Do this in Memory of Me.
Eucharista, the Greek word for thanksgiving, is what we, as Catholics, celebrate every time we attend Mass. There, united with the saints and angels, we participate in the eternal banquet of thanksgiving, as we give praise, honor and glory to God. During the Mass, we offer our lives, and humble gifts of bread, wine and water, which are divinely perfected and transformed into the very Body, Blood, life and existence of Jesus. We then, as members of His Body, are called to live a “Eucharistic” life of thanksgiving.
As Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs), we are trained and commissioned to assist during Mass to ensure a timely and reverent distribution of Communion to our Holy Name Family.
Next training session: To Be Announced.
We have a God who loves us so much that He not only sent His Son to suffer, die, and rise for us, but who continually cares for us and feeds us, not in some far off, hoped for way, but in a very real, very present way. The Son of God so wants to be with us, to be a part of us that He continually gives Himself to us in the Eucharist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candidates must be:
• An Adult, 18 years and older
• Fully initiated in the Catholic Church (i.e. having received Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion)
• In full communion with the Catholic Church. This includes (but is not limited to) regular Mass attendance, regular participation in the sacramental life of the Church, and, if married, be in an ecclesiastically valid marriage (not civil or common-law).
- At Holy Name Church, EMHCs serve communion during Holy Mass while Pastoral Care Ministers serve in the community, providing delivery of the Eucharist to homebound parishioners.
- PC Ministers are required to attend the parish’s Eucharistic Minister’s training session as well as the Pastoral Care course offered by the Diocese. Many PCs serve in both Ministries.
The Ordinary minister of Holy Communion is a bishop, priest or deacon. However, other members of the faithful, known as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs), may be commissioned to assist with the distribution of the Sacrament.
- Once trained, ministers are assigned to serve at the Mass of their choice. If you and your family usually attend Mass on Saturday at 5pm, you will be scheduled to serve at that mass time, usually 1-2 times a month. A request for Availability and Away Dates is sent out prior to the next schedule being posted.
- High season Masses (Easter and Christmas) have greater than normal attendance and require the scheduling of multiple EMHCs. Availability and preference is requested of all ministers for all holiday masses.
Ministers who serve in multiple ministries are asked to let their ministry coordinator’s know their availability so that overlapping schedules can be avoided. Father requests that we serve in one capacity at a time at any given Mass.
The Bishop mandates that EMHC candidates be evaluated by the pastor and approved by the diocese to serve in this ministry. Commissioning is valid for a period of three years at a time. A pastor or bishop may terminate the service of the EMHC at any time, and the EMHC may also resign at any time.
Should a Host fall to the ground: You may let the communicant retrieve the host and consume it. If they do not, you are to retrieve it and place it in the palm of the hand that you are using to hold the ciborium. When finished serving, return the ciborium to the altar and inform the priest about the fallen Host and he will consume the Host.
A pyx or pix is a small round container used to carry the consecrated host to the sick or those otherwise unable to come to a church in order to receive Holy Communion. It is also used during Mass to prevent cross-contamination for Communicants with severe allergies or those requiring a low gluten hosts.
Non-communicants who come forward during Communion with arms crossed are requesting a blessing. You may extend your hand over the person’s shoulder and say “The Blessing of Christ be upon you” or “May God bless you” but do not make the Sign of the Cross on the forehead and/or give the Priestly blessing which is: “May Almighty God bless you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, (NOTE: only ordained ministers can give this blessing during Mass).
It is proper to Genuflect (go down on one knee) before the Tabernacle and Bow to the Sanctuary (Altar) however if a minister is physically unable to safely genuflect, a Bow before the Tabernacle is allowed.
- Once the current schedule is posted, EMHCs are responsible to attend their scheduled Mass or find a replacement to cover their shift. If a minister is ill, they should not deliver communion.
- Absence and last minute no-shows create a disruption for the pastor and fellow EMHCs before Mass. All attempts should be made to confirm a replacement if you are unable to attend.
Are you interested in joining this ministry? Please contact our Ministry Coordinator, Shauna Mireault at firstname.lastname@example.org
God calls different people to different ministries at various points in life. It is important to take time to pray and discern about your involvement in this or any ministry.