16 January 2023


 Well, I felt like change. So a year or two ago, I gave up those plain modern Priests' Hosts which have only a plain indented cross upon them, but are 'guaranteed to be crumb-free', and I began to use old-style Hosts from the Farnborough Abbey shop. 

They are quite as crumb-free as those post-Conciliar Hosts, but have a multiplicity of traditional designs ... I think I have counted eight. They are also marked on the back so as to break correctly at the Fraction.

I hope I never have to revert ...

A lot of these Hosts show the Crucified. Some have a straight-forward Latin-style crucifixus; others the same but with an alpha and an omega flanking the Cross. This, I think we all know, is a very early Christian design in both East and West, reproduced upon the High Altar of Westminster Cathedral. On my study wall, I have a rubbing of a first-millennium incised example from the slopes above Waterville Bay in County Kerry, looking out to the Skellig Islands and across to the State of Maine.

I think my favourite design is a baroque JHS, encouraging me to reverence the Most Holy Name of Jesus, YHWH Saves, and to spare a thought for dear S Bernardine. There is a Nativity scene with, I think, the star shining above as the Infant Deity raises a hand in blessing. There is a large FISH, ICHTHUS, bearing ... is it a basket? of fish? or of loaves? 

A Pelican in his piety suggests that I include in my Thanksgiving later this morning the Prayer of S Thomas Adoro te devote with its stanza Pie Pellicane, Jesu Domine, Me immundum munda tuo sanguine ...

Another of my favourites is the Lamb standing upon the Sealed Book ... do we soak ourselves sufficiently in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse? How mindful am I each morning as I climb up to the Altar, that I go to immolate the Tamid /Lamb of Sacrifice, the one Oblation of Himself Once Offered, upon the LORD's Holy Mountain? (I think I do indeed hear an echo of S John Henry Newman's question to his sumpresbuteroi, "You, who day by day offer up the Immaculate Lamb of God, you who hold in your hands the Incarnate Word under the visible tokens which He has ordained, you who again and again drain the chalice of the Great Victim; who is to make you fear? what is to startle you ...")

And there is the Dove of the Holy Ghost, surrounded by Pentecostal flames, Breath and Fire of God.

I think I gathered that these Hosts are manufactured by Slovakian nuns.

God bless them!


El Codo said...

Yes, I switched to these some time ago. They are really beautiful. Do they have people’s wafers in the same patterns?

Cherub said...

I have looked up Farnborough Abbey Shop 0nline. Only books and cards for sale. Can you help by providing the URL from where one can order the traditional Hosts?

Robert said...


Out of stock, unfortunately.

Father John Higgins said...

I've always thought that designs on a Sacred Host are distracting. We should be focused on the real presence of Christ not just IN the Eucharist but AS Eucharist. The simple bread and wine become Him. He isn't just in them. And to put an image on Him seems superfluous.