The Most Holy Eucharist is the most august sacrament, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received, and by which the Church constantly lives and grows.
Qualifications for Becoming an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Any adult person (18 years and older) of good moral standing wishing to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist may approach the priest or deacon to apply to be a Eucharistic Minister.
Training is required prior to serving at any Mass. Meetings are also scheduled by the deacon on a regular basis. All Eucharistic Ministers are encouraged to attend these seminars to acquaint them with their roles as ministers of the Eucharist.
Spiritual Preparation - In order to be properly disposed to receive communion, Eucharistic Ministers, like all other Catholics, should not be conscious of grave sin and should have fasted for one hour. It is encouraged that all Eucharistic Ministers receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly.
Guidelines for Eucharistic Ministers
Ministers of the Host should arrive 15 minutes before Mass; they will be responsible to ensure that all positions are filled.
Eucharistic Ministers are asked to dress appropriately for this ministry. Men are to dress in a shirt with a collar. Do not wear shorts, beachwear, t-shirts or clothing with distracting logos. Women should wear modest clothing. Eucharistic Ministers will wear the cross as a sign of this ministry.
Eucharistic Ministers should sit near the front of the congregation and participate actively in the prayers and responses of the Mass.
At the Sign of Peace, the Eucharistic Ministers should move to the from of the altar, reverence (bow deeply), and ascend. Please move gracefully, without haste.
For the distribution of the Body of Christ (Hosts), the Minister of the Host should look at the communicant and say, "The Body of Christ." Wait for the communicant to respond with "Amen." If the communicant fails to respond, say "Amen" for them before you distribute the Body of Christ. You are not to alter the words. Place the host reverently in the person's hands or on the tongue of the communicant. Please make sure they consume the Body of Christ.
After administering the Eucharist, the minister with the ciborium should take it back to the altar and place it on the corporal.
All ministers should wait until the ciborium has been reposed, and then together descend the steps and bow in unison before returning to their seats.
Eucharistic Ministers who bring Communion to the ill at home should fulfill that ministry at once and never take the Blessed Sacrament with them on other errands before bringing the Sacred Hosts to their communicants.
Eucharistic Ministry, like any other ministry, is service to the Church. As such, all ministers are required to serve at their assigned Masses. If for some reason you cannot fulfill a scheduled duty, it is your obligation to call another Eucharistic Minister to take your place. Remember, this is your service to the Church. It is an honor and a privilege to serve.
Special Ministers of the Eucharist should in every way demonstrate by their reverence for the Eucharist that they truly believe that this is not just bread and wine, but the very Body and Blood of the risen Lord. Their manner of dress, their respectful silence, their grace-filled movement, and their care with the Sacred Species are observed by all the people and by the Lord. One should not accept this kind of responsibility unless he or she is willing to carry it out with deep faith and a deep and awesome sense of God's presence.
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