Was it wrong for the priest to do this?


During the mass, before the priest held up the Eucharist and said the words “Behold the Lamb of God…”, he gave a host to two people behind him and the altar servers as well I believe, and they were just standing there holding the hosts in their hands as the priest was saying “Behold the Lamb of God…” and then when the priest consumed the host, the others who were holding communion in their hands consumed the hosts they were holding. Is a priest allowed to do this?


I don’t think they can. You may want to ask him why he does that if you see him again.


He’s not allowed to do that (unless they are also priests). No wiggle room on that one, although I’ve seen it done too.
But the Mass and the Eucharist received by the faithful would not be invalidated.


The only persons who may self-communicate (that is, give themselves Holy Communion) are the priestly celebrant of the Mass, and the concelebrants. It is incorrect for altar servers, deacons, and even priests who are not concelebrating to self-communicate.


But I’ve seen priests who are not concelebrating do self-communicate. :confused:


Some priests are just ill-trained. A small gift of a training book for Christmas perhaps?


This is incorrect, although it’s unfortunately become common in recent years. The act of self-communication by the priest symbolizes the unity of the true priest of the Mass (Christ, acting through His ordained minister), with the victim of the sacrifice which is re-presented to us at the Mass (Christ). Those priests who do not concelebrate do not act in alter Christe for the Mass, and therefore do not self-communicate.


BTW, another thought here … a layperson shouldn’t be afraid to say something (in a charitable manner) to a priest who’s doing this. However, quoting a legal passage from GIRM or whatever might not work. Often a priest who’s bent on doing this will scoff and says that’s being too legalistic. So another approach might be needed.

As a member of my parish’s worship commission, I gently but flatly mentioned it to our pastor several years ago (I referred to the weekend associate priest, but both of them had done this).

Here’s what won him over: I pointed out that by giving these extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion the host to hold, it robbed them of their right to receive Communion on the tongue. He thought a moment, and then said something like, “Yeah, I guess that’s true…” A short time later it ceased and I’ve not seen it again.

I suspect that by putting it in the context of a person’s “rights” it appealed to his, um, left-leaning sympathies.


While the concelebrants are supposed to take the host from the paten before the “Lamb of God,” the non-concelebrating members–all the laity, the ministers, and even non-concelebrating priests–are supposed to wait until the celebrant consumes both the Body and the Blood, and then receive the sacred species from the proper minister. In many dioceses, it is the rule that the non-clerical ministers should not even come up before the “Lamb of God” is finished–this would solve the confusion.


I watched one of the Pope’s Masses in Korea yesterday. It was very evident that a whole slew of clergymen came up from the pews (chairs), got in line, and self-communicated, even intincting the host. They took a host, dipped it into the precious blood, and communed. Right under the nose of the Pope.

So……what’s the story here?


Concelebrating priests are allowed to self-intinct. Because they’re priests. I don’t know about priests attending in choro. Were they wearing chasubles (concelebrating) or choir dress (in choro)?


I think the difference is that the hosts used in the Papal Mass by those priests have already been pre-consecrated before Mass to allow for better Communion flow.


Unfortunately, liturgical abuse is by no means unheard of at Papal Masses. I remember that at the last World Youth Day, some EMHC were distributing the Blessed Sacrament out of plastic cups.


Careful there - people here seem quick to scream “liturgical abuse” without examining the situation and the law.

For instance, the law requiring the dishes to be made of precious metal is a man made one. A local bishop can dispense from this if he deems it necessary. In the case of a large assembly like World Youth Day the need for vessels to distribute the Blessed Sacrament from would be a huge and unachievable burden for some entire countries, let alone a single diocese, if the vessels were all to be made with precious metal plating. I am sure there were some requirements, like all the cups were new, all had to be purified after use and disposed of properly and reverently.

If you truly think a liturgical abuse is happening, ask the clergy involved or the local bishop - you just might find out there is a reason and a proper dispensation has been granted or at least you will call the situation to the attention of the local bishop who will correct the issue.


Contrary to what other posters have said, this isn’t actually self-communication because the others involved have (presumably) received the host from the priest - albeit before he consumed the eucharist himself. That said, I have seen an extraordinary minister in a similar situation simply take a host from the bowl on the altar. Clergy, including concelebrants, are the only ones who are able to self-receive which includes intinction (often a priest will do this if he has a cold, etc and doesn’t want to use a separate chalice)…

At any rate, and as others have noted, the priest isn’t meant to do this although it is a widespread error (to use a relatively neutral term). Unfortunately, old habits become ingrained in some priests and can be quite hard to shift. One way of dealing with it may be to have the Extraordinary Ministers refrain from entering the sanctuary (and likewise the altar servers remain in their places) until after the priest has consumed the eucharist. of course the priest may not like that in which case you can only do so much - granted it’s far from ideal but, that said, it’s not all that bad.

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