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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. During the distribution of Communion at Holy Mass, the priest realized he was running short. He went to Sacristy, got more hosts, took them to the Altar and said the word of Consecration. Then he proceeded to distribute these newly consecrated hosts. He said this procedure was allowed since the Holy Mass was not finished as of yet. Is this correct? I have never seen this done before.

A. 1. What you describe is forbidden under Canon Law. It is a serious violation of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church. Canon Law # 927 states: "It is absolutely forbidden, even in extreme urgent necessity, to consecrate one matter without the other, or even both outside the Eucharistic celebration.

In order for the second batch of hosts to be validly consecrated within the context of the first Holy Mass, the priest would have to consecrated both the bread and the wine in a short ritual with merely the offertory, consecration, and Communion. There is no exception to this rule.

The general practice when a priest notices that he is running out of Consecrated Host is to break them up and give a piece of a Host to those who wish to receive Communion. For example, if 25 Hosts were broken in 4 parts each, 100 persons would be able to receive the Holy Eucharist.

It should be noted that the fullness of Christ is present in both, the smallest piece of the Consecrated Host and the smallest drop of the Consecrated Wine. By only taking the Body / Consecrated Host, the members of the congregation have received the fullness of Christ. That was evident by the fact that the Catholic Church did not allow the faithful to receive the Precious Blood of Christ for centuries, that practice being implemented to point out that receiving both, the Consecrated Body and Blood of Christ was unnecessary.

The alternative is for the priest to apologize to the congregation, giving the faithful the assurance that next time, there will be sufficient Consecrated Hosts in the Blessed Tabernacle.

Other acceptable practices are, either the faithful make a "spiritual communion" or the priest celebrates another Mass so they can receive Holy Communion.

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