Communion in the hand was bad enough. Priest tells people to hold hosts in their hands while he consecrates

If only priests were as hard working to develop reverence in their parishes as they are to facilitate communion-no-matter-what and for-anyone-at-all.

There is a piece at LifeSite, in which I am heavily quoted, about a priest who came up with wacky ideas – astonishingly tacky and irreverent – to facilitate Communion.   It is hard to believe that anyone in this day and would do this.  But, this is the depth to which we have sunk in some places.

The priest put out a video, showing also a map with zones on the parish campus where people, divided into categories, had to be.   Then his suggestions – I am NOT making this up:

  • Every family will be provided with a ziplock ‘Mass bag’ which contains “everything you need for Mass except Holy Communion.”

  • “Every family will be issued a sacred vessel, and a husband and wife will be designated as Eucharistic ministers for your family.”

  • “When you come to church, you bring your sacred vessel and your Mass bag, and then you’ll pick up the appropriate number of hosts for your family, 2, 3, 4, so on.”

  • “When it’s time for the offertory, you will take your hosts, unconsecrated, from your zip lock bag and place them into your sacred vessel.”

  • “An adult member of your family will hold the sacred vessel for the consecration, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Lamb of God.”

  • “At communion time, you will then as adults give communion to each other and one of the adults will give communion to your children, and then you place your sacred vessel back into your Mass bag and you’ll have it ready for next week.”

Link to the 4 minute video:  HERE

There are so many problems with these proposals that it is hard to know where to start.

Here is some of the comments I sent to the writer at LifeSite. He did NOT link to me, for some reason I can’t fathom, so I will provide comments here.   In no particular order…

“Worry free environment” (he talks about that in the video). This smacks of an attitude which is wholly focused on this world, the here and now, the immanent, without regard to, nay rather, through a reduction of the supernatural and eternal to the natural and the worldly.

This is hardly to be distinguished from a Protestant communion service.

How undignified.

I don’t in the least think that this priest intends for all of this to be so infra dignitatem, so tacky. I’m convinced he is well meaning. However, it could be that he is simply so deeply tuned into a modernist frequency that he doesn’t realize how bad this looks, he doesn’t contemplate the potential sacrileges both unintended and intended.

“Sacred vessels” What does that mean? Does it mean a horrid little inexpensive plastic home Communion pyx that were used for in the past? Does it mean something made of metal? In their photo album I spotted one man with a metal pyx, peering at the Host with a bewildered expression.

Furthermore, how are the “sacred vessels” to be purified? The priest says, “Place your sacred vessel back into your Mass bag and you’ll have it ready for next week.” Without purification! Are people just going to shake out particles onto the ground, or, unaware of them, haul them around in their ziplock baggies?

And what is to become of all these “sacred vessels” afterward, whatever they are, when COVID time passes and they are no longer needed? Will people keep them? What happens to them then?

How are people to be designated as “Eucharistic ministers” exactly? A wink and a nudge? The terminology isn’t even correct. Even “Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion” ought to be instituted formally as such and have sound training. They should be carefully vetted. How are any of these people being given “Mass bags” being vetted?

Does the local Bishop of Biloxi, know about this?

People are to take unconsecrated hosts to be consecrated … at what distance? I looked at the “zones” and their map. There is no way that they are in eyesight of the altar without the obstruction of buildings. How can one be convinced that the consecration was valid? If some of those hosts are NOT consecrated, then people are being lead by the priest to commit, unwittingly, the objective in of idolatry.

And those cases when the consecration would be valid, what’s to prevent people from taking a few extra hosts to be consecrated and then saved for later, at home? Or for that nice lady down the street, not Catholic, but really nice? Or even to be, quod Deus avertat, give or sold to satanists for ghastly rituals and desecration?

These crazy gyrations affirm the findings of the Pew Research survey which revealed plummeting belief in the Church’s teachings about the Blessed Sacrament. And those finding may apply to priests, as well.

Communion in the hand was bad enough, but consecration in the hand and self Communication, having nothing to do with the priest, having nothing to do with the altar, is sacrilege at a new nadir.

