Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Commmuion

IMG_2648St. Augustine Parish is grateful for those who serve Christ and His Church as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.  As Bishop Tobin has stated, Your dedication helps to extend the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to those who most need Him.In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner. Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. 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., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (GIRM 162).”

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. In all matters they should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America, NDRHC, no. 28).  All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine. (NDRHC, 29).  In November of 2009, the Diocese of Providence issued new guidelines relative to extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.  The guidelines state that extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must be Roman Catholics whose qualities of Christian life, faith and morals recommend them; fully initiated Catholics who have received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist; be at least 16 years old; if married, be in a wedding bond that is recognized (valid) in the Roman Catholic Church; and be regular participants in the sacramental life of the church.

Click here to read more about the new guidelines.