Q+A: What are we supposed to do during the consecration? Are we supposed to be looking at the Body and Blood of Christ when the priest raises them or do we bow?

A. I have heard a lot of confusion over this question. Some have been told that they are not to look at the host or chalice as it is being raised but to bow in reverence and respect. Others have been told to look at the Body and Blood of Jesus now present before us.

There is some truth in both views. The instructions given to the priest at the time of consecration are: “He shows the consecrated host to the people, places it again on the paten, and genuflects in adoration.” And “He shows the chalice to the people, places it on the corporal, and genuflects in adoration.” (#102 + 103 of the Order of Mass)

Therefore because the priest is showing the Body and Blood of Jesus to the people they ought to look in adoration and when the priest genuflects it is fitting that the people make a gesture of reverence like a bow of the head.

Fr. Andrew


  1. I have an old “St Andrew’s Daily Missal” from 1962 that has a foonote about the elevation during Mass. It states that those who say silently “My Lord and My God!” can gain “Indulgence of 7 years; plenary ind. once a week for daily recitation, on the usual conditions.”
    I don’t know if this is still the same today. Myself, I make the invocation, then I bow my head.
    I am sure “Googling” for it on Catholic internet sites would bring up some interesting and informative results as well.

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