Elevating the host

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I have a question regarding the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass. I am a lifelong Catholic, and as long as I can remember, when the Priest speaks the words “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world………” the Sacred Host has always been elevated for the people to gaze upon. At the parish where I attend Mass, the Pastor elevates a chalice in one hand and a ciborium in the other and elevates these together while praying the words (Behold the Lamb of God….) I have never seen this done and was wondering if this is permitted under the current Rubrics.


A:  The priest is supposed to hold the host over the paten or over the chalice (Order of Mass 132, GIRM 84). So, neither of your examples is correct. The priest is not to elevate the host for the people to gaze upon, nor is he to hold the two vessels – or even one vessel, which many priests do. Almost no priest does this correctly, but I would not categorize it as a liturgical abuse. It’s probably just an oversight formed by habit.