Symbol on eucharist


#1

I was asked by an anti Catholic what the symbol on the Eucharist means. He thought it meant ceasar or something like that. Can anyone explain this to me so I can explain it to him.


#2

What do you mean by “symbol on the Eucharist”?


#3

I think that the O.P. refers to the signs that sometime are embossed in the host before baking it. IHS is the one that comes to mind. For the O.P. IHS are initials of the name “Jesus” in Greek.


#4

[quote="joclucsylv, post:1, topic:295865"]
I was asked by an anti Catholic what the symbol on the Eucharist means. He thought it meant ceasar or something like that. Can anyone explain this to me so I can explain it to him.

[/quote]

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that remark.

There is no standard for what might be imprinted on a host. It depends on who makes them. There might be nothing. There might be a cross. There might be letters. There might be a Chi Ro (looks like a P with an X through it). Or there might be something else.

But rest assured, if there are symbols or letters they would have a Christian meaning.

(But for every Christian symbol out there you will find something on the internet about how it is a pagan symbol and that proves that Catholics are associated with the antichrist so be forewarned.)


#5

[quote="Cristiano, post:3, topic:295865"]
I think that the O.P. refers to the signs that sometime are embossed in the host before baking it. IHS is the one that comes to mind. For the O.P. IHS are initials of the name "Jesus" in Greek.

[/quote]

Let me add that there are dozens of companies that make communion bread for Catholics and non-Catholics, from commercial businesses to religious communities. Some hosts do not have anything embossed on them at all.

There are a number of religious symbols which could be on the host. Some I have seen in the past in my travels:

Blank - no symbol
Cross
IHS (already explained above, a monogram for Jesus Christ)
Agnus Dei (lamb with a flag or lamb lieing down) - symbol of Jesus, the Lamb of God
Chi Ro - first two initials of the word "Christ" in Greek
Chi Ro with a fish superimposed on top
Crucifix
Alpha Omega

So, really, this person would have to be more specific as to what symbol they are referring to. But, no, none of them are for "Caesar".


#6

The vast majority of Eucharistic hosts I've received in my three decades as a Catholic have had a simple cross on them. If you are fortunate enough to receive a piece of the larger host that the priest holds up and blesses, this may look more intricate but the design on it (geometric, really) is only meant to enable easy breaking into more uniform pieces.


#7

It isn't entirely unexpected for an ignorant person to assume that the Chi-ro stands for "Caesar". It looks ancient & imperial, and was in fact used by a man who took Caesar as his title: Constantine. :)


#8

He is probably getting his information from a Jack Chick tract called "Roman Catholicism," where he alleges that the IHS stamped on every host refers to the Egyptian gods Isis, Horeb, and Seb. I don't think I've ever seen a host with IHS on it. Most of them either have a little cross or nothing at all.


#9

[quote="joclucsylv, post:1, topic:295865"]
I was asked by an anti Catholic what the symbol on the Eucharist means. He thought it meant ceasar or something like that. Can anyone explain this to me so I can explain it to him.

[/quote]

I think sometimes the best way to go about these kinds of assertions (besides ignoring them) could be to insist the asserter give cause for his assertion.


#10

There are 2 symbols I can think of (other than a cross) embossed on the Eucharistic host. Both involve Greek letters. Greek is the language of the NT.

IHS is the transliteration of the first 3 letters in our LORD's name. (IHSOUS or Jesus).

PX (arranged vertically) is Greek CHR for CHRISTOS. This is probably what your friend saw and confused CHR with Caesar (which is spelled with K not CH, Kaisaros).

It's all Greek to me:)

ICXC NIKA


#11

[quote="GEddie, post:10, topic:295865"]

PX (arranged vertically) is Greek CHR for CHRISTOS. This is probably what your friend saw and confused CHR with Caesar (which is spelled with K not CH, Kaisaros).

It's all Greek to me:)

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

Why would we ever put the name of a Caesar on a host? They were the ones trying to kill us!


#12

I remember when I was in catholic school the teachers took some classes to a place where the communion hosts are made, before they are concecrated. There were many types. Large, small, brown, speckled and different symbols upon them. Kids actually had them in a paper bag and were eating them and I did as well. I don’t think that would be done today although you would think it would be the opposite way around.


#13

[quote="johnnyjones, post:12, topic:295865"]
I remember when I was in catholic school the teachers took some classes to a place where the communion hosts are made, before they are concecrated. There were many types. Large, small, brown, speckled and different symbols upon them. Kids actually had them in a paper bag and were eating them and I did as well. I don't think that would be done today although you would think it would be the opposite way around.

[/quote]

Maybe not paper bags full...

But I think it is quite common for First Communion classes to be given the unconsecrated hosts used at their parishes so they (and their teachers) have some idea of what to expect. The last thing you want is for a child who is very sensitive to tastes and/or textures to have some kind of gag response during his First Communion.


#14

Good point. I didn’t realize that was still occurring but it makes sense.


#15

In my parish, the children receive their First Holy Communion by intinction, so they are given an unconsecrated host dipped in wine during their practice session so they won’t have an adverse reaction to the taste of the Precious Blood when the time comes.

In the place where I stayed while studying in Mexico, the local sisters baked hosts for nearby parishes. The host oven was a large rectangular griddle with a pull-down top and host-shaped indentations, something like a waffle iron. Batter was poured on and the top was closed to bake the hosts on both sides. When it was fully baked, the bread sheet was removed and the individual hosts were popped out. The leftover bread was sold on the streets by the nuns as snacks.


#16

Here's a variety of altar bread symbols from one supplier . . .

Corpus Christi brand:
churchsupplywarehouse.com/catalog_product.asp_Q_categoryId_E_63_A_subcategoryId_E_875_A_categoryItemId_E_22248_A_Corpus_Christi_Brand_Altar_Breads_E_Corpus_Christi_Brand_Altar_Breads

Cavanagh brand:
churchsupplywarehouse.com/catalog_categoryItem.asp_Q_categoryId_E_63_A_subcategoryId_E_300


#17

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:295865"]
What do you mean by "symbol on the Eucharist"?

[/quote]

http://www.catholicsupply.com/churchs/_derived/wine.html_txt_host5.gif
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_M29WZcgghmo/SSc0RDbOdrI/AAAAAAAAG_4/xGfrGAQbc-Q/s1600/IMG_0819.JPG


#18

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