At around 1:15:05 of the movie Therese (based on the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, late XIX century), we can see the host being dropped and then put in a piece of cloth and taken away. This seems consistent with the (modern) guidelines given in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM):

  1. If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently.

What is unclear however is what is done to the host. This contrasts with the case of the wine, where the instruction is clear. These words immediately follow those above:

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.

The GIRM does not seem to provide any direct guidance regarding the fallen host. Is it purified somewhere and eaten?

  • 2
    Regardless of what the rubrics state, I have see seen priests pick up the Sacred Host and actually consumed them immediately due to the particular circumstances where the Mass was being celebrated.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


A consecrated host that cannot be consumed will be disposed of by placing it in water. This water, in turn, is to be poured through the sanctuarium (within the sacristy) into the ground.

Source: How should one dispose of a consecrated host which was placed in the mouth of an ill person who, in the end, was unable to swallow it?

I am suprised that it is not stated in the GIRM, but maybe it was obvious for the authors of this document.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .