Questions about Hosts...forgive me though I am stupid on in


#1

Sorry to ask this stupid, ignorant question…but I don’t know for reals.

When priests hold up the Host, it obviously looks like a white circle but it’s bread, right? Sometimes when I’m watching The Daily Mass on EWTN and watch the priests eat it, right as they put it into their mouths and take a bite, I hear a “crunch”! I thought it was bread and was soft or something. Am I missing something here?

I also have heard it’s a wheat wafer. Wafer?

Another thing, is, why is it that the preists eat a bigger Host while the people get a smaller one?

Another stupid question, what does it taste like? Bread?


#2

It is dry hence the crunch. Go to a Catholic store and buy an Oplatki (Christmas Wafer)- they are almost the same.


#3

Hi Paris!

I have only been Catholic for a little over a year now, but I think I can answer the questions. Calling the hosts a “wafer” is just describing their shape, since they are round and quite thin. They are wheat–they must be only wheat flour and water, I believe. They are unleavened, so the texture is not like a slice of bread you would use for sandwiches. I would describe the texture as more similar to a cracker, thus the crunch. They taste like wheat.

The important thing about how they are made is that they aren’t supposed to crumble–this is one of the big reasons I think that they used to only give Communion on the tongue, with a paten (like a little plate) held under the chin.

I think the priest’s host is bigger just so that the people can see it better when he holds it up. So it is practical. Most of the priests I have seen don’t eat the whole big host, but break the rest up and distribute it with the rest–so if someone gets a pie-shaped one at Communion, that is why.

I hope this helps!

:slight_smile:


#4

In the Latin (Roman) Church, the bread used for the host is unleavened (no yeast). Therefore it is somewhat similar to a cracker. Eastern Catholic Churches (and the Orthodox) use leavened bread, so it doesn’t crunch.

The host or “wafer” is made of only wheat flour and water to hold it together. I guess it is called “wafer” because it is thin and crisp.

The only reason I know of that the Priest uses a larger host, is that during the consecration, it is elevated. A larger host would be advantageous so that everyone can see it when it is elevated. It’s not different, though. During Holy Communion, the priest actually breaks the host. The first cummunicants from the congregation will actually receive a broken piece of the large host.

I hope this helps!


#5

did someone let a parrot in here or something? :smiley:


#6

I was confused because I was thinking of wheat bread which is obviously a light brown color but the Hosts look white!!! And I was thinking, a ‘wheat’ wafer?


#7

[quote=Paris Blues]I was confused because I was thinking of wheat bread which is obviously a light brown color but the Hosts look white!!! And I was thinking, a ‘wheat’ wafer?
[/quote]

The wafer is bread. If it does not look like what you normally think of as bread that is because it is unleavened. The only things that go into the making of the hosts are wheat and water.


#8

Ask your RCIA director or Priest about bringing in an UNCONSECRATED host for the class to see.


#9

I have another question…:stuck_out_tongue:

What do they do with the leftovers? I mean, let’s say there’s a parish that thinks there are going to be around 100 people attending at least and they have more than 100 Hosts to give the people. If 30 people showed up, less than planned, what do the priest do with the extra?


#10

Any extra consecrated hosts are stored in a ciborium in the tabernacle. If there are only a few, they may be consumed by the priest.


#11

[quote=mtr01]did someone let a parrot in here or something? :smiley:
[/quote]

You know what they say–great minds think alike. :smiley:


#12

The “extra” consecrated hosts are kept in the tabernacle. You will see a lighted candle next to the tabernacle. This indicates that Jesus is present in the tabernacle (just as at Holy Communion). With the exception of Good Friday, there will always be a lighted candle next to the tabernacle in the church to indicated Jesus’ presence in the consecrated hosts.


#13

[quote=kage_ar]Ask your RCIA director or Priest about bringing in an UNCONSECRATED host for the class to see.
[/quote]

This is something we did this year when we walked through the Mass. We distributed unconsecrated just as they would have been during Communion. So that the people in RCIA could learn how to hold their hands or receive in their mouth if they wished. They received two different kinds of hosts used here, one a brownish whole wheat and the other a white host so they could taste both.


#14

In the 2nd grade when I received First Holy Communion, we had a class (went to Catholic school) where we went over to church and received an unconsecrated host and a sip of unconsecrated wine so that we would know what it tastes like and not be surprised and spit it out.


#15

[quote=AmandaCatherine]You know what they say–great minds think alike. :smiley:
[/quote]

That was so alike it was scary :bigyikes:

:smiley:


#16

Paris,

The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask!
God Bless,

Maria


#17

[quote=JimG]Any extra consecrated hosts are stored in a ciborium in the tabernacle. If there are only a few, they may be consumed by the priest.
[/quote]

extra hosts are consecrated so that there may always be communion available for the sick and dying, if they are not used they should be distributed to the faithful at the next Mass so that they don’t get stale. If there were for some reason too many to keep, the priest or deacon would consume them. The hosts are usually baked by cloistered nuns and sold to churches as a way for them to raise money to live on and to insure they are properly made with the proper ingredients (wheat flour and water only, nothing else, no salt, nothing). the flour may either be white or whole wheat.


#18

[font=Comic Sans MS]With the exception of Good Friday, there will always be a lighted candle next to the tabernacle in the church to indicated Jesus’ presence in the consecrated hosts.

[/font]

Is this absolutely always true? I have never seen a lighted candle next to the Tabernacle at my Catholic Church (granted I no longer attend). Are they violating some kind of rules?


#19

[quote=kage_ar]Ask your RCIA director or Priest about bringing in an UNCONSECRATED host for the class to see.
[/quote]

Go even further, ask them to bring in an entire container of unconsecrated hosts. That way you can all see what it’ll taste like. (since it’s unconsecrated, it’s just bread)


#20

It’s probably there. Even though I attended Catholic school for grades K-8 (at what is considered an orthodox parish), I never knew that there was supposed to be a lit candle (usually in a red holder) to signify that the Eucharist is in the tabernacle until I read it on these boards- and thus I never noticed the candles. As soon as I found out, I immediately saw the candle in my church the following Sunday. In fact, I’ve even seen one of our priests trundle through the church late one evening (during choir practice) in his slippers to put a new candle in the holder lest the old one burn out overnight.


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