poor that his way is the only way I could serve. This is not a sign of disrespect.


Was this the only time he has done this or is it every Mass?


This is very odd. The Body of Our Lord should be in a vessel of precious and unbreakable substance, which is why they usually use gold cibora.

If the priest has a condition which causes him to lose the use of a hand, he needs special permission to celebrate Mass.

Any way you look at it, this should have been explaijed so that scandal would not be given. We used to have a priest occasionally who could not stand through the Mass, and he always very briefly explained why he had to sit so much.



I, too, would assume the best and pray for the priest.


I have rather severe arthritis with 8 artificial joints, one fusion and both my ulnas have been resected. I would have a hard time holding all those hosts at once without dropping one, and I’d be doing the exact opposite, trying to hold onto one at a time and distribute them VERY slowly and cautiously so as not to risk dropping even one.

That’s curious. I can’t even venture a guess on that one, because, even if you had arthritis, tennis elbow, I would think it’d be best to try to hold one at a time. If you dropped them, you’d be not only dropping one but dropping a bunch!

I’ve never heard of such.

I wouldn’t even know what to even advise. I doesn’t sound right, though. Sounds like it goes against everything I’ve ever known, or seen.


So, how would he give Communion on the tongue? It would be almost impossible! I cannot think of any reason that would make it right to give Communion in that manner. From the rubrics in the Missal, it is apparent that the priest would only take one Host at a time, since he must raise the Hose slightly while saying “The Body of Christ”. How would he manage that with a quantity in his hands? Also, isn’t he likely to cause crumbs to break off and fall? Further, if his hands are at all sweaty, he would be causing the Hosts to become damp and contaminated by his perspiration…

Sounds to me that it is very bad practice!


In charity we should assume that he had permission.


The priest does not have to explain anything. YOU have to assume that he did what he did for a good reason and if any permissions were needed that he had them.
He does not owe anyone other than his bishop an explanation.


I don’t see why you can’t just ask him. That’s the problem with adults we are always on a Witch hunt. If you do it lovingly, I don’t see why he would not answer you.


I was thinking that for some reason he couldn’t use the other hand at all. Usually the priest holds the ciborum with one hand and distributes with the other. This sounds like he was both holding and distributing with the same hand.


I put that badly; I didn’t mean to imply that he didn’t have it :o


I agree with you that he does not *owe *an explanation, I just thought it would be a good idea in order to avoid giving scandal. He may normally have someone there to hold the ciborum for him, but this manner of distributing is so odd that scandal could too easily be taken.

Remember that people learn from actions as well as words.

And for those who want to receive on the tongue, it would be better if they received from the EMOHC, so a heads-up would be good for them as well.


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