Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Welcome to this 1-to-1 ministry, in which you share the Body and Blood of Christ with your fellow parishioners. With prayerful reflection before Mass, this special ministry lets you greet each person and share the Body or Blood of Christ. It is an exchange of faith!
Before Mass Begins
Gather by the baptismal font before Mass. Use this time to greet people as they arrive for Mass.
The order of the procession is: altar servers and MC, Eucharistic Ministers (EMs), lectors, priest. If there are baptisms or others processing in, those people process behind you. Once you arrive in front of the altar, divide to both sides (about half to each side). When the priest has processed up, reverence (bow to) the altar with the priest. Return to your place in the assembly.
During the Sign of Peace
To ensure that you are at the altar for communion, please share the Sign of Peace with a few people close to you and then come to the altar. Be sure to reverence the altar before you start up the steps.
When you get to the sanctuary (the altar area), go to the credence table or pew on the west side and use the hand sanitizer to wash your hands. (The credence table is next to the door that leads into the sacristy.)
Starting at the altar, the four ministers of the cup stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the west-side. The three EMs of the Body of Christ stand on the east-side. The low-gluten EM stands with them, but is closest to the tabernacle. There should be a total of 9 people distributing communion, including the priest/s.
If you’re not scheduled, please count to be sure there are enough EMs.
The Altar Servers will go down the steps and receive communion first in line and then return to the sanctuary.
How Eucharistic Ministers Receive Communion
The priest distributes the Body of Christ to the EMs, moving clockwise starting with the EM on the west-side of the Altar. After all the EMs have received the Body of Christ, the priest gives the cup to the furthest two EMs on the west-side. Those EMs then share the cup with the EMs for the Body of Christ –starting at each end and moving to the middle. The priest gives the remaining cups and bowls to the remaining EMs.
For visiting priests
Please be flexible to whatever process they observe.
Going to the Assembly for Communion
Please wait for the priest to lead the way down the steps; follow him and take your station (except for the EMs at 8.30am who go up to the choir).
As you go down the steps to distribute communion to the assembly, hold your hand over the communion bowl, or place the purificator over the cup, to minimize any chance of spilling the contents. The exception is if you are holding the railing!
The EM with the hosts and the EM with the cup who will both be stationed closest to the east-side door should first see if there are any disabled communicants, or those who can’t come forward in the normal communion line. Those EMs should bring communion to them, before taking their normal places for distributing communion.
Communion for the Choirs at Saturday 5pm and Sunday 10:30am Masses
When distributing communion to the assembly, please allow room for the choir as well as room for you. The 4 EMs closest to the choir, and the minister with the low-gluten hosts, should offer communion to them once the assembly has finished receiving.
The host and cup ministers closest to the altar bring communion up to the choir loft, and can go to them once they have the hosts and the cup. To get to the loft, walk down the center aisle. When you return, walk down the aisle on the west-side (the Mary altar-side). You will distribute communion on that side.
Underlined are for 8:30 EMs who return after sharing with the choir
Distributing the Body of Christ
Making eye contact with the communicant, lift the host and say “The Body of Christ”. Pause for them to say “Amen”. Place the host reverently into their hands or on their tongue, depending on how they desire to receive. If you are running low on hosts, before you run out, capture the MC’s attention so that the ciborium can be brought to you and your bowl can be refilled. You may also go to another EM and ask for more hosts.
Distributing the Blood of Christ
Make eye contact, lift the cup and say “The Blood of Christ”. Pause for the “Amen” response. Offer them the cup to drink. When the cup is given back to you, WIPE THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE CUP with your purificator. Make a 1/4 turn of the cup so the next person doesn’t drink from the same area. If you run out of the Precious Blood, go to the credence table and place your empty cup on it, then return to your pew.
If someone comes forward who is not receiving communion (such as a child or person in RCIA), they can receive a blessing. Examples are:
1. Lay your hand on the person’s head or shoulder and say a short silent prayer.
2. Make the sign of the cross on their head.
3. Lay your hand on the person’s head or shoulder and say “May God’s grace be with you” or something similar.
Be sure to bless a child before giving communion to the parent.
After Communion Ends
For the EMs with the hosts, return to the altar and give your bowl to the priest, who will place your remaining hosts into the Ciborium.
For the EMs with the Cup, go to the credence table. If there is any of the Precious Blood left in your cup, please drink it if you can or ask another Minister to help.
If you are not comfortable for any reason, you are NOT obligated to drink the remaining Blood of Christ. Please ask another EM, the MC, or the priest to finish it for you. No cup should be left with the Precious Blood still remaining.
Once you have returned your bowl or cup, walk down the steps and then turn and reverence the Altar before returning to your pew.
When the priest says, “The Mass is ended . . .”, please go to the front of the church so you can process out. Reverence the altar with the priest and then follow the Altar Servers and MC down the center aisle.
After Mass is over, EMs need to wash the communion bowls and cups, as well as any other items that were used at Mass. Please be sure the priest has finished the purification before you start washing the cups.
Washing the cups, bowls and pitchers
1. Rinse out all of the cups, bowls and pitchers, and pour the water down the specially marked sink that says SACRARIUM (the sink on the left).
2. Once rinsed, all the items may be washed in the right-side sink with soapy water.
3. Dry all items.
4. The sacristan will prepare everything for the next Mass, or will put it away if it is the last Mass! Thank You!!!!
Prayer for Eucharistic Ministers
O God who sates our hunger and quenches our thirst,
thank you for calling me to serve You and Your people.
Help me to be worthy to serve you.
Fill me with your Spirit,
that I may nourish Your people with Your Body and Blood.
I ask this through Christ Jesus, the Bread of Life.
Reverencing the Altar and Tabernacle
Before and after Mass it is proper to genuflect to the tabernacle, and bow to the altar. But since they are so close to each other, simply make the one genuflection; no need to also bow.
Walking through the Sanctuary and Altar Area
Please try not to walk through the altar area before and after Mass. If at all possible, please use the side hallway (where the side bathroom is) that leads into the sacristy.
Thanks for all that you do here at Holy Rosary!