Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
The Eucharist constitutes the very life of the Church, for the Lord said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” John 6:51
Your willingness to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, reflects not only a response to your Baptismal call to serve the people of God, but also a commitment to Christ as you share in the preaching, teaching and leading aspects of the Church. You offer the Eucharist, recognize the Body of Christ in those to whom you offer Eucharist and ultimately you act as the Body of Christ by fully participating in the life of the parish and the wider community. Your willingness to commit to a monthly schedule, to prepare properly for your service and to arrive on time dressed appropriately for Mass, further reflects that commitment.
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. 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. (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.
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.
Who can be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion?
To serve as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, persons must:
- Be practicing Catholics, distinguished in their Christian life, faith and morals:
- Must attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and rest on those days from unnecessary servile labor
- Must confess your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly (monthly if possible!)
- Must receive Holy Communion regularly (daily Mass when possible)
- Must observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church
- Must provide for the material needs of the Church (tithing)
- Must observe the marriage laws of the Church (Be married in the Catholic Church.
- If married outside the Catholic Church or if single, no cohabitation or sexual activity)
- Must participate in the Church's primary mission, which is evangelization
- Be at least 16 years old
- Have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
- Demonstrate a deep reverence for and devotion to the holy Eucharist
- Possess the requisite abilities and temperament to carry out their assigned duties.
- Complete Safe Environment training annually
Prayer for the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
Blessed are you, God of all creation!
With reverence and humility
I approach the Eucharist and this ministry.
I thank you for calling me to serve your holy people.
May I see you in them. May they see you in me.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen