ASK FATHER: During a Vetus Ordo Mass can the priest distribute Hosts consecrated during a Novus Ordo Mass?

From a reader…


Is it allowable for a priest to consecrate a ciborium at a TLM but then distribute Hosts from the tabernacle (which is likely from the Novus Ordo), and then not distribute the new consecrated Hosts?  Is there a canon or a directive that addresses this issue?

The ideal liturgical principle is that the Hosts distributed at a Mass should be consecrated at that Mass.  However, there are practical reasons for distribution of previously consecrated Hosts which have been preserved in the tabernacle.

It makes no difference if the Hosts that are distributed were consecrated during a Vetus Ordo or Novus Ordo Mass: they are both validly consecrated.  Neither one is less or more the Eucharistic Lord than the others.

There are some trads (often of the “mad trad” school) – or at least there were – who think/thought that Novus Ordo Hosts are somehow bad and that they will get Novus Ordo Cooties from them.  That is as spiritually sophisticated as the relationship of 6 year old boys and girls on the play ground during the post lunch energy burn.

If these folks say that the Novus Ordo consecration is invalid they are in serious error. That, however, would at least be a reason not to receive: they would think (wrongly) that what is being distributed is just bread and, therefore, it would be participation in idolatry.  That’s false, but it would at least be a cogent, though errant, reason.

Otherwise, if they don’t want the Hosts from the Novus Ordo preserved in the tabernacle simply because they don’t like the Novus Ordo, they are in a real intellectual conundrum: if they are validly consecrated, then they are the Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  Why should they not receive such Hosts?  Out of… what?… spite?… as a protest?

That would make their Communion time a moment of protest, which would put them on a plane parallel to those who wear rainbow sashes.

To repeat, the ideal liturgical practice is to distribute Hosts consecrated during that Mass.  That isn’t always practical, particularly for Masses with large congregations.  Consecration of many Hosts usually results in consecration of too many Hosts.  They have to be reserved and distributed at some point.

We should avoid the sort of rigidity which reflects the spirit of the Novus Ordo exclusivists rather than those who truly understand the spirit of the Roman Rite.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    There are certainty “Mad Trads” who will neither attend not receive at NO masses because they believe the NO to be invalid. I’ve even seen adherents to certain traditional groups not receive communion at other traditional masses that are apparently “inferior”. Very regrettable.
    That said, I think there is a legitimate concern with hosts consecrated (or possibly not consecrated to be more precise) at a previous NO mass. We all know that NO priests are far more prone to abuse the liturgy, possibly even to the extent of rendering the mass invalid. What then? If one doesn’t know whether that previous mass in which the hosts reserved in the tabernacle were consecrated was said correctly, there could be a risk. No?

  2. SeelDad says: there could be a risk. No?

    When you go outside, there is a 1 : 1222000 chance that you will be struck by lightening in a given year. So… don’t go outside! There is a chance you will be struck be lightning. In fact, in your lifetime there is a 1 : 15300 chance! STAY INDOORS!

    The odds that the consecration at the Novus Ordo Mass was invalid are very slim. There might be all sorts of other nonsense, but the actual consecration… using an invalid form for consecration … pretty rare.

    And if you see and hear a priest use what you think is an invalid form, first, make sure you know what he actually said and, next, that it would be invalid. If there is strong enough certainty that it was invalid, the local bishop should be notified immediately with evidence. Evidence is more than one person’s claim without proof.

  3. PatriciusOenus says:

    When I hear “very rare,” I think of a Chrism Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite, or a Sarum Use Mass, or an episcopal consecration in the Byzantine Greek Rite, or the Traditional Rite of Degradation from Holy Orders. I suppose what one considers “very rare” is relative. ;-)

  4. PatriciusOenus says:

    correction, “pretty rare”

  5. Joe says:

    Father: That you may be concerned about Catholic “rigidity” in any way, makes me concerned. It’s PF’s favorite description of faithful Catholics. God have mercy on us.

    [Take another look.]

  6. Hb says:

    Fr Z I’m with you on this one .

    It’s exhausting. When I’m told by people that they don’t want the NO hosts because of possible invalidity of the NO Mass, I point out that I was ordained NO; therefore, everything I do including the TLM and the Divine Liturgy is invalid. That shuts them down but rarely makes them confront their own intellectual conundrum.

  7. Kenneth Wolfe says:

    I know of reform-minded TLM celebrants, who mostly offer the novus ordo, who deliberately go out of their way to only distribute hosts from the novus ordo at a TLM. [You “know” that this priest “goes out of his way” to do that. How, might I ask? Did he announce this or tell you that is what he does? Does he have a reason for this? If he is doing that in order to tweak the Latin Mass guy, that’s appalling, for it would weaponize the Eucharist in a way parallel to how libs weaponize the Eucharist by knowingly giving it to pro-abortion politicians.] While slapping around trads on logic, we should also note a little prudence and charity is in order all around.
    For instance, when someone arriving at a diocesan church early for a TLM sees Karen in her pants-suit standing in the sanctuary doing who-knows-what at the tabernacle following the novus ordo, we should cut a little slack to the Latin Mass guy witnessing it. [A disgusting thing to have to witness, for sure. However, if she is stealing hosts for her coven, that’s not your sin. If she is spitting into the ciborium, that’s not your sin. If she is checking the number of Hosts left before the next Mass begins, that’s wierd but it doesn’t change the Hosts. She can’t “deconsecrat” them with out altering them to the point that their accidents are no longer recognizable.]

  8. OzReader says:

    One needn’t venture far online to encounter the types of rigid, “mad trads” Fr Z mentions. Glad to see their whacky (rigid) ideologies called out. Imagine if it was this camp that caused the recent motu proprio to come into fruition?

