Rite Questions: What is the protocol if a host is dropped or if precious blood is spilled?
Nov 15, 2023

Rite Questions: What is the protocol if a host is dropped or if precious blood is spilled?

A: Each national bishops’ conference may publish norms on the distribution of communion under both forms (see General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), 283); in the United States, these directives bear the lengthy title “Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America” (“Norms” hereafter). The U.S. bishops state, “All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine” (29). They then cite the GIRM about any mishaps: “If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently; and if any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area where the spill occurred should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy” (280).

—Answered by the Editors

Take the Readers’ Quiz on the Seasons of Advent and Christmas!

You think answering liturgical questions is easy? If so, test your own knowledge on the various aspects of the forthcoming Advent and Christmas seasons online at: https://adoremus.org/christmasquiz/. Will you know the answers to these questions?

  1. What is the principal reason that Christmas is celebrated on December 25?
  2. Why does the beginning of Advent change each year?
  3. Is it correct to describe the Advent season as a kind of “mini-Lent”?
  4. Why are there no readings or prayers for Saturday of the Third Week of Advent?
  5. What are the restrictions (if any) on playing the organ and other instruments during Advent?
  6. Do the liturgical books give any direction on the placing of the Nativity scene in the church building?
  7. What Holy Days of Obligation occur during the Advent and Christmas seasons?
  8. How many Mass settings are there for the Solemnity of the Nativity?
  9. Which Advent or Christmas liturgy mentions “the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad”?
  10. When does the Christmas season conclude?

Do you know the answers to these liturgical questions? Find out at https://adoremus.org/christmasquiz/.

The Editors