Communion Minister


The reforms of the Second Vatican Council resulted in a number of changes in the celebration of the Eucharist. These included a relaxing of the Eucharist Fast from 3 hours to 1 hour prior to the reception of the Eucharist, the return to the use of the vernacular as well to a greater participation of the laity in the celebration. These resulted in an increase in the reception of the Holy Eucharist.

As mentioned in the insert for Acolyte and Altar Server the church’s response to this was the re-establishment of the Ministry of Acolyte. Unfortunately, this was reserved to men, in seminary, preparing for the priesthood. To compensate for this the Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist was established (please not the use of the word Eucharist) in 1971 in the United States. These individuals, after a period of training, were to be commissioned for a term period and restricted in serving within their particular parish. In overall general practice individuals would usually serve until they decided to retire or are no longer able to fulfill the ministry.

Recently, a change was made in the naming of the ministry from the Eucharist to Communion. This may, at first seem to be trivial, but it is a more accurate description of the ministry. In truth, the only Ministers of the Eucharist, are the Bishop and Presbyters (commonly referred to as priests). The Deacon is actually an ordinary minister of Communion. Therefore, there are no extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.

Another aspect of this ministry is the ability of the minister to visit the homebound, hospitals and nursing homes with the Eucharist for those people who are in those situations. The ideal is for them to be sent forth from the Sunday celebration and take the Eucharist to these individuals. This not only gives these people the opportunity of receiving the Body of Christ, but also enabling them to be connected to the parish. This would, in truth, be a wonderful extension of the Eucharist within both of our parishes.

Needless to say, the Extraordinary Minister of Communion has an essential role to play in the worship and praise that the Church offers to God. The ministry, done well, serves not only God, but the people of God, the church. If you are interested in joining this ministry, or if you want more information regarding this ministry, please fill out the form below, and we will contact you to let you know how you can get involved.

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