These crazy gyrations affirm the findings of the Pew Research survey which revealed plummeting belief in the Church’s teachings about the Blessed Sacrament. And those finding may apply to priests, as well.

It’s like something from another religion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This reminds me of what they do at papal mega masses- they have priests standing somewhere close to the altar holding ciboria, and the pope has the intention to consecrate what these particular priests are holding in their hands. While I have always been uncomfortable with this and question the prudence of it, at least they are priests.

    Perhaps this is where this nutty idea originated. Granted these two situations are not the same thing, but it seems too similar to rule out as an inspiration For what this poorly educated priest has concocted. General communion at these papal mega masses was a bad idea to begin with, and has led to all kinds of sacrilege and desecration. I witnessed firsthand (presumably consecrated) hosts being picked out of the mud the day after a WYD mega mass celebrated by John Paul II.
    At the 1947 Marian Congress in Ottawa, tens of thousand of people attended the pontifical mass and did not communicate, however there was adoration and benediction immediately afterwards. Perhaps this is a better solution.

  2. Rob in Maine says:

    To save time, can I eat it first and then Father just consecrate it in my tummy?

  3. JoanM says:

    Where are men in white who should be coming to take this insane priedt away to the mental hospital?

  4. The Egyptian says:

    Please Bob, quiet, they may hear you and try it

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Need some Catholic Karens to visit priests like this and give them the what not…

  6. Francisco12 says:

    This sad to hear. I am confused though and have a question: I thought the offerings had to actually be on the altar during the consecration. I’ve heard how sometimes someone will forget to put a ciborium of unconsecrated hosts on the altar, left on the credence table to the side of or behind the altar, and since they were not on the altar, what is inside the ciborium is not actually consecrated.

    Where is the “line” drawn on what is consecrated, because from Father’s post, it appears that what these people are holding are being consecrated even though they are not on the altar. Is there something in canon law or elsewhere stipulating where the offerings need to be placed during the consecration?

  7. BrionyB says:

    I’m sure the priest has good intentions, but this seems a truly terrible idea, not least because of the uncertainty over which of the hosts (if any) are validly consecrated.

    For example, the priest presumably has no way of knowing which of the people who took a ‘Mass kit’ are actually attempting to participate remotely – and, in any case, it’s not at all clear that their participation would have any effect on whether or not the consecration takes place. So what happens if someone forgets or is for some reason unable to participate, and the ‘Mass kit’ is just sitting in their kitchen or their car – or they accidentally leave it on the bus on the way home – would those hosts be consecrated by virtue of the priest having the intention to consecrate all those that he gave out?

    Personally I’m inclined to think this is all nonsense and none of them would be consecrated – but no one should be put in the position of not knowing for sure. I hope the bishop will step in and put a stop to this misguided practice.

  8. Edward says:

    Within the last few days on tv, I saw a non denominational minister demonstrate their new Covid-19 communion packet. It reminded me of the saltine cracker single service package you receive at a restaurant. His instructions were to rip open the cellophane wrapping and ” eat the bread” at the appropriate time during the service. I chuckled over his excitement over this new concept. I am now appalled that a priest would diminish the Eucharist in an identical way. Where was he educated? What else has he initiated in this parish?

  9. WVC says:

    The video was unavailable at the link. I will say that this is where the loss of piety and reverence in the Novus Ordo liturgy (as commonly offered across the world) has brought us. Folks come in wearing flip flops and tanks tops with shorts, they chat and joke before Mass, they sing folksy tunes during Mass, they chat and joke after Mass as they race to the parking lot – yup it’s just a complete mystery as to why folks no longer believe in the Real Presence . . .

    I have many sarcastic ideas to offer that would keep people even “safer” from this super-bad-terrible-awful-super-plague known as COVID-19, but I don’t want to type them up lest some idiot takes them seriously and tries to implement them.

  10. Passepied says:

    >the local Bishop of Biloxi

    Oy, that hurt to read from just over the border, but…I’m still not surprised. Down here, the prevailing breed of liturgical nonsense is Baptist-fusion. Immersion-pool baptistries, the Rite of Thanking Everyone Involved In This Mass By Name, and “CAN I GET AN AMEN” (not always confined to the homily) were staples of my childhood. After our Bishop forbade genuflecting in the Communion line and I learned that our First Communicants were being trained exclusively to receive in the hand, it seemed like just a matter of time before we moved on to ‘taking’ Communion sitting down, using those little self-serve kits from the generic church catalog.

