Summa Th. III EN Qu.80 a.12
Objection: 1. It seems unlawful to receive the body of Christ without the blood. For Pope Gelasius says (cf. De Consecr. ii): "We have learned that some persons after taking only a portion of the sacred body, abstain from the chalice of the sacred blood. I know not for what superstitious motive they do this: therefore let them either receive the entire sacrament, or let them be withheld from the sacrament altogether." Therefore it is not lawful to receive the body of Christ without His blood.
2. Further, the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood are required for the perfection of this sacrament, as stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article , ad 1). Consequently, if the body be taken without the blood, it will be an imperfect sacrament, which seems to savor of sacrilege; hence Pope Gelasius adds (cf. De Consecr. ii), "because the dividing of one and the same mystery cannot happen without a great sacrilege."
3. Further, this sacrament is celebrated in memory of our Lord's Passion, as stated above (Question , Articles ,5; Question , Article ), and is received for the health of soul. But the Passion is expressed in the blood rather than in the body; moreover, as stated above (Question , Article ), the blood is offered for the health of the soul. Consequently, one ought to refrain from receiving the body rather than the blood. Therefore, such as approach this sacrament ought not to take Christ's body without His blood.
On the contrary It is the custom of many churches for the body of Christ to be given to the communicant without His blood.
I answer that Two points should be observed regarding the use of this sacrament, one on the part of the sacrament, the other on the part of the recipients; on the part of the sacrament it is proper for both the body and the blood to be received, since the perfection of the sacrament lies in both, and consequently, since it is the priest's duty both to consecrate and finish the sacrament, he ought on no account to receive Christ's body without the blood.But on the part of the recipient the greatest reverence and caution are called for, lest anything happen which is unworthy of so great a mystery. Now this could especially happen in receiving the blood, for, if incautiously handled, it might easily be spilt. And because the multitude of the Christian people increased, in which there are old, young, and children, some of whom have not enough discretion to observe due caution in using this sacrament, on that account it is a prudent custom in some churches for the blood not to be offered to the reception of the people, but to be received by the priest alone.
Reply to Objection: 1. Pope Gelasius is speaking of priests, who, as they consecrate the entire sacrament, ought to communicate in the entire sacrament. For, as we read in the (Twelfth) Council of Toledo, "What kind of a sacrifice is that, wherein not even the sacrificer is known to have a share?"
2. The perfection of this sacrament does not lie in the use of the faithful, but in the consecration of the matter. And hence there is nothing derogatory to the perfection of this sacrament; if the people receive the body without the blood, provided that the priest who consecrates receive both.
3. Our Lord's Passion is represented in the very consecration of this sacrament, in which the body ought not to be consecrated without the blood. But the body can be received by the people without the blood: nor is this detrimental to the sacrament. Because the priest both offers and consumes the blood on behalf of all; and Christ is fully contained under either species, as was shown above (Question , Article ).
We have now to consider the use which Christ made of this sacrament at its institution; under which heading there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether Christ received His own body and blood?
(2) Whether He gave it to Judas?
(3) What kind of body did He receive or give, namely, was it passible or impassible?
(4) What would have been the condition of Christ's body under this sacrament, if it had been reserved or consecrated during the three days He lay dead?
Objection: 1. It seems that Christ did not receive His own body and blood, because nothing ought to be asserted of either Christ's doings or sayings, which is not handed down by the authority of Sacred Scripture. But it is not narrated in the gospels that He ate His own body or drank His own blood. Therefore we must not assert this as a fact.
2. Further, nothing can be within itself except perchance by reason of its parts, for instance. as one part is in another, as is stated in Phys. iv. But what is eaten and drunk is in the eater and drinker. Therefore, since the entire Christ is under each species of the sacrament, it seems impossible for Him to have received this sacrament.
