ASK FATHER: Hand sanitizer on Hosts

From a reader…


Father: In my diocese those who receive on the tongue
must go to the end of the line. Then the priest/deacon/whatever uses hand sanitizer between each communicant, as if we are all

The Host tastes only like hand sanitizer and NOT like bread at all! Father, I feel that this is a real desecration of the Body and Blood of Our Lord! Am I correct? It just seems so wrong!


Friend, I get it.  When I purify the chalice, I get a strong does of hand sanitizer.

If you are getting a little bit on a Host, don’t worry.  You are still receiving Communion.

Offer up this unintended treatment to the Eucharistic Lord.

Eventually this will pass.

How I pray that more and more people will reassess their Faith.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    That’s certainly something I need to watch out for. I’m highly allergic to hand sanitizer; a single whiff of the stuff is enough to put me on the floor, with my lungs feeling like I’ve just inhaled live flame. I shudder to think of what would happen if I actually *ingested* even that minuscule amount. So, to whoever posted this question, thanks for the heads-up, especially since I’m sure I’m not the only one with such an allergy.

  2. JustaSinner says:

    I agree, as of late am reassessing my faith on a daily basis.

  3. SundaySilence says:

    In the archdiocese, receiving on the tongue is Verboten.

  4. Iconophilios says:

    Oh, how I long to receive on the tongue again. Where I live, it has been abandoned.
    In a week I head back to seminary, and I have no idea if it will allowed there anymore either.
    I dread the idea of what one young priest said to me, that we will be having these socially-distanced liturgies and measures for maybe another two years.

  5. JennyU says:

    Count your blessings you are free to receive on the tongue; our bishop (who is a wonderful shepherd in all other respects) has forbidden it indefinitely. I’ve worked out a compromise where I pull my mask down with my right hand (have to wear it until the Host is elevated in front of you by father) and put that same right hand out to receive (baby is in the left arm, we have 6 kids and communion is now a logistical issue) and then bow profoundly and receive Jesus by putting my mouth to that same right hand and consuming Him. The bobbling back and forth they demonstrated at the beginning of this makes us nervous that we or our kids will drop Him or leave some particle of His Body behind on a hand or finger or worst of all the floor. This unusual posture seems to minimize the risk to Him while also putting the communicant into a posture of humility. And yes, He still tastes like Purell.

  6. Veronica scriptor velum says:

    I wonder if I am also somewhat allergic to hand sanitizer. I feel increasingly nauseous from its every time it is forcefully squirted onto my hands by an acolyte standing at the Church door. Also, is it really necessary? I wash my hands dozens of times a day anyway, and always before walking down the road to attend Mass. Besides, I would never receive the Sacred Body of Christ in any other way but kneeling and on the tongue.

    Of our town’s three Catholic priests, two of them will distribute Holy Communion on the tongue with no qualms, God bless them! Only our parish priest now insists communicants should receive solely in the hand. If I am unlucky enough to find that he is the celebrant that day I have to be content in making a spiritual communion.

  7. Veronica scriptor velum says:

    Missing word… “odour”

  8. APX says:

    Some of us can’t even receive communion because we attend the EF and the bishop has banned communion on the tongue.

  9. APX says:

    FWIW: the primary ingredient in hand sanitizer is ethanol…the same ingredient in drinking alcohol. Where I grew up people drink it to get drunk because it’s cheaper than regular alcohol. I wonder how many people are actually allergic to hand sanitizer.

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