    Since the video has now been taken down, I do hope that this brilliant idea has been (dare I say) cancelled.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Let’s pray for more reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament (and towards our poor Blessed Mother).

    The weird thing is that most Catholics seem to have taken this whole thing as a wakeup call, becoming more reverent and being more unified with their families and neighbors.

    But people who were a little too lost, or who took too much counsel of their fears seem to have gone right over the edge into blasphemy and sacrilege.

    I feel sorry for this priest. We didn’t just invent contagious illnesses this year, and there was no reason to waste time, effort, parish funds, and thought on doing something that was wrongheaded from the outset. Think with the Church and consult history, and there’s no problem.

    But then, nobody just invented sex this year, either.

  12. Simon_GNR says:

    I thought the bread and wine to be consecrated had to be on the corporal that is spread out on the altar. If it’s not on the corporal it doesn’t get consecrated no matter the celebrant priest’s intentions.

    Simple Catholic: papal “mega-masses”. I’ve not heard about the idea of priests holding out ciboria full of hosts to be consecrated at a distance. What I have heard is perhaps even more shocking. After either during John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979 or his visit to Great Britain in 1982, a priest recalled getting off the bus with the group from his parish who were attending one of the big outdoor masses, and was presented by one of the organisers with a plastic bag full of pre-consecrated hosts for him to distribute to his part of the crowd at Holy Communion time. Irreverent in the extreme.

  13. Fr. Tommy doesn’t seem to be a bad guy. He at least has the tabernacle in its proper place in the aspe (or at least the center of the back wall) of his new parish church, Facebook photos indicate, and the church otherwise seems to be of a classic simple design inspiring reverence. He strikes me as a well-meaning doofus who thinks he has come up with a great idea for not spreading coronavirus at Mass. The possibilities for mishaps involving consecrated hosts at his parking-lot Masses are mind-boggling, however. And can a priest really consecrate a host from a distance?

    If I were one of his parishioners attending one of those Masses, I’d politely turn down the “Mass kit” and forgo Communion. Then I’d pray that the other attendees showed some sense in conducting themselves. And also that Fr. Tommy would change his mind about the whole idea.

  14. tho says:

    Whatever his intentions you can’t change stupid. I think that your appropriate rant against Universities, could be applied to the seminary that trained this priest. That is, unless we have Affirmative Action priests. (I hope not)

  15. Joy1985 says:

    Dear Lord have mercy on us and on the whole world. PLEASE Lord let there be peace and the END of this Coronavirus.

  16. Kerry says:

    “everything you need for Mass except Holy Communion.”
    Grace is in the bag! Yes…
    Contrition…? Proper dispotition…?
    Uniting oneself to the Sacrifice of Christ in there?

  17. JakeMC says:

    The first thing that popped into my mind when I read about people bringing their own sacred vessels…When they take them home, do they wash them in their own kitchen sinks? No sacrarium? Bad enough we’re stepping on particles of the Real Body of Christ; now particles of It are going down the drain into sewers?! Lord, have mercy on us!

  18. Ernesto Gonzalez says:

    As a seminarian in a large European city, I was forced to become a “portable altar” at quite few outdoor mega masses. I would always joke about it, but it was very uncomfortable, especially since it made kneeling during the consecration impossible.

    Communion was distributed at stations where ushers held umbrellas to shade our Lord. The ciboria were real, with plastic covers that twisted open. At the end of the masses, we would return the ciboria to secure boxes, that were then returned to the catedral where our consecrated lord was reserved in a large tabernacle and a safe.

  19. Anneliese says:

    What else have you come to expect?

    I came across this video on how most of here are making a confession. I find something to be very wrong with this lesson on one of the Sacraments.

  20. Pingback: THVRSDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  21. mpolo says:

    A university priest in Munich went a step farther — he instituted all his campus parishioners as extraordinary ministers and gave everybody a kit containing the Eucharist and whatever else was needed for that Mass (a palm branch for Palm Sunday, a candle and holy water for the Easter Vigil, etc.) so that people could “fully participate” via television.

