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Question

Dear Father Angelo,

I am of the Neocatechumenal Way and last night I have received the Communion under both species. 

It happened that a crumb fell while I was eating the Body of Christ and since because of the colour of the floor it was not possible to see it, and to find it I would have had to check the floor, I left it there even though I had heard that one must try to recover the crumbs when they fall.

Furthermore, after I drank the Blood of Christ I noticed on the floor a drop that was most likely the Blood of Christ that I had dropped while drinking. I left that there too.

I would like to ask you if by acting in this way I have committed a mortal sin because this makes me a little anxious.

Thank you in advance and I am sorry to bother you


Priest’s reply

Dear friend,

1. If Holy Communion were made according to the indications of the Church, holding a Communion-plate or a Communion cloth under the chin or under the hands of the faithful would a such profanation could not happen.

Regarding the Communion-plate, here is what the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum says in n. 93: “The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling” (Cf. Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, n. 118).

2. You speak of a crumb and not a fragment. This would imply that the Mass is not celebrated with unleavened bread.

And this would undoubtedly be an abuse.

3. In the case of a crumb, you had to take it with the purificator used by the priest and then consume it or pour it into the cruet held near the tabernacle to purify the fingers of those who distributed the Holy Communion.

The same thing was also to be done with the drop of the Blood of the Lord.

4. Instead, a grave desecration was caused because the sacred Particle was exposed to being trodden on or even stuck to the soles of shoes.

It is true that this desecration was entirely involuntary.

But it was voluntary to disregard the norms of the Church and do one’s own thing.

There is therefore a responsibility involved.

5. When the crumb fell you had to stop and also stop others in order to avoid the desecration.

The anxiety that followed meant that it was not a good Communion.

If I were in your place I would have then gone to confession and listened to the confessor’s instructions.

6. In future, approach the Holy Communion according to the norms prescribed by the Church, even if this would go against the habits contracted in some groups of the Neocatechumenal Way.

7. Always have the greatest attention and adoration for the Eucharist.

Under the appearances of the bread and wine “the whole spiritual wealth of the Church is contained – namely Christ, our Paschal Lamb” (Redemptionis donum 2), “unconquered Lord and Ruler, eternal Priest and King of the Universe” (Ib., 1).

I remember you to the Lord and bless you.

Father Angelo