Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion PDF Print E-mail

EMHCAn extraordinary minister of holy Communion is a member of the laity, man or woman, whom the local bishop mandates to extend the ministry of the ordained in the particular task of distributing holy Communion.

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion serve during the liturgy of the Mass by assisting the priest. They can also assist the priest by bringing communion to the sick and homebound.

The Bishop, priest and deacon are the ordinary ministers of holy Communion. Ordinary does not mean "commonplace", but that the priest and deacon are the usual Ministers, by virtue of their ordination, to distribute holy Communion.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also include the following general principles as a guide:

"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."

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are expected to always prayerfully prepare themselves before serving, and arrive no less than 10 to 15 minutes before their scheduled Mass.

USCCB - Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass

USCCB – The Duties and Ministries in the Mass

USCCB Committee on Divine Worship - Formational Materials for the Laity


What qualifications do I need in order to serve as Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion?

Be a Baptized, Confirmed Catholic.

Have a personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Be a registered parishioner.

Complete the Training Course.

Undergo the Mentoring Program.

Be commissioned by the Pastor.

Be committed to serving as scheduled.

Anyone having a desire to serve is encouraged to inquire with one of the priests after Mass, or , call the office at (860) 871-1970, M-F, 9 - 12 noon.