If you would like to learn more about becoming a Eucharistic Minister at St. Peter the Apostle Parish please contact Joanne Bombay at 610-370-4978.
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
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.”
This information is designed to assist you in your participation in the Liturgical Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (more commonly known as Extraordinary Minister), here at St. Peter Parish.
Your willingness to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, reflects notonly 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 Mass, further reflects that commitment.
God bless your efforts! Prayers for the Extraordinary Minister
Blessed are you, God of all creation! I thank you for calling me to serve your holy people. May I see you in them. May they see you in me. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen
God of Love and Mercy. With reverence and humility I approach the Eucharist and this ministry. Grant me the grace To help others encounter you in this sacrament. I ask through you son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
O You who clothe the lilies, Who feed the birds of the sky, And lead the lambs to pasture And the deer to the waterside, Who multiplied loaves and fishes, Who said: “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall be hungry; No one who believes in me shall ever thirst.” Do come to us now and feed our minds and hearts
Can. 230 §3 – When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside offer liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distribute holy communion, according to the prescripts of the law.
Can. 910 §1 – The ordinary minister of Holy Communion is a bishop, presbyter, or deacon.
§2 – The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is an acolyte or another member of the Christian faithful designated according to the norm of can. 230 §3
Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons. If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, “the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., formally instituted acolytes or even some of the faithful who have been commissioned according to the prescribed rite. In case of necessity, the priest may also commission suitable members of the faithful for the occasion.” Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. When recourse is had to Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, especially in the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds, their number should not be increased beyond what is required for the orderly and reverent distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord. In all matters such Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop.
Holy Communion under both Kinds (Species)
From the first days of the Church’s celebration of the Eucharist, Holy Communion consisted of the reception of both species in fulfillment of the Lord’s command to “take and eat … take and drink.” The practice of Holy Communion under both kinds at Mass continued until the late 11th century, when the custom of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful under the form of bread alone began to grow.
By the 12th century, theologians speak of Communion under one kind as a “custom” of the Church. The practice spread until the Council of Constance in 1415 degreed that Holy Communion under the form of bread alone would be disturbed to the faithful. n 1963, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council authorized the extension of the faculty for Holy Communion under both kinds … at the Bishop’s discretion. (See Norms 18,19 & 20)
Holy Communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller sign of the Eucharistic banquet shines forth. Clearly, there are some pastoral circumstances that require Eucharistic sharing inone species. (Norms 15)
The Church has always taught the doctrine of concomitance, by which we know that under each species alone, the whole Christ is sacramentally present and we “receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace.” (GIRM 281 & CCC 1390)
The Lay Ministry Coordinator, after consultation with the pastor, issues an invitation in the name of the pastor to those parishioners that have deemed to be appropriate members of the ministry.
Those invited to serve in this ministry are designated only for service in this parish. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist 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.
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 community.
To be an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist you must:
be a fully initiated Catholic (have received the sacrament of Confirmation)
be in good standing with the church
be a registered member of Holy Spirit
be of good morale standing and cultivate devotion to the Holy Eucharist and distinguish themselves by Christian life, faith and morals; striving to be worthy of this great office
participate regularly in the sacramental life of the church and act as an example to the other faithful by piety and reverence for this Most Holy sacrament of the Altar
be at least 16 years old
be duly instructed
act as an example to the other faithful by piety and reverence for this Most Holy
Sacrament of the Altar.
Extraordinary Ministers should live the Sacrament of Life
Practice your Catholic faith through a prayerful relationship with God. Take advantage of the sacraments regularly. If you have not been to confession in a while, go before you start the process of becoming an Extraordinary Minister and continue to go regularly.
To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. By his power Christ is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. Christ is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of the minister, … but especially under the Eucharistic species.
Christ is present in His word, since it is He who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church. He is present. Lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, the I am in the midst of them.”
Extraordinary Minister scheduling
The Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (EM) schedule will be updated every two months. Schedules will be e-mailed, posted on theSt. Peter website and posted on the bulletin board in the Sanctuary. Schedules will only be mailed if you request.
If you are scheduled to serve and cannot, YOU are responsible for arranging for a substitute and YOU must contact the Captain assigned to that mass. The Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist Contact List will be attached to the schedule.
If you cannot serve on a regular basis and would like to be on the substitute roster, please let the EM Coordinator know. You must serve at least once a month to remain on the active roster.
