(This is a guest post by Mr. Flusche.)
Are we leaving Jesus on the floor?
I was skeptical about an experiment that was published in 2009 regarding host fragments. The study used unconsecrated hosts and examined fragments left behind after placing the hosts in a recipient’s hand. The study used 100 hosts and found that 70 times at least one fragment was left behind in the hand.
Even more shocking, the hosts in question were the exact kind we use at our church. I figured surely the hosts had improved in the past 10 years. Surely we’re not leaving Jesus Christ on the floor, on our clothes, or carrying Him out in the parking lot on the soles of our shoes.
We bought a container of Cavanagh 1 3/8″ unconsecrated hosts, invited some friends over, and recreated the experiment. Here is the methodology we used:
1. A recipient with clean hands received an unconsecrated host into his open palm, picked it up with his thumb & index finger, and discarded it.
2. Three people examined his palm and fingers for fragments.
3. He then placed his palm and fingers onto a clean black cloth, and the cloth was examined for fragments.
4. All three judges agreed on the total fragment count (fragments were visible to the naked eye).
5. The recipient’s hands and the cloth were cleaned after each time (Nicole did the cleaning, so you know it was thorough!).
6. The sequence was repeated for a total of 100 unconsecrated hosts.
The results are SHOCKING.
Out of a total 100 times simulating Communion in the hand, the recipient had fragments on his hand 65% of the time.
The pictures tell the story. Note that the natural lines in the hand caught many of the particles, and there are a few tiny natural rough spots in the palm that we carefully excluded from our fragment count. People with rougher hands / fingers certainly catch more fragments.
I didn’t believe the 2009 study results, but I watched this experiment with my own eyes. If you don’t believe it, buy some unconsecrated hosts off Amazon and try it at home.
If you believe Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, you MUST stop receiving the Eucharist on the hand.
If you are a priest, I beg you to educate your flock that receiving on the hand is a terrible sacrilege.
We are leaving Jesus Christ on the floor.