  22. Danteewoo says:

    My granddaughter received her First Communion at Holy Ghost Church in Denver this week. By the archbishop’s order she had to receive in the hand. I am frustrated, angry, disgusted. As if this little girl was somehow going to contaminate the priest. I believe every word in the Nicene Creed, but I have almost no use for any of the hierarchy.

  23. G1j says:

    This just lays credence to the fact…yes fact…that there are priests who do not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Most important to them is the collection basket. Closer and closer we creep to a one world religion as the laity just accept this nonsense as acceptable because they don’t know any better. RANT Warning… I soon see this happening in my parish, that is if our pastor will come out of hiding in his cushy rectory. We have already been forced to endure no daily Mass, outdoor confessIon and no reception of the Eucharist on the tongue. Our Diocese is in bankruptcy so it seems that they want people to leave in droves so they can shutter more parishes to maintain their cushy lifestyles. So sad to see everything that our ancestors sacrificed so much for, just cast into ruin. To see the irreverence shown our Lord become custom. I pray our parochial vicar, who is a wonderful, reverent priest, will be installed as our pastor.

  24. adriennep says:

    Believe it or not, there are a few Bishops like Archbishop Sample of Oregon who have issued precise directives on liturgical worship. Why has this local Bishop not spoken up to defend the Eucharist? And why no parishioners speaking up? If they don’t speak up today, Hagia Sophia tomorrow.

  25. ejs says:

    I apologize for my ignorance, but is there a definitive answer as to whether or not these would be valid consecrations?

  26. matt from az says:

    The 80s called and want their heresy back

    I remember this craziness from high school and college. The priest making us stand around the altar, each of us reaching into the ciborium to grab a host, holding it while he consecrated his own host and feigning to consecrate ours, and the leftovers going to his dog who was always present at mass. Yep. Really cool. Totally tubular to the max. Rad, dude. So glad he was wicked relevant.

    It drove the point home of how cool it is to be Catholic. So cool. Now I’m one of three kids in my class of 30 that still goes to mass and the only one of us three that doesn’t dissent from Church teaching.


  27. Semper Gumby says:

    That…is not the preferred method. Like Charlotte Allen mentioned, I’d forgo Communion.

    “The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.”

  28. This is my diocese, and I was horrified when I saw the news. I am praying that Bishop Kihneman issues a formal statement and correction.

  29. An Update: the Bishop has posted a Precept on the diocesan website that forbids what Fr Conway was attempting. He also specifies restrictions on EMHCs (

  30. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Coast Caritas,

    Thank you for that update. It is gratifying to see a bishop respond so quickly to liturgical abuse and to correct it at the level of his diocesan publication.

  31. RosaryRose says:

    God bless the Bishop for stopping this. His letter gives very clear and Catholic guidelines. I pray for this priest, may he have a road to Damascus experience.

    For centuries, people DIED to protect the Blessed Sacrament. When the storms of BLM or politics or Covid or anything rage around me, I may be silent and pray. I won’t fear those who can only harm the body. I will fight to the death to protect my Lord. This is a case of harming souls. What are the children supposed to think with their baggies in the car?!

    The Novus Ordo Mass – a supper, gathered around the table, to help us get more meaning out of the Mass. (sounds nice, but if you cannot sup at the table, you eat in your lap?)

    The Traditional Latin Mass – a sacrifice to God

    I attend Novus Ordo. I am beginning to seriously rethink it.

    LifeSite just put up videos about receiving communion on the tongue. It is edifying to hear from people all over the world.

    God have mercy on us. Our Lady of Fatima pray for us.

  32. yeager says:

    Communion in the hand was given approval by Pope Paul vi and he is called a saint. Hmmm. Particles minute in size ,tend to fall , unnoticed. Multiply by the millions, daily. How is it (with the exception of the tradition Latin Mass people) that it has all gone unnoticed all these decades since it’s legalization? All these years i’ve received on the tongue, never once in the hand. I have received in the hand now just in the past month or so. I feel guilty. Have i sinned?

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