Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
St. Columbkille is always looking to recruit and train new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. If you are interested in this opportunity to serve our parish in this very special manner, then please contact Fr. Chris at 617-782-5774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read below for a full explanation of what your role and responsibilities would be. Fr. Chris is willing to review these details with you and ensure that you are properly trained.
Step-by-step Details for Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion
You will be in the Procession with the priest and other ministers, which means you, the other ministers, and the priest will gather in the back of the church before Mass begins. The priest or the other ministers will inform you of where you ought to be in the procession.
Once the Procession begins, walk slowly and deliberately toward the altar.
If altar server(s) are present, then you will process behind him/her/them. When the procession begins, simply follow them. When you get to the altar, bow slightly, and then walk to your seat, which is on the left side (as you face the altar). Remain standing at your seat until the priest, the other Ministers, and people sit down.
If altar server(s) are not present, then you will lead the procession and carry the cross. Before gathering at the back of the church before Mass, be sure to get the cross, which in the downstairs church is located inside the sacristy closet; in the upstairs church, the cross is located under the arch to the left of the altar. The priest will tell you when to begin the procession. When you get to the altar, do not stop. Walk onto the altar to the left and return the cross to where you found it before Mass. After you retire the cross, go to your seat, which is also on the left side; this is where the Reader and/or other Ministers also sit. Remain standing at your seat until the priest and people sit down. Do everything from here as you normally would until step 3, which occurs during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
At the third incantation of the “Lamb of God” (which is either sung or said depending on the Mass), stand up and walk to the side of the altar. Wait there. The priest (and deacon if there is one) will receive Communion first. Then, the priest will turn toward you to give to you Communion. Receive Communion in the normal way; if you wish, you may receive it under both species (i.e. bread and wine). Thereafter, depending on the Mass,1 the priest, deacon, or minister will give to you either a ciborium (containing Hosts for distribution) or chalice (containing the Precious Blood for distribution); if you are Minister of the Precious Blood, then you will also be given a purificator (white cloth).
The priest, deacon, emcee, and/or another EM will tell you to which Communion station you ought to go. Just follow their instructions. As you go to your place, use care that the Communion does not fall (or splash) out of the ciborium (or chalice).
If you are distributing the Precious Body (bread), then to each and every person who approaches you, (1) take 1 host between your thumb and index finger, (2) elevate it slightly, and (3) say, “The Body of Christ” as you look each person in the eye. Each person will either receive it in their hand or on the lips, and will indicate which by either extending their hands or opening their mouth. When the last person has received, walk back to the altar and place the ciborium on the altar; however, if another minister, emcee, deacon, or priest has distributed Communion beside you, then he/she may ask you to give to them the ciborium. Do this. Then, return to your seat in the congregation. If you yourself bring the ciborium to the altar, then thereafter immediately return to your seat in the congregation.
If you are distributing the Precious Blood (wine), then to each and every person who approaches you, (1) elevate the chalice slightly, (2) say, “The Blood of Christ” as you look each person in the eye, and (3) carefully hand the chalice to the person. After the person consumes his/her share of the Precious Blood, with the purificator wipe the place on the chalice where the person’s lips touched.
When the last person has received, walk back to the altar and place the chalice on the altar. Then, return to your seat in the congregation.
At the end of Communion, during the closing hymn as the priest kisses the altar, you will step out into the center aisle. Face the altar. You, the other ministers, and the priest will together reverence the altar (by bowing to it), turn around, and process out.