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Church Order discuss What of the Sacrament after Communion? in the The Church forums; Hello, I have recently transferred from serving First Congregational Church of Cheboygan, Michigan as Pastor to serving First Congregational Church of Peru, Illinois as Pastor. ...

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    PilgrimPastor's Avatar
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    What of the Sacrament after Communion?

    Hello,

    I have recently transferred from serving First Congregational Church of Cheboygan, Michigan as Pastor to serving First Congregational Church of Peru, Illinois as Pastor. Our Diaconate Board has come to me with an interesting question which I have shared some thoughts on, but I am curious to get some perspective from anyone who has a thought on the matter.

    What is the appropriate means of "disposal" of the bread and wine (juice) after the Sacrament of Communion has been shared by the congregation? What of the "left overs?"

    Your thoughts and conversation are appreciated!

    Many Blessings!
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    You could give the bread to ducks I suppose if it's unsanitary to re-use it. If it is juice, and somebody likes juice, I guess they could take the leftover juice, pour it in one cup, and drink it. It's good for you. If wine then it's probably best to pour it out.

    The significance of the Sacrament is not in the elements themselves. They remain plain bread and plain wine. It is our corporate participation in them, as we are communally in the presence of Christ and dine at His table and feed Sacramentally upon Him that the significance of the Supper is found.
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    SemperFideles,

    I agree completely. They are a commemoration and that is precisely what I told the Diaconate Board. There was a question raised by a woman who has not been preparing and disposing of the bread and wine for many years and now finds herself handling that task.

    I think she rightly consulted her new Pastor and I appreciate that she did. Interestingly, she told me that in years past she had, in fact, fed the bread to birds living on the church property and once made a bread pudding to serve the following week at fellowship time after the worship service.
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    SemperFideles,

    By the way, I am a former Marine Staff Sergeant - Semper Fi.
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimPastor View Post
    SemperFideles,

    By the way, I am a former Marine Staff Sergeant - Semper Fi.
    Ooorah! What years did you serve?
    Rich
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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperFideles View Post
    You could give the bread to ducks I suppose if it's unsanitary to re-use it. If somebody likes juice, I guess they could take the leftover juice, pour it in one cup, and drink it. It's good for you.

    The significance of the Sacrament is not in the elements themselves. They remain plain bread and plain wine. It is our corporate participation in them, as we are communally in the presence of Christ and dine at His table and feed Sacramentally upon Him that the significance of the Supper is found.
    Exactly. It's the work of the Holy Spirit, which is what any special "treatment" of the elements (after administration) demeans in emphasis.
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    etexas is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    When I was Anglican it was broken up and the wine was poured out to return it to the Earth. Now I am PCA.......I have no idea what we do with it?????
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    We save the elements for the next communion service so that we are good stewards and not wasting it. If you have leftovers it is perfectly fine to eat it or dispose of it. As good Protestants we reject Transubstantiation, so the elements remain bread and wine. If you use wine, which I encourage, you can join with Jean Calvin and enjoy it for a Sabbath meal or with friends. Psalm 104:14,15
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    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    When I was Anglican it was broken up and the wine was poured out to return it to the Earth. Now I am PCA.......I have no idea what we do with it?????
    If you are like many PCA churches and use that sweet, horible tasting unfermented stuff called grape juice, pour it down the drain, if you use wine enjoy it, but don't let the teatotters know.
    Stephen Welch
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    The wine that is already in the cups we toss out. But the bread! Ooooh the bread. Everyone nibbles on the bread as we clean up the room. My wife makes the best communion bread every Lord's Day morning. (It's great for communion but not so great for my gluttony!)


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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    The wine that is already in the cups we toss out. But the bread! Ooooh the bread. Everyone nibbles on the bread as we clean up the room. My wife makes the best communion bread every Lord's Day morning. (It's great for communion but not so great for my gluttony!)
    Sounds like your wife knows how to make good communion bread
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    When I was Anglican it was broken up and the wine was poured out to return it to the Earth. Now I am PCA.......I have no idea what we do with it?????
    If you are like many PCA churches and use that sweet, horible tasting unfermented stuff called grape juice, pour it down the drain, if you use wine enjoy it, but don't let the teatotters know.
    Actuly we use both. And be nice.....I Tee-Total! Not for Religious reasons I am a recovering Alcoholic.
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    RC's have to make sure all of it is partaken (since it is 'Jesus' body/blood you know...don't want rats eating Jesus). Priest I believe usually takes this task.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romans922 View Post
    RC's have to make sure all of it is partaken (since it is 'Jesus' body/blood you know...don't want rats eating Jesus). Priest I believe usually takes this task.
    Indeed! I am Roman Catholic Educated, I went to Mass every Friday those Priests made SURE not a drop of wine was left. No comment.
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    Well, sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Romans922 View Post
    RC's have to make sure all of it is partaken (since it is 'Jesus' body/blood you know...don't want rats eating Jesus). Priest I believe usually takes this task.
    Any hosts not consumed are put in the, oh what IS the term?.....the box in the wall that has the sanctuary light next to it? Anyway, that's what happens to them. Plus, they're taken to those in the hospital and shut-ins. The wine is, IIRC, poured down a pipe installed so that it goes directly into the ground, not a sewer.
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    I would re-use what could be re-used (taking sanitation into consideration) and then give the bread to the birds and any remaining cups of wine, down the drain. I agree with Rich, the elements remain the elements.
    Jeff Wyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperFideles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimPastor View Post
    SemperFideles,

    By the way, I am a former Marine Staff Sergeant - Semper Fi.
    Ooorah! What years did you serve?
    I was in from 1995 - 2003. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton with 3AAVBN (I was an "amtraker") and then I lat-moved into Photography and spent 4 years at MCAS Yuma.

