Wash sacred vessels with soap?

Hi, I posted this in the Liturgy section and did not get a response, so I am sending this again…

My parish church uses the proper sacred vessels but after Mass, but especially the weekend mass, I see either the Eucharistic ministers or parish staff members grabbing the sacred vessels and carrying them back to the sacristy, crowding theml in one arm, with the vessels upside down or on top of one another, as if they are waiters clearing a table in a restaurant.

I question not only the handling of the sacred vessels that just carried the Body and Blood of Jesus , but also but also whether they should be washed washed with soap in the sacristy (for hygienic reasons). I know that the Purification is done right at the end of the Mass by the priest (there is enough information on this) but the actual washing later on with soap is something that is not often discussed.

Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, writes the following:
the priest " purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice then purifies the chalice… This is usually done by placing the paten over the chalice at an angle so that the tiny fragments fall into it. If necessary, this process may be helped by moving the particles with the corner of a folded purificator or with the thumb, which in turn is rubbed over the chalice to loosen any particles that may have adhered. If necessary, especially in hot and humid climes, the fingers may also be purified with water. "

"The ciborium may be purified by hand in the same manner. But because of the large number of small particles in this vessel, it is often necessary to purify it directly with water. In this case, water is placed in the ciborium, gently swished to absorb all the particles and this water is then poured directly into the chalice. Extra chalices are likewise purified with water. "

“The minister then consumes the water containing the particles and should not pour it into the sacrarium. The minister then dries the ciboria and the chalice or chalices with a purificator.”

"When this process is completed, and only then, may the sacred vessels be washed with other elements such as soap. This is usually unnecessary and should not be done on a daily basis except, perhaps, when many people partake of the same chalice. Excess washing can cause expensive damage to the metal parts of the chalice."
More in: zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=66066

From what Fr. McNamara writes above, it shows that washing by soap is optional. I would like to know more about this 2nd part, the cleaning after the purification. Is it true that the sink in the sacristy where the vessels are washed should have a plumbing system that goes directly to the ground and not through the sewer lines? Is there any kind of prayer or ceremony that the Church prescribes during this time of washing? What kind of soap can be used? Can anybody do this washing of the vessels in sink? ( especially if the deacon is gone or busy with other things after Mass)

Once I attended Mass at a parish where we attended a conference. After Mass, I went to the bathroom. I was shocked at what I witnesed – a Eucharistic minister was washing all the sacred vessels in the bathroom sink!

What is so sad is often the liturgical abuse happens just because people don’t know. There is not enough information on this.

In the love and joy of Jesus,
Teresa

No

[quote=tgerlinger143] What kind of soap can be used?

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Soap is not necessary.

[quote=tgerlinger143] Can anybody do this washing of the vessels in sink? ( especially if the deacon is gone or busy with other things after Mass)

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If there is a Deacon it is his responsibility. However an EMHC who knows what they are doing can also do this.

[quote=tgerlinger143] Once I attended Mass at a parish where we attended a conference. After Mass, I went to the bathroom. I was shocked at what I witnesed – a Eucharistic minister was washing all the sacred vessels in the bathroom sink!

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I would have said STOP immediately! Taken the vessels and purified them myself properly using a pitcher of water and large bowl to catch the water to be poured into the ground.

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Br. Rich SFO, Can you also describe how to clean the bowls that hold the holy water? They get scummy after a while, and seem to need a good cleaning. What is prpoer?

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Absolutely.

No

Soap is not necessary.

If there is a Deacon it is his responsibility. However an EMHC who knows what they are doing can also do this.

I would have said STOP immediately! Taken the vessels and purified them myself properly using a pitcher of water and large bowl to catch the water to be poured into the ground.

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Bro. Rich,
You say that soap is not necessary in cleaning the sacred vessels at the sacristy after they have been purified. Is this purely on an act of faith that the vessels contained the Body and Blood of Christ and so will not have any kind of germ contamination from anyone who may have drank from the chalice who has a cold or infection?

In the same token… if one has a cold or infection, should he/she refrain from taking the Blood of Jesus in the chalice or again, it does not matter because the Blood of Jesus is more powerful than any germs?

Thank you and God bless you!
Teresa

Having been an EM, and having seen the purificators after cleansing the chalices, I would be on the side of using soap. Lip stick residue, people with colds, little germies…those things cannot be totally removed with just a purificator. The lipstick alone is really gross…

[quote=Catholic90]Having been an EM, and having seen the purificators after cleansing the chalices, I would be on the side of using soap. Lip stick residue, people with colds, little germies…those things cannot be totally removed with just a purificator. The lipstick alone is really gross…
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I read somewhere, though not in the Catechism, that women should NEVER wear lipstick when they are receiving Holy Communion. The reasoning was that lipstick is a contaminant for the pureness and sacredness of the Host. I guess this is a personal decision, though.

Oxide from the sacred vessels, especially the pewter chalices, stains the purificators. We use special pieces of toweling to wash and dry the sacred vessels. These are then laundered lwith the same procedures as the purificatiors.

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Br. Rich SFO, Can you also describe how to clean the bowls that hold the holy water? They get scummy after a while, and seem to need a good cleaning. What is prpoer?

The bowls hold a sacramental not the Blessed Sacrament. They should however be treated with respect. It is best to rinse them in the sacrarium after each use, or if permanent fonts, every so often so that they do not get scummy. After the Blessed water and a rinse goes down the sacrarium a washing with dish soap in a regular sink should take care of it. Careful rinsing so we don’t have any bubbles next time they are used. Same with sponges used in Holy Water fonts.

[quote=tgerlinger143]Bro. Rich,
You say that soap is not necessary in cleaning the sacred vessels at the sacristy after they have been purified. Is this purely on an act of faith that the vessels contained the Body and Blood of Christ and so will not have any kind of germ contamination from anyone who may have drank from the chalice who has a cold or infection?

In the same token… if one has a cold or infection, should he/she refrain from taking the Blood of Jesus in the chalice or again, it does not matter because the Blood of Jesus is more powerful than any germs?

Thank you and God bless you!
Teresa
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If someone has a cold or flu they should not receive from the chalice so that they do not touch the outside and have someone else come along right after and pick up the germs. Generally gems do not live very long in the open air on surfaces. The Gold and Silver tend to inhibit the germs as well as the effect of the accident of alcohol.

Chalices used to be purified first with unconsecrated wine (for the effects of the alcohol) then water. Both of which were consumed.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]The bowls hold a sacramental not the Blessed Sacrament. They should however be treated with respect. It is best to rinse them in the sacrarium after each use, or if permanent fonts, every so often so that they do not get scummy. After the Blessed water and a rinse goes down the sacrarium a washing with dish soap in a regular sink should take care of it. Careful rinsing so we don’t have any bubbles next time they are used. Same with sponges used in Holy Water fonts.
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Thanks so much for responding. This is exactly what I was doing. Now I don’t need to worry!

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