Communion Host Dispenser

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I just saw a product posted by a Catholic Religious Store–it’s a “No Contact Communion Host Dispenser”.

Is this really approved for use?

tried to post a photo, but can’t.

Thank you so much! May you stay safe and healthy.  May God bless you, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.  Amen.


A: The ad shows a product that stacks communion wafers inside a see-through cylinder fixed onto hand-held mechanism with a trigger that the minister pulls in order to drop the hosts one by one into the outstretched hands of communicants.

Is this approved for use? No. Absolutely not. Redemptionis sacramentum 117 wants vessels “in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.” Vessels should avoid “all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species.”

From the purely symbolic level, the distribution of communion through a dispenser lacks the nobility of the shared meal we call “the [marriage] supper of the Lamb.” We don’t dine at even secular banquets with bite-sized portions distributed from such devices.

And it’s not necessary. The human hand can successfully drop a host into the hand of the communicant without making flesh on flesh contact.

Furthermore, if a communicant requests communion in the mouth, it would be outrageous to attempt the action with such a dispenser.

People are making creative solutions to share sacraments during the pandemic, but not every idea is a good idea. A Catholic Religious Goods Store should know better.