3. Further, the receiving of this sacrament is twofold, namely, spiritual and sacramental. But the spiritual was unsuitable for Christ, as He derived no benefit from the sacrament. and in consequence so was the sacramental, since it is imperfect without the spiritual, as was observed above (Question , Article ). Consequently, in no way did Christ partake of this sacrament.
On the contrary Jerome says (Ad Hedib., Ep. xxx), "The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself the guest and banquet, is both the partaker and what is eaten."
I answer that Some have said that Christ during the supper gave His body and blood to His disciples, but did not partake of it Himself. But this seems improbable. Because Christ Himself was the first to fulfill what He required others to observe: hence He willed first to be baptized when imposing Baptism upon others: as we read in Ac 1,1: "Jesus began to do and to teach." Hence He first of all took His own body and blood, and afterwards gave it to be taken by the disciples. And hence the gloss upon Rt 3,7, "When he had eaten and drunk, says: Christ ate and drank at the supper, when He gave to the disciples the sacrament of His body and blood. Hence, 'because the children partook [*Vulg.: 'are partakers' (He 2,14)] of His flesh and blood, He also hath been partaker in the same.'"
Reply to Objection: 1. We read in the Gospels how Christ "took the bread . . . and the chalice"; but it is not to be understood that He took them merely into His hands, as some say. but that He took them in the same way as He gave them to others to take. Hence when He said to the disciples, "Take ye and eat," and again, "Take ye and drink," it is to be understood that He Himself, in taking it, both ate and drank. Hence some have composed this rhyme: "The King at supper sits, The twelve as guests He greets, Clasping Himself in His hands, The food Himself now eats."
2. As was said above (Question , Article ), Christ as contained under this sacrament stands in relation to place, not according to His own dimensions, but according to the dimensions of the sacramental species; so that Christ is Himself in every place where those species are. And because the species were able to be both in the hands and the mouth of Christ, the entire Christ could be in both His hands and mouth. Now this could not come to pass were His relation to place to be according to His proper dimensions.
3. As was stated above (Question , Article , ad 2), the effect of this sacrament is not merely an increase of habitual grace, but furthermore a certain actual delectation of spiritual sweetness. But although grace was not increased in Christ through His receiving this sacrament, yet He had a certain spiritual delectation from the new institution of this sacrament. Hence He Himself said (Lc 22,15): "With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you," which words Eusebius explains of the new mystery of the New Testament, which He gave to the disciples. And therefore He ate it both spiritually and sacramentally, inasmuch as He received His own body under the sacrament which sacrament of His own body He both understood and prepared; yet differently from others who partake of it both sacramentally and spiritually, for these receive an increase of grace, and they have need of the sacramental signs for perceiving its truth.
Objection: 1. It seems that Christ did not give His body to Judas. Because, as we read (Mt 26,29), our Lord, after giving His body and blood to the disciples, said to them: "I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father." From this it appears that those to whom He had given His body and blood were to drink of it again with Him. But Judas did not drink of it afterwards with Him. Therefore he did not receive Christ's body and blood with the other disciples.
2. Further, what the Lord commanded, He Himself fulfilled, as is said in Ac 1,1: "Jesus began to do and to teach." But He gave the command (Mt 7,6): "Give not that which is holy to dogs." Therefore, knowing Judas to be a sinner, seemingly He did not give him His body and blood.
3. Further, it is distinctly related (Jn 13,26) that Christ gave dipped bread to Judas. Consequently, if He gave His body to him, it appears that He gave it him in the morsel, especially since we read (Jn 13,26) that "after the morsel, Satan entered into him." And on this passage Augustine says (Tract. lxii in Joan.): "From this we learn how we should beware of receiving a good thing in an evil way . . . For if he be 'chastised' who does 'not discern,' i.e. distinguish, the body of the Lord from other meats, how must he be 'condemned' who, feigning himself a friend, comes to His table a foe?" But (Judas) did not receive our Lord's body with the dipped morsel; thus Augustine commenting on Jn 13,26, "When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon the Iscariot [Vulg.: 'to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon]," says (Tract. lxii in Joan.): "Judas did not receive Christ's body then, as some think who read carelessly." Therefore it seems that Judas did not receive the body of Christ.
