This strange Communion scene comes from near the end of Graham Greene's novel Monsignor Quixote (thanks to Kim Fabricius for suggesting it).
Father Quixote led them down into the shadows of the great church lit only by the half moon which shone through the east window. He walked firmly to the altar and began to say the words of the old Latin Mass, but it was in an oddly truncated form. He began with the response 'Et introibo ad altare Dei, qui laetificat juventutem meam.'
'Is he conscious of what's he doing?' Professor Pilbeam whispered.
'God knows,' Father Leopoldo answered.
The mass went rapidly on - no epistle, no gospel: it was as though Father Quixote were racing towards the consecration. Because he feared interruption from the bishop? the Mayor wondered. From the Guardia? Even the long list of saints from Peter to Damien was omitted.
'When he finds no paten and no chalice, surely he will wake,' Father Leopoldo said. The Mayor moved a few steps nearer to the altar. He was afraid that, when the moment of waking came, Father Quixote might fall, and he wanted to be near enough to catch him in his arms.
'Who the day before He suffered took bread ...'
Father Quixote seemed totally unaware that there was no Host, no paten waiting on the altar. He raised empty hands, 'Hoc est enim corpus meum,' and afterwards he went steadily on without hesitation to the consecration of the non-existent wine in the non-existent chalice.
Father Leopoldo and the professor had knelt from custom at the words of consecration: the Mayor remained standing. He wanted to be prepared if Father Quixote faltered.
'Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei.' The empty hands seems to be fashioning a chalice out of the air.
'Sleep? Delirium? Madness?" Professor Pilbeam whispered the question. The Mayor edged his way a few more steps towards the altar. He was afraid to distract Father Quixote. As long as he was speaking the Latin words he was at least happy in his dream.
In the years which has passed since his youth at Salamanca the Mayor had forgotten most of the Mass. What remained in his head were certain key passages which had appealed to him emotionally at that distant time. Father Quixote seemed to be suffering from the same lapse of memory - perhaps in all the years of saying the Mass, almost mechanically, by heart, it was only those sentences which, like the night-lights of childhood, had lit the dark room of habit, that he was recalling now.
So it was he remembered the Our Father, and from there his memory leapt to the Agnus Dei. 'Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi.' He paused and shook his head. For a moment the Mayor thought he was waking from his dream. He whispered so softly that only the Mayor caught his words, 'Lamb of God, but the goats, the goats,' then he went directly on to the prayer of the Roman centurion: 'Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof; say but the word and my soul shall be healed.'
His Communion was approaching. The professor said, 'Surely when he finds nothing there to take, he will wake up.'
'I wonder,' said Father Leopoldo replied. He added, 'I wonder if he will ever wake again.'
For a few seconds Father Quixote remained silent. He swayed a little back and forth before the altar. The Mayor took another step forward, ready to catch him, but then he spoke again: 'Corpus Domini nostri,' and with no hesitation at all he took from the invisible paten the invisible Host and his fingers laid the nothing on his tongue. Then he raised the invisible chalice and seemed to drink from it. The Mayor could see the movement of his throat as he swallowed.
For the first time he appeared to become conscious that he was not alone in the church. He looked around him with a puzzled air. Perhaps he was seeking the communicants. He remarked the Mayor standing a few feet from him and took the non-existent Host between his fingers; he frowned as though something mystified him and then he smiled. 'Companero,' he said, 'you must kneel, companero.' He came forward three steps with two fingers extended, and the Mayor knelt. Anything which will give him peace he thought, anything at all. The fingers came closer. The Mayor opened his mouth and felt the fingers, like a Host, on his tongue. 'By this hopping,' Father Quixote said, 'by this hopping,' and then his legs gave way. The Mayor had only just time to catch him and ease him to the ground. 'Companero,' the Mayor repeated the word in his turn,'this is Sancho,' and he felt over and over again without success for the beat of Father Quixote's heart.
Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote (Vintage, 2006 ), pp.240-243.