QUAERITUR: at consecration the priest holds ciborium not host

From a reader:

I’m sure you’ve covered this before, but if during the actual words of consecration the priest just holds the ciborium and then after the words, during the elevation picks a host out and holds it above the ciborium, is that licit?

It would without question be valid.  Licit?

First, consider the practice before the Council.  Any priest who consecrated in that fashion would have been considered barking mad and would have been disciplined.

The Latin of the 2002 Missale Romanum says “accepit panem” before the consecration of the host.  “He takes (the) bread”.  There is no mention of bread being in the ciborium.  The Latin goes on “eumque parum elevatuim super altare tenens… holding it elevated a little over the paten”.  The priest holds it” over the paten, not “them” over the paten.

My reading is that the priest must be holding the host, not the ciborium.  Also, I suppose that priest isn’t holding the ciborium over the paten.

The Latin says that after the consecration the priest “Hostiam consecratam ostendit populo… he shows the consecrated Host to the people”.  The priest is not instructed to put the ciborium down and pick up a Host.

My reading is that the priest is to pick up a host before the consecration, not the ciborium with hosts in it.  Reasonable?

If there is any question, you could address a question to the local bishop or to the Congregation for Divine Worship.

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9 Responses to QUAERITUR: at consecration the priest holds ciborium not host

  1. pelerin says:

    On a related subject I am curious to know if there are rules for the Priest as to how he should hold the Chalice at the Elevation. I recently attended a Mass where I saw the Priest raise the Chalice at the Elevation with both hands precariously on the flat base of the Chalice. It looked as if it would tip at any moment.

  2. pelerin: I am not sure that is related. But if the priest is holding the chalice in a way that might lead to spills, he should be told.

  3. isnowhere says:

    How should he be told? Did you mean by the laity?

  4. Bornacatholic says:

    First, consider the practice before the Council. Any priest who consecrated in that fashion would have been considered barking mad and would have been disciplined.

    Excellent observation. This new orientation, this new way, this laxity, this lack of discipline has not seemed to be too advantageous to The Church. It will have to change. Someday.

    In the meantime, there is The FSSP and you to keep me sane and hopeful [And the many many many wonderful sane, loyal normal diocesan priests and religious in the trenches.]

  5. maynardus says:

    Please consider, when you encounter an “odd” practice like this, that the poor priest may not have been given anything resembling proper liturgical training and formation in seminary. I’ve encountered priests of unquestionable good will who were simply baffled to find out that they were “doing it wrong” since they’d never had the concept of “doing it RIGHT” enforced or reinforced…

  6. Central Valley says:

    Whenever I see postings like this, I would think the writers are living in the diocese of Fresno as I am. Sadly this practice can be seen in parishes in this diocese.

  7. Bornacatholic says:

    And the many many many wonderful sane, loyal normal diocesan priests and religious in the trenches.]

    Dear Fr. Z. You know far more Priests than do I. I am just writing about what I have personally observed in the Dead Diocese of Portland, Maine and the barely-breathing Diocese of Palm Beach County, Florida, where I now live.

    Liturgical anomie abounds and the FSSP Chapel in Sarasota is my sole source of Liturgical Sanity and Tradition. Even in the putative “solid” Churches in my Diocese, other words than the Black are said and other actions than those denoted in Red occur.

    Using The FSSP and you as standards of orthodoxy in how the Mass ought be celebrated is a standard that few Priests in my Diocese can meet but those standards are fair. If every Priest asked themselves – What would the FSSP do ?” or What would Fr. Zuhlsdord do” – and then did THAT, then there would be a noticeable and welcome improvement.

  8. Dr. Eric says:

    I’ve seen many priests at the “Per Ipsum” hold the paten and the Chalice instead of holding the Host over the Chalice. Is that one licit?

  9. Reginald Pole says:

    Dr. Eric –
    The 1962 MR instructs the priest to hold the Host and the Chalice while the 2002 edition instructs the priest to hold the paten with the Host and the Chalice.