Probably Dumb Question - Consecrating the Hosts

At Mass, where do the consecrated hosts come from? When and how and by whom were they consecrated?

The Priest retrieves them from the Tabernacle during Mass, but when did they go there? Isn’t this something that was supposed to occur at Mass?

We sometimes have 1,600 people at Mass on a Sunday, but there is no way the Priest does 1,600 hosts during Mass.

This was probably a stupid question, but I have been wondering about it for years.

PS - If it is not done during Mass, why do you think not?

[quote=Solo -At Mass, where do the consecrated hosts come from? When and how and by whom were they consecrated?

Most often they orginate from some "Clostered Order of Sisters, Brothers or priest."

[quote]The Priest retrieves them from the Tabernacle during Mass, but when did they go there? Isn’t this something that was supposed to occur at Mass?

They can ONLY be what remains after Holy Communion during Mass

We sometimes have 1,600 people at Mass on a Sunday, but there is no way the Priest does 1,600 hosts during Mass.

Prior to the “Eucharisitic Prayer” wherein the host are transformed into the Actual Living Christ" a white cloth [sometimes two] are carefully placed on the Altar of Sacrifice by the priest. These clothes are called the “corporal [s]” and everything on them, even 1,600 host] and the wine are IF intended by the Priest to become “Consecrated” actually become at the words of Consecration: “THIS IS MY BODY… THIS IS MY BLOOD” actually become the Body, blood, soul and Divinity of Jesus :thumbsup::smiley: Quanity is NOT an issue. Concecration and intent are!

This was probably a stupid question, but I have been wondering about it for years.

Actually you may have done many a great favor. THANKS for asking.

PS - If it is not done during Mass, why do you think not?

Has to be, MUST be as part of a Mass!.

Love and prayers,
[/quote]

IMHO There is no such thing as a dumb question, they are after all how we learn and everything is learned at some point. Anyway they are consecrated at the point in the mass appropriately called the consecration, (where everybody kneels and bows their heads and the priest says “this is my bodybells” etc). and the unconsecrated hosts are brought up with the gifts (Right after the first collection, when a bunch of people with baskets, patens, water, and wine walk up the isle with two altar boys .) the bread being in the patens.

Thank you both for your patience. It’s hard to tell how a question will be received when I am posting it.

The reason I asked was because invariably, despite watching people bring the gifts to the altar, the Priest always seems to need more. I guess they were ‘extras’ from an earlier mass. Although I do see the gifts brought to the altar, all I usually see is the priest elevating one huge round host. I’ve watched THAT host be consecrated, and then received communion from one of the hosts from the tabernacle. In my heart I know these were consecrated, but I did not know when. I only witnessed the one huge host being elevated.

Although it was none of my business, I guess it was more a procedural question. The answer, then, as I interpret this, is that the hosts on the altar are consecrated, only the one huge host is actually elevated.

It’s the little things that stay in my head and bug me :o

It’s not a little thing; it’s very important that you have this answered so you can be confident you are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. (Chances are somebody else who is reading this was wondering the same thing, and your question helped them!)

Yes, all the hosts on the altar are consecrated. If all are not consumed at Mass, those that are left are placed in the tabernacle, to be used at a future Mass, or to be brought to those who are sick and homebound, or in hospitals and nursing homes. (And you can sit or kneel near the tabernacle any time the church building is open and pray to Jesus who you know is truly present there!)

It would be ideal if every priest could know exactly how many hosts are needed at a Mass and consecrate the exact number, but that’s impossible. So they make their best estimate, and when there are very few left in the tabernacle, they may consecrate a few extra, or if there are a lot left in the tabernacle from a previous Mass they consecrate fewer than they need so they can use some from the tabernacle. Over a week’s time or so, it all works out!

Consecrated Hosts are alway consecrated by the priest during Mass. Un-consecrated hosts come from convents where the sisters make them, monastaries, where monks make them or your parish may purchase them from a Catholic Supply Company.

The Priest retrieves them from the Tabernacle during Mass, but when did they go there? Isn’t this something that was supposed to occur at Mass?

While the priest is supposed to only consecrate enough for those attending that particular Mass, it would be impossible to be exact every time. When there are more Hosts than people, the remainder is stored in the Tabernacle and then use at the next Mass or taken to those who are shut-in or in the hospital.

We sometimes have 1,600 people at Mass on a Sunday, but there is no way the Priest does 1,600 hosts during Mass.

It can be done. The Pope does it all the time.

PS - If it is not done during Mass, why do you think not?

It HAS TO be done at Mass or it isn’t Mass.

True, but as pointed out it doesn’t have to be done during the Mass at which you receive it.

