Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pet Peeve: Frisbee Hosts


Perhaps they have made an appearance at your parish or maybe you have encounter them while on vacation. Maybe you thought to yourself, "Why is Father trying to consecrate a Frisbee?" Well, it isn't a Frisbee, it is a Frisbee Host. A Frisbee Host is an extra large host designed to be broken in many parts.

Let me make something perfectly clear. Unlike the Overlay Stole, the Frisbee Host (assuming that it is made of wheat flour and water) is perfectly licit according to the rubrics of the Ordinary Rite. They are used because of the suggestion (note that it is suggested not required) in the GIRM that,

The meaning of the sign demands that the material for the Eucharistic celebration truly have the appearance of food. It is therefore expedient that the eucharistic bread, even though unleavened and baked in the traditional shape, be made in such a way that the priest at Mass with a congregation is able in practice to break it into parts for distribution to at least some of the faithful. Small hosts are, however, in no way ruled out when the number of those receiving Holy Communion or other pastoral needs require it. The action of the fraction or breaking of bread, which gave its name to the Eucharist in apostolic times, will bring out more clearly the force and importance of the sign of unity of all in the one bread, and of the sign of charity by the fact that the one bread is distributed among the brothers and sisters.

Also, I suspect that their is a desire that everyone be able to SEE the principal host. However, like many suggestions in regards to the liturgy, they just don't work in the real world. For example, that all the hosts for a given Mass be consecrated at that Mass. Trust me, this is a can of worms even to try.

"OK Father, then why don't you like it?" First, I think the sign value concern can be adequately addressed by having the host and wine brought up together in the Offertory procession. Secondly, not everything has to be extremely visible. With a real elevation of the Host, the Body may be more than adequately seen. Third, the products of the Frisbee Hosts when broken are very small and/or have sharp edges and points. They are not at all friendly for Communion on the Tongue. Fourth and most importantly, in spite of what their manufactures claim they leave a ton of particles and these particles tend to shoot everywhere. (I suspect this is not a concern for those who push their use.) Traditional communion breads are far more friendly towards Communion on the Tongue (which is the preferred and universal practice of the Latin Rite) and better preserve reverence for the Sacred Species.

(Liturgical Pet Peeves yet to be addressed: Homemade Altar Breads and Junior Klansman Suits.)
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