On the contrary Chrysostom says (Hom. lxxxii in Matth.): "Judas was not converted while partaking of the sacred mysteries: hence on both sides his crime becomes the more heinous, both because imbued with such a purpose he approached the mysteries, and because he became none the better for approaching, neither from fear, nor from the benefit received, nor from the honor conferred on him."
I answer that Hilary, in commenting on Mt 26,17, held that Christ did not give His body and blood to Judas. And this would have been quite proper, if the malice of Judas be considered. But since Christ was to serve us as a pattern of justice, it was not in keeping with His teaching authority to sever Judas, a hidden sinner, from Communion with the others without an accuser and evident proof. lest the Church's prelates might have an example for doing the like, and lest Judas himself being exasperated might take occasion of sinning. Therefore, it remains to be said that Judas received our Lord's body and blood with the other disciples, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii), and Augustine (Tract. lxii in Joan.).
Reply to Objection: 1. This is Hilary's argument, to show that Judas did not receive Christ's body. But it is not cogent; because Christ is speaking to the disciples, from whose company Judas separated himself: and it was not Christ that excluded him. Therefore Christ for His part drinks the wine even with Judas in the kingdom of God; but Judas himself repudiated this banquet.
2. The wickedness of Judas was known to Christ as God; but it was unknown to Him, after the manner in which men know it. Consequently, Christ did not repel Judas from Communion; so as to furnish an example that such secret sinners are not to be repelled by other priests.
3. Without any doubt Judas did not receive Christ's body in the dipped bread; he received mere bread. Yet as Augustine observes (Tract. lxii in Joan.), "perchance the feigning of Judas is denoted by the dipping of the bread; just as some things are dipped to be dyed. If, however, the dipping signifies here anything good" (for instance, the sweetness of the Divine goodness, since bread is rendered more savory by being dipped), "then, not undeservedly, did condemnation follow his ingratitude for that same good." And owing to that ingratitude, "what is good became evil to him, as happens to them who receive Christ's body unworthily."And as Augustine says (Tract. lxii in Joan.), "it must be understood that our Lord had already distributed the sacrament of His body and blood to all His disciples, among whom was Judas also, as Luke narrates: and after that, we came to this, where, according to the relation of John, our Lord, by dipping and handing the morsel, does most openly declare His betrayer."
Objection: 1. It seems that Christ both received and gave to the disciples His impassible body. Because on Mt 17,2, "He was transfigured before them," the gloss says: "He gave to the disciples at the supper that body which He had through nature, but neither mortal nor passible." And again, on Lv 2,5, "if thy oblation be from the frying-pan," the gloss says: "The Cross mightier than all things made Christ's flesh fit for being eaten, which before the Passion did not seem so suited." But Christ gave His body as suited for eating. Therefore He gave it just as it was after the Passion, that is, impassible and immortal.
2. Further, every passible body suffers by contact and by being eaten. Consequently, if Christ's body was passible, it would have suffered both from contact and from being eaten by the disciples.
3. Further, the sacramental words now spoken by the priest in the person of Christ are not more powerful than when uttered by Christ Himself. But now by virtue of the sacramental words it is Christ's impassible and immortal body which is consecrated upon the altar. Therefore, much more so was it then.
On the contrary As Innocent III says (De Sacr. Alt. Myst. iv), "He bestowed on the disciples His body such as it was." But then He had a passible and a mortal body. Therefore, He gave a passible and mortal body to the disciples.
