Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Procedures for Sacred Heart Catholic Church
The following is the information you need to know how to carry out your responsibility as an extraordinary minister of the eucharist.
1. Be familiar with the sacred vessels, vestments, books, and other implements used in this ministry. They should be handled with great reverence.
2. Dress in a manner consistent with the dignity of the service of the altar, as you may be asked to serve at a Mass you are not scheduled for at the last minute. Our Bishop has requested that ministers be particularly aware of their dress as they are visible models of appropriateness to the parish. See the enclosed Diocesan Norms & Guidelines.
3. Arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of Mass or a replacement may be sought. Sign in and greet the people with whom you will be serving.
4. The Center Bread Minister is to make sure the key is in the tabernacle.
5. Know who your sacristan is.
6. Ministers process in with the Presider. They line up behind the altar servers and in front of the reader carrying the Book of the Gospels.
7. Bow at the base of the altar steps with the Presider, and then go to your seat. Please, do not add any extra movement to going or coming from the Sanctuary Platform as it is distracting and tends to draw attention to you.
8. Once Father receives the Body of Christ, approach the altar. Bow, then take your place behind the altar. Father has asked that the Center Bread Minister retrieve a ciborium from the tabernacle as you come to the altar. Facing the congregation, the three breads are lined up from left to right, then those for the cup.
9. Father will then give the Body of Christ to the EM’s, then the Blood of Christ. He will then give you your vessel. If you are a cup minister, please receive the cup from Father along with the purificator before consuming the Precious Blood. The first bread is to give communion to the altar servers. The first Cup will then give the cup to the altar servers.
10. Once all ministers have their vessel, go to your designated area. If there is a person who needs the Eucharist to be brought to them, go to them first before standing at your station. **At the 1030am Mass, there are two extra cups. These ministers are to stand in between the two other cup ministers at the foot of the sanctuary. (This replaces standing up against the front pew. This is too distracting to those kneeling in the first pew and congestion still occurs.)
11. An important principle for ministers of communion is DO NOT RUSH. Allow this moment its full ritual beauty.
12. Bread ministers: be aware of the necessity of breaking your bread if it looks as though you will run out. Father has now begun to keep an extra ciborium in the tabernacle to prevent shortages.
13. You must be able to disregard everything and everyone else in the moment, and look at the person before you with undivided attention. The look should be one of warmth and friendliness. You are greeting a brother or sister in Christ.
14. Speak to the person – not to the air or to the bread or to the cup. Hold up the host or cup and, looking the person in the eye say, “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ.” DO NOT add any words to this, such as “Receive the Body of Christ: or “This is the Body of Christ.” Both of these statements are theologically and ritually incorrect since what you are asking the recipient to respond to is both faith in the Liturgical action, AND a commitment to the reality of becoming the Body of Christ. This is diminished when the focus seems to point to only one of these elements. Wait for the recipient’s response: “Amen.” The meeting will be more personal if hands touch in the act of ministering.
15. Place the host in the outstretched hands or on the tongue of the person – allowing each the opportunity to indicate the manner in which he/she wishes to receive. Hand the cup to the communicant, allowing your hands to touch. When the cup is returned, carefully wipe the rim with the purificator; then raise your eyes to welcome the next communicant. The HOST MUST NEVER BE DIPPED (intin in the Ministers’ Room ction) into the cup.
16. When your line has ended, see if any other stations need your assistance. If not, cup ministers are asked to consume the remaining precious blood before entering the sanctuary. If you feel there is more than you feel comfortable consuming, ask the other ministers to help. After communion, place your vessel on the altar and step back from the altar. One minister is asked to place a cruet of water from the credence table on the altar for Father to purify the vessels.
17. After Father consolidates the remaining consecrated hosts and purifies the vessels, he will hand the ciborium to the Center Bread person who then returns the ciborium to the tabernacle. The remaining ministers turn towards the tabernacle and bow when the minister returning the ciborium to the tabernacle closes the tabernacle door. Center Bread: Take the key out of the tabernacle and return to the altar. All ministers then clear all vessels from the altar and credence table and take them to the work sacristy.
18. All ministers then proceed to the front of the sanctuary platform and bow together as a group before returning to their seats. (The vessels are to be washed following Mass by two cup ministers.)
19. At the end of Mass, and AFTER THE MUSIC HAS ENDED, two cup ministers are to return to the work sacristy to wash the vessels. Place soiled linens in the bag provided on the counter.
20. TWO EM’s (and only EM’s per Father) are to take the collection baskets to the priests’ sacristy and place monies into the bags and seal before placing the bags into the drop slot of the locked cabinet.
21. It is VERY important that, if for any reason you cannot attend the Mass you are scheduled for, that you make arrangements for someone to take your place. If you are unable to find anyone, you must call your sacristan to make other arrangements. You are responsible for covering your assignment. DO NOT assume someone else will take care of it.
22. Remember to pick up new schedules each month in the Ministers’ Room or access them online at Sacredheartgcs.org under Liturgy Office. If you know that you will be out of town for a considerable amount of time, please let me know by the 15th of the month.
Thank you for serving our parish community.
Weekend: Saturday Vigil 5:30pm
Sunday 8:00am, 10:30am and 5:30pm
Weekdays: Monday through Friday 8:00am
Holy Days of Obligation
8:00am and 7:00pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 4:30 to 5:15pm or by apt.
Saturday Vigil 7:30pm (Spanish)