Monstrance and Corporal

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q1: Regarding your post about the monstrance, I don’t see where a corporal is called for at exposition.

The altar is covered with a “white cloth” – not a corporal (#93).

A corporal is specifically mentioned only when communion is distributed outside of Mass (#19).

I would reference your article in the September 2016 issue of Worship.

p. 392: “At other times, people overuse it. Surprising to many Catholic practitioners of the liturgy, there is no mention of the corporal outside the rubrics for Mass.The only exception is for the communion rite on Good Friday. Otherwise, it is not used for eucharistic adoration or for communion services outside of Mass [n.b. actually, it is]. Planning to set a monstrance on the altar? Keep the corporal in the sacristy.”


Q2: Regarding your post about the monstrance, the Ceremonial of Bishops, n. 1108, describes exposition outside Mass, making it clear that the corporal is optional.

“The deacon puts the blessed sacrament into a monstrance and sets the monstrance upon the altar table, which is covered with an altar cloth and, as circumstances suggest, a corporal.”

In your blog post of 4 November 2018, “Monstrance and corporal” you wrote: “There is no reference to the corporal, so I believe it is not proper to use one, but you’ll find people who disagree with me.”

In the blog post of 2 March 2023, “Corporal”, you seem to accept the part of the question, that the “corporal is used for the monstrance during Eucharistic Adoration”.

Links to these are and .


A: Thank you both for writing. I rely on readers to check on me. 

As the Ceremonial explains even in Latin, the “corporal” is optional at exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. However, it footnotes HCWEOM #93, which very clearly says “white cloth” without specifying which one.

Safe to say that a corporal is never obligatory for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.