Eucharistic Ministers

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EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS’ GUIDELINES (October 2019) 

Please arrive 20 minutes before Mass in the sacristy, check-in by checking off your name on the list on the bulletin board, and begin preparing the bread, wine, and vessels. Two people can do the set-up. One should check the schedule for other names and get subs for those who do not show up. If Deacon Mike is assisting, the last person on the list should drop off. If you are subbing, let other ministers know and if your name is not on the list, please place it on there.

  1. Check the tabernacle to see the number of blessed sacraments present. (Key is found in the center cabinet. There should be a small bowl with some from the previous masses. If not, look in the Ciborium for any that might be present. This will determine the amount you will put in the large bowl to be brought up during the offertory.
  2. In the sacristy: Get the tray and put the following items on the tray:
    1. 5 Purificators are in a drawer marked as such in upper cabinet to the left
    2. The middle cabinet will contain the bowls, cups, and chalices. Take one of the large chalices and place it on the tray. Take all four cups and place them on the tray as well. Take the two/three bowls and place them on the table in the sanctuary.
    3. Open wine bottles can be found in the cabinet to the right. If there are no open bottles or you need more, the bottles are in the server’s sacristy. You will fill the cups about 2/3 full.
    4. Bread is in the top right-hand drawer or wood cabinet on the floor. Fill the large bowl with the estimated amount of bread needed and place the large host on top. The large host can be found in the metal container in the drawer.
    5. Fill the smallest carafe with water and place it on the tray. This carafe can be found in the same cabinet as the wine, to the right.
    6. Fill small wine carafe, just enough for father and possible Deacon if he is present, and the four cups. (2/3 full) Place the cups and an empty chalice on the tray along with Five purificators (stated above). Put the tray on a small credence table in the sanctuary; Small bowls are also placed on the credence table in the sanctuary but not on the tray. (When the choir is present, additional vessels are needed for Mass.)
    7. Prepare a small water pitcher, bowl and towel and place it on the credence table.
    8. Both Wine Carafe & Large Bowl are to be taken to the back of the church and placed on the table in the center aisle.
    9. Hopefully, you will be able to sit close to the front of the church and at the same time being able to join your family members. If you are seated at the back of church then you will need to begin coming forward as soon as Father takes the host.

10. Come to the altar as soon as Father takes the wine; gather in horse-shoe formation close to the altar—ideally with 3 of you on one side and 4 on the other. 

  1. If the choir is present, two ministers from the choir will gather at the same time to receive communion.
  2. Communion will then be given to you in the hand or tongue and the cup will be offered as well. Those four ministers that receive the cups turn to offer to other ministers and servers, then Father will assign where he wants each of the ministers to go. If the Deacon is present, he will take one of the cups.  Please stand with cups close to the right side wall and left-hand entrance and against the front pews with appropriate space from the host minister. Those with hosts go to two front pews, distributing down the row, and then remain standing about 4 feet from the middle aisle. The remaining host ministers distribute from either side of the altar and then to the front of the altar in the main aisle.
  3. If one runs out of the host, go to Father or from the host minister who is closest.
  4. When you are out of the Precious Blood, simply put the purificators on top of the cup and then place on the tray which is on the credence table. If you have the Blood of Christ left over, please walk up to the credence table and consume it at the side altar. 
  5. After distributing hosts, give remaining hosts to Father at the tabernacle.
  6. Return immediately to pews.
  7. After Mass, take the tray with bowls, cups, and carafe to the sacristy. Wash carafe (no soap), bowls and cups well and dry with the large towels from the bottom drawer of the cabinet. Return bowls and cups to the cabinet. If you are serving at the 8:00 am mass, then you can leave them on the tray for the following mass.

 If you have questions about what to do, ask another minister. 

Taken from the "2010, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God is begun, the Bishop or priest alone, or with the assistance of the deacon, and if necessary of concelebrating priests, breaks the Eucharistic bread. Other empty ciboria or patens are then brought to the altar is this is necessary. The deacon or priest places the consecrated bread in several ciboria or patens, if necessary, as required for the distribution of Holy Communion. If it is not possible to accomplish this distribution in a reasonable time, the celebrant may call upon the assistance of other deacons or concelebrating priests.

If extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are required by pastoral need, they should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion. After the priest has concluded his own Communion, he distributes Communion to the extraordinary ministers, assisted by the deacon, and then hands the sacred vessels to them for distribution of Holy Communion to the people.

All receive Holy Communion in the manner described by the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, whether priest concelebrants (cf. GIRM, nos. 159, 242, 243, 246), deacons (cf. GIRM, nos. 182, 244, 246), or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (cf. GIRM, no. 284). Neither deacons nor lay ministers may ever receive Holy Communion in the manner of a concelebrating priest. The practice of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion waiting to receive Holy Communion until after the distribution of Holy Communion is not in accord with liturgical law. (NDRHC, 39; GIRM, 160).

After all Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have received the Eucharist, the bishop or priest celebrant reverently hands vessels containing the Body or the Blood of the Lord to the deacons or extraordinary ministers who will assist with the distribution of Holy Communion. The deacon may assist the priest in handing the vessels containing the Body and Blood of the Lord to the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. (NDRHC, 40).

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).

If the Eucharistic bread or some particle of it falls, it should be picked up reverently by the minister. The consecrated bread may be consumed or completely dissolved in water before being poured down the sacrarium.

Should there be any mishap, for example, if the consecrated wine is spilled from the chalice, the area should be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium.

In those instances when there remains more consecrated wine than was necessary, if needs dictate, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may consume what remains of the Precious Blood from their cup of distribution with the permission of the diocesan bishop. The sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte. The amount of wine to be consecrated should be carefully measured before the celebration so that none remains afterward. It is strictly forbidden to pour the Precious Blood into the ground or into the sacrarium. (NDRHC, 51-55).

Similarly, "consecrated hosts are to be reserved in a ciborium or vessel in sufficient quantity for the needs of the faithful; they are to be frequently renewed and the old hosts properly consumed" (Code of Canon Law, no. 939). Burying hosts or consecrated Eucharistic bread is strictly forbidden.