A Liturgical Minister may perform only one liturgical ministry at a time, thus if you are performing the function of Extraordinary Minister, you may not also perform the function of Lector at the same Mass.
Captains will notify the EM Coordinator of EMs who are habitually absent. The EM Coordinator will contact these ministers and either rearranges their schedule or remove them as appropriate.
Captain, Co-Captain and Clean-Up assignments are noted on the schedule.
“Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity and joy of the moment when Christ becomes our guest.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 1387b
In the dioceses of the U.S., acolytes, altar servers, readers and other lay ministers may wear the alb or other suitable vesture or other appropriate and dignified clothing.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal 339
Your respect for the Ministry should be reflected in your appearance and attire. Appropriate attire includes being properly groomed, wearing a suit and tie, or clean, nicely creased trousers with a 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. Wear your “Sunday Best”.
Extraordinary Minister duties before Mass
If you are scheduled, please arrive no later than twenty (20) minutes before the mass starts and check in with the Captain in the narthex.
If you are not scheduled and you would like to make yourself available as a substitute, please notify the Captain. The Captain will issue a necklace with a cross/medallion to each EM and Lector as they check in.
While gathering in the narthex before Mass, you should be “Ministers of Hospitality” to those who come to worship. Offer friendly greetings to people as they come in.
EMs are required to sit in the first two (2) rows of the left-hand section of pews, near the choir. EMs should be seated at least five (5) minutes prior to start of mass. During special services like Christmas and Easter, EMs may sit with their families. Please sit in the front third of the church next to an aisle so that you can approach the altar when necessary.
If there is space available, a single-family member may sit with the EM in the first two rows; however if the EM has more than one family member with them or there is not enough space in the first two pews, we ask that the family members sit in the rows behind the rows designated for the EMs.
On certain feast days, the EMs will process in with the celebrant. The Captain will be made aware of this and inform the ministers. When processing in, follow the directions of the Deacon. If there are eight (8) ministers the Captain should be the first in line onthe left side.
Process at a normal pace up to the first step of the altar and then move left and right far enough so that everyone will have room. Face the altar and bow when the celebrant does. After you bow, the left line should proceed directly to the first row of minister pews. The right line should circle around the back of the sanctuary to the EM pews.
Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Duties during Mass
The mass will proceed through the readings, the homily, the Lord’s Prayer and the Sign of Peace. After you have greeted the other EMs and the people around you with “Peace Be with You”, all EMs must cleanse their hands with the hand sanitizer provided.
Please use only enough to clean your hands. After the celebrant changes the bread and wine into the Body and Precious Blood and the Priest has concluded his own Communion, the Deacon will generally nod at the Captain thus indicating that the EMs should proceed to the altar. Following the Captain, five (5) EMs should line up behind the altar facing the rear of the church and three (3)EMs should line up facing away from the choir. Diagram (A) indicates these positions.
The Priest and Deacon will distribute Communion to the EMs, then the chalice. If there is no Deacon, the Captain should distribute the Precious Blood to the EMs at the altar.
As the church has asked us to do, bow reverently before you receive the host and chalice.
The Priest will distribute the sacred vessels to the EMs.
Distribution of the Body of Christ
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated “The proper and only permissible form for distributing Holy Communion is to offer the consecrated bread by saying, “The Body of Christ” and to offer the consecrated wine by saying, “The Blood of Christ”. No other words or names should be added; and the formula should not be edited in any way” (Cf. GIRM, 161; 284-287).
Reverently hold up the consecrated host between you and the receiver and looking the receiver in the eye, smile and say “The Body of Christ”. Wait for the person receiving communion to say “Amen” and then place it in their hand or on their tongue, dependingon which method they prefer.
If an adult or child comes up for communion and they have their hands crossed over their chest, place your hand on their upper arm or shoulder and say “Christ’s blessing on you” or another appropriate blessing. Do not place your hand on the head of a child or an adult. This can be offensive to some people and it is a health concern. EMs should not make the sign of the cross as part of the blessing, as they (EMs) are not ordained ministers.
If you run out of consecrated hosts, tell the person who is the next in line to wait a moment, then go to the Captain and let him/her know the situation.
If you have consecrated hosts let over after your line has run out, we do not recommendthat you double up on a line. After the entire congregation has received communion, place your ciboria on the altar, then go to the credence, rinse your fingers in the finger bowl, place your necklace on the tray and return to your seat. Do not congregate around the credence.