    In my not so humble opinion, it’s those fringe trad types that are just as bad as the hard left in the Church. Rigid and divisive can apply to many parts of the Church (even down to the Church Choir or Parish Council!) – not just trads.

  9. I just want to underscore Father Z’s point about an invalid consecration being rare. In the thirty years I was going to different parishes every Sunday (around 900 all together), and a different parish every day for daily Mass, I could possibly count on one hand the number of times I had doubt about the validity of the consecration. God doesn’t make the tools of salvation difficult or inaccessible, and even some of the biggest liturgical offenders will know at least to say the words of consecration properly and use plain wheat bread. (We have to assume right intention in the absence of evidence to the contrary.) Now, I may have wrung my hands and ground my teeth at what else I was witnessing– but validity is an easy bar to meet.

  10. APX says:

    I thought I read once somewhere that ideally hosts consecrated at each Mass should be contained together in one ciborium in the tabernacle to avoid even the suggestion that there is a difference between the two hosts?

    We had a priest who used to refer to the English Mass ciborium of hosts as “Vatican II Jesus” and insisted “Vatican II Jesus” went in front of Latin Mass Jesus. I’m thankful we have resolved such issues.

  11. JonPatrick says:

    “Imagine if it was this camp that caused the recent motu proprio to come into fruition?” I believe if it was only the “mad trad” camp then they are insignificant enough that there would have been no need for a Motu Proprio. It is the fact that the use of the Vetus Ordo is spreading especially among young families and newly ordained clergy that resulted in this last ditch act of desperation to stop it and preserve the “spirit of Vatican 2”. I believe n the long run they are doomed and 200 years from now (hopefully sooner) the N.O. will just be a footnote in Church history.

  12. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    There is a non-practical reason for receiving from the Tabernacle, a theological reason, which is that it underscores the fact that there is only One Mass, forever the same single Holy Sacrifice. That the Mass at which the Host was consecrated is one and the same with the (later in time) Mass we happen to be attending.

    It this way there is a parallel to the early practice of the Particle at the Commixio, which unified the particular Mass to the Papal Mass.

    Indeed, in this age where people have strange view about the relative validity of various forms of celebration, and various sections of a parish community only go to a certain Mass and never meet their fellows from another time of day, a ‘parallel universe’, there would be an argument for always receiving from the Tabernacle, as an outward sign of unity and catholicity.

  13. Georgemartyrfan says:

    As regards the “very rare”, the local NO parish was using gluten free hosts for a time until someone noticed. Even the box had a label stating something to the effect of “not for Roman Catholic Mass” on it. This was corrected.

    I have more than a few times heard priests use the formulation of “for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins” which isn’t either the traditional formula nor the “so that sins may be forgiven” one that was corrected. Not knowing what to do with that, I made a spiritual communion.

    And I admit to being a little jaded, but when a priest constantly injects heresy into his sermons/homilies, even related to the reality of the Sacrifice of Calvary and our Lord’s true physical presence, one wonders whether he even crosses the low bar of “intending what the Church intends.”

    Yes, I believe you’re safe, particularly in a parish that offers both TLM and NO, but I think there is enough screwiness out there to occasionally (perhaps rarely) make a spiritual communion even if it is only due to personal weakness and doubt.

  14. Not says:

    I wonder if Radical Novus Ordo people object to TLM host being mixed with NO host? I do not attend the Novus Ordo. When I pray the Latin Mass and it comes time to receive The Body of Christ, I leave that to God.

  15. APX says:

    I have actually attended an invalid Mass with an invalid consecration. I was a kid and we were out camping with some friends. They knew of a priest who spent the summer in a cabin on an island in the middle of the lake, so we took our boats out there for Sunday Mass.

    I still remember it like it was yesterday. The priest was wearing khaki shorts with a Hawaiian shirt and just a stole. I remember feeling very uncomfortable about being there. When communion came, he didn’t use hosts. He consecrated what looked like a big crumbly cookie the colour of gingerbread, except it tasted horrible (I was expecting it to taste like a gingerbread cookie). It definitely wasn’t wheat bread. It looked like what I now know is rye bread.

    I think it made God angry because during Mass a terrible storm started that made the water so rough with white caps that the force of hitting them it broke our windshield. It was the only time I ever saw my dad actually wear his life jacket while driving the boat. After that storm we decided not to ever go to Mass there again and drove into town 45 minutes away instead.

  16. mo7 says:

    If there are hosts from both forms in the tabernacle, it’s likely that your priests offers Mass in both forms. How could the same priest consecrate, then not consecrate?

  17. robtbrown says:

    Joe says:

    Father: That you may be concerned about Catholic “rigidity” in any way, makes me concerned. It’s PF’s favorite description of faithful Catholics. God have mercy on us.

    It is tiring to hear the pope say it, especially because he doesn’t seem to acknowledge laxism as the contrary vice to rigorism (which is very similar to rigidity)

    Garrigou LaGrange wrote that both rigorism and laxism are manifestations of Relativism.

    Rigorism considers the lesser good to be an evil.
    Laxism considers the lesser ever to be a good.

  18. iamlucky13 says:

    APX, you are correct. From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:

    85. It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the Priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the cases where this is foreseen, they partake of the chalice (cf. no. 283), so that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.

    A footnote is referenced there citing Eucharisticum mysterium, May 25, 1967.

  19. APX says:

    If there are hosts from both forms in the tabernacle, it’s likely that your priests offers Mass in both forms. How could the same priest consecrate, then not consecrate

    In our case the FSSP share a church with the English Mass, so we have Mass in both forms offered by different priests. It used to be an issue for some people who would ask at the communion rail which hosts they were. It didn’t go down well for them…

  20. JoanM says:

    happy birthday fr.z fromjoan mybrotherdiedonot 6th at 1.7p m

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