a serious question about "hosts"

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can lay people make the wafer that will be consecrated by a priest or are there certain places we are required to get them from?


When I attended church at the Cornell Catholic Community, my household and I signed up a few times to do Eucharistic bread-baking. They gave us the flour and the instructions, and we did our best.

I don't know if that was rubrically legal, but we were never struck by lightning.

To my knowledge (and this is not infallible, since I only have a bachelor's in theology) it is not licit for lay members of a parish to make the hosts. The priest who taught my Sacraments course in college told us that the rubrical standards for what the host may and may not contain, and for its preparation, are strict enough that one cannot count on having a rubrically licit host unless one orders it from a Church-sanctioned host-making operation. This has been borne out by my experience; that is, I have never come across a parish that made its own hosts that I considered orthodox and well-run, and all the orthodox and well-run parishes I know use premade hosts from Church-sanctioned sources.

Hope this helps, at least a little!

If you are looking for wonderful-tasting hosts handmade by nuns who bake them as a means of self-support, check out the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Piedmont, OK. http://www.okcarmel.org

As far as I know it's licit as long as you stick to the rubrics: water and flour and nothing else. No honey, no salt, no Crisco, no raisins.

I would suspect that the big disadvantage to homemade bread (besides getting something edible using only flour and water) is getting a bread that won't crumb up -- you don't want all those crumbs falling around after the Consecrations. The nuns have the expertise and the equipment to make licit hosts that won't crumb.

If it were licit I still wouldn't want to cut into the income of the sisters who supply our hosts. (Despite any austerity measures our parish may try to take - generic office supplies for instance - I wouldn't dream of ordering our altar bread from a big commercial operation.)



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on March 31, 2006 10:59 PM.

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