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Is this consecration?

24 July 2015

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.


Your answers


Can the formula for supplementary consecration of bread and/or wine lawfully (or validly) be used outside a celebration of the eucharist? If a priest uses this formula in isolation, to “top up” the elements in the aumbry for the communion of the sick, what should a lay eucharistic assistant who is uneasy about this practice do?


There is no justification for using the formula outside the eucharist to replenish the sacrament in the aumbry. It is contrary to long-accepted practice. Its irregularity raises questions about its validity.

Such a misuse of the formula indicates a failure to understand its purpose and place in the eucharist when “either or both of the consecrated elements is likely to prove insufficient” at the distribution: it refers to the Eucharistic Prayer — “having given thanks” — when further bread and/or wine are brought within the sacramental action. The formula is in no way intended to be used as an ad hoc method of “consecration” of the reserved sacrament.

Lay eucharistic assistants have the right to request that communions for which they may be responsible shall invariably be with elements that have been consecrated at, and reserved from, a eucharistic celebration, and in no other way.


(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire


Your questions


At the Glastonbury Pilgrimage, someone reminded me of how, several years ago, a seagull swooped down in what appeared to be an attempt to grab the Host held up for the communicants. If the seagull had consumed the Host, would it have received the Body of Christ?

M. P.


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