Eucharistic Ministers make the communion rite take place in a timely fashion. This is not a matter of efficiency, but recognition that its meaning cannot be separated from our experience of it in the ritual. When “going to communion” takes a long time, and we are not sharing a meal with our brothers and sisters, then the communion rite loses its association with the Eucharistic prayer and the breaking of the bread. The number of Eucharistic ministers is based on the number of communicants at Mass.
- Assist the presider in distributing Eucharist at Mass. The minister looks each person in the eye and says, without rushing, “The Body of Christ,” “The Blood of Christ.” Each person has time to respond, “Amen.” The minister, again without hurrying, then places the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue and gives over the Blood of Christ.
- Find your own replacement if you are unable to serve when scheduled.
- Offer to minister on Holy Days and other special feasts.
- Offer to minister even when you are not scheduled.
- Extraordinary ministers are also used in order that the sick or homebound may receive communion with the frequency recommended in the revised rite for the "Pastoral Care of the Sick." Any person who regularly takes communion to the sick is to be trained and commissioned. An individual may be commissioned for only this aspect of the ministry or may perform this service within the eucharistic assembly. To establish the connection between the Sunday assembly and the homebound and sick of the parish, extraordinary ministers ideally are sent from the Sunday celebration of the eucharist to take communion to them.