[Just to clarify, there might be a total of 1600 people from all of the Sunday Masses]

And that explains why they always go to the tabernacle during mass.

But I learned a great deal here. I learned that the hosts on the altar are consecrated during the mass, even though the Priest might only elevate the one big host that he breaks, eats, and distributes to the lay ministers at the altar. I’m sure there are a whole lot more things going on up there that I’m missing, but this thread answered a lingering question that I’ve wondered about for a LONG time.

It’s not a science, but the priests determine how many they will need, and not necessarily just for mass, also for hospital visits, home visits, etc. Those hosts were all actually physically present on the altar at one mass or another …even if I wasn’t there to watch it :o

Thank you all for your help.

Right. You got it.

They were consecrated at “some” earlier Mass.

The consecrated hosts (better: bread) comes form the action of Christ during the Mass (more specifically, during the Eucharistic Prayer).

This has nothing to do with the tabernacle.

Quote:
We sometimes have 1,600 people at Mass on a Sunday, but there is no way the Priest does 1,600 hosts during Mass.
It can be done. The Pope does it all the time.


**At big masses at (or outside) St. Peters, there are priests in stoles holding ciboria of unconsecrated hosts.

They are included in the Pope’s intention to consecrate at that mass, hence are consecrated, though not actually on the altar. I doubt there would be room for all the ciboria.

The manual acts (as they are called) need only be performed with the large host. In fact, that’s why it’s so big–so the manual acts over it, including the elevation, can be seen.**

=Solo1959;5487529]Thank you both for your patience. It’s hard to tell how a question will be received when I am posting it.

The reason I asked was because invariably, despite watching people bring the gifts to the altar, the Priest always seems to need more. I guess they were ‘extras’ from an earlier mass. Although I do see the gifts brought to the altar, all I usually see is the priest elevating one huge round host. I’ve watched THAT host be consecrated, and then received communion from one of the hosts from the tabernacle. In my heart I know these were consecrated, but I did not know when. I only witnessed the one huge host being elevated.

Although it was none of my business, I guess it was more a procedural question. The answer, then, as I interpret this, is that the hosts on the altar are consecrated, only the one huge host is actually elevated.

It’s the little things that stay in my head and bug me :o

***It is Necessary to error on purpose on the side of excess bevasue if the priest were to run out [he could split the host to preven this] he would not be able to have a second Concesration in the same Mass. ***

Well, I went to Mass today and watched carefully. Everyone here was correct. A family brought the gifts up to the altar. They remained on the altar. The huge host (bread) was placed on top of them in the plate.

Funny, 50 years old, and just noticing these things.

Thank you all for your help.

I’ve always wondered about the Consecrated Bread distributed during the Good Friday liturgy. As you know, the liturgy on Good Friday is not really a Mass, and it doesn’t even have a Eucharistic Prayer, but, it does conclude with the Rite of Communion (everything from the Our Father and beyond).

When do they consecrate the hosts distributed on Good Friday?

Obviously all those hosts they distribute can’t be just leftovers from previous masses. Assuming 1,600 attend the Good Friday liturgy, would the priest consecrate all those hosts in the previous day’s Mass (Holy Thursday), in addition to the hosts of that day’s Mass?

In our parish the answer would be yes that is what they do.

So that it would really be, as you note, a Communion Rite.

There is no Mass on Good Friday. All the bread used for Good Friday liturgy’s Communion Rite was consecrated at a previous Mass (e.g. Holy Thursday).

Yes, the Blessed Sacrament is consecrated on Holy Thursday, enough to provide for Good Friday.

They are the remaining consecrated Hosts from Holy Thursday. Some of them might even have been in the tabernacle since Sunday (in this case, Palm Sunday), or any other earlier Mass. The general principle is that they should not be in the tabernacle beyond about 30 days.

The priest on Holy Thursday will always be sure to consecrate enough so that there will be a sufficient number for Good Friday–however that works out. At the end of the Good Friday liturgy, the tabernacle is empty and open until the Eucharist is once again placed inside after Communion at the Easter Vigil Mass.

So, re the Good Friday service, which I’ve never attended in an RC church -

In many Anglican churches, the priest consecrates extra during the Maundy Thursday service. It’s then processed to a side chapel or area off to the side and placed on a small altar, sometimes it is decorated with plants to look like a garden. Then people stay and pray all through the night in the little chapel, which is supposed to be like the garden of Gethsemane.

Or occasionally there is what is called ante-communion (which as a child I thought was anti-communion.) The mass is said, along with a penitential right, up to, if I recall, the intercessions. Then everyone is sent home. It is rather bleak, but can be quite powerful.

Is there, or has there been, anything similar to this in Catholicism?

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