Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist
Every time the Church gathers in the name of Jesus to celebrate the memorial of His Passover from death to life and His glorification, it gathers to eat the bread of life and drink the cup of salvation. An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion serves the assembly at that most sacred moment when Christ is present in the Eucharistic elements. The sacred character of the Eucharist should find expression in the attitude of the minister, who serves with devotion, reverence, dignity and personal attention.
Those who are called to this ministry are called to a special love and care for the Eucharist and for all those who share in the Body and Blood of the Lord. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are called to serve the Body of Christ that is the Church, as well as the Body of Christ in the Eucharist species.
If you are the body of Christ and his members, you are the sacrament of what is placed on the table of the Lord; it is the sacrament of what you are when you receive.
– St. Augustine, Sermon 272
St. Augustine’s teaching is often translated to the modern as “You become what you eat.” He continues to teach today through his writings about the mystery of the Eucharist as an active sacrament of transformation. The essence of the role of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is a sense of awe and wonder at the intimacy of this union with Christ, and an interior quality of inclusiveness toward those who come forward to share at the table of the Lord.
What is an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist?
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion distribute the Body and Blood of our Lord to the assembly during Holy Communion.
Those who take on the responsibility of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, are presumed to be of good faith, eager to serve their fellow Christians, and willing to engage in ongoing formation to improve the effectiveness of their service. These ministers are expected to dress in a modest and respectful manner. They must also possess a strong commitment to serving at their assigned mass.
How are Eucharistic Ministers Scheduled?
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are scheduled based on their mass preference and availability. Quarterly schedules are provided for the ministers. If a Eucharistic Minister is unable to attend the mass for which he/she is scheduled to distribute the Holy Eucharist, it is their responsibility to find a substitute.
Who can become an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist?
Eucharistic ministers are chosen from our parish by the pastor. He will call them forward from the community to be those special ministers to the rest of our community.