What to do if the Host falls to the floor?


Does anyone know what the proper protocol is if you accidentally drop your Host when receiving communion?

This happened to me years ago. I usually take communion by hand rather than mouth. I was carrying my infant when I went up for communion. As the Eucharistic Minister (not a Priest) placed the Host in my hand, something happened so that our hands were no longer aligned and the Host slipped off my fingers and on to the floor.

I didn’t know what to do, and apparently neither did the Eucharistic Minister. I looked down and fortunately it did not roll away like a coin, but it was by my feet. I looked up at the Eucharistic Minister, and we both just looked at each other, he didn’t say any words of instruction to me. So I picked it up, place it in my mouth and went about my way.

So what do you do? And what if it did roll and someone, Lord forbid, inadvertently steps on it? It was one of my most embarrasing moments. Hope no one ever has to experience this, but please give advice so that we know what to do if it does.


I would have done exactly what you did. I think the host is way to light to roll.


first: Well first shame on the Eucharistic Minister. He should have gone through training were they explain this. If the hosts spill out or are dropped at mass then they are to be picked up and used first. If it happens not during a mass then they should be consumed.

Second: as for you. You did the right thing.

Now if it is the holy blood then you do something different. If it spills on tile then you clean it up with the garment. If it is on carpet, then you clean it up as best you can and lay either your garment or a clean one over the spot so that it is recongnized as a spot that needs to be specially cleaned by the priest after mass.

Disclaimer: I took my Class back in 2000 before the new changes to the mass and the role of the Ex. Minister changed.


An in-the-hand communicant also dropped a host this past Sunday… it occured as he turned, so the altar boy with patent was no longer in place.

Our priest stopped, knelt down, gently picked up the host and consumed it himself. There was such an aura of love, you could not miss it.

He then stood, and gave communion to the man again.


I never dropped a host. I dropped my daughter once but that is another story…


Thank you all. I feel much better now. I thought I did something terribly wrong.


Another example of what happens when you have poorly catechized, poorly trained, ignorant of the eucharist Catholics who are eicharistic ministers. Our Lord is being defiled all over. This practice should be suspended and examined.


I have never dropped a host as a Communicant, nor have I as an EMHC.

I have received both on the tongue and in the hand, and I have experienced so many problems with EMsHC being unwilling to put the host on my tongue that I went back to in the hand. I was also concerned about being “holier-than-thou,” so that was another reason why I returned to in the hand.


I have never dropped the Host. But since I sit in the front pew, I have seen it dropped more than once.

The last two that I remember, the person was receiving on the tongue and either didn’t open their mouth enough or closed it too soon or something.

Both times our Priest picked it up and consumed it and gave them another.


You should never have felt “holier-than-thou” about receiving on the tongue, and shame on the Extraordinary Minister who made you feel that way. Receiving on the tongue only says that you do not feel worthy to hold you God in the palm of you hand.

I know I am not worthy.

God Bless,


I’m not worthy either…

and I wonder what a “poll” would look like asking that very question… “Do you consider yourself worthy to…??”


Well I know that i am not worhy and never will be as i am a sinner but for some reason the lord loves me and desires me to share in his love. I am thankful everytime i receive!


I am amazed sometimes at the people who are EM’s. But that may be the way i was raised. In Lubbock you couldn’t be a EM unless you went through a class and were blessed by the priest in your dicoese.

I personal have no problem taking from EM’s but i will tell you that i perfer when i am being an EM to only distrubute the Blood. I feel that i am only being a vessal for the lord. I am holding him for the people but that the phsyically relationship is between the person lip and the blood of the cup. And not my hand and their hand. I know it may seem werid and is a little hard to explain but i just don’t feel worthy to be an physically intermedite between God and His childern. When i have given the bread out i get so nervous and start shaking.


I receive on the tongue. Just last week, the priest wa down to the last unbroken host and there was one person behind me. As he borke it and raised to my mouth it slipped from his hands.

I landed on my clasped hands, balanced precariously on one of my fingers. The priest could not see it because the Ciborium blocked his view. He was looking all over the floor for it. I could feel it on my hand but I was afraid if I moved it would fall to the floor. After a few seconds I whispered to the priest and he spotted it and I received it normally.

I saw a momentary look of panic in his eyes as he was searching for the Precious Body of our Lord. I also say the great relief when he realized it had not landed on the floor but onto my clasped hands instead.

At another Mass in a differnt city, the priest dropped the host onto the floor as he was proclaiming the ecce homo. He immediately picked it and continued on.


I have never dropped a host, but have seen it happen. You absolutely did the right thing.

Once the large host used during the consecration got stuck somehow on Father’s sleeve. His face was priceless as he looked down to pick it up and had disappeared! When he then moved to look for it, it flew from his sleeve. Only those of us sitting in just the right place saw what happened to it. A man stood up and got the attention of an altar boy, who collected the host and took it back to the altar.

I know it shouldn’t be funny, but I was a teenager then and we all thought it was hilarious!


The host fell out of my mouth a number of times when I recieved communion. What appalled me was the Lord fell out once when I knelt for communion. There was no paten present to catch Jesus at any of these occassion. I had to pick Him up myself and recieve Him.

Sometimes, I think I may not be in the state of grace when this happens and that Our Lord does not want to come into me.:crying:


Once when receiving on the tongue(that is the only way we did it back then) as a teenager…I closed my mouth too soon and the host was sitting there between my closed lips. I did a “fancy” maneuver with my tongue and all was ok. I could just “see” the Lord smiling.:wink:



This sort of thing happened to my dad. Only, the host snapped in half and one half was on his hand and the other on the floor. He ate the first half, then put the second half in his pocket and went back to the pew. Yes I know, and no, i’m not kidding. He ate the rest when he got home. I understand why he did what he did because he converted 10 years ago, so this was his first time with this problem. Unfortunately, at the time I found this to be somewhat funny. My main joke was, “Jesus is available for pick up and delivery, not take out”. I used to be an Eucharistic Minister but felt I wasn’t in a position to do so. I think that duty is reserved for the priest alone. That being said, I made a promise to myself to always be extra careful when I’m a priest and I’m doing it myself.


youi weren’t… because you were not ordained… simply an Extra ordinary minister of the Eucharist.:wink:


well im only 16 and i believe (and mother theresa agrees with me) that the greatest sin of our times is the recption of the most holy host in the hand.
who gives me the right to hold my father, he is my father and i his son.
when i recieve the holy sacrament i kneel and recieve it on my tounge (there is no alter rails in our church)
I pray for all who recieve the most holy host in their hand please become humble.and recieve it on the tounge.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.