Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Ministers of Holy Communion     (EMHC Schedule)

Minisitry of the most Holy Eucharist in the distribution of Holy Communion is the most sublime ministry of the Catholic Church. The Church defines both ordinary and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

Ordinary ministers are those who through virtue of their office are set aside as ministers of the Eucharist. Ordinary ministers of Holy Communion refer to the ordained ministers of the Church (bishops, priests and deacons) as well as those who have received the official office of acolyte (primarily today these are seminarians who are preparing to receive holy orders). Ordinary ministers are the proper ministers of Holy Communion as they have been specifically designated, formed and trained by the Church to administer, protect and defend the most Holy Eucharist. Ordinary ministers authority is universal, meaning they may assist with Holy Communion in any particular Catholic Church throughout the world.

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion refer to the laity who have been appointed by their pastor as minsiters of Holy Communion for the parish in which they worship. It is important to note that extraordinary ministers recieve the authority to distribute Holy Communion from the pastor of their church and thus can only serve in the parish in which they worship. Extraordinary ministers are used to assist the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, but never to replace the ordinary minister(s). When the distribution of Holy Communion can be reasonably and effectively handled by the ordinary ministers present, the extraordinary minister(s) is not required. This ministry requires a deep reverence and respect for the most Holy Eucharist. Extraordinary ministers are expected to promote reverence and respect of the Eucharist through their devotion, prayer life and the reverence shown through their ministry. In addition ministers are expected to attend the annual evenings of renewal offered at the parish. 


Guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Interested in serving as a minister of Holy Communion? Please click here.