QUAERITUR: priest doesn’t hold the Host for consecration

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I went to daily Mass this morning and unfortunately had a priest who does not take the rubrics very seriously. There were several things that were not exactly correct, but the major things I noticed were that he kept his hands loosely folded throughout the Eucharistic Prayer and also that he pronounced the words of Consecration without taking the bread in his hands. After he saying the words of the Consecration, he picked the PATTEN with one hand and held it up, doing the same thing with the chalice. So he never touched the Hosts until Communion. This is pretty substantial and while I doubt if it was invalid, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this. I think that priest needs a lot of prayers for this among other things.


That was valid but highly illicit.  Remember, that a priest also validly consecrates hosts in a pyx or ciborium without touching them.  Touching is not needed for validity.

I would address myself first to the priest and ask why he does what he does.  If he is amenable, you might ask him to look over the rubrics with you. You might also want to give him a Say The Black… Do The Red coffee mug to punctuate the event.

Even in the lame-duck Sacramentary in the USA we find in the 1st Eucharistic Prayer … and this is consistent with the other Eucharistic Prayers:

The day before he suffered

He takes the bread and, raising it a little above the altar, continues:

he took bread in his sacred hands…

Say The Black… Do The Red.  Right?  Is this hard?

If he is uncooperative in that regard, or repulses you, I would immediately address myself to the local bishop, in writing, explaining exactly what the facts are without editorializing, and send a copy to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discpline of the Sacraments.  A photo would be helpful.  The Congregation, or any ecclesiastical authority, is loathe to do anything unless there are proofs that something is going on.

In any event, the people of God have the right not to have priests screw around with the rubrics.

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  1. Does the priest have Parkinson’s or some kind of finger paralysis? I think I may have seen this happen with really unwell priests. (Maybe not, though. I don’t really look to remember this sort of thing.)

  2. FrCharles says:

    This is a hard one. At Masses I offer with the people, and I suspect this is true for many priests, I don’t have the classic ‘patten with priest host and ciborium for the people’ configuration, but instead a large bowl of hosts with the priest host sitting atop the rest. For me, I always ‘take’ the priest host from the rest for the consecration, but I know that others just pick up the whole bowl, ‘taking’ the bread that way, with the thinking that it’s more complete to ‘take’ all the bread being consecrated.

  3. Sandy says:

    We experienced just this (elevating the paten and not the host) on Easter Sunday from a priest we don’t regularly see. He has no health problems, just problems “playing with” a lot of things in the Mass. It really detracts from reverence and the way I would like to be prayerful at Mass b/c it’s so distracting.

    God bless all you holy priests and bring conversion to the others!

  4. asperges says:

    I used to think that aberrations such as this were born out of some underlying heresy or doubt or faulty faith, but I have come to the conclusion that it is essentially the fault of the (new) rite. There are exceptions of course.

    The Novus Ordo is so weak in structure and has been tolerated for so long in a semi-chaotic state, with detail treated as unimportant, that some priests have genuinely little understanding of the importance of rubrics at all. Indeed ceremony and symbolism in general are seen as unnecessary and disposable. It is really not entirely their fault.

    Fortunately the old rite doesn’t allow of such things because it is essentially strong and leaves no room for options and ad-libbing. Indeed it was “built” that way precisely to conserve and preserve doctine and its purity of form.

    The Holy Father wishes cross-fertilisation of the rites’ strengths. It would appear to be both timely and one-way. If the novus ordo is to survive (and I am no advocate of it), it needs to be much, much firmer with re-learning and retraining of its practioners. For many it will be an eye-opener and probably the first time for them that a rite has been painted as something of serious value.

  5. pelerin says:

    Yes sometimes it is difficult not to be distracted and ask oneself ‘I wonder what happens next’ especially when attending Mass in a different church or country.

    On Palm Sunday when away for the weekend I was surprised to see the Priest hold up the Host aloft actually while he pronounced the words of the Consecration instead of bowing low as is usual. I keep telling myself that the ‘Mass is the Mass’ but when you are used to having a Priest who does the black and says the red such changes are unsettling.

  6. pelerin says:

    I mean of course says the black and does the red!

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