Protecting the Sacred Species - What can be done?

I don’t believe Saint Tarcisius looked for “documentation” when he paid with his life while protecting the Blessed Sacrament from defamation at the hands of pagans. And he was just a boy.

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Surely no one should think twice about intervening when they see someone desecrating Our Lord, whether knowingly or unwittingly.

No offence to you, st felicity - I wasn’t there with you, so I don’t know whether you had any opportunity to go up to the man who half-consumed the host, or do anything else.

Certainly you couldn’t physically do anything about the EHMC. And no doubt you didn’t really have much time or opportunity for reflection at that point either.

But certainly if possible there is no doubt in my mind that you should either physically prevent desecration of the Sacred Species or discuss the matter with the priest and/or those responsible as soon as possible afterwards.

I could have…I just didn’t know what to do and I am not a mind reader as to his intention. It is true we have a Saint that paid with his life…I guess I have a way to go before I’m a saint. I will do better.


I wish most people would show only a small portion of the concern that you have about what happened today.

Thanks for taking the time to find out how to handle this unfortunate incident!

I’m sure that Our Lord is pleased!

Here ya go Redemptionis Sacramentum #183

[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism

Pray for the abolition of Communion in the hand and lay people distributing Holy Communion.

If Holy Communion was received by the man on the tongue, and an altar boy had a paten under his chin that sort of thing would have never happened.


In my parish – and I thought that this was true generally – we have a Christian Worship Commission chaired by our pastor. Each of the ministries, including the EMHC (sometimes called ‘Eucharistic Ministers’ which triggers some dismay), is represented. Each of the ministry chairs is responsible for the ongoing training of his or her members.

What I’m saying is: there ought to be a forum for your parish to remain faithful to the proper teachings and practices of the Church regarding worship and to disseminate these practices to all the members of the parish.

I’m an EMHC, and I once witnessed a piece of host being dropped to the floor. I kept an eye on the bread, and when the communion procession had completed, I retrieved the piece and consumed it – I only speak about things like this to the people who could benefit by talking about it; but I’ve got a forum for the conversation to take place.

By the way, while I was keeping an eye on the neglected host, I became more sensitive than usual to the reality that our Lord endures an unfathomable amount of suffering and loss in his outpouring of self. The experience made me feel utterly grateful that there was SOMETHING I could do – it also made me watch, all week, for examples of ways that the warmth of God’s grace gets cooled by human indifference. That’s part of what I think living a sacramental life is about.

Work for the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass, in which it was the privelege of the ordained priest alone to handle the Sacred Host, which he placed directly on the tongue of each communicant, which prevented any accidents from happening. And if the Host were to fall, It would land on the chin paten which was placed under the chin of each communicant as a further safeguard. Sometimes there would even be a white cloth on the altar rails to guard against the Host from dropping to the floor.

The new Mass makes it all to easy for these problems to happen. We must return to the Immemorial Mass.

What is immemorial about the old Mass?

It’s amazing, really.

All of these problems are the result of Communion in the hand.

Similarly, all the translation problems are the result of the vernacular indults.

The Church developed a real wisdom over the years. Kneel at a rail, receive on the tongue, public worship in a dead language that doesn’t change with the blast of the wind.

Amazing all the little problems that start erupting when you mess with that.

I would have asked the person in the nicest way I could if he consumed the Host. It is everyone’s duty as far as I’m concerned.

I am a lector at my parish and one time I saw what looked like a flower petal on the floor where the altar servers were standing. To my suprise and dismay it was a piece of the Sacred Host! It looked like somebody took a bite out of it and maybe dropped the rest of it on the floor. I put it on a purificator and gave it to the priest who consumed it.

Another time I thought I saw a piece of the Blessed Sacrament in the aisleway of the church near the sanctuary. I was sitting in the first row and when Father came to give the sign of peace (I know that is not exactly kosher) I let him know that what looked like a piece of the Host was on the floor. He said “Thank You” and picked it up. I may have been mistaken it could have been a scrap of paper but it shook me up. When people were bringing up the gifts during the Offeratory I was praying that nobody stepped on it.

There is definately a difference between receiving reverently in the hand and receiving like the priest is giving you a potato chip.

Perhaps a homily on the True Presence would be appropriate.
Thanks for letting me rant.


The Traditional Mass was handed down to us from at least the time of 4th century Rome. It resembles the Mass of the first Christians much more closely than the novus ordo, as a result of its organic development. This can be verified by the close similarity of the Traditional Latin Mass to the ancient Eastern liturgies, most of which still have not changed since the times of the early Church Fathers.