    I wouldn't trade those years for anything. Looking back I see God shaping me for ministry in the Marine Corps in so many ways. I was involved in outreach, preaching in rescue shelters and nursing homes and experiencing uncommon people in uncommon ways!
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    The wine that is already in the cups we toss out. But the bread! Ooooh the bread. Everyone nibbles on the bread as we clean up the room. My wife makes the best communion bread every Lord's Day morning. (It's great for communion but not so great for my gluttony!)
    I'm not so sure about the quality of the bread we use... I think it may be wonder bread!
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    I still advocate unleavened bread.
    Jeff Wyman
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    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12 (ESV)

    Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens empfangen, welche Gott verheißen hat denen, die ihn liebhaben. - Jakob 1:12 (LUT '45)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I would re-use what could be re-used (taking sanitation into consideration) and then give the bread to the birds and any remaining cups of wine, down the drain. I agree with Rich, the elements remain the elements.
    TRUE! But they represent something, it is like US Flag, there are certain ways to dispose of it, the Flag is not America, but I respect what it stands for. Same thing for the Elements.
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
    Jeff Wyman
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    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12 (ESV)

    Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens empfangen, welche Gott verheißen hat denen, die ihn liebhaben. - Jakob 1:12 (LUT '45)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
    I understand where you are coming from! I am just saying this:Scripture gives no specifics, but out of respect I would not toss the wine in a urinal and the bread in a toilet. Thats just my....
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
    I understand where you are coming from! I am just saying this:Scripture gives no specifics, but out of respect I would not toss the wine in a urinal and the bread in a toilet. Thats just my....
    Nor would I. I would give the bread to the birds and the wine down the drain. This is a difficult question, because how does one dispose of the elements without approaching the elements as something that is holy and should be handled as holy. I think we can become legalistic with how we dispose of the elements. I would ask the question of how do we approach the elements before we celebrate the Lord's Supper? Is there a protocal for moving the bread from the kitchen to the alter or how do we pour the wine (juice) into the common cup or individual cups?
    Jeff Wyman
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    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12 (ESV)

    Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens empfangen, welche Gott verheißen hat denen, die ihn liebhaben. - Jakob 1:12 (LUT '45)

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    etexas is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
    I understand where you are coming from! I am just saying this:Scripture gives no specifics, but out of respect I would not toss the wine in a urinal and the bread in a toilet. Thats just my....
    Nor would I. I would give the bread to the birds and the wine down the drain. This is a difficult question, because how does one dispose of the elements without approaching the elements as something that is holy and should be handled as holy. I think we can become legalistic with how we dispose of the elements. I would ask the question of how do we approach the elements before we celebrate the Lord's Supper? Is there a protocal for moving the bread from the kitchen to the alter or how do we pour the wine (juice) into the common cup or individual cups?
    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.
    Last edited by etexas; 02-04-2008 at 11:04 AM. Reason: edit
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    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.:2cents

    I would agree with this method of disposal.
    Jeff Wyman
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    Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens empfangen, welche Gott verheißen hat denen, die ihn liebhaben. - Jakob 1:12 (LUT '45)

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    etexas is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.:2cents

    I would agree with this method of disposal.
    Thank you Brother. I always felt it was fitting without being legalistic where Scripture is silent.
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated. We fold and burn the flag in a solemn ceremony, because man said this is the way we do it, but Scripture is silent with regard to what Jesus and the disciples did with their leftovers. Can we infer that there were no leftovers or did they just leave what they did not eat? I believe in respect of elements, but if they are no longer being used, than they are just bread and wine. I am probably way off.
    I understand where you are coming from! I am just saying this:Scripture gives no specifics, but out of respect I would not toss the wine in a urinal and the bread in a toilet. Thats just my....
    That is where I am as well. In my last church I had a former RC who had come increased his faith greatly in the time I knew him. He would often tell me that he had never heard God preached as a God of grace prior to coming to the church I served.

    After some time in the church and coming into a renewed relationship with Christ, I asked my friend to serve communion. He had done so as a child as an "alter boy" and it meant a great deal to him that I asked him to do this.

    One Sunday after church he was washing the communion setting and asked me what he was supposed to do with the left over communion bread and wine (juice). After an explanation on my part regarding the commemorative nature of the Sacrament he said - with a thick New England accent, "I can't do it Pastor... you do it... I can't pour it down the sink!" I had a hard time doing it also even though I am firmly not a transubstantiationist.

