QUAERITUR: Communion by intinction but with un-consecrated hosts.

From a reader:

1. We have Sunday mass at our village chapel which does not have a Tabernacle, so the priest has to Consecrate all the host for communion. However, there are times we run out and he takes unconsecrated wafers and dips them in the chalice saying “Blood of Christ”.

2. At times, during communion we are ask to pick-up a host from the Ciborium and dip it in the Precious Blood for our communion.

Are these practices allowed? In the communion valid?

2. That is expressly forbidden. Cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum 104.

1. For pity’s sake! What will they come up with next? I would call that a serious abuse. You should immediately inform the local bishop of what is happening. If it does not stop, inform the Congregation for Divine Worship. This is not at all like administering Communion by intinction with a consecrated Host. This is not like administering the Precious Blood using an eye-dropper for the very sick, or a fistula, or spoon or chalice, none of which are absorbent. I would say this comes, at least, very close to profanation of the Blessed Sacrament. It is certainly deeply confused its symbolism and meaning.

Frankly, if the priest doesn’t have the wits to figure out how to consecrate enough Hosts or Precious Blood for Communion, regularly, then he ought to help his people understand that, when they run out, they should make a spiritual Communion.

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  1. heway says:

    Buy a tabernacle that is built into the all. We have one in our little chapel, which is open 24/7.

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    Yikes. disturbing. What I have always seen priests do when they realize they do not have enough consecrated Hosts is to fraction them in halves or even quarters. Some go to the altar to do this reverently before returning to the Communion line or to the Communion rail.

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    Say the black.

    Do the red.

    Do not be “creative”.

  4. APX says:

    Frankly, if the priest doesn’t have the wits to figure out how to consecrate enough Hosts

    This reminds me of an old practice we had to do when I was kid whenever we were camping and had to go to Mass on Sunday in a small one-horse town. At the entrance there was a dish of un-consecrated hosts and a small spoon and a ciborium. Upon entering the church, if you were receiving communion, you would take the spoon and place a host in the ciborium for yourself. Seems like a pretty fool-proof way of getting enough hosts without consecrating too many.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    After every priest in the world gives a sermon on the need for Confession, the next topic should be spiritual Communion.

  6. jhayes says:

    If he priest sees that he is going to run out of hosts he can stop for a minute and break the remaining ones into smaller pieces.

  7. Father P says:

    If this is happening often (please give us priests a break on a one time hiccup of bad judgment especially when taken by surprise at the liturgy) then something needs to be done to make sure there are enough Hosts. Even if he consecrates too many (as we have all done at a nursing home) they can be consummed. If not, Father should have access to a tabernacle SOMEWHERE nearby that in the case of a great excess of Hosts, the Blessed Sacrament could be transported there after Mass.
    BUT…if there is still the Precious Blood in the Chalice why not give Holy Communion under the species of wine alone?

    I have run out of Hosts a couple of times in my priesthood at a parish liturgy (even after fractioning) but there was still the Precious Blood available and so that was distributed and everyone in line had the opportunity to receive.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    I’m out on the road and can’t look it up but didn’t RS or the GIRM give direction for this, i.e. repeating the words of institution over more unconsecrated hosts? [Canon 927 states: “It is absolutely forbidden, even in extreme urgent necessity, to consecrate one matter without the other or even both outside the eucharistic celebration.” Some might say that it is therefore okay to consecrate extra Hosts so long as it is before the final blessing and dismissal. That would be wrong. Moreover, it is a different case when a priest discovers that he has by accident consecrated a chalice full of water with drops of wine. In that case the priest must stop and consecrate the Precious Blood. There must be a two-fold consecration. But consecrating more Hosts in order to have more, would be without the consecration of the Precious Blood… which would put the Sacrifice of the Mass inside the Sacrifice of Mass. No.]

  9. silicasandra says:

    When I was an undergrad and Mass was celebrated in our chapel (former Methodist-affiliated school), we did what APX described, and would add 10 or so more just in case. A few times fractioning was required, and if any remained they were easily consumed. This kind of system works really well if it’s not possible to have a tabernacle.

