Words of valid consecration

What are the absolute MINIMUM words to be spoken for a valid consecration (even if illicit), both in English and in Latin? Must the words be in first person? Would “This is the Lord’s body” be valid?

What is the difference between the Latin words “Hoc” and “Hic”?

The words of consecration must be spoken in the first person regardless of the language: “This is my Body…This is my Blood.” The priest acts in Persona Christi so his words must be Christ’s.

With the acceptance of the Chaldean Rite, it can easily be argued the entire canon must be read for a valid consecration.

Hic and hoc are both “this” in English. However in Latin the genders have to agree, so “hoc” refers to “corpus” (body-neuter gender), and “hic” refers to “calix” (chalice-masculine gender).

This answer both proves too much and too little. If the priest is in persona Christi, then by definition whatever words he speaks are words of Christ. If you mean the words that Christ spoke at the Last Supper, then the problem is that we don’t know them (unless, I guess, he was speaking in Greek) and we don’t know how far, by translation, mistake, or otherwise, we can get from those original words and still be in the clear. So, while trivially valid, this response doesn’t mean much.

This is right, except that you don’t quite mean “refers to” here. If the priest says “Hic est enim corpus meum,” the problem isn’t that “hic” is referring to the chalice, it’s that this is bad Latin. It would be a little like saying, “He took the cup, gave him to his disciples, and said…”

So, what’s the result? According to De Defectibus, “If however one * were to diminish something, or alter the form of the Consecration of the Body and Blood, and in such a change of words the words were not to signify the same, the Sacrament would not be confected” (my translation). I’m in no position to give any kind of canonical response, but my personal view is that erring and saying “His est enim corpus meum” does not change the meaning, and thus signifies what it ought; it’s just a Latin error.

The cynic would say that a priest who would make such an error in such an important part of the Mass should not be saying the Mass in Latin, period, until he is familiar enough with the language that “Hic est corpus”* immediately sounds wrong.

“Hic est corpus” could also mean “Here (in this place) is my body.”

As I understand, the Latin words “Hoc est enim corpus Meum” means “For this is My body”. Is the word “For” necessary? What about “Hoc est corpus Meum”?

What are the latin words for “This is my blood”? Does the word “chalice” or “cup” have to be included in the words?

One thing about the English language is the lack of “gender” for common nouns. I thought maybe “hoc” was for numerable nouns such as “body”, and “hic” was for innumerable nouns, such as “blood”. By the way, what is the gender for “blood”?

“Enim” is a vagueish word that can roughly be translated “for” in the way that it’s generally done, or “indeed,” “really.” I would guess on the same basis I described above that it’s omission would not affect the consecration, but, again, don’t take that to the bank.

What are the latin words for “This is my blood”? Does the word “chalice” or “cup” have to be included in the words?

“This is my blood” would be “Hic est sanguis meus.” Omitting “the cup/chalice of…” sounds to me like it is changing the meaning of the prescribed words of institution; seems like a very bad idea.

One thing about the English language is the lack of “gender” for common nouns. I thought maybe “hoc” was for numerable nouns such as “body”, and “hic” was for innumerable nouns, such as “blood”. By the way, what is the gender for “blood”?

“Sanguis” is masculine. As to your impression about “hic” and “hoc,” that isn’t correct. They mean this same thing (“this”); the only difference is that there are different forms to match the different possible genders of what is being pointed to. And Latin genders don’t particularly correspond to anything in reality: words about men will be masculine, of course, et cetera, but there’s no particular reason why “body” is neuter and “blood” is masculine", or, for that matter, why “arm” is neuter and “hand” is feminine.

Although Latin has three genders, you can consider the difference by comparing to Spanish: “un” and “una”, or “esto” and “esta”, don’t mean different things because the genders are different. “Una taco” and “Esto mujer” mean “A taco” and “This woman,” it’s just that the Spanish is bad because the genders are wrong.

From De Defectibus:

V - Defects of the form

  1. Defects on the part of the form may arise if anything is missing from the complete wording required for the act of consecrating. Now the words of the Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are:

If the priest were to shorten or change the form of the consecration of the Body and the Blood, so that in the change of wording the words did not mean the same thing, he would not be achieving a valid Sacrament. If, on the other hand, he were to add or take away anything which did not change the meaning, the Sacrament would be valid, but he would be committing a grave sin.

