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Handling of Eucharist Christine Sunday, January 21, 2018


Handling of Eucharist: I was in the adoration chapel, in which there is also a tabernacle, when a lay person came in with the monstrance and put the host in the monstrance and the rest of the hosts in the tabernacle. Later a lay person came in and addded more hosts in the tabernacle.

Is this appropriate handling of consecrated hosts? The first person for sure was handling at least one consecrated host. The second person was maybe topping up the supply. Either way I found it disturbing.


Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OMSM(r), DALC, LTh, DD, CDCP

Dear Christine:

Mr. Slavek has retired as host of this forum after an incredible 17 years of faithful and excellent service in this apostolate.

In the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which is assisted by servers and incense is used, a priest or deacon is authorized.

In a simple exposition, either by opening the tabernacle or placing the Host in a monstrance, can be done by an instituted acolyte or by an authorized extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.

Source and for more information: Father Edward McNamara, A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

I am confused about why anyone would add more hosts to the tabernacle. This would be done during Holy Mass to provide for the needs of the sick and shut-ins. Where is this layman getting the hosts? The GIRM states: The priest "either consumes them at the altar or carries them to the place designated for the reservation of the Eucharist" (nos. 162, 163).

As for placing unconsecrated hosts in the tabernacle, this is not done. Consecrated hosts are not to be taken from the tabernacle unless absolutely necessary. The Norms for the Distribution of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds. No. 30 states, "As a general rule, Holy Communion is given from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and not from those reserved in the tabernacle."

Redeptionis Sacramentum warns of the danger of an inappropriate broadening of duties entrusted to extraordinary ministers (cf. no. 156).

I think your concerns about the laymen "adding" hosts to the tabernacle is justified.

In a simple exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, however, a layman may enter the Tabernacle and place the host in the monstrance. What does "rest of the hosts" mean? The host for exposition should already be in the Tabernacle.

I would ask your pastor about this.

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary

Footer Notes: (a) A Eucharistic Minister is clergy (Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion). Laity are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and should never be called Eucharistic Ministers.

(b) There is no such Mass called the Novus Ordo. The Current Mass is the Roman Missal of 2000, or the Oridinary Form of the Mass. The Tridentine Mass is the Roman Missal of 1962, or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Please refrain from using the term, Novus Ordo. Thanks.

(c) The titles of Acolyte and Lector belong exclusively to the Installed Offices of Acolyte and Lector, who are men (only) appointed by the Bishop. These roles performed by others are Altar Servers and Readers, respectively.