Eucharist on the floor – What to do?

Jude Missa

It is crucial to receive the Holy Eucharist as it is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the form of bread and wine. It was first instituted at the Last Supper, where the twelve apostles were the first recipients of this sacrament in the world. Following the commandment of our Lord, they performed Holy Mass in every nation under the Catholic Church. In the past, the Holy Eucharist was treated with respect. The faithful receives the Sacred Host using the tongue while the altar server holds a paten under the receiver’s chin to avoid the Eucharist falling on the floor. But what if the Eucharist accidentally falls on the floor while taking communion? What shall we do? In the event that the Holy Eucharist falls on the floor, here are two steps to follow.

1. Wait for the priest to retrieve it.

When you accidentally drop the Holy Eucharist on the floor while receiving it (and the Altar Server failed to save it), you must remain on the altar rail or where you are when receiving it. When the Priest gave you another Host, return to your chair and pray for forgiveness. Here, the priest retrieves it immediately and will put a the purificator (white cloth) on where the Sacred Host was dropped. Because some a small particle may remain on the floor, the cloth will remind the priest and the altar servers where it is to avoid stepping on it. Then they use a holy water to cleanse the area.

2. Take the Eucharist using your tongue.

This practice is no longer used by most Catholics because the floor is dirty. But in the past, some faithful and priest used their tongue to retrieve and consume it when they accidentally dropped the Sacred Host. But this practice must no be used immediately because you must wait for the priest to retrieve it. But, if the priest forgets and continue the Mass, you can take it using the tongue to avoid people stepping on it.

Why should we use the tongue to retrieve it, not our hands?

Because our hands are not consecrated to hold the Sacred Host. Only the priest can hold it. Some Catholics and priest under the teachings of Vatican II, thinks that holding the Sacred Host on your hand will avoid dropping the Sacred Host on the floor. But some small particles will remain in your hand which can be drop to the floor unnoticed. Remember, every small particle from the Host is still part of the Body of Christ.

But the priest is encouraging us to use our hands on taking the communion, what should we do?

Sadly, some priests no longer recognize the importance of the Sacred Host because of the Vatican II teachings. But you also have a freedom to use your tongue instead of your hand. There are some clergy under Vatican II still use the Communion in the tongue.

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