Receiving a piece of the priest's host

I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

I would not read too much into this. My pastor and my parochial vicar also give a fraction of the Host to the first communicants, regardless of who they are.

I'm afraid it is just the luck of the draw, it's nice though when it happens.

In the 1962 rite, the priest breaks his host, which is larger, into 3 pieces–two big and one small.

The small he places in the Chalice–the Conmixture, as it’s called.

He consumes the other 2 parts.

Many places use an extra large host with scorings or perforations so it can be broken into more pieces easily.

It doesn’t mean anything special if the Priest gives you a part of his host.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour.

[/quote]

Not really- it usually just means you are one of the first few people in line.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces.

[/quote]

That's more likely...

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people!

[/quote]

Well, like people in all social situations, priests can play favorites at times- it's not right, but it happens.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

Just because a person has been Catholic their whole life doesn't mean they know the Faith. People like this can be impossible to correct, but I have found that people who don't know their faith very well sometimes think they know better than me just because they've been in the Church their whole life.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

Maybe your friend has been told by a priest that that is what he does, but I for one see no especial merit in receiving that piece. All the hosts are consecrated equally (ie, completely and totally become the Body and Blood of Jesus). Receiving part of the Host the priest held us just means you might be getting more of his skin cells...although really, he would handle all of the ones he distributes....
:D

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

you are correct your friend is mistaken.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

It is random, and many times a piece of the "main" Host is in the ciborium that an EMHC uses.

For the most part, I agree wholly with the other posters. There was one example though, that came to mind...I can't recall where I heard about it, where the priest reserved "his" host for those people he knew well, those he knew would treat it with the utmost reverence. The reasoning, as I recall, was that the large host is more "crumbly", and the priest wanted to make sure that whoever received it, would not simply brush the crumbs off of their hands, but would make certain that the host was consumed in it's entirety. I think this is more the exception than the rule though. :shrug:

In some parishes, I would expect this to be true. In the parish I belong to now and the one previously, it was a sign of respect if the pastor would commune someone with a piece of the large host. Often these priests would commune choir members, readers, and other such lay ministers at Mass with the large host. In part as a sign of appreciation for their ministry, but probably also because they wouldn't just brush off any crumbs willy-nilly.

Is it not silly to deliberate that one consecrated host is greater than the other.
We humans have the folly of measuring this against that, that greater or bigger is always better.

Whether the consecrated host is large or small, consumed by a priest or lay Catholic the entire Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity permeates the host to the smallest of crumbs in it's entirety without question of deliberating Faith.

It's truly regrettable that my priest does not use the Paten that is used with the Chalice to catch the minute particles that fall unseen from a consecrated host. Gone too is the prejudged archaic tradition of yesteryear when altar servers used hand held Paten's to catch the unseen consecrated crumbs falling from lay communicants receiving communion on the tongue or in the hands.

My apologies for gripping but it's just how my interior heart feels about the utter sacredness of a consecrated host in it's entirety.

If this were true, than my priest thinks very poorly of me - but then I do stick my tongue out at him :p. I have seen him switch from a fragmented piece from ‘his’ Host to a complete round one when I come up. The reason (I think anyway) is because I receive on the tongue and this is easier with a bigger Host.
To me it would make sense to ensure the fragmented piece went to someone who receives OTT so no crumbs are lost, seems Father doesn’t agree but I hope it isn’t that he doesn’t like me.

Not a silly question at all - never be afraid to ask, you never know what will turn into a 15 page thread :).

I had a priest once really dig around in the ciborium until he came up with a broken piece for me. I don't know what his motivation was and didn't ask, but I have certainly observed that the fractured pieces are like a little explosion in the hand sometimes. I've learned to keep that hand closed until I get back to my seat, because there isn't always enough time before approaching the chalice to actually get all the little bits of Jesus.

[quote="Mel_Stones, post:12, topic:178902"]
If this were true, than my priest thinks very poorly of me - but then I do stick my tongue out at him :p. I have seen him switch from a fragmented piece from 'his' Host to a complete round one when I come up. The reason (I think anyway) is because I receive on the tongue and this is easier with a bigger Host.
To me it would make sense to ensure the fragmented piece went to someone who receives OTT so no crumbs are lost, seems Father doesn't agree but I hope it isn't that he doesn't like me.

