Yesterday I was in conversation with friends about De defectibus. There is a section in the front of the older versions of the Missale Romanum indicating which defects might make Mass invalid or illicit and/or how to correct them, etc.
In one place, the priest is instructed about what to do if, by some rare circumstance, he might lose the Host after consecration but before he has the chance to consume it properly.
Remember: For there to be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest must consume both the Host and the Precious Blood.
In the 1962 Missale Romanum we see (and thanks to my interlocutor for sending me snaps from the Missale):
What do we see here?
The priest is told what to do if the Host gets away from him either because wind blows it away (it happens), or it is snatched by some critter (it happens) and he can’t get it back.
That is in the 1962 version.
But what about earlier versions, such as pre-1955?
This version talks about if they Host disappears for any reason, such as wind or critter, or… if by a miracle!
Say, for example, the Host simply vanishes. What to do? What if it were to suddenly ascend into the air an hover where the priest couldn’t reach it? What it it were to miraculously float across the church or chapel and present itself as Communion to some saintly person?
What’s a priest to do?
Well, Fathers. If that happens while you are saying Mass, you are to consecrate another Holy beginning from the Qui pridie. Simple.
Also, this underscores the importance of the integrity of that whole “unit” of texts and gestures leading up to the words of consecration.
I received a note with this:
Where the pre-1955 De defectibus leaves off, “facta ejus prius oblatione, ut supra.” The 1933 Dominican Missal continues:
“…ut supra; et illud animal, si capi potest, occidatur, et comburatur, et cineres ejiciantur in sacrarium, vel sub altari.”
That sounds exactly right. Some time ago I wrote (HERE)
Once you get the basic principles (just about everything winds up burned and going down the sacrarium), you can extrapolate all sorts of solutions to scenarios not covered in the Missal. At a very clerical supper one night we mused about the possibility of a mouse dashing across the altar after the consecration and making off with a Host. Our solution was to bless a cat, put a white stole on it, send it after the mouse, and when the cat came back, burn the cat and put the ashes down the sacrarium.