Guide for extraordinary ministers of holy communion
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Guide for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. St. James The Apostle Church March 27, 2010 Deacon Jim. The Constitution of Sacred Liturgy. The first document promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, reaffirms that Christ is always present in the Church,

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Guide for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

St. James The Apostle Church

March 27, 2010

Deacon Jim


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The Constitution of Sacred Liturgy

The first document promulgated by the

Second Vatican Council, reaffirms that

Christ is always present in the Church,

especially in its liturgical celebrations.

Christ is present when the Church prays and

sings, in the proclamation of the Word, in the

person of the minister and especially present

under the Eucharistic elements.


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Liturgical Celebrations

  • For the Catholic, the liturgical gathering is of paramount importance.

  • They are the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed ; at the same time it is the fount from which all the Church’s power flows.


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Heart of the celebration.

  • Eucharistic Prayer.

  • The consummation of the liturgy is found in Holy Communion.

  • In the gathering, the breaking of bread, in the eating and the drinking the faithful are joined together as members of Christ’s mystical Body, sharing the one life of the Spirit.


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When large numbers of the faithful are present

  • The Presider will frequently need assistance in distributing Holy Communion so that the Communion Rite will not be unduly long.

  • Will regularly need this assistance when Communion is given under both kinds, that form of Communion that more clearly signifies the Eucharistic banquet.

  • Deacons and concelebrating priests assist as ordinary ministers of Communion.

  • And instituted acolytes where available.


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Others

  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, either formally commissioned for a given period of time or temporarily deputed by the presider, will frequently give this assistance.

  • You serve Christ who is present in the assembly by ministering His Body and Blood to your sisters and brothers.

  • Bring Communion to the sick, old age, or when other causes prevented them from taking part in the Mass.


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You are a Minister

  • You are entrusted leaders in our community here at St. James the Apostle Parish.

  • Genuine ministry is about humble service. The model for all ministry is Christ the Lord who came to serve, not to be served.

  • Must put aside personal agendas and needs, prejudices and judgments in order to serve the community and give faithful testimony to Christ's presence in the Eucharist.


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The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.

  • To be fully initiated members of the community both male and female, of sufficient age and maturity, and of diverse ethnic background.

  • Those who serve in this public ministry of the Church, faith must be supported by visible signs.

  • Manifestation of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.

  • Manifestation of the cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude and temperance.


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Questions

  • Why have you agreed to serve as a Extra Ordinary Minister of the Holy Communion?

  • What do you hope to gain in your understanding of the theology and function of the ministry?


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The sick and homebound

  • If you bring Holy communion to the sick or home bound you are to comply with the prescribed parish policies and the polices of the Dioceses regarding volunteer forms and background checks.

  • These requirements are in place for the safety and protection of both the sick person as well as the minister.


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Training and ongoing formation

  • Each parish should have in place a continuous training program for those who serve in this ministry.

  • Training should include: education, formation and support at least once a year or perhaps seasonally (i.e., Advent and or/ Lent).

  • The Dioceses of St. Petersburg also offers continuing formational experiences for the EMHC on a regular basis.


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Length of Service

  • The ministry and renewal of the term of service is mutually agreed upon by the individual and the parish.

  • Usually two years. This will allow both the EMHC and the parish community to benefit from this ministry.

  • Parish policy right now here at St. James is that we need everyone who wants to serve to be able to serve the needs of the parish not their own.

  • Parishes may wish to limit a person’s service to one liturgical ministry at any given time.


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Procedures: Reverence and Attire

  • EMHC should show reverence for the Eucharist. That reverence is reflected in their demeanor at Mass (full, active and conscious participation at liturgy.

  • Remember the four ways Jesus is present at Mass. Who can tell me what they are?

  • Please see that your hands are clean. No strong cologne, perfumes or aftershave. If they remain on your hands they can be transferred to the Eucharist.


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Your choice of attire.

  • There is no dress code at St. James, however, there are some basic principles.

  • First, and most importantly, know that you are a leader in our community.

  • Dress in a way that conveys that you are a leader and are coming to serve.


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Simplicity, modesty and dignity are your goal.

  • Blue jeans, shorts, or T-shirts are inappropriate.

  • Your clothing should never distract from your ministry.

  • Most people in the assembly will spend much energy looking at you.

