The Day the Host Dropped

During Mass last Sunday during Communion a Consecrated Host was dropped. Father immediately picked Him up and consumed the Host on the spot. As I am responsible for the servers in my parish and in catechesis I teach that the spot must be covered and that the server never leaves the spot (they have been instructed to kneel there) until the Priest or Deacon Purifies the spot.

I missed the actual failing of the Host. Unfortunately the server with Father did not react. The other servers not serving did, to their credit. They came to me and told me about it whereupon the site was covered and then purified. More training is indicated.

...The pre-Vatican II rubrics for when a Host is dropped, like the rubrics of the Latin liturgy, safeguarded the reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament. The May 1949 American Ecclesiastical Review explained:

“This procedure requires that the spot on which the Sacred Host has fallen be purified, usually with a dampened purificator, and then scraped and the scrapings thrown into the sacrarium [small sink in sacristy that drains into ground under the church]. Authors, generally, in order to avoid delay in going on with the distribution of Holy Communion, interpret the fulfillment of the rubric to allow marking the spot on which the Sacred Host has fallen, either with a linen cloth or with the plate used with the cruets, the priest returning after Mass to purify the place in the manner prescribed in De defectibus.”

This strict procedure not only gives God the reverence that is His due, but profoundly impresses the spectator, as it impressed me at a young age.

The year was around 1965, I was a boy of about 7 years old. My father took me for Sunday Mass to the “Italian Parish”, Our Lady of Consolation in Philadelphia. The Mass was still in Latin, the sacred atmosphere still pervaded the church and the liturgy, though the first updrafts of change were in the wind.

During Communion time on this particular Sunday, the priest accidentally dropped a consecrated Host. We were sitting up front, and my father drew my attention to it.

The priest briefly interrupted the distribution of Communion to fetch a small white cloth which he placed over the Host on the floor. The distribution of Holy Communion resumed, with the priest and altar boy carefully stepping around the Veiled Guest.

My father purposely kept me after Mass so that I could see the purification rubric from the front pew.

All was done simply, quietly, for there was no talking in church whatsoever back then, in reverence to the Blessed Sacrament.

The priest and the altar boy approached the spot near the altar rail inside the sanctuary, the spot covered with a white cloth. The priest then dropped to his knees, lifted the veil, retrieved the Sacred Species and consumed it with dignity and decorum. Slowly, reverently, still on his knees, he then cleaned and purified the section of the floor where the Host had dropped.

He took his time. There was no rush. An air of solemnity, holiness and adoration pervaded his every move.

I was fascinated and edified by the procedure. I remember thinking to myself, “truly, the Sacred Host is the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” because the priest tended to It with awe-inspiring care and reverence.

It was the best catechism lesson on the Real Presence I ever had.

What do seven-year-olds now see? In modern parishes, under the lax rubrics of the New Mass, the priest simply picks up a dropped Host and moves on, as if he dropped some loose change. Particles are left to be stepped upon and desecrated. Before and after Mass, people prattle away in church as if they are socializing in the parish hall. Many modern priests and laity disregard their duty of silence before the Blessed Sacrament. They forget the stern warning of little Jacinta of Fatima, “Our Lady does not want people to talk in church”.

Where is this reverence and care for the Blessed Sacrament in the post-Conciliar Church with the introduction of Communion in the hand and the “anyone can handle it” attitude? How will our young people gain any understanding of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament when He receives cavalier treatment from clergymen? How can reverence for the Eucharist be instilled in the Catholic faithful when they see It given in the hand as common foodstuffs, and distributed by ill-trained lay people who should not be handling the Blessed Sacrament in the first place?

It is no mystery why so many Catholics have lost faith in the Sacred Mysteries. Too many of our priests have abandoned the outward devotion necessary: 1) to give proper reverence to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament; 2) to teach the people through example that the highest reverence must be shown to Our Lord Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Yet, the post-Conciliar catastrophe will not go on indefinitely. Someday the Church will once again be blessed with a hierarchy that gives Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament the reverence due to the King of Kings.

In the meantime, let us resist sacrilegious innovations such as Communion in the hand and lay-Eucharistic ministers, encourage others to resist them, and cling to the Latin Tridentine Mass wherein the rubrics that safeguard the reverence to the Blessed Sacrament are meticulously preserved...

The foregoing article was sent to me by Bob Banaugh through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit sent this to me. I got the message, Lord.


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