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Sharon Laird wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • During the Catholic Eucharist, is it permissible for Catholic parishioners, wearing masks due to the pandemic, to take the sacred host (wafer), after it is given by the priest in the hand, back to their pews so they can then consume it?
  • Or, must the mask be removed, and the sacred host (wafer), eaten immediately, after it is given into the hand, by the priest (while the recipient is still in line)?

Sharon Laird

  { Are Catholics wearing a masks due to the pandemic allowed to take the host back to the pew? }

Eric replied:


Perhaps one of my more knowledgeable colleagues will have a better answer, but I don't think this has been specifically addressed with respect to the pandemic.

Normally, it is required to consume the host immediately to prevent sacrilege. I am not aware of a post-pandemic change to this discipline, but it may vary from diocese to diocese. This is really something you need to consult on with the pastor of the parish you attend. In any case, it seems to me whether you remove your mask at the front or at your seat is going to make little difference in terms of transmissibility, so, in my humble opinion, you may as well follow the traditional discipline.


Mike replied:


No, it is not permissible. Period! One is to consume the Eucharist in front of the priest or Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist immediately when they receive it whether during a pandemic, plague, or whenever.

For any Cardinal, Bishop, Pastor, Priest, or Deacon to allow anything else would open the Blessed Sacrament up to possible desecration or sacrilege. There would be additional dangers of something starting on a small scale growing into something on a more widespread basis.

I don't think this would be something that Catholic clerics would be interested in acccounting for at their Particular Judgment.


Sharon replied:

Hi guys,

Thank you for your answer and clarification.


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