  • Please do not distract by your clothing.


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Responsibilities

  • Arrive early. I would like to see you arrive 15 minutes prior and let the Captain of the Mass know that you are there.

  • This is extremely important because we need to know that people are in place.

  • If you can not make it please call someone, like your Captain. Get their cell numbers.


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From the Assembly

  • It is recommended that the EMHC sit with the assembly. They do not need to be part of the opening or closing processions. It is a powerful sign of unity seeing them come from the assembly and returning to it after having served.

  • When the Cup is administered by an EMHC, the cup is not to be left on the altar, please bring it into the sacristy. Reception of the Blood of Christ by the communicants is their personal choice.


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Gesture before Receiving Communion

  • The faithful are to make a sign of reverence before receiving Communion.

  • The Bishop’s Conference of the United Sates has determined that the faithful should bow their head before receiving under either or both kinds.

  • This gesture expresses our reverence and honor to Christ who comes to us as spiritual food.


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Giving the Bread

  • In giving Communion, the minister holds a host or a piece of the Eucharist bread slightly above the vessel, looks at the communicant and says in a clear voice “The Body of Christ.”

  • The communicant responds:”Amen.”

  • The communicant can receive either in the palm of the hand or on the tongue.


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Giving the Cup: “The Blood of Christ”

  • The minister holds the cup up slightly and says in a clear voice while looking at the communicate: “The Blood of Christ.”

  • The minister gives the cup to the communicant who takes it entirely into his/her hands, drinks from it and returns it to the minister.

  • The minister then wipes the rim of the cup with the purificator, gives the cup a quarter turn and offers it to the next communicant.


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Children receiving.

  • Children are encouraged to receive Communion under both kinds. As with adults, they should be properly instructed. Also they should take direction from their parents about receiving the Precious Blood from the cup.


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Intinction

  • Although described in the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United Sates of American, the practice of receiving Communion by “Intinction” is discouraged in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

  • This practice seems to stand in contrast with Jesus’ command :”take and drink.”


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Accidents with the Eucharistic Bread

  • The minister has several options. You may bring the dropped host to the altar/ sacristy. You may hold the host in the same hand as the vessel. Never replace it in the vessel, give to the next communicate, or consumed by the EMHC at that time. After distribution return to the altar or sacristy where it may be consumed or dissolved in a bowl of water, which is then poured into the special sink(sacrarium).


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Accident with the Precious Blood

  • The minister should cover the spillage with a purificator, first asking the communicant to proceed to another minister of the cup. Clean up the space as best you can with the purificator. After Mass the area should be washed with a damp clean purificator. Clean (damp) towels should be used if the area is large. The cloths are rinsed then wrung into the special sink. What’s the name of the sink?


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Purification of the Sacred Vessels

  • After the distribution of Communion, any remaining Eucharistic Bread or hosts are to be consumed or placed in the tabernacle.

  • Any remaining Precious Blood should be consumed by the Priest, Deacon and/or EMHC.

  • The reverence due to the Precious Blood demands that it be fully consumed after Communion is completed and NEVER be poured into the ground or the sacrarium.

  • Vessels are to be taken to the the side table or the sacristy where they are cleansed.


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Ministry to the Sick and Homebound

  • The EMHC becomes a vital link between the parish community and the member who is hospitalized or homebound.

  • Must be empathetic and compassionate.

  • It is important that they are sensitive to the communicant’s needs, i.e., spiritual, emotional, and material, as they may have to inform the parish staff of the person who is in need of sacramental anointing, reconciliation or a pastor visit.


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Ministry to the Sick and Homebound

  • NOTE: All EMHC to the sick and homebound are to have level two background screening, which includes fingerprinting and they must complete the “Safe Environment Program” for EMHC to sick/homebound & Pastoral Care Providers that is provided by the Diocese.


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Don’t

  • Don’t visit the sick or give out Communion if you are sick.

  • Use a pyx to carry the Eucharist.

  • Don’t stay too long or take the role of a counselor or confidant.

  • Don’t compete with a television or radio. Politely ask is these can be turned off.

  • Don’t leave the consecrated host; return host to the tabernacle immediately after your visit.



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Finally

  • Thanks for coming and thank you for all that you do for St. James the Apostle Parish. Your rewards will be great in heaven, Have a Christ filled day.


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