Priest saying "Blood of Christ" when distributing consecrated host

Recently I have become aware of multiple priests who say “Blood of Christ” instead of “Body of Christ” when distributing the consecrated host at Communion. I note that these are just consecrated hosts, no intinction, and I have been receiving in the hand when this occurs.

The first priest who I noticed doing this is from Africa (Cameroon), very holy, very orthodox, gives good homilies, good confessor, has been in USA for several years and speaks English well with a slight accent. I have received from him at this point several dozen times because he is at the closest parish. He definitely says “Blood of Christ” when he puts the Communion in my hand. I have listened over and over to make sure I don’t get it wrong. I mentioned it once on this forum and one of the other regular posters facepalmed and spoke of this priest like the priest must not know what he is doing. Therefore out of respect for the priest, who from where I sit is doing a great job and not deserving of ridicule, I did not mention it again on here, but I also thought this might be a quirk of the particular priest since all the other priests, deacons and EMHCs said “Body of Christ” when putting the Eucharist in my hand.

However, last week I went to a Polish parish and received Communion from the pastor there. In non-COVID times I often went to this parish a few times a month because it has evening Mass on weekdays. The pastor there often says Mass, but usually does not distribute Communion as he has a disability that makes it hard for him to stand. This one time however he distributed Communion himself and I noticed he said “Blood of Christ” as well when he put the Eucharist in my hand. This priest is an older man who is originally from Poland, attended seminary there and studied in Rome, and served for some years in Africa (Gambia) but has been serving in the USA since the 1990s and speaks English very well with only a slight accent, so there is no language barrier. He is also an extremely holy and very orthodox priest, very old school European, and I just found out he knew Pope St. John Paul II and concelebrated Mass with him eight times in at least four different countries.

So, does anyone else’s priest say “Blood of Christ” instead of “Body of Christ” when distributing the consecrated host at OF Mass?

Is this an African thing? A Central European thing?

Please note, I do NOT think in either case that the priests are committing liturgical abuse of any kind; they are more orthodox than the average OF priest, and we are not talking about new priests, “modern” priests, or poorly catechized priests (based on their respective homilies they are better catechized than the average US priest). Please be respectful when you comment as, while I respect all the priests I meet who are not running around breaking their priestly vows, I have particularly high respect for these two priests. No facepalming please.

I am also well aware that the consecrated host contains Christ’s body and blood, even without intinction in the Precious Blood.

I am just curious about this custom because most priests say “Body of Christ”.

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I’ve never encountered that, personally. I’m trying to remember what African priests have said distributing Communion and unfortunately I can’t exactly remember.

Why not just ask? If you ask in a “just wondering” as opposed to an accusatory tone, which I’m sure you would, I doubt they’d be offended.


There is another African priest from I think Nigeria at a different parish I attend. It has been a while since I have been there because of COVID, but I believe this other priest says “Body of Christ” when he gives out Communion.

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That was what the Nigerian priest said at a parish I attended years ago said also.

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I also note that the USCCB Norms (paragraph 41) say that the priest should say “Body of Christ” when administering a consecrated host, so technically these priests are doing something different from USCCB Norms.

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I may try to ask some time. It is hard to get a piece of a priest’s time at the local parishes, which are huge and full of people who want to chat with the priests. It’s especially hard in the time of social distancing when I think the priests are trying to accommodate those who just must have their weekly priest chat while at the same time minimizing the time they spend around people so as not to get sick or spread anything. I rarely speak to a priest because of the difficulty in getting past those parishioners who like I said want to be the priest’s best buddy and have long chats every time they see him. I mostly just wave unless I have to say something very important to a priest.

Does he not say “The Blood of Christ” or “The Body of Christ”? The definite article is included in the rubrics…

I would e-mail him and ask, we can only speculate. Of course, preface it with something like “I’m just curious,” etc.

He probably says “The” but I wasn’t focusing on that part.

We’ve had Ghanaian priests at my parish for years, and they have all said, “the Body of Christ” when distributing holy communion under the species of bread.

I have never encountered that either. Around here I know one priest from Cameroon and another one from Poland, but from what I can tell they say “the Body of Christ”.

I would have to ask one of them why. Just me but I’d like to know their reasoning.

Maybe this is just a self fulfilling prophesy situation. You thought you heard it and now you listen for it, and hear it in the cadence of the accent.

Just google videos of misheard song lyrics. Some are pretty hilarious, some are comic routines— and once the comic says “this is what they’re saying” and plays the song, you hear the “wrong” lyric he/she suggested even if you know what the right one is.

Power of suggestion is pretty strong.

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I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think I’m hearing things. My hearing is actually better than most people my age, and this only involves 2 priests out of probably 1 to 2 dozen priests, deacons and EMHCs I’ve received from in the last few months, since I try to attend daily. Nor am I particularly suggestible.

As it appears no one else has this experience, I will ask the African priest who does it habitually, next time I have the chance to speak to him. If I am somehow mis-hearing, he will correct me I’m sure. This has been going on with him for well over a year since he first came to the parish.

If you are not mishearing, I wonder if perhaps since he himself will have said (inaudibly) when he received, “the Body of Christ” and if there is no Chalice available, maybe he was told in seminary or by his bishop that, in order to make it clear that despite there being only one species at Mass to receive, to speak these words so that the people know the Host was ALSO the “Blood of Christ’ as well.

Believe me I know some ‘reasoning’ from priests —and from their directors—that is just as ‘weird’ as the above, but to them it makes perfect sense.

I actually thought he must be making this point, especially since we have not had Communion in both forms at his church for a very long time - before the COVID arrived, the church had stopped offering the Precious Blood due to flu risk since last fall.

But I have no way of knowing, so I will ask him.


I’ve never heard a priest say this.

Please let us know what he says.

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They never had wine at mass for the congregation at any of the churches when I was a kid I see the adding of wine much later in life it was not always done. But I can’t remember what they said - I do remember the communion plate and having to kneel which is long gone.

Could it be that he is saying, “the Body and Blood of Christ.”, but looking into his ciborium as he says it?

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Ok, I finally asked the main priest who is doing this. I complimented him on his homily first so hopefully he doesn’t think I’m trying to “catch” him doing something wrong.

He insisted he is saying “Body” not “Blood”. After I stepped away and tried to figure out how I have been mishearing this, I concluded that first of all, his normal loud conversational pronunciation of “Body” when he explained to me sounds more like “Buddy” than “Bahdee” or “Bawdy” like US born priests would say, plus he’s saying it partly under his breath and fast, so it’s coming out “Bud y’of Christ” which sounded like “Blood”.

I am happy this was my mistake and he wasn’t going against GIRM as he didn’t seem like the type. Also his homily really was great this evening.

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