QUAERITUR: Can I, a priest, while camping, reserve a Host for adoration after Mass?

St. Philip NeriFrom a priest:

Thanks for all your work with your blog and for promoting the TLM.

Thanks to your promotion, I attended a TLM workshop last summer in Nebraska with the FSSP and have since offered the TLM several times – but more on that sort of good news another day.

Can you answer the following:

When I go camping or backpacking, I offer Mass in the woods. Is it permissible (I hope it is) to offer Mass, receive the Eucharist at Mass [as the priest celebrant], then keep a consecrated host for Adoration, (I would bring a small monstrance), and afterward consume the Host after an hour of adoration?

It seems that this is not permitted, since one can only receive the Body of Christ a second time when in the context of the Mass? Could there be an exception? Should I rather go the day without adoration outside of Mass?

First, I will remind you of the great “travel altar cards” I posted about HERE.

I think it would not be proper to reserve a Host in those circumstances for adoration after Mass.  I don’t know that for sure, but it strikes me a wrong.  Among other things, you are in the boundaries of some priest’s parish and you don’t have permission to reserve the Sacrament.

Perhaps you could be very deliberate with your prayers of preparation before and then meditation after you consume the Host.

The rubrics after consumption of the Host include “quiescit aliquantulum in meditatione sanctissimi Sacramenti… he rests a little while in meditation about the most holy Sacrament”.  At that point, the Precious Blood is still unconsumed.  I would be concerned that there could be particles on the paten which could be lost in a strong breeze, etc.

The rubrics don’t say how long “aliquantulum” is.

Because we are Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists, we even check liturgical manuals… which don’t turn up anything other than a vague comment about it not being very long.  That of course, assumes, that there is a congregation who have lives to live, etc.  There is nothing in the rubric to permit a long pause after reception of the Precious Blood.  It is all business from then on.

So, brother, I think the key here, if you are alone, would be to draw out your preparation before Communion, especially in the recitation of the three private preparatory prayers, and then in your meditation “aliquantulum”. I have done this in time past when along, though I admit not for an hour.

I recall that St. Philip Neri would spend a couple hours in ecstasy at reception of Communion when he said Mass.

Consider the rich content of the three preparatory prayers.  I could write reams about the third, which I think is one of the most moving of the priest’s prayers at Mass:

Perceptio Corporis tui, Domine Iesu Christe, quod ego indignus sumere praesumo, non mihi proveniat in iudicium et condemnationem; sed pro tua pietate prosit mihi ad tutamentum mentis et corporis et ad medelam percipiendam: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen. … Let the receiving of Thy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, which I – unworthy – presume to receive, turn not unto me for judgment and condemnation, but, according to Thy mercy, let it be profitable to me for the receiving of protection and healing, both of soul and body: Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

Want to underscore the difference of “spiritualities” express in the Novus Ordo and the TLM? This prayer might be a good start. I find this prayer both consoling and harrowing.  It underscores the encounter with mystery which is both tremendum et fascinans. But I digress.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JillOfTheAmazingWolverineTribe says:

    Fr. Z: “I think it would not be proper to reserve a Host in those circumstances for adoration after Mass. I don’t know that for sure, but it strikes me a wrong. Among other things, you are in the boundaries of some priest’s parish and you don’t have permission to reserve the Sacrament.”

    I suppose there’s always the possibility of the priest getting eaten by a bear before consuming the Host. Is that, perhaps, what is at the back of your mind? [I refer you to the case of Bear v Corbinian.]

  2. Speravi says:

    If I were in your situation, I would simply extend my thanksgiving after Mass for an hour, and/or make use of lectio or mental prayer. Adoration is a great practice, and the no-matter-what adherence to the practice encouraged by Archbishop Fulton Sheen is very praiseworthy. However, it is not essential to the spiritual life. Mental prayer and Lectio are a suitable substitute in abnormal circumstances.

  3. Matt R says:

    Interesting. When I was on a Catholic Boy Scout trek last summer in NM, we had Adoration a few hours following Mass. All the crews were on the 2nd night of the layover at a main camp, and we gathered after dinner for Adoration. Now the priests running the trek, who brought up the monstrance from Base Camp, had a vehicle in which to store a paten with a Host safely, without fear of losing any particles-much more secure than leaving it on a log (a no-no!) or in the Mass kit in a backpack. Also, the Boy Scouts, especially for the trek, have excellant relations with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

  4. Philangelus says:

    I may be off-base (as I gave away the book I’m about to refer to) but in addition to St. Philip Neri falling into hour-long ecstasies, I believe St. Padre Pio used to adore the Host for hours after the Agnus Dei when saying Mass in private.

    (The book was God’s Doorkeepers, if someone has it and can get the actual reference; I forget the author.)

  5. Cephas218 says:

    I’ve been on an “Into the Wild” weekend where specific permission from the Bishop had been obtained to have adoration over the weekend. It was awesome. But it doesn’t sound like the circumstances would lend themselves in this case.

    “Want to underscore the difference of “spiritualities” express in the Novus Ordo and the TLM? This prayer might be a good start.”
    I always thought this prayer (the third prepatory prayer) was part of the N.O. It’s in the Missal, and I almost always use it, although I still need to get the new, improved translation down. Personally, I’ve preferred the second prepatory prayer more for it’s mention of love of the Son and the Father in his will and the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course the new translation on the third is much better than the old (</ginormous understatement>)

  6. Fr_Sotelo says:

    God bless our brother for being faithful to his Mass and wanting to give our Lord adoration, although I agree with you that it is not a good idea to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved apart from the proper permissions. But like Philangelus, I thought of Padre Pio and his long Masses where he would pray very slowly and with long pauses after the consecration so that he could prolong that intimacy with our Eucharistic Lord.

  7. Nun2OCDS says:

    As an Unreconstructed Ossified Manualist may I humbly make a suggestion? Assuming permission from the bishop for Reservation/Adoration you could make your Holy Hour beginning at 11 p.m. ending just after midnight and then consume the Host as a first Communion prior to offering the Holy Sacrifice later that day.

    You might be tired but what an ineffable experience.

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