Large host

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I was taught in formation, because the Mass is offered by the whole assembly, things that separated out the priest that harkened back to the attitude that the congregation was basically there to”hear” Mass that the priest “said” were best avoided.   Examples of these include use of a chalice veil, special chalice just for the priest, a separate small paten just big enough for the priest’s host, the assembly’s hosts in a separate vessel—(or handy in the tabernacle).    With that background, I want to ask what is the logic, and history of the priest using a host larger and different from what the people receive —but not large enough that it could be broken for the entire assembly?      Is there ever the tradition of everyone having identical hosts?


A: The 3-inch host served capably in the days when the priest broke and consumed it, and then gave communion to the people from the tabernacle. Today the priest is expected to break the host into several parts and share it with the faithful (GIRM 321). Here’s a previous post: . The tradition is not over identical hosts for all but a common loaf broken for all.