Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Practical Guidelines - Revised October 2014


Michael Schneider, Michelle and Nancy Deutman as Eucharist Minister

The minimum requirements to be an "extraordinary minister of Holy Communion" (hereafter referred to as : E.M.) are:

1. At least 16 years old

2. Fully initiated Catholic (received Confirmation)

3. Participates regularly in the sacramental life of the Church.

Mike Schneider is the E.M. coordinator. His responsibilities are to:

1. Maintain an updated list of all E.M.'s names, emails and telephone numbers.

2. Distribute this list to all E.M.s

3. Schedule the E.M.'s each Sunday (although if you can't be there, it is your responsibility to find a substitute).

4. Make sure that this schedule is provided to the editors of the Parish magazine.

This is what each E.M. should do:

1. Come up to the altar at the sign of peace.

2. There are nine (9) Communion distributors, including the priest or priests and deacon. All priests and deacons should distribute Holy Communion. Eight (8) E.M.s will be assigned for each Sunday *.

3. Make sure you are dressed appropriately and that your hands are clean.

4. Before distribution of Holy Communion, one of the EMs should go up to the tabernacle,take the ciborium of consecrated hosts out of the tabernacle and place it on the altar. (Remember to genuflect immediately after opening the door).

5. After the priest receives Communion, he will distribute to the E:M.s.

6. The priest will give you either the ciborium with the Body of Christ or the chalice with the Bread of Christ. He starts on the side where the choir is, so that two E.M.s (one with the Body of Christ and one with the Blood of Christ) can go in advance to serve the choir in the aisle on the far right side.

7. The other E.M.s will give Communion to the altar servers and then go to their stations.

8. There are a total of nine stations, In front there are four E.M.s distributing the Body of Christ and four E.M.s distributing the Blood of Christ. One E.M. with the Body of Christ goes to the chapel area.

Click here for a graphic representation

Symbols (on diagram):

C stands for CUP (Blood of Christ) and H stands for HOST (Body of Christ)

9. If you are giving out from the ciborium, say: "The Body of Christ." If you are giving out from the chalice, say: "The Blood of Christ.", and when Chalice is given back to you, turn it 90 degrees (one quarter of a circle) and wipe off the area of the last communicant with the purificator. Please do not change these words!

10. You may say a silent prayer of blessing for babies and those who haven't received their First Communion. You may touch their heads or make a small sign of the cross on their foreheads.

After Distribution of Holy Communion

1. The EMs with the chalices of the Blood of Christ should proceed directly to the sacristy, consume any leftover Blood of Christ (or request another E.M. to consume it), and purify the vessels.

2. The EMs with the ciboriums of the Body of Christ should go to the altar and put all remaining consecrated hosts in the main ciborium. One of the EMS should put the ciborium containing all left over consecrated hosts back in the tabernacle (remember to genuflect after placing the main ciborium in the tabernacle and before closing the door). They then then proceed with the empty ciboriums to the sacristy for purification of the vessels.

What IFS is?

1. If the Blood of Christ spills, please clean it with your purificator.

2. If the Body of Christ falls on the ground, wait and see if the communicant will pick it up. If not, you may pick it up and consume it immediately or place it on the paten (altar serverĀ“s flat dish).

3. Notice suspicious behavior? Report it to the priest.

Other suggestions

1. Remember, it is an honor to distribute the body of Christ to your brothers and sisters. An attitude of reverence and respect should be first and foremost in your heart. If you would like to spend some quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament before Mass begins, please feel free to come to church 15-20 minutes early.

2. Another aspect of being an E.M. is visiting the sick and bringing them Holy Communion and praying with them. You may consider taking part in this aspect should the need arise.

3. Even though the correct terminology is Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, the term "Eucharistic Minister" is still widely used.

*In the months of July and August attandance is lighter, fewer E.M.s are needed, usual a total of six distributors (including the priest) are sufficient.