The Captain and Co-Captain should remain near the altar. After the Deacon or Priest purifies the ciboria and hands them to you, take the ciboria to the credence, cleanse your fingers in the finger bowl and remove your necklace and leave it on the tray. Then take your ciboria to the sacristy.
Distribution of the Precious Blood
Reverently hold up the chalice between you and the receiver and looking the receiver in the eye, smile and say “The Blood of Christ”. Wait for the person receiving to say “Amen” and then hand them the chalice.
Make sure the person has a good grip on the chalice before releasing it. Be especially careful when the person hands the chalice back to you. The exchange should be firm but gentle; not forceful enough to cause a “splash” or a spill. Be even more vigilant when the communicant is a younger child.
After the person has handed the chalice back to you, wipe the place on the chalice where they drank, and turn the chalice a quarter turn.
After the person has handed the chalice back to you, wipe the place where they drank and turn the chalice a quarter turn.
If you run out of Precious Blood, proceed back up to the credence by the choir and place your chalice there. Remove your necklace, place it on the tray, and go back to your seat.
If you have Precious Blood remaining after all parishioners have received Communion, proceed to the credence and have another EM or the Deacon offer you the chalice and consume the remainder of the Precious Blood. If you prefer not to consume the remaining Precious Blood, offer it to another EM or the Deacon.
Exception – “The Precious Blood may not be reserved, except for giving Communion to someone who is sick. Only sick people who are unable to receive Communion under the form of bread, may receive it under the form of wine alone at the discretion of the priest…” (Norms 54)
Communion by Intinction
Communicants must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to receive the intincted host in the hand. (Redemptionist Sacramentum 104)
If you drop the Consecrated Host, our calm demeanor at this moment can calm and assure an anxious and embarrassed communicant. Pick up the Host and consume it yourself. If you feel uncomfortable consuming it, hold it in the palm of your hand until after Communion is complete and take it directly to the sacristy. Place the Consecrated host in the measuring cup on top of the small refrigerator and fill the cup with water.
After the Host has dissolved in the water dispose of both on the lawn.
If you drop or spill the Precious Blood – DO NOT PANIC! Stop what you are doing. Your demeanor will reassure those communicants in line or, in particular, the person who may have caused the spill. Stop serving and place the purificator over the spill and position yourself over the spill. Have the Captain or another EM notify the Deacon or Priest. They will clean up the spill.
After mass is complete, help with the clean up of the ciboria and chalices used in the mass and set up for the next mass, if applicable.
Go to the credence and take the tray containing the chalices, wine pitcher and finger bowl into the sacristy.
After rinsing all the ciboria and chalices, wash these items and all the other items brought down from the altar in hot soapy water. Use the sink on the left to wash these items. The necessary washing items are under the sink (washing bowl, soap…) or in the sink.
After washing these items, dry them. Towels are under the sink. Holy Spirit does not have a piscina so the water in the finger bowl must be returned to the earth. Take the finger bowl outside and sprinkle it on the lawn.
The purifiers used during communion and the towels used to wipe off priest’s hands during the washing are hung on the door of the cabinet where the clean items are kept.
You may be asked to assist with the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday. If you are assigned to assist in one of the Ash Wednesday services, you should check in at the sacristy and determine from the Celebrant, where you will be located to distribute the ashes and what script you will use: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”, or “Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.” You mark each persons forehead with the sign of the cross with your thumb while saying one of the scripts. Be sure to wash your hands after administering the ashes.
Elevated pulpit with a flight of stairs on each side, from which the Epistles and Gospels were read and sermons preached in the early Church. Later two ambos were used, one for the Epistle reading, the other on the right side of the altar for the Gospel. Generally, now, one ambo or lectern suffices for the entire Liturgy of the Word. (Etym. Greek ambo, an elevation.)
A stiff pocket about twelve inches square in which the folded corporal is carried to and from the altar. Part of a set of vestments, it is made of matching material. It is placed upon the chalice at the beginning and end of Mass and on the altar at Benediction. The leather case containing the pyx, in which the Holy Eucharist is brought to the sick, is called a burse. It is also the name for an endowment or foundation fund especially for scholarships for candidates for the priesthood.
(Etym. Latin bursa, purse or pouch.)
