What do I do if I drop the Eucharist?

What do I do if I drop the Eucharist?

If the Holy Eucharist falls on the floor, you should pick it up right away. Picking it up in a reverent manner and you must verify that there are no particles on the floor. Usually, it is proper to call the attention of the Altar servers so if there are particles, a linen purificator will be placed over the area where the host fell.

After the Mass, the area will then be cleaned with water and a purificator. However, if the host simply dropped from the priest’s hands before it touches the tongue or hands of the recipient. He will pick it up and consume it. If it has been soiled in a way that he does not feel comfortable consuming it or it had touched the tongue or hands of the recipient, he should take the host directly to the altar and lay it in the corporal. If this cannot be done, he should isolate it in such a way as to not give it to others.

After the Mass, he can then rinse it in the sacrarium, which is a special sink that empties directly into the ground and not the sewers.

The host can also be dissolved in a vessel of water until the species of bread is no longer evident. This may take days and the vessel needs to be covered and kept in the tabernacle.

This is also the case if some of the Precious Blood should drop on the floor.

In the General instructions of the Roman Missal it says:


Whenever a fragment of the host adheres to his fingers, especially after the fraction or after the Communion of the faithful, the Priest should wipe his fingers over the paten or, if necessary, wash them. Likewise, he should also gather any fragments that may have fallen outside the paten. The sacred vessels are purified by the Priest, the Deacon, or an instituted acolyte after Communion or after Mass, insofar as possible at the credence table. The purification of the chalice is done with water alone or with wine and water, which is then consumed by
whoever does the purification. The paten is wiped clean as usual with the purificator. Care is to be taken that whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ after the distribution of Communion is consumed immediately and completely at the altar.

If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently; and if any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area where the spill occurred should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy.

GIRM 278-280


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