Not a silly question at all - never be afraid to ask, you never know what will turn into a 15 page thread :).

[/quote]

Funny, because one of our new priests insists that anyone who receives part of the big host does so on the tongue.

[quote="EvelynEVF, post:13, topic:178902"]
I have certainly observed that the fractured pieces are like a little explosion in the hand sometimes. I've learned to keep that hand closed until I get back to my seat, because there isn't always enough time before approaching the chalice to actually get all the little bits of Jesus.

[/quote]

Right on, maybe your priest knows you show great respect!
I've licked my entire palm on my way back to my seat after serving as Extraordinary Minister when there was a lot of crumbs from the Host. :p Once was after Father handed me the remaining Host from Communion to take to the Tabernacle without a plate :eek:.

[quote="Seatuck, post:14, topic:178902"]
Funny, because one of our new priests insists that anyone who receives part of the big host does so on the tongue.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: for your priest. I admit - when I serve as Extraordinary Minister I tend to reserve the fragmented pieces for those I know either receive OTT or check their hands after receiving.

[quote="Susan_Calvin, post:1, topic:178902"]
I am a very new Catholic so I apologize in advance if this sounds like a silly question...

Yesterday, someone in my parish told me that if Father gives you a piece of "his" host, the one he elevates during the consecration, it means he thinks highly of you and is doing you a special favour. Personally, I assumed pieces of the priest's host were given out so that the priest doesn't have to eat the whole thing, and that its just random who gets the pieces. I also think its kind of wrong almost, if the priest were "favouring" certain people! But this person was insistent, and has been a Catholic their whole life, so... I'm not sure. If someone can clarify this for me I would be grateful.

[/quote]

Interresting I think I remember something similar in the life of St. Theresa of Lisieux, the Little Flower. If memory serves, in her autobiography Story of a Soul she recounts a time when she felt particularly graced because when she received Communion, the priest administered part of "his" Host. Your friend might be recalling the same episode.

In any case, though, we need to keep in mind that there is no difference between any consecrated Hosts. They are all the Body of Christ.

Can anyone confirm or deny that episode in Story of a Soul? My memory is vague on that, and I don't want any misunderstandings caused by this post.

[quote="FrDavid96, post:16, topic:178902"]
Can anyone confirm or deny that episode in Story of a Soul? My memory is vague on that, and I don't want any misunderstandings caused by this post.

[/quote]

Therese was concerned that Jesus might be hesitant to come to her in Holy Communion because of her weakness. She asked Him to show this by her being given half a host (as is done when the hosts are of insufficient number for all to receive a whole one). Instead, there were apparently too many hosts, and she was given two. She took this as a sign of affection.

Betsy

[quote="baltobetsy, post:17, topic:178902"]
Therese was concerned that Jesus might be hesitant to come to her in Holy Communion because of her weakness. She asked Him to show this by her being given half a host (as is done when the hosts are of insufficient number for all to receive a whole one). Instead, there were apparently too many hosts, and she was given two. She took this as a sign of affection.

Betsy

[/quote]

Ah ha!

Thank you.

Thanks so much for the discussion on this, I learned a lot from reading your replies. I've been ill so I apologize for not replying sooner but I do very much appreciate all the responses.

I discussed this with my priest, and just to confirm what you all said, he said it is basically a random thing. Additionally, he often gets donations from the bakery that manufactures the hosts, and these donations are fraction pieces. Therefore, often people are given fraction pieces which are not part of "his" host, they are just extra odd shaped pieces. He did say though, he will often give the fraction pieces to people who he knows, though not as a favour, but moreso because they are informed Catholics who understand what the fraction pieces are... he said in the past he's had uninformed people being confused by them and questioning him about them, so he tries to give them to people who know that they are the same as the little round hosts. But again, he emphasized it was not favoritism at all, just a matter of avoiding confusion.

Since I asked him about this, he's been giving ME fraction pieces! Practically every time. ;)

I had a woman complain to me that she was always getting a broken host until I explained to her that since she is usually one of the first in line that she is getting a piece of the large priest’s host. yes, people do need some catechesis in this area. The full presence of Christ is in every piece of the host, no matter if it is broken into several pieces.

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