The cup-shaped vessel or goblet used at Mass to contain the Precious Blood. For centuries it was made of precious material; if it was not of gold, the interior of the cup was gold-plated. Since the Second Vatican Council, chalices may be of other materials. A chalice is consecrated with holy chrism by a bishop. Regilding the inside does not destroy the consecration. Sometimes the word chalice designates its contents. (Etym. Latin calix, cup, goblet, drinking vessel, chalice.)
A covered container used to hold the consecrated small Hosts. It is similar to a chalice but covered and larger, used for small Communion hosts of the faithful. It is made of various precious metals, and the interior is commonly gold or goldplated.
Also synonymous with baldachino as the dome-shaped permanent canopy over a high altar, supported by columns and shaped like an inverted cup. (Etym. Latin ciborium; from Greek kib_rion, cup.)
A square white linen cloth on which the Host and Chalice are placed during Mass. When not in use it may be kept in a burse. It is also used under the monstrance at Benediction or under the Blessed Sacrament at any time. (Etym. Latin corporalis, bodily; from corpus, body.)
A small table or shelf in the wall at one side of the altar. On it are usually placed the cruets, basin, and finger towel. The chalice, paten, corporal, and veil used in the Mass may also be placed there until the Offertory of the Mass. (Etym. Latin credere, to believe.)
One of two small bottles or vessels to contain the water and wine used at the Consecration of the Mass. They are presented as offerings of the faithful at the Offertory. The cruets are also used for a priest’s ablution after the Offertory and the ablution of the chalice after Communion.
A victim of sacrifice, and therefore the consecrated Bread of the Eucharist considered as the sacrifice of the Body of Christ. The word is also used of the round wafers used for consecration. (Etym. Latin hostia, sacrificial offering.)
The Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant.
The portico of an ancient church. A vestibule leading to the nave of a church. Late Greek narthēx, from Greek, giant fennel, cane, casket. First Known Use: circa 1673.
A saucer like dish of the same material as the chalice–gold-plated and consecrated by a bishop or his delegate with holy chrism. It must be large enough to cover the chalice. On it rests the bread to be consecrated, and later on the Sacred Host. It was customary to have a sub-deacon hold the paten, covered by the humeral veil, from the Offertory to the Pater Noster in solemn Masses. (Etym. Latin patena, a broad, shallow dish or pan.)
An excavation or basin, provided with a drain directly to the earth, for the disposal of water that has been used for some sacred purpose and is no longer needed. The name is also given to the baptismal font or cistern. A sacrarium, synonymous with piscina, receives the water from the washing of the sacred vessels and linens. It is generally located in the sacristy of a church. (Etym. Latin piscis, fish.)
Originally the senate that, in some early dioceses, assisted a bishop in the administration of his see. Later the term was applied to the part of a church reserved for the Sacrifice of Mass, now called the sanctuary, usually admitting only the clergy for services, except as ministers and in marriage ceremonies. Now occasionally used of the rectory or residence of the clergy.
A small piece of white linen, marked with a cross in the center, used by the priest in the celebration of Mass. It is folded in three layers and used by the priest to purify his fingers and the chalice and paten after Holy Communion.
Any metal box or vessel in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept or carried. The term is more aptly applied to the small round metal case (usually gold-plated) used to carry a few hosts on visitation to the sick but the larger ciborium is also called a pyx. (Etym. Greek puxis, box.)
A room attached to a church, usually near the altar, where the clergy vest for ecclesiastical functions. The sacristy affords storage for sacred vessels, vestments, and other articles needed for liturgical use. The sacrarium is usually located there. (Etym. Latin sacristia, from sacrum, holy, sacred.)
SACRARIUM. See PISCINA.
A cupboard or boxlike receptacle for the exclusive reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. In early Christian times the sacred species was reserved in the home because of possible persecution. Later, dove shaped tabernacles were suspended by chains before the altar. Nowadays tabernacles may be round or rectangular and made of wood, stone, or metal. They are covered with a veil and lined with precious metal or silk, with a corporal beneath the ciboria or other sacred vessels. According to the directive of the Holy See, since the Second Vatican Council, tabernacles are always solid and inviolable and located in the middle of the main altar or on a side altar, but always in a truly prominent place
(Eucharisticum Myserium, May 25, 1967, II C). (Etym. Latin tabernaculum, tent, diminutive of taberna, hut, perhaps from Etruscan.)