So this means if the priest were to say, for example, “This is my blood…only for those of Irish descent” that would make it invalid. (Excuse me for the vulgarity; I was just making a point.)

Demonstrative pronouns:

Singular Nominative - M F N - hic haec hoc
Plural Nominative - M F N - hi hae haec

Actually, it’s un taco and una mujer. As a rule of thumb, in both Italian, Spanish and I guess, in some cases, Latin, if a word ends in “o”, it’s masculine. If the word ends in “a” it’s feminine. Now, in Latin, the word “Filiio” is masculine. It means “Son”. For name such as “Virginae Mariae”, the “ae” at the end, even if “Mariae” were not there, makes the word feminine.

I said, ““Una taco” and “Esto mujer” mean “A taco” and “This woman,” it’s just that the Spanish is bad because the genders are wrong.”

And actually the term you are looking for is “Virgo Maria.” Virgo is a third-declension feminine noun; Maria is a first-declension feminine name. In the genitive (possessive) case, which is what I think you’re thinking of, the inflected form is “Virginis Mariae.” The noun for “son,” incidentally, is “filius”; filio is also an inflected form.

Although some general rules of thumb can be drawn about guessing the gender of a Latin noun from its ending (e.g., words ending in -tas in the nominative, like unitas or virginitas, are feminine), there are a substantial number of exceptions. For example, the first-declension nouns nauta (sailor), agricola (farmer), poeta (poet), incola (inhabitant), and pirata (pirate), along with a few others and names like Galba, are “feminine” in form but grammatically masculine.

Another Latin grammar question: What is the difference between “Meum” and “Meus”?

It depends whether the thing described is masculine or neuter (neither of those forms agrees with a feminine word). If masculine, the nominative case of this adjective (used to describe the subject of a sentence) is meus, and the accusative case (used to describe the direct object in a sentence) is meum. So:
Filius meus est bonus. “My son is good”: filius is the subject of the sentence, hence nominative case, and the adjective meus matches (as does bonus).

Amo filiium meum. “I love my son”: filium is the direct object (the one on whom some action is being taken), so it is in the accusative, and meum matches.
If the thing described is neuter, then the form for both the nominative and accusative is meum, and the form meus is inapplicable. So:
Triticum meum est altum. “My wheat is tall.” Wheat, triticum, is neuter, and meum matches, here in the nominative case.

Porto triticum meum. “I carry my wheat.” Although triticum and meum are now in the accusative as the object of the verb “carry,” they look the same.

So (I forgot to say), if you’re asking about corpus and sanguis, you have:

Hoc est corpus meum. “This is my body”: here the subject of the sentence is Hoc, “This,” and corpus is what is called a predicate nominative. When one thing is described as being another thing, they are both in the nominative: e.g., Marcus est filius meus (“Marcus is my son”) or Iulia est uxor tua (“Julia is your wife”). Because corpus is neuter, hoc and meum are in the neuter nominative form.

Hic est sanguis meus. “This is my blood.” Blood is masculine, therefore both other words – the demonstrative pronoun “this,” which is the true subject of the sentence, and the adjective “my” – are in the masculine nominative form.

Hic est calix sanguinis mei. “This is the cup of my blood.” Here cup is masculine, so the demonstrative pronoun with which it is identified is also in the masculine, hic. “Of my blood” goes into the genitive case to fulfill its grammatical role here (the genitive of sanguis is sanguinis) so the adjective meus correspondingly goes into its masculine genitive, mei.

My understanding that as long as he is a priest, he is meaning to consecrate the Eucharist, and he says words intending to communicate “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood” the consecration is valid.

The words are important and the Church teaches that changing them illicitly is a grave matter. But the sacrament is not a magic trick that depends on correctly pronouncing the incantation. The priest needs to be a priest, intending to consecrate, and communicating what Christ communicated at the Last Supper. The rest is important, but not necessary to the validity of the sacrament.

Exactly. Better stick to the official script. There is no advantage to changing the words, even if they don’t invalidate the consecration.

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