Covering the ciborium

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Given all the information about the dangers of congregational singing and the spoken word spreading aerosol droplets so dramatically, is it required that during the consecration of the hosts, that they be uncovered? Can the ciborium lid still be on during consecration to further safeguard against unintentional spread? I cannot find anything stating this clearly.

Be safe and well!


A: The only place I’ve seen a pertinent rubric is in the Ceremonial of Bishops 155, where it says, “If the cup and ciborium are covered, a deacon uncovers them before the epiclesis…. After the consecration, the deacon may cover the cup and the ciborium.”

I’ve witnessed many occasions when the presider continues with the eucharistic prayer even though some of the vessels are covered. I can’t point anywhere that permits it, except that CB 155 speaks about cup and ciborium in the singular.

In my opinion, in these times of pandemic, when we’ve made many adjustments we would not normally do, leaving the extra vessels covered seems reasonable.

Another solution is to place the uncovered ciboria near the edge of the altar, left or right of the presider, on a separate corporal.