I answer that Hugh of Saint Victor (Innocent III, De Sacr. Alt. Myst. iv), maintained, that before the Passion, Christ assumed at various times the four properties of a glorified body ---namely, subtlety in His birth, when He came forth from the closed womb of the Virgin; agility, when He walked dryshod upon the sea; clarity, in the Transfiguration; and impassibility at the Last Supper, when He gave His body to the disciples to be eaten. And according to this He gave His body in an impassible and immortal condition to His disciples.But whatever may be the case touching the other qualities, concerning which we have already stated what should be held (Question , Article , ad 3; Question , Article ), nevertheless the above opinion regarding impassibility is inadmissible. For it is manifest that the same body of Christ which was then seen by the disciples in its own species, was received by them under the sacramental species. But as seen in its own species it was not impassible; nay more, it was ready for the Passion. Therefore, neither was Christ's body impassible when given under the sacramental species.Yet there was present in the sacrament, in an impassible manner, that which was passible of itself; just as that was there invisibly which of itself was visible. For as sight requires that the body seen be in contact with the adjacent medium of sight, so does passion require contact of the suffering body with the active agents. But Christ's body, according as it is under the sacrament, as stated above (Article , ad 2; Question , Article ), is not compared with its surroundings through the intermediary of its own dimensions, whereby bodies touch each other, but through the dimensions of the bread and wine; consequently, it is those species which are acted upon and are seen, but not Christ's own body.
Reply to Objection: 1. Christ is said not to have given His mortal and passible body at the supper, because He did not give it in mortal and passible fashion. But the Cross made His flesh adapted for eating, inasmuch as this sacrament represents Christ's Passion.
2. This argument would hold, if Christ's body, as it was passible, were also present in a passible manner in this sacrament.
3. As stated above (Question , Article ), the accidents of Christ's body are in this sacrament by real concomitance, but not by the power of the sacrament, whereby the substance of Christ's body comes to be there. And therefore the power of the sacramental words extends to this, that the body, i.e. Christ's, is under this sacrament, whatever accidents really exist in it.
Objection: 1. It seems that if this sacrament had been reserved in a pyx at the moment of Christ's death, or had then been consecrated by one of the apostles, that Christ would not have died there. For Christ's death happened through His Passion. But even then He was in this sacrament in an impassible manner. Therefore, He could not die in this sacrament.
2. Further, on the death of Christ, His blood was separated from the body. But His flesh and blood are together in this sacrament. Therefore He could not die in this sacrament.
3. Further, death ensues from the separation of the soul from the body. But both the body and the soul of Christ are contained in this sacrament. Therefore Christ could not die in this sacrament.
On the contrary The same Christ Who was upon the cross would have been in this sacrament. But He died upon the cross. Therefore, if this sacrament had been reserved, He would have died therein.
I answer that Christ's body is substantially the same in this sacrament, as in its proper species, but not after the same fashion; because in its proper species it comes in contact with surrounding bodies by its own dimensions: but it does not do so as it is in this sacrament, as stated above (Article ). And therefore, all that belongs to Christ, as He is in Himself, can be attributed to Him both in His proper species, and as He exists in the sacrament; such as to live, to die, to grieve, to be animate or inanimate, and the like; while all that belongs to Him in relation to outward bodies, can be attributed to Him as He exists in His proper species, but not as He is in this sacrament; such as to be mocked, to be spat upon, to be crucified, to be scourged, and the rest. Hence some have composed this verse:"Our Lord can grieve beneath the sacramental veils But cannot feel the piercing of the thorns and nails."
Reply to Objection: 1. As was stated above, suffering belongs to a body that suffers in respect of some extrinsic body. And therefore Christ, as in this sacrament, cannot suffer; yet He can die.
2. As was said above (Question , Article ), in virtue of the consecration, the body of Christ is under the species of bread, while His blood is under the species of wine. But now that His blood is not really separated from His body; by real concomitance, both His blood is present with the body under the species of the bread, and His body together with the blood under the species of the wine. But at the time when Christ suffered, when His blood was really separated from His body, if this sacrament had been consecrated, then the body only would have been present under the species of the bread, and the blood only under the species of the wine.
