So, what SHOULD have Peggy Done with the wafer? (Attn: Catholics)

OK, on a recent ‘King of the Hill’ Peggy decides to impersonate a teaching Nun a the local school.

I did not see all the show (I did like her getting nailed on transsubstantiation, though).

Apparantly, while practicing Communion, she drops a wafer, dusts it off, and serves it.

As Catholic League took offense, I suspect this was quite wrong (I would have guessed so anyway).


What should a Nun have done?

Is this different that what a Priest would be required to do had this occurred during a ‘real’ Communion.

She did ok. The host just has to be eaten. The servers at communion pick up any host that hit the floor and eat them.

My sweetie who went to many years of Catholic school tells me that a dropped host was a very serous matter. She said the nuns would gather around it and pray before picking it up. She can’t post to SDMB during the day so I’ll ask her to elaborate. At any rate it was a serious faux pas for Peggy to just dust off the wafer as if nothing happened. I think that was the point of the joke.

I didn’t see the show, but a few general pointers…

Several other religions besides Catholicism use a communion wafer during their services, most often when practicing a sacrament called “communion”. Likewise “nuns”, or women in a religious order. So technically, just having a nun and a wafer doesn’t necessarily make it Catholic.

So, if the setting was not clearly spelled out as being a Catholic communion sacrament, then there might be more leeway as to what the nun should’ve done.

As far as the Catholic communion sacrament - the wafers themselves come in a plastic tub a few thousand at a time (former altar boy here). They are not holy, not blessed, nothing.

During the Mass a priest blesses the wafer (simplified version of events), and by doing so the wafer is technically transmuted into the Body of Christ. (Believe what you want, but some people believe this actually happens.)

So… Peggy didn’t drop an unblessed wafer on the floor, she dropped a little piece of Jesus. Quite a difference. (Again, you don’t have to believe this, but some people do.)

In Catholicism only a priest can bless the wafer and change it into the Body of Christ, but after that practically anyone can pass them out (within reason). They are called “Eucharistic Ministers” and are typically people who are serious Catholics, take some classes, go on a religious retreat, get a blessing from a priest, and there they are. Everyone has the same obligation when passing out the Body, so a priest wouldn’t be required to do anything different than a nun, or a eucharistic minister, or the Pope for that matter (“Hey John Paul! You fumbled the Lord!!!”).

Depends on what’s meant by “practicing communion” ( I didn’t see the show. )The phrase “practicing Communion”, in combination with “teaching nun” and a reference to “real communion” leads me to envision a group of second graders rehearsing for their First Communion. In which case, Peggy didn’t do anything wrong except to serve it, as unconsecrated hosts are used in such a situation. (Otherwise, First Communion wouldn’t be First Communion)

It was an un-consecrated host that she dropped. All in all, a rather funny episode.

Peggy: “So what are we studying today?”
Class: “Transubstantiation!”
Peggy: “Transubstanti-what?”


My father is a eucharistic minister at our church (as well as an usher), would you guys like me to ask him?

Guin -

I was hoping for a response to Padeye’s sweetie - that response sounded like what the CL’s rant was talking about.

Absent that, pls ask - especially about the difference between a school excercise and an actual Mass.

First off, I know a girl who’s an Eucharistic minister. She said the proper thing to do is pick it up and eat it. You can’t leave Jesus on the floor and have someone step on Him, after all.
Second, unconsecrated hosts are just bread…there’s not really any reason to treat them separately, but I suppose that if picking it up and eating it is what you’d want in the real situation, it’s be the right thing to do in a practice, too.

This was me wondering, now, too. It’s pretty easy to pick up the consecrated Host and eat it, but I can’t imagine what would happen if someone spilled the Chalice…if you haven’t asked, yet, Guin, I’d be interested to know, if not, I’ll see if I can find out for myself.

And happyheathen, your thread title’s redundant. I can’t see your name without thinking, “Attn: Catholics” :smiley:

I have heard tell of Altar Guild ladies kneeling down to the floor and picking up the host with their tongues. In their big hats and all. Wish I had seen this.

I have also heard tell of spilling the wine, and it being tracked all over the place - what a disaster.

Don’t know for sure, but I believe the Orthodox hold that the sacrament is incapable of being defiled; if it falls, it somehow deconsecrates itself before it hits the floor.

Deconsecrates itself before hitting the floor? How <i>convenient</i>…

Anyway, my mom told me once, after I dropped a host, that when she was a kid it was a huge deal, with the priest and some holy water being involved. Now, you pick it up and eat it. (Or do your best - mine rolled under a wheelchair!)

This question is really rather interesting. While many denominations use a host in their services, Catholics [possibly others as well] must believe in the literal transubstantiation. By authority of the Council of Trent, to disbelieve that the tasteless little wafer has literally been transformed into McChrist is a crime of heresy.

That being the case, it’s no surprise that dropped Christ must be taken seriously. If possible, it is to be consumed. If not, a priest must be called upon to properly dispose of it, but the means of disposal is unclear. Guidelines are also provided for the proper mopping up of spilled Blood of Christ.

I vaguely recall reading, in Catholic Digest perhaps, that the host was to be covered with a damp cloth until it was no longer recognizable, and then cleaned up. It was actually a fairly detailed article, none of the rest of which I remember even vaguely.

Okay, asked me daddy and this is what he said:

If the consecrated host falls to the floor, you simply pick it up and eat it. If it’s a bit dirty, you can rinse it off. No big deal.

If the consecrated wine is spilled, you get a damp cloth and very carefully soak it up. All this is done respectfully, according to my father-you don’t just swipe at the carpet a few times, but try and soak it into the rag as much as possible. Then you simply wash the rag.
As for the Catholic League, they’re pretty much the Catholic version of PETA. Anything for attention. Don’t take 'em too seriously.

This happened at Mass today, actually. Father Whattawaste (ok, I know, I’m going to Hell for that) dropped a consecrated Host, picked it up, and popped it in his mouth. Simple as that.

Hey, someone else read Growing up Catholic. Woohoo!

I’ve never seen one dropped, but if the host was unconsecrated…it’s just like dropping other food. Dunno if I’d eat it, though. . .people come into church with muddy shoes and stuff ;).

Back in my youth Eucharist was treated as an uber-holy thing and no one aside from the priest or deacon could dispense communion. And it was placed directly from the priest’s washed hand (with holy water) to your tongue. Your hands were considered unclean.

A dropped wafer resulted in several moments of panic.

Then they started relaxing the rules, no doubt to accomodate the fact that there simply weren’t enough priests to go around. In addition to priests and deacons, they started allowing lay men to become eucharistic ministers, then (gasp!) women to become eucharistic ministers.

Now it’s as casual as the dress code in church.

Father Whattawaste-what does that mean? (Too handsome? I could say some very naughty thoughts went through my head watching “The Scarlet and the Black” earlier today…)

It means he’s young (30ish?) and he’s very cute. In the case of this particular priest, I’ve got a little crush, and he’s appeared in my dreams at least once. Therefore, Father Whattawaste, because nothing would ever happen. My Catholic upbringing prevents that.