From a reader…


Is there an effective way for a priest to distribute communion on the tongue at a Latin Mass while keeping to the requirement to “sanitize his hands between communicants?”

What would this look like?

I might have found a solution.  And I don’t mean a type of hand sanitizer.

Both back in the day and in the present, Communion was and could be give using Eucharist tongs.  Liturgical Arts Journal has a spiffy post about these tools.


How about these?

Fiber Grip Cross Lock Straight Tweezers With Stand (FGCLSTWS for short)


These are “reversed”, in the sense that they are closed until you press to open them, so there is far less chance of losing a Host down the perilous décolletage.

Notice that the little stand keeps the business end, cannon-like, off surfaces.

I think other uses for the stand.

First, the stand can act like a shield for the priest’s fingers, protecting them from being bitten… not that that would ever happen.

And, if the particle of Host was very small, this thing could even poke a hole through the mask and deposit the particle safely within.

Also, the stand can act like the lugs of a boar spear, that not only prevent the whole biting thing, but also prevent the priest from stabbing someone in the throat… not that that would ever happen.  (See the immediately preceding application.)

Anyway, paired with my idea of the Extraordinary Minister of Sanitizer (or EMS – HERE) this could do the trick to satisfy even the most kool-aid satiated of libs.     Not only could the EMS bring along the sanitizer in the form of a well-made martini, chilling on ice, (WMMCOI) but there also be an additional Extraordinarily Extraordinary Minister of Sanitizer (or EEMS) with a cart draped in the proper liturgical color and a propane torch, with a Social Distancing Extension Hose (or PTWASDEH).

Heat the FGCLSTWS with the EEMS’s PTWASDEH and then chill it with the EMS’s WMMCOI.

I think I’m onto something.

Perhaps we can implement on Sunday.

Of course we might then have to have the EEMS of the Fire Extinguisher, as the great Fr. Finigan, His Hermeneuticalness, had when he was still the mighty Dean of Bexley and PP of Blackfen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    And here I was, going off about THIS, because I didn’t realize there is historical precedent (for the pincers, NOT for the “Pez dispenser”) …

  2. Hidden One says:

    But can you get them gold-plated by Sunday?

  3. PostCatholic says:

    That reversing is also how a lobster claw banding tool works. Just in case you’re looking to dual-purpose.

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  5. Johann says:

    The Eastern Rite Churches use spoons to distribute Holy Communion. Perhaps that is also an option to consider?

  6. @Johann: This option was already considered. A priest who celebrates mass in Vienna Cathedral said that pest spoons were in use during the pest plague at times of the Thrity Years’ War in Europe. Iirc these spoons were about 1 meter long to distribute the Holy Communion.

  7. KateD says:

    The nearest Latin Mass is over 4 hours away. It makes me want to cry. God has blessed us with a wonderful parish priest, however, and the people here have been kinder and more welcoming than any other Novus Ordo community we have ever encountered.

    We are the only ones who receive kneeling and on the tongue at the local tiny mission church. Father found a pair of those tong dealies and was able to use them adroitly. I’m guessing he was tickled to find an excuse to use them….and we are immensely grateful to be able to receive the Eucharist, ‘in these trying times’…..

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