3. As was observed above (Question , Article , ad 1), Christ's soul is in this sacrament by real concomitance; because it is not without the body: but it is not there in virtue of the consecration. And therefore, if this sacrament had been consecrated then, or reserved, when His soul was really separated from His body, Christ's soul would not have been under this sacrament, not from any defect in the form of the words, but owing to the different dispositions of the thing contained.
We now proceed to consider the minister of this sacrament: under which head there are ten points for our inquiry:
(1) Whether it belongs to a priest alone to consecrate this sacrament?
(2) Whether several priests can at the same time consecrate the same host?
(3) Whether it belongs to the priest alone to dispense this sacrament?
(4) Whether it is lawful for the priest consecrating to refrain from communicating?
(5) Whether a priest in sin can perform this sacrament?
(6) Whether the Mass of a wicked priest is of less value than that of a good one?
(7) Whether those who are heretics, schismatics, or excommunicated, can perform this sacrament?
(8) Whether degraded priests can do so?
(9) Whether communicants receiving at their hands are guilty of sinning?
(10) Whether a priest may lawfully refrain altogether from celebrating? [*This is the order observed by St. Thomas in writing the Articles; but in writing this prologue, he placed Article 10 immediately after Article 4 (Cf. Leonine edition).]
Objection: 1. It seems that the consecration of this sacrament does not belong exclusively to a priest. Because it was said above (Question , Article ) that this sacrament is consecrated in virtue of the words, which are the form of this sacrament. But those words are not changed, whether spoken by a priest or by anyone else. Therefore, it seems that not only a priest, but anyone else, can consecrate this sacrament.
2. Further, the priest performs this sacrament in the person of Christ. But a devout layman is united with Christ through charity. Therefore, it seems that even a layman can perform this sacrament. Hence Chrysostom (Opus imperfectum in Matth., Hom. xliii) says that "every holy man is a priest."
3. Further, as Baptism is ordained for the salvation of mankind, so also is this sacrament, as is clear from what was said above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ). But a layman can also baptize, as was stated above (Question , Article ). Consequently, the consecration of this sacrament is not proper to a priest.
4. Further, this sacrament is completed in the consecration of the matter. But the consecration of other matters such as the chrism, the holy oil, and blessed oil, belongs exclusively to a bishop; yet their consecration does not equal the dignity of the consecration of the Eucharist, in which the entire Christ is contained. Therefore it belongs, not to a priest, but only to a bishop, to perform this sacrament.
On the contrary Isidore says in an Epistle to Ludifred (Decretals, dist. 25): "It belongs to a priest to consecrate this sacrament of the Lord's body and blood upon God's altar."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Articles ,4), such is the dignity of this sacrament that it is performed only as in the person of Christ. Now whoever performs any act in another's stead, must do so by the power bestowed by such a one. But as the power of receiving this sacrament is conceded by Christ to the baptized person, so likewise the power of consecrating this sacrament on Christ's behalf is bestowed upon the priest at his ordination: for thereby he is put upon a level with them to whom the Lord said (Lc 22,19): "Do this for a commemoration of Me." Therefore, it must be said that it belongs to priests to accomplish this sacrament.
Reply to Objection: 1. The sacramental power is in several things, and not merely in one: thus the power of Baptism lies both in the words and in the water. Accordingly the consecrating power is not merely in the words, but likewise in the power delivered to the priest in his consecration and ordination, when the bishop says to him: "Receive the power of offering up the Sacrifice in the Church for the living as well as for the dead." For instrumental power lies in several instruments through which the chief agent acts.
2. A devout layman is united with Christ by spiritual union through faith and charity, but not by sacramental power: consequently he has a spiritual priesthood for offering spiritual sacrifices, of which it is said (Ps 1,19): "A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit"; and (Rm 12,1): "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." Hence, too, it is written (1P 2,5): "A holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices."
3. The receiving of this sacrament is not of such necessity as the receiving of Baptism, as is evident from what was said above (Question , Articles ,4; Question , Article , ad 2). And therefore, although a layman can baptize in case of necessity, he cannot perform this sacrament.