    I guess it is a matter of respect not reverence for me for the bread and wine which do play a central role in the worship of our Lord on Communion Sundays.
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    Oddly, I think an Anglican Pastor I had was on the right track, he crumbled up the bread outside for the birds to eat and poured the leftovers of he cup on the ground to return it to the earth. I think that is rather fitting.:2cents

    I would agree with this method of disposal.
    Thank you Brother. I always felt it was fitting without being legalistic where Scripture is silent.
    I am inclined to adopt a similar means of disposal in my Parish.
    "Gentle words, quiet words, are after all, the most powerful words. They are more convincing, more compelling, more prevailing." - Washington Gladden

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    I remember quite vividly seeing the priest guzzle down every last drop of sacramental wine after my dad got married in an Episcopal ceremony (this was about 12 years ago). I was taken aback.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    I remember quite vividly seeing the priest guzzle down every last drop of sacramental wine after my dad got married in an Episcopal ceremony (this was about 12 years ago). I was taken aback.
    Jeff Wyman
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    Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens empfangen, welche Gott verheißen hat denen, die ihn liebhaben. - Jakob 1:12 (LUT '45)

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    etexas is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    Well, as a former High-Church Anglican , I can say, those Priests can PUT IT AWAY!
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    My dad's Lutheran pastor can put it away too.

    That said, he's a realy nice guy though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMerlin777 View Post
    My dad's Lutheran pastor can put it away too.

    That said, he's a realy nice guy though.
    Before or after he hits the hootch?
    etexas, , Servant Of Christ, Saint Mary Magdalene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etexas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMerlin777 View Post
    My dad's Lutheran pastor can put it away too.

    That said, he's a realy nice guy though.
    Before or after he hits the hootch?

    Both

    He even brews his own beer. (I know I know, )
    Donald Jacobs
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    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    I remember quite vividly seeing the priest guzzle down every last drop of sacramental wine after my dad got married in an Episcopal ceremony (this was about 12 years ago). I was taken aback.
    Actually rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer require that either he consume all of the consecrated bread & wine or he summon some of the other brothers in the congregation to join Him in consuming all the remaining consecrated elements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeutter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by raekwon View Post
    I remember quite vividly seeing the priest guzzle down every last drop of sacramental wine after my dad got married in an Episcopal ceremony (this was about 12 years ago). I was taken aback.
    Actually rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer require that either he consume all of the consecrated bread & wine or he summon some of the other brothers in the congregation to join Him in consuming all the remaining consecrated elements.
    That's interesting... they sort created an official reason to gather together at the "river" as it were
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  37. #37
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    Some years ago I knew a local Anglican minister who served a rural 5 point charge. He told me that one of the first lessons he learned was how much wine to pour in the cup. Since if he overfilled it & a small crowd showed up by the time he had finished his last service he would be a bit tipsy.

    I think Stephens advice is better.
    TE Kevin Rogers
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  38. #38
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    My mom told me about a Catholic Mass she attended. The priest dropped some crumbs of the "host" on the carpet and a girl in the front pew went into hysterical convulsions, "weeping and gnashing teeth!"
    Sean Caouette
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawyman View Post
    I understand there should be a certain way of respectfully disposing of the elements, but are they still consecrated after the Supper has been celebrated.
    Let's be careful not to make "consecrated" anything more than it is - that is, set apart for special use during the service. "Consecration" generally connotes some sort of mystical change in their purpose that extends beyond the worship service - which I have no reason to think we need to attach to it. Once the service is over, that wine and bread have no particular "special" designation - it's just wine and bread. Certainly to toss it down the toilet (why! as one who appreciates a good wine, AACK!) would perhaps be disrespectful - but only if you intended disrespect by it... again, it is ONLY wine after all.

    Being good stewards, in our church in NY, we rotated round taking the leftover wine home for dinner; used a local Merlot more often than not, which, by the way, made an EXCELLENT wine sauce for roast beef. More than once I can recall having dinner with friends Lord's Day afternoons accompanied by our leftover communion wine.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryphonette View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Romans922 View Post
    RC's have to make sure all of it is partaken (since it is 'Jesus' body/blood you know...don't want rats eating Jesus). Priest I believe usually takes this task.
    Any hosts not consumed are put in the, oh what IS the term?.....the box in the wall that has the sanctuary light next to it? Anyway, that's what happens to them. Plus, they're taken to those in the hospital and shut-ins. The wine is, IIRC, poured down a pipe installed so that it goes directly into the ground, not a sewer.
    Anne, you must have been raised a Roman Catholic. I was RC for about 20 years and served as an altar boy, so yes they have a special sink for disposing of the wine and the "consecrated" bread is placed in the tabernacle at the main altar or a side altar. RC's when I was small were never allowed to chew the bread, so it was placed on your tongue and it dissolved. You did not want to break the poor body of J---s with your teeth. What blasphemy and idolatry they have for common bread
    Stephen Welch
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