Elevation of the host

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Blessings on you and your ministry which I find most helpful.

What guidance is there in the liturgical documents about how long the elevation of the Body and Blood of Christ, following the consecration at Mass. I am of the viewpoint that this sacred moment/gesture is part of the overall solemnity of the Eucharistic Prayer and should not be given a prolonged emphasis.


A: No time limit appears in the documents, so you will see a variety of practices. The rubric just says that the priest “shows” the host / chalice to the people. Like you, I think it should not be prolonged. The consecration is a constitutive part of the eucharistic prayer – it’s not an island unto itself. We believe that the consecration takes place during the institution narrative; the liturgy appropriately pauses so that people may adore Christ, and even sing to him in the memorial acclamation. But then the prayer resumes. So the showing should not break the flow of the eucharistic prayer.