Originally Posted by az 4 faith
"…We have found old, dried up Hosts tucked into the cushions of pews and in the missal holders attached to the pews on more than one occasion in our parish church."
By Island Oak: “I’m almost afraid to ask what you’re supposed to do then?”
Monsignor Peter Elliott wrote about this:
“When a discarded Host is found in a clean condition, it should be immediately consumed. If it is soiled or has been stuck beneath the seat with saliva (I know of such cases), it should be immediately placed in a vessel of water that is then kept in a secure place such as the safe place for sacred vessels. After some days the contents of this vessel are poured down the sacrarium.”
(Peter Elliott, Liturgical Question Box, Ignatius Press, 1998, ISBN 0-89870-677-7, pages 139-140).
I think the reasoning is that it stops being bread, stops being the Body of Christ, and so can safely be poured down the sacrarium.
On the issue of people not consuming the Body of Christ, firstly they are required to. From the 2002 General Introduction to the Roman Missal (GIRM) which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :
“161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.”
If someone does not do this, the action taken will depend on the circumstances.
Usually I think the approach would be to stop them walking away by blocking their path. Then tell them they are required to consume it now. If they do not understand a gesture may be helpful. If they will not consume the Host, offer to receive it from them. If they will not give it, take it.
If there is violence, or the threat of it, another approach would be to call ushers or the police. Details of the person (perhaps photos) could be gathered for reporting, which may mean their excommunication and reduce the chance of them being given the Body of Christ again.