4. The bishop receives power to act on Christ's behalf upon His mystical body, that is, upon the Church; but the priest receives no such power in his consecration, although he may have it by commission from the bishop. Consequently all such things as do not belong to the mystical body are not reserved to the bishop, such as the consecration of this sacrament. But it belongs to the bishop to deliver, not only to the people, but likewise to priests, such things as serve them in the fulfillment of their respective duties. And because the blessing of the chrism, and of the holy oil, and of the oil of the sick, and other consecrated things, such as altars, churches, vestments, and sacred vessels, makes such things fit for use in performing the sacraments whichbelong to the priestly duty, therefore such consecrations are reserved to the bishop as the head of the whole ecclesiastical order.
Objection: 1. It seems that several priests cannot consecrate one and the same host. For it was said above (Question , Article ), that several cannot at the same time baptize one individual. But the power of a priest consecrating is not less than that of a man baptizing. Therefore, several priests cannot consecrate one host at the same time.
2. Further, what can be done by one, is superfluously done by several. But there ought to be nothing superfluous in the sacraments. Since, then, one is sufficient for consecrating, it seems that several cannot consecrate one host.
3. Further, as Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.), this is "the sacrament of unity." But multitude seems to be opposed to unity. Therefore it seems inconsistent with the sacrament for several priests to consecrate the same host.
On the contrary It is the custom of some Churches for priests newly ordained to co-celebrate with the bishop ordaining them.
I answer that As stated above (Article ), when a priest is ordained he is placed on a level with those who received consecrating power from our Lord at the Supper. And therefore, according to the custom of some Churches, as the apostles supped when Christ supped, so the newly ordained co-celebrate with the ordaining bishop. Nor is the consecration, on that account, repeated over the same host, because as Innocent III says (De Sacr. Alt. Myst. iv), the intention of all should be directed to the same instant of the consecration.
Reply to Objection: 1. We do not read of Christ baptizing with the apostles when He committed to them the duty of baptizing; consequently there is no parallel.
2. If each individual priest were acting in his own power, then other celebrants would be superfluous, since one would be sufficient. But whereas the priest does not consecrate except as in Christ's stead; and since many are "one in Christ" (Ga 3,28); consequently it does not matter whether this sacrament be consecrated by one or by many, except that the rite of the Church must be observed.
3. The Eucharist is the sacrament of ecclesiastical unity, which is brought about by many being "one in Christ."
Objection: 1. It seems that the dispensing of this sacrament does not belong to a priest alone. For Christ's blood belongs to this sacrament no less than His body. But Christ's blood is dispensed by deacons: hence the blessed Lawrence said to the blessed Sixtus (Office of St. Lawrence, Resp. at Matins): "Try whether you have chosen a fit minister, to whom you have entrusted the dispensing of the Lord's blood." Therefore, with equal reason the dispensing of Christ's body does not belong to priests only.
2. Further, priests are the appointed ministers of the sacraments. But this sacrament is completed in the consecration of the matter, and not in the use, to which the dispensing belongs. Therefore it seems that it does not belong to a priest to dispense the Lord's body.
3. Further, Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii, iv) that this sacrament, like chrism, has the power of perfecting. But it belongs, not to priests, but to bishops, to sign with the chrism. Therefore likewise, to dispense this sacrament belongs to the bishop and not to the priest.
On the contrary It is written (De Consecr., dist. 12): "It has come to our knowledge that some priests deliver the Lord's body to a layman or to a woman to carry it to the sick: The synod therefore forbids such presumption to continue; and let the priest himself communicate the sick."
I answer that The dispensing of Christ's body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because, as was said above (Article ), he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ's body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.
