On the Fraction of the Oblation
[Christ Leaves Hell with the Redeemed, and the General Resurrection]
The oblation is broken because the bread of angels is broken for us on the cross, so that the wreckage (fractio) of our sins may be repaired by eating him.
The pope  does not break the oblation, but rather tears a morsel off with his teeth and places the rest in the chalice , for Christ bit Hell, and thence placed those whom he had saved in paradise. The deacon holds the chalice while the pope receives the blood, signifying the angel who, at Christ’s resurrection, moved the stone from the tomb. Once the priest has communicated, the chalice is taken from the altar because Christ having risen will die no more, and his body is not found in the tomb. The deacon distributes the blood, because the angel made known the Lord’s resurrection. The subdeacon receives the Lord’s body from the deacon and carries it to the priests to be broken for the people , thereby signifying that the women understood the angel’s words about Christ’s resurrection and carried it to the apostles, who distributed it to the whole people by their preaching. When the apostolicus descends from the altar, he gives the people communion because the people, descending with Christ from the altar of the cross, rise from the dead and participate in eternal glory.
The bishop breaks the oblation, because the Lord broke bread for his disciples at Emmaus (Luke 24). He divides the oblation into three parts: one for himself, and two he gives to the deacon and subdeacon, because at Emmaus the Lord, having broken the bread, divided one part for himself and two for Cleophas and Luke.
De fractione oblatae
Oblata frangitur, quia panis angelorum nobis in cruce frangitur, ut fractio peccatorum nostrorum per comestionem ipsius reintegretur. (0563C) Papa oblatam non frangit, sed partem ex ea mordet, reliquam in calicem mittit, quia Christus infernum momordit, et inde sumptos in paradisum misit. Diaconus calicem tenet, dum papa sanguinem sumit, significans angelum qui, Christo surgente, lapidem de monumento tulit. Communicato sacerdote, mox calix de altari tollitur, quia Christus resurgens ultra non moritur, et corpus eius in sepulcro non invenitur. Diaconus sanguinem distribuit; quia angelus resurrectionem Domini innotuit. Subdiaconus corpus Domini accipit a Diacono et fert presbyteris frangendum populo, designans quod mulieres verba de resurrectione Christi ab angelo perceperunt et apostolis detulerunt, ipsique omni populo praedicando distribuerunt. (0563D) Cum apostolicus ab altari descendit, populis communicat; quia cum Christo ab ara crucis descendens a morte resurgit, populus aeterua gloria participat. Episcopus oblatam frangit, quia Dominus panem in Emmaus discipulis fregit (Luc. XXIV) . In tres partes oblatam dividit: una sibi retenta, duas diacono et subdiacono tribuit, quia Dominus, fracto pane, unam partem sibi, duas Cleophae et Lucae divisit.
 Until now Honorius has preferred to use the term “bishop” (episcopus) or “priest” (sacerdos) when referring to the chief celebrant of the pontifical liturgy he is commenting on. Curiously, in the last two chapters he has suddenly preferred “pontiff” (pontifex) and here even “pope” (papa, apostolicus). What explains this? The entries in Du Cange suggest that in antiquity it was custom to call all bishops “papa,” and even “apostolicus,” as in “apostolicus vir,” but that by the Middle Ages the terms were almost always reserved to the pope, a fact Honorius himself explains in Ch. 188.
The ceremonies of the Fraction and Communion in the ancient papal rite were extremely elaborate, and for several reasons had been simplified and confused during their transmission to the Frankish kingdoms, such that there was much debate on how they ought to be performed. For a discussion of these problems, see Jungmann (MS II, 303-321). Given this controversy and the peculiarities of this chapter (e.g. the general fraction), it isn’t clear to me whether Honorius is describing an actually existing papal rite, or merely his own interpretation of the Ordines, or something in between.
It may be that the text beginning with “The pope does not break the oblation (Papa oblatam non frangit)…” represents his understanding of a papal rite, while the last part beginning with “The bishop breaks (Episcopus oblatam frangit)…” describes the simplified ceremony that he knows. I have divided the text accordingly.
 It will be good to describe the ancient Fraction and Communion ceremonies in more detail, in order to help make sense of details like this. Here is Fr. Quoëx:
“In the Ordo Romanus I, following the embolism Libera nos and the return of the paten to the altar, the pontiff says ‘Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum’ while placing in the chalice a portion of the oblations consecrated during the previous pontifical Mass—this is the first commingling, or the commingling of the fermentum (OR I, nos 94–95). The pontiff then proceeds to the fraction of a Eucharistic bread from his own offering (first fraction), leaves the part he has detached on the altar and places the rest of his oblation on the paten (no 97). Then he leaves the altar for the throne (no 98). Meanwhile, after the pope says ‘Pax Domini,’ the archdeacon transmits the peace in hierarchical order: first to the bishops, then the other members of the clergy, and finally to the people (no 96). After the rite of peace the general fraction of the Eucharistic bread takes place. The oblations are first transported from the altar to the pope, bishops, and priests (no 100–104). Then at the precise moment when the fraction is about to begin, the archdeacon makes the sign to the schola cantorum to commence the Agnus Dei (no 105) […].
The fraction of the oblations completed, the pope communicates at the throne (no 106). While doing so, the pontiff bites off a piece from the consecrated bread that he will consume. He places this part in the chalice held by the archdeacon (second commingling), saying: Fiat commixtio et consecratio corporis et sanguinis domini nostri Jesu Christi accipientibus nobis in vitam aeternam. Amen. He addresses the archdeacon a Pax tecum. The archdeacon responds: Et cum spiritu tuo. The pope then takes the Precious Blood in the chalice which is held by the archdeacon (no 107). Then comes the communion of the whole assembly, clergy and people, administered in hierarchical order (nos 109–118)” (Thomas Aquinas as Mystagogue, Revue Thomist 105 (2005): 179–225. Translation my own.)
Fr. Quoëx continues, commenting on the theological import of this ceremony:
“One thus observes a very direct progression and overlapping of the elements of the commingling, fraction, peace, and the communion proper. The key to reading this complex ritual resides evidently in the conception of the Eucharist as a sign of the unity of the Church. In imitation of Christ’s action, the bread is broken. The fraction rite is surrounded with a great solemnity: the pope performs it at the throne; all the bishops and priests also take part it in—and this for a very practical reason. Recalling that the expression fractio panis served—following the Acts of the Apostles (2:42)—to designate the Eucharistic action itself, one might ask whether the solemn fraction, and with it the ad thronum communion of the Ordo Romanus I, is not meant to emphasize, in the exemplary context of the Eucharistic celebration of the supreme pastor, the unity of the entire Church.”
 In the papal station rite, the Eucharistic bread was given by the subdeacons to the bishops for the general fraction. Of course, this presumes the use of bread loaves, a form of Eucharistic species largely displaced by the denarius wafer throughout the 12th century.