Q: I found your website online and I have a question. Our priest has decided during the pandemic to intentionally drop the host into the hands of communicants. To avoid contact, the host is being dropped on purpose. I have never heard of the host being dropped on purpose by priests. I always heard that was an accident. Before I call him to ask about this, I would like to be more informed. What do you think of this? Have you seen the youtube video on what happens to particles of a host when it is dropped? Blessings,
A: All GIRM 161 says is that the communicant “receives” the Sacrament either on the tongue or in the hand, where it is allowed. Dropping the host into someone’s palm is not ideal, but I do understand people taking unusual measures at this time of pandemic. With regard to a fallen host, GIRM 280 instructs the priest to pick it up reverently, but it does not dwell on the loss of particles. This strikes me as a reasonable balance between showing due reverence for the hosts and avoiding a preoccupation over microscopic elements.