Reply to Objection: 1. The deacon, as being nigh to the priestly order, has a certain share in the latter's duties, so that he may dispense the blood; but not the body, except in case of necessity, at the bidding of a bishop or of a priest. First of all, because Christ's blood is contained in a vessel, hence there is no need for it to be touched by the dispenser, as Christ's body is touched. Secondly, because the blood denotes the redemption derived by the people from Christ; hence it is that water is mixed with the blood, which water denotes the people. And because deacons are between priest and people, the dispensing of the blood is in the competency of deacons, rather than the dispensing of the body.
2. For the reason given above, it belongs to the same person to dispense and to consecrate this sacrament.
3. As the deacon, in a measure, shares in the priest's "power of enlightening" (Eccl. Hier. v), inasmuch as he dispenses the blood. so the priest shares in the "perfective dispensing" (Eccl. Hier. v) of the bishop, inasmuch as he dispenses this sacrament whereby man is perfected in himself by union with Christ. But other perfections whereby a man is perfected in relation to others, are reserved to the bishop.
Objection: 1. It seems that the priest who consecrates is not bound to receive this sacrament. Because, in the other consecrations, he who consecrates the matter does not use it, just as the bishop consecrating the chrism is not anointed therewith. But this sacrament consists in the consecration of the matter. Therefore, the priest performing this sacrament need not use the same, but may lawfully refrain from receiving it.
2. Further, in the other sacraments the minister does not give the sacrament to himself: for no one can baptize himself, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 4). But as Baptism is dispensed in due order, so also is this sacrament. Therefore the priest who consecrates this sacrament ought not to receive it at his own hands.
3. Further, it sometimes happens that Christ's body appears upon the altar under the guise of flesh, and the blood under the guise of blood; which are unsuited for food and drink: hence, as was said above (Question , Article ), it is on that account that they are given under another species, lest they beget revulsion in the communicants. Therefore the priest who consecrates is not always bound to receive this sacrament.
On the contrary We read in the acts of the (Twelfth) Council of Toledo (Can. v), and again (De Consecr., dist. 2): "It must be strictly observed that as often as the priest sacrifices the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the altar, he must himself be a partaker of Christ's body and blood."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Articles ,7), the Eucharist is not only a sacrament, but also a sacrifice. Now whoever offers sacrifice must be a sharer in the sacrifice, because the outward sacrifice he offers is a sign of the inner sacrifice whereby he offers himself to God, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei x). Hence by partaking of the sacrifice he shows that the inner one is likewise his. In the same way also, by dispensing the sacrifice to the people he shows that he is the dispenser of Divine gifts, of which he ought himself to be the first to partake, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii). Consequently, he ought to receive before dispensing it to the people. Accordingly we read in the chapter mentioned above (Twelfth Council of Toledo, Can. v): "What kind of sacrifice is that wherein not even the sacrificer is known to have a share?" But it is by partaking of the sacrifice that he has a share in it, as the Apostle says (1Co 10,18): "Are not they that eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar?" Therefore it is necessary for the priest, as often as he consecrates, to receive this sacrament in its integrity.
Reply to Objection: 1. The consecration of chrism or of anything else is not a sacrifice, as the consecration of the Eucharist is: consequently there is no parallel.
2. The sacrament of Baptism is accomplished in the use of the matter, and consequently no one can baptize himself, because the same person cannot be active and passive in a sacrament. Hence neither in this sacrament does the priest consecrate himself, but he consecrates the bread and wine, in which consecration the sacrament is completed. But the use thereof follows the sacrament, and therefore there is no parallel.
3. If Christ's body appears miraculously upon the altar under the guise of flesh, or the blood under the guise of blood, it is not to be received. For Jerome says upon Leviticus (cf. De Consecr., dist. 2): "It is lawful to eat of this sacrifice which is wonderfully performed in memory of Christ: but it is not lawful for anyone to eat of that one which Christ offered on the altar of the cross." Nor does the priest transgress on that account, because miraculous events are not subject to human laws. Nevertheless the priest would be well advised to consecrate again and receive the Lord's body and blood.
Summa Th. III EN Qu.80 a.12