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    frjim4321 is HILARIOUS. LOL

  11. AnnAsher says:

    What a nightmare! The faithful are never to “take” we “receive”. Once I stood amazed as I witnessed an Army Priest self administer communion via intinction (as celebrant)during a Roman Mass. I asked him about it afterward and he said he did such because he is bi-ritual ( roman with permission to serve maronites). Further he stated ” anyway intinction is a sign of the resurrection”. Well … I still wonder …. But this?! This post of a Roman Priest asking the faithful to Take and self administer?! Using unconsicrated hosts? The horror! When will it end?!

  12. Fr. Augustine Thompson O.P. says:

    “We have Sunday mass at our village chapel which does not have a Tabernacle, so the priest has to Consecrate all the host for communion.” Well thanks be to God! The unity of the Sacrifice and the Communion is most perfectly presented when the hosts of the actual SACRIFICE (not an earlier one) are those received by the people.

    Unless forced by EMHCs to use pre-consecrated hosts, I always consecrate all those needed for the Mass I celebrate. It is amazing how the EMHCs push the ciborium from the tabernacle onto the alter in front of me for their use, as if the hosts I consecrate are somehow an afterthought. I have noticed that EMHCs are extremely devoted to using pre-consecrated Hosts. Perhaps because it frees them from the need for a priest.

    The problem here is that the priest was too lazy to count take the proper number of hosts at the Offertory or have someone else count and do so. His let’s just dip chips in the Precious Blood is a sacrilege, but the lazy-priest failure to consecrate the proper number of hosts is at the root of this kind of practice.

  13. Matthew says:

    When that happens at morning Mass my priest just breaks one or two to distribute to everyone. It seldom happens, but two or three times in the last few years.

    Perhaps he had better mathematics teachers.

  14. uptoncp says:

    It reminds me of the practice known in the more extreme Protestant end of the the C16 Church of England – if the consecrated matter runs out, we’ll just carry on the distribution with unconsecrated. Which was what led the CofE to introduce the practice of supplementary consecration as described (incorrectly for Roman use) by frjim4321.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z., I am sorry to sound depressing, but I have come to the conclusion that some priests simply do not believe any longer in the Real Presence.

  16. Joan M says:

    Sometimes (actually, many times) the thought enters my head “Is ______ , whose moniker suggests that he is a priest, actually a priest? Is there any way that Fr. Z. can easily verify that people whose monikers suggest such really are priests?

    Although I can be quite cynical, I still expect priests to be faithful priests and postings that suggest otherwise lead me to question their priesthood…….

    Most of the comments made by persons whose ID suggests / states that they are priests do not lead me to question their priesthood. Only a very few. Perhaps my expectations are too high…..

  17. Father P says:


    At least he recognized the difference by only saying “The Blood of Christ” when using unconscrated Hosts. In this case more a defect of good judgment than a defect of sound faith I suspect.

  18. Faith says:

    I thought intinction wasn’t allowed, too. However, a few weeks ago, I attended the Beatification of the Apostle of Prisons, fr. Jean-Joseph Lataste, celebrated by Cardinal Amato. So there were a cardinal from the Vatican, the Archbishop of Besancon, France, the Master General of the Dominican Order, 52 bishops. and literally thousands of priests, and Communion was intinction. Go figure.
    I went to Masses wherever I traveled: France and Switzerland. Mass was always intinction. And you think people dress casually for Masses in USA? You should see the French men! And I thought those short shorts and tank tops the men wore were for marathon runners!

  19. Volanges says:

    @AnnAsher, there is no problem with a priest using intinction for his own Communion. The problem here is that the priest is using unconsecrated hosts, something which is forbidden; there’s nothing in the post that says he’s allowing the communicants to self-intinct.

    There would be no problem with intinction of consecrated Hosts by the priest followed by Communion on the tongue.

  20. AnnAsher says:

    Thanks Volanges!

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