Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

General Principles

The powerful passage from the Gospel of Luke (The Road to Emmaus) represents the beauty, content and the heritage of one of the two main lay ministries in the Lord’s name: Extraordinary Ministers of Communion/Eucharist — bearers of the gifts of thanksgiving – the Body and Blood of Christ. As such, there is a pro-offering His real presence at our communal banquet, and those of the Eucharistic Ministers for the homebound, people in hospitals, and convalescing — who travel to the community at large and extend Christ’s Real Presence and the wishes and prayers of the parish for their comfort and peace. They also help keep those who are unable to be physically with us at Mass and be united with us in the full body of Christ. Eucharistic Ministers proclaim the body of Christ — the blood of Christ. We are the bearers of the thanksgiving — the real meaning of Eucharist, we pro-offer his real presence to our worshipping community at our communal banquet at Mass. In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner.

Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. (1) When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons. If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, “the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him; i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion.” General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM 162)

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. In all matters, they should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America, NDRHC, No. 28). Our trained Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for the distribution under both kinds, witness in an orderly and reverent distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord. In all matters, such Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop. All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine. (GIRM 29)