At the limits of the absurd

This video, advertising a new hygienic way of distributing communion, raises for me the question of whether the principle of ex opere operato extends to sacraments celebrated in so absurd a way as to be laughable.

Purity Solutions

hat tip: The Deacon’s Bench


  1. I think watching communion being distributed that way is possibly one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in a liturgy.
    Also- clearly not Catholic. Or else, given the text of the prayers, the distribution mechanism is just another symptom of a larger problem.

  2. Two other comments:

    1. I honestly thought that the subtitle “Body – Blood – Spirit” said “Body – Blood – Squirt.” Of course, that would have been more accurate.

    2. I also liked the “Insert Title Text Here” caption block at the end of the video.

  3. The real question is “how many people over the years have become sick after having received Holy Communion?”

    I am a regular volunteer at a local hospital and I can testify to the fact that hospitals are very concerned about the spread of infections. But they aren’t worried that I might become infected as I am a relatively healthy man.

    They are very worried that I might carry an infection from one patient to another patient in a different room whose immune system has already been under attack and has been weakened.

    Thus I am required to wash my hands and occasionally wear gloves, masks and gowns when visiting patients to minimize the chance that I might become a carrier.

    Healthy communicants in a church are probably not unduly susceptible to infection like was recently in the news.

  4. The individual cruets for Communion under the form of wine remind me of the Methodist minister who ran out of the grape juice they normally use. He asked his wife to find a substitute. The only thing she could find that looked at all similar was a blackcurrant jelly mixture, so she made it up…. and — guess what? — during the service it set…. Imagine the scene at Communion time, with communicants holding the cruet upside down over their mouths, bashing the bottom of the cruet with the palm of the other hand, trying to dislodge the solidified ‘Blood of Christ’….

  5. When it comes right down to it, how is this any more absurd than our current practice of calling little printed crackers “bread”?

    Some time back someone introduced hosts as being superior to an actual piece of bread, probably pointing out the superior portion control, keeping power (can a host go stale?) and many fewer crumbs.

    By the way fellows, telling tales on our separated brethren? More a sin against the Eucharist than shown in the video!

    1. Reminds me of the old joke that believing in the Real Presence required belief in two impossible things, the first being that it is really bread.

      1. I was thinking of the story of the minister who tried to make do with the blackcurrent jelly. It can be a funny story or a mocking story, depending on how it is told and how received.

  6. The “bread” dispenser looks like a giant cookie press; and what happens if it overshoots the waiting hands? I wonder if the apostles had similar concerns!

    1. You’re right! Now let’s all join in a Te Deus to celebrate!

      This video gets circulated every couple of months to draw gasps of horror among Catholics for the sacrilege it apparently shows. I guess people cannot distinguish Protestant churches or ministers very well (and I’m not sure whether that says more about the Protestants or about the average Catholic church and priest). By the way, if you go to the maker’s website and wait for the main picture to cycle around, you can get a good view of the wedding ring on the left hand of the minister from the video.

      1. Did I say you believed this was a Catholic church?

        And yes, I thought it was at least suggested when you said the video raises the “question of whether the principle of ex opera operato extends to sacraments celebrated in so absurd a way.”

      2. Hmmmm. . . I must be a mind reader, since you didn’t say it but I somehow knew you were thinking it.

        Just to clarify, I intended this to come under the “wit” rubric, not “wisdom” or “worship.” I’ll chalk this up as a failure.

    2. Sorry about that. In my own defense, I think it was an automatic spell correct thing (combined with a lack of proof-reading). But I’ll let the error stand, as a way of cultivating humility.

  7. Oh boy … all we need next is Eucharistic vending machines … and then the Eschaton. Lord Jesus come in glory, indeed, if only to stop this madness!

  8. How is this more absurd than 4 bottles of Purell being found during the Mass on each corner of the altar?

    Or a local priest of the Archdiocese of Boston answering his cell phone…TWICE…during a funeral…resuming the rites following the conversation?

    Sadly, what is seen in this film is only a short walk indeed.

  9. Just preceding tomorrow’s reading from the Acts. How it it relevant?
    I’m not sure, but it seems that it should be.

    A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.”
    But Peter said, “Certainly not, sir. For never have I eaten anything profane and unclean.”
    The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”

    1. Well, let’s not confuse ritual and bio organism cleanliness.

      Mercifully, the Catholic Church, at least, does *not* teach a magical view of the accidents of bread and wine such that bio organism pathogens would be removed by confecting the Sacrament.

  10. I wonder what alternative use a teenage acolyte might find for this instrument. It bears an uncanny resemblance to some of the “Halo weapons” used in a shooting game popular among youth: you can use the You Tube search engine to find video ads for Halo weapons—M6G pistol, Carbine, etc. Please take a look before you consider placing this Purity gadget on a church altar.

    1. Ah! A great way to remove any need for those pesky non-traditional extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Just get a Purity Gun!

  11. I’d hate to see anyone try to receive Communion on the tongue using one of those things… not to mention a tabernacle full of half-used tubes. Perhaps I shouldn’t mention such things – they may be taken as advice on how to improve the product to suit the Catholic market.

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