Transubstantiation performed if already more than enough Eucharist

What do Catholic churches do if there’s already an overabundance of consecrated Eucharists in the tabernacle?

Is there still something freshly consecrated during the Mass or are the Eucharists consecrated a second time?

Yes, the celebrant would still consecrate a few hosts, including the one that he himself consumes.


Confection of the Eucharist occurs at every Mass. Only a limited number of Eucharistic Species are to be reserved.


274.When Communion is completed, the remaining Eucharistic Species are brought to the altar. At this time, the Body of the Lord is given to ministers who will bring it to the sick. Then the remaining Consecrated Species are consumed by the Priest and Deacon. Some of the Consecrated Bread may be placed in a ciborium and brought to the tabernacle where it is customary to reserve the Body of the Lord for Communion to the sick.

The priest always must consecrate an unconsecrated host during Mass, even if it’s just one host (that he would then consume).

Consecrating the already-consecrated Eucharist makes no sense; they are already Jesus’ body and blood, they do not transubstantiate again. I actually wonder if doing such a thing would result in an invalid Mass.


There is always the celebrant’s host and the precious blood that is consecrated at every mass. If there are host reserved in the tabernacle they generally remain in the tabernacle during the consecration and are only brought to the altar afterwards (during the agnus dei).

Host are not reconsecrated and great care is to be taken to not mix consecrated and unconsecrated hosts. One time after mass, the celebrating priest and another deacon had to consume close to 150+ hosts because a “helpful” sacristan added some hosts to those in the tabernacle. This had to be done because there was no way to separate them and we could not just treat them as unconsecrated to be consecrated at a later mass. One of the reasons that clergy are the only ones with access to the tabernacle in the parish now.


Father John Riccardo speaks of this very thing happening at his Church in a You Tube video. He had to immediately stop all Sacristans from serving until he had a meeting and retraining with all of them.

It really surprises me this happens with people who are supposed to be trained to work with the Eucharist.

It just strikes me as a totally boneheaded thing to do, to mix the consecrated and unconsecrated hosts, and I’ve never been a sacristan or a server or an EMHC or anything and I still realize it’s boneheaded.


Never in a million years would this have occurred to me, but I have to think that while it certainly would not “take”, as long as the unconsecrated host in the priest’s hands were consecrated in the Mass, it wouldn’t invalidate the Mass. Indeed, if there were uncertainty as to which hosts were consecrated, and which one’s weren’t, they would all have to be consecrated sub conditione. Just off the top of my head, I don’t know if canon law or traditional Catholic sacramental theology allow for such a scenario. I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

If even that host were already consecrated — hard to imagine such a scenario, but just “if” — then I have to think that, yes, the Mass would be invalid.

I think it may happen in bigger Churches where there are Masses back to back. In our little Church the FIRST THING I (and the other Sacristans) usually do when serving as Sacristan is to open the Tabernacle, open the Ciborium there and see how many consecrated hosts there are in the Ciborium. I look quickly and then the Ciborium is closed, the Tabernacle locked and THEN AND ONLY then do I continue with my duties of bringing the other needed articles and vessels to the Altar (right now because of Covid and no servers) otherwise to the Credence table. The unconsecrated and consecrated hosts never go near each other because I NEVER need to reopen the Tabernacle again after FIRST checking the Ciborium there.

If there are a small # of consecrated hosts and the Sacristan believes more would be needed for those receiving Holy Communion at that Mass then he/she should just put enough hosts that Father will consecrate in the Ciborium on the Altar. NO ONE should EVER even go into the Tabernacle with unconsecrated hosts EVER. NO unconsecrated hosts should ever go near those already Consecrated. Father doesn’t even remove those from the Tabernacle to add to those on the altar until AFTER Consecration has taken place.

For our 2 weekday morning Masses there are usually plenty of smaller hosts consecrated from Sunday’s Mass already in the Tabernacle so we just put out a new larger host on the paten for Father to Consecrate.

It is preferable that the Eucharist reserved in the tabernacle be an appropriate quantity to be depleted and replaced often so there shouldn’t be a large amount at any particular time under normal circumstances. There are unusual circumstances, and that appropriate quantity varies by parish needs. The GIRM states that it’s more ideal that the Eucharist received at Mass by anyone receiving be consecrated at that same Mass, such that the reserved Eucharist is for sick calls and emergencies, etc. However, to keep them “cycled” through depletion and replenishment, there will almost always be reserved Eucharist and newly consecrated Eucharist at almost any Mass - and there’s really no need to differentiate.

No one is saying there is.

The issue being discussed involved unconsecrated hosts somehow getting mixed up with the consecrated Eucharist in the tabernacle.

I’m the sacristan at my parish and Father doesn’t allow any layperson to open the tabernacle. If he needs to consecrate more hosts he lets me know so I can place the unconsecrated hosts in a ciborium before Mass.

Same in my parish except that I ask the priest to look if there is a need to consecrate more hosts if there have been other priests celebrating Mass since his last or if I haven’t been on sacristy duty for some days.

The Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a sacrament. The double consecration (both species of bread and wine) is needed to offer the sacrifice, even if there is already sufficient consecrated hosts for everyone to receive the sacrament.

The priest (and any concelebrating priests) have to consume a host consecrated at that mass for their participation in the sacrifice to be complete and for the mass which they’re celebrating to be valid.

Well that’s the theory at least and certainly reception by the faithful of hosts consecrated at that mass is preferable (one author once likened distribution of reserved hosts to “inviting people to a banquet and serving them leftovers”). In practice however, it can be a little more difficult to accurately estimate how many hosts are required at each mass with the result that sometimes distribution of reserved hosts in unavoidable. Nonetheless, it should never be the norm.

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Bravo, Father! :+1::+1:


Well sometimes he hasn’t gotten to our Church yet when we (The Sacristans) are there to set up for Mass (He drives between 2 Churches). We are a grand total of 3 Sacristans for our entire Church: 1 ONLY sets up for the Saturday evening Masses. Has been doing it for MANY YEARS. On Sundays it is myself and one other lady that take turns. Believe me we KNOW NEVER to bring unconsecrated hosts anywhere near the Tabernacle. We are reverent and very careful when checking the Ciborium to see how many Consecrated hosts there are. Father is the ONLY one who distributes Holy Communion.

TBH, when I was a EMHC in my senior year in college I was petrified every time I gave out Holy Communion. (I won’t publish my story of how I stopped being a EMHC lest I get flagged.)

However, since this crisis started I’ve had to go back somewhat to being a sacristan. Father uses individual spoons for each person and takes them with him but I have to put the water in which contains the Precious Blood in the ground.

And quite frankly it still petrifies me.

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