From a reader:
I travel a lot for work, so have obviously been to Mass at several parishes, both EF and OF, very reverent to not-so-much. I’m currently in NW Missouri and experienced a new variation today for the Immaculate Conception. When I walked in, I noticed every entrance had a glass bowl with unconsecrated hosts and a set of tongs as well a ciborium. I was confused by this so kept walking to a pew. As more people walked in I heard clinking behind me and noticed that each person was putting a host into the ciborium. I can’t imagine that this practice is specified anywhere, but is it allowable? I am however thankful for the lady sitting in front of me who I can only imagine attends the EF that is 40 minutes away on Sundays because she veiled her head, bringing me back to my senses. Thank you Father.
Yes…. this sort of thing is allowed.
Of course, before Mass, those hosts are not consecrated, right?
This is done in some places where it is desired to consecrate the right number of hosts for distribution at Holy Communion. So, if people who intend to communicate put a host in as they enter the church, and that ciborium is taken up at the offertory, then there is a good chance that the number will be about right. For Masses with a small number of people, where the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved, this could be a good practice.