Welcome to the Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist!
"The Eucharist constitutes the very life of the Church, for the Lord said, I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall ever thirst."
"In every celebration of the Eucharist there should always be a sufficient number of ministers for the distribution of the Eucharist. Priority is always given to ordinary ministers (bishops, priests, deacons) and auxiliary ministers (instituted acolytes). When there are large numbers of the faithful present and there are insufficient ordinary and auxiliary members at hand, special or extraordinary ministers properly appointed beforehand should assist in the distribution of Communion."
Your willingness to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, reflects not only response to your Baptismal call to serve the people of God, but a commitment to Christ as you share in the preaching, teaching and leading aspects of the church. You offer the Eucharist, recognize the Body of Christ in those to whom you offer Eucharist and ultimately you act as the Body of Christ by fully participating in the life of the parish and the wider community. Your willingness to commit to a monthly schedule, to prepare properly for your service and to arrive on time dressed appropriately for your assigned Mass, further reflects that commitment.
General Ministry Information
* In the Diocese of Providence, all Eucharistic Ministers are appointed by the pastor/Bishop for a term. After consultation with the pastor, issues a written invitation in the name of the pastor to those parishioners either or both have deemed to be appropriate members of the ministry.
* Those invited to serve in this ministry are designated only for service in this parish. Eucharistic Ministers should not take it upon themselves to bring Communion to a parent, family member, friend or
neighbor, unless permission is given from the pastor or his designee, of the parish in which the person resides.
* The selection of and invitation to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist is a reflection of the diversity of the parish. An invitation to join the ministry does not mean that one is "better or holier
than another", nor is an invitation indicative of a reward of some sort. Diocesan guidelines for invitation to service in this ministry clearly indicate that an invitation to serve ...not create an elite in the church
* Your respect for the Ministry should be reflected in your appearance and attire; appropriate attire includes being properly groomed and wearing a suit and tie or clean, nicely creased trousers with shirt and
tie or nice sweater; pants suit or skirt or slacks with blouse/sweater. Please note: no jeans or shorts at any time! Jewelry or clothing which would be distracting to the Assembly should not be worn.
Before Mass Information
* On the day you are assigned to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, it is appropriate and a good practice, to develop the habit of taking time to prepare for your service with quiet prayer and
if possible, a reflective reading of Scripture.
* Plan on being at the Cathedral at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled Mass time and go to your seat within the Assembly. This allows the sextons to know that you are present for your assigned Mass
and able to fulfill your ministry.
* Your hands should be clean, with neatly trimmed and clean nails. It is good practice to wash your hands with soap and water before the liturgy, this is particularly important if you are a smoker. You may
wish to do this prior to mass in the sacristy.
* Your participation in the liturgy should be whole and complete, by paying respectful attention to the proclamation of the Word, joining in the singing and offering the peace greeting, etc.
At Mass Information
* You should sit in the Assembly with family or friends, within the 1st few pews on the Blessed Sacrament side of the Church, close enough to the altar to move there easily during the sign of peace within the
* If, at the Mass to which you are assigned, there is the unexpected presence of a deacon or another priest you may be asked to refrain from coming forward.
* Ministers come forward to the altar, during the "Sign of Peace", and stand behind the Celebrant. Time your arrival to precede the Celebrant's readiness to begin the Breaking of the Bread as this is a
significant liturgical action. There is no need to continue the peace greeting on the altar as your attention at this time should be focused on the altar.
* You should participate in the singing of the Lamb of God chant.
* You receive Communion after the celebrant. After those on the altar have received Communion, you go to your stations at the front of the Church. One minister goes to the front of the altar steps and stands
shoulder to shoulder to the celebrant to distribute Communion. One minister stands by the piano and the other by the pulpit.
* You should be alert to the needs of the faithful in the first row or two on either side of the Church, as often, physically challenged or elderly parishioners are there, to whom you should bring the Eucharist
so they do not have to come forward.
* When offering Eucharist, state in a clear, audible, but not loud voice,"The Body of Christ." This is a faith statement and should not be modified in any way under the guise of making it more "meaningful" by
such statements as "Take Jesus", "The Precious Body of Jesus" etc. These statements DO NOT profess the faith of the Catholic Church regarding the meaning of the action at that moment.
* When offering Eucharist, do not state a person's name, even if you know it. This fragments the common unity of the assembly. When you say some names and not others, it implies some are more important
* Remember - you are a presence of Christ to each person as you minister, so, smile kindly, and refrain from appearing annoyed or stern or appear to be in a hurry.
* Allow each communicant a moment to respond "Amen".
* If you drop the Consecrated Host, do not serve it to the person in front of whom you dropped it. Your calm demeanor at this moment can calm or assure an anxious and embarrassed person. Pick up the Host
and consume it yourself, or put it to the side of the ciboria until you can place it in the dish next to the Tabernacle for disposal. Please do not place it directly into the Sacrarium in the sacristy.
* When there are no more communicants at your station, you bring any unconsumed elements to the Tabernacle as quietly, efficiently and reverently as possible. Remain by the Tabernacle until the Blessed
Sacrament has been placed into the Tabernacle, then genuflect (or bow if unable to genuflect) close and lock the Tabernacle. Once you have finished at the Tabernacle, you may return to your seat within
the Assembly and join in the communal silence or singing which may be occurring at that time.
* Be sure to notify The Office before the 15th of the month, of any known schedule issues, e.g. vacations for the following month, so the schedule may be prepared appropriately.
* The schedule will be e-mailed or mailed upon its completion and will also be available in the sacristy.
* Be sure to have the schedule before the start of the new month so that if arrangements for a substitute have to be made, there will be ample time to do so. Should you have a schedule conflict please contact
the Parish Office.
* When you come forward from the Assembly to fulfill your ministry at Mass, and when returning to your place within the Assembly after fulfilling your service within the Liturgy, do so quietly and efficiently
without calling attention to yourself.
* A Liturgical Minister may perform only one liturgical ministry at a time, at Mass, thus, e.g. if you are performing the function of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at Mass, you may not also perform the
function of lector at the same Mass unless there are extenuation circumstances.