So true. We’re witnessing what happens when modern man actually deludes himself into thinking that he knows better than the great saints of history. What arrogance it must have taken to imagine that a group of “liturgists” could draw up a rite of Mass *superior *[much less *equal to] to that which was handed down to us from the early Fathers! Could we expect anything less than disaster, however, when the main drive behind the novus ordo was that it be made “accessible” to modern man? The emphasis was on man, not God, and this is clear in any celebration of the novus ordo now. The future Pope Pius XII was astonishingly accurate when he (as a Cardinal) said in 1939:

A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken Him?”

(quoted in Msgr. Roche, Pius XII Devant L’Histoire, pp. 52-53)

But “re-instituting” traditions is really hard. Didn’t the bishops say we were supposed to start saying things like “I am not worthy for you to come under my roof…” and “with your spirit also,” and “through my fault, my own fault, my most greivous fault?” Haven’t seen hide nor hair of those things since I read it in Newsweek (or something)…

What’s the scoop on that?

Proper catechesis from the ambo would probably go a long way to taking care of the problem.

We receive by intinction but last week a lady came up and wanted to take a host to someone else. Our Wonderful Pastor (God Bless him and give him long life, with us) told her that he could not give her Our Lord in her hand only for transportation. She must have an approved container. (I only know this because I heard, being in the front row)

We get instructions!

Could you elaborate on the similarities?

It is the Canon which is the immemorial part, and a very close variation of its texts is there from the manuscript De Sacramentis (4th century). A lot of the Mass is due to Gallician influence.

Fac nobis, hanc oblationem ascriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilem, quod figura est corporis et sanguinis Iesu Christi.

Qui pridie quam pateretur, in sanctis manibus suis accepit panem, respexit in coelum ad te, sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, Gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, fractum que apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit dicens: accipite et edite ex hoc omnes:

Hoc est enim corpus meum, quod pro multis confringetur

Similiter etiam calicem postquam coenatum est, pridie quam pateretur, accepit, respexit in coelum ad te, sancte pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, gratias agens, benedixit, apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit, dicens: accipite et bibite ex hoc omnes:
Hic est enim sanguis meus.

Ergo memores gloriosissimae eius passionis et ab inferis resurrectionis, in coelum ascensionis, offerimus tibi hanc immaculatam hostiam, hunc panem sanctum et calicem vitae aeternae:

et petimus et precamur, ut hanc oblationem suscipias in sublimi altari tuo per manus angelorum tuorum sicut suscipere dignatus es munera pueri tui iusti Abel et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abraham et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos Melchisedech.

I’m not too sure about it resembling the Mass of the first Christians. Not that it should.

While there are certainly more external similarities between the Traditional Latin Mass and the Divine Liturgies of the Eastern Church, I did not mean only external appearances, but rather the spirit of the liturgy that is very similar. The novus ordo is very much a “communal” celebration, which very much resembles protestant services (most notably the Lutheran service). The Eastern liturgies, however, are filled with a much more profound sense of the sacred. For example, the priest says the canon in a low voice, out of the view of the people, behind a screen, because it is a supremely sacred moment. In the Eastern liturgies, the priest also faces the east during worship, with the priest and people facing the same direction rather than turned in on each other as in the novus ordo. Many Eastern liturgies make use of a form of Greek that is distinct from the every-day modern Greek. In other words, it is liturgical language, much like Latin used to be for us. Sacred music is also used, as opposed to folk songs composed in the 1970s.

Archbishop Burke has some insightful comments on this topic (from an article on

“It seems to me for the Eastern rites, and for those of the Orthodox Churches, the reform of the liturgy after the council and the concrete expression is so stripped of the transcendent, of the sacral elements, it is difficult for them to recognize its relationship with their Eucharistic Liturgies,” he said.

Archbishop Burke agreed that the Eastern Churches would most likely identify more readily with the Classical Roman rite of liturgy, and its similarities with their own Divine Liturgies, than the Novus Ordo liturgy.

“It would be easier for them to see the unity, the oneness in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by a rite of the Mass, just limiting ourselves now to talking about the Holy Mass, that it was richer in those dimensions — the elements of the transcendent — the symbols of the transcendent element of Christ — Christ in action in the Mass — the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary,” Archbishop Burke said. [/size]

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