Question about Eucharist after we receive it



I have heard a question like this on Catholic radio, but it is usually asked by uncharitable non-Catholics. Therefore, I have not found an answer.

After we receive the Holy Eucharist, what happens then? I asked around my parish, and people only say, “It becomes a part of you” or “It disappears inside our body.”

I don’t know how else to say this, but what happens to the host after the digestion system completes its process? Or am I thinking too much and overanalyzing everything?

Thank you,



My understanding is that the Real Presence is there only while it retains the properties of bread. Once the Eucharist loses these accidents (i.e. is digested) the Real Presence no longer remains, so no, there is no need to worry about any “ickiness” befalling our Lord.


The act of consuming the Host and drinking the Blood imparts its graces.

Once the eaten, it is dissolved and no longer the Body and Blood of our Lord.


Don’t worry you aren’t flushing Jesus. :smiley:


Priests I trust have told me the Real Presence remains within you about 10-20 minutes after receiving Holy Communion. One of the reasons it is good to stay in the church awhile and make a thanksgiving after Mass.


And this is our participation in His life. His life, through the Church…To desire to receive in good consceince and standing with our Lord…To worship and come together with our brothers and sisters…to encourage each other and offer our service in the parish.

The Church has made definite discriptions about the Eucharist, and I dont doubt for good reasons, but sometimes we do worry about the details and loose sight of the heart of His supper.



Heaven came to visit you whilst you were on earth…


The Real Presence of Christ remains only as long as the host remains in tact and recognisable as bread. It won’t even get beyond the stomach prior to the Real Presence no longer being there.


Once swallowed is what I was told by a priest.


There are certainly different schools of thought in the Catholic Church concerning what happens to the Eucharist after It’s reception.

In the Byzantine Catholic Churches, we believe that Christ’s Body and Blood is united with our body and blood. If we bleed after Communion, we treat our blood as also containing Christ’s Blood… If we use a bandage, we must respectfully burn and/or bury it. Within reason of course, there are times when it is not possible to do such (such as in an accident or bad injury, at a hospital, etc)

A prayer prayed after Communion in the Byzantine Churches by St Simeon Metaphrastes:
You, who graciously give Your Flesh to me as food, who are a fire consuming the unworthy: consume me not, O my Creator, but rather pass through all the parts of my body, into all my joints, my heart, my soul; burn, O Good Lord, the thorns of my transgressions, cleanse my soul and purify all my thoughts.


Thank you for your responses, everyone! They helped a lot.

Is there a paragraph in the CCC about this?


CCC 1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. …

To determine precisely what “subsist” entails (beyond mere opinions or guesses) I think you’d have to consult a theology manual.


It’s for as long as it is still bread or wine. If it’s no longer such the Eucharistic species no longer subsists. Once swallowed and in the stomach it will begin to breakdown and will no longer exist. Unless you want an endoscope inserted in your stomach no one can know the exact time. It will differ in different people under different consditions. Mind you we have no need of knowing when the point comes that it no longer subsists.


The OP said:
After we receive the Holy Eucharist, what happens then? I asked around my parish, and people only say, “It becomes a part of you” or “It disappears inside our body.”

There is more to the Eucharist’s union with us than breaking down in our stomach. What does the West teach concerning the union of Christ with the communicant? I know that the Eastern Fathers teach that the Eucharist nourishes our body and soul and a union is formed from this nourishment among other things. Certainly the West has teachings concerning this union; I am just not familiar with them. I think the OP might benefit from this. :slight_smile:



The substance, Body and Blood, remain as long as the accidents, bread and wine, remain. It is until the accidents no longer subsist. The accidents are bread and wine.


Accidents are not bread and wine. They are the appearances of bread and wine.

The reality has changed.



The Catechism promulgated by Bl. John Paul II talks about it in para. 1391 ff, but I’m not sure if this qualifies as “the West,” so instead I’ll quote salient excerpts from the Roman Catechism (A.D. 1566), section on the effects of the Eucharist:

… we are, in some wise, changed into its nature …

Those who receive this Sacrament piously and fervently … so receive the Son of God into their souls as to be ingrafted as living members on His body.

… the soul not [is] only sustained but invigorated by feasting on the food of the Eucharist, which gives to the spirit an increasing zest for heavenly things

Whatever the soul has lost through the fire of passion, by falling into some slight offence, all this the Eucharist, cancelling those lesser faults, repairs, in the same way … But these things are to be understood of those sins for which no actual affection is retained.

There is, furthermore, such a power in the sacred mysteries as to preserve us pure and unsullied from sin, keep us safe from the assaults of temptation, and, as by some heavenly medicine, prepare the soul against the easy approach and infection of virulent and deadly disease. …

It also restrains and represses the lusts of the flesh, for while it inflames the soul more ardently with the fire of charity, it of necessity extinguishes the ardour of concupiscence. …

by the grace of this Sacrament men enjoy the greatest peace and tranquillity of conscience during the present life; and, when the hour of departing from this world shall have arrived, like Elias, who in the strength of the bread baked on the hearth, walked to Horeb, the mount of God, they, too, invigorated by the strengthening influence of this (heavenly food), will ascend to unfading glory and bliss.


I was mainly referring to the fact that the only Western perspectives being offered to the OP was about when the Eucharist ceases to be present in the stomach. It had only answered half of the question. :slight_smile:

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