come what may = [with object] Make (something elaborate or dainty) from various elements:

Example Sentence 1 is: In the Eucharistic service, the priest confects the bread as Christ's body.
Google produces some more examples, but not from scholarly or erudite sources.
I deem the above wrong because the priest converts the bread, but doesn't make it from scratch?

  • This use is not a mistake but a use of the term peculiar to Catholic Christians, a back-formation from confection, the performance of the sacrifice of the mass. It is in effect a term of theological art. Nov 13, 2014 at 14:24
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the use of a common word as a term of art. Nov 13, 2014 at 14:26
  • What @StoneyB said. Except I'd say the usage here either falls within one of three OED definitions identified as obsolete, or it's their final definition To make (out of the materials). [In modern use an affectation after French confectionner]. Nov 13, 2014 at 17:13
  • As posed by the OP, this is a question about theology, not a question about English. Nevertheless, I am as unfamiliar with the Roman Catholic usage as with the confect anger usage, which to me is not American English and whose examples Google places largely in Australia.
    – user6951
    Nov 13, 2014 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


There is nothing in that definition that suggests that the thing confected has to be made from scratch. It would seem to me that making a piece of bread into the body of Christ woks is confecting it as defined.

In any case, I Googled 'confect, catholic', and found thousands of sites in which the word is used in this way, some of them from established Roman Catholic institutions. It is clearly correctly used, within the Roman Catholic church at least. Many religious organisations used words differently from the way in which they are used in the secular world, and standard dictionaries cannot list all of these.

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