Asked to be an Extraordinary Minister


I was approached by our priest today, and he told me that he was going to be training people who want to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. I think he was expecting me to say yes, but then he saw my hesitation and asked me to think about it. I am already a sacristan, liturgy committee member, altar server, reader, and decorating/environment committee member, so I thought that I already do enough, so I should just let other people become EM’s. I don’t really feel like it’s my place to distribute the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Should I think about it some more or just tell him that I am not interested?


Ha ha… are you male? Next he is going to ask you if you ever thought about becoming a deacon. :D.



Your diligence put you in his mind. If you’re not interested. just say you’ll give someone else a chance. He won’t think anything of it.


If you don’t feel called, don’t do it.


Do you not see it as a privilege? You are certainly doing more than your fair share of ministry, both spiritual and pastoral. Could it be that your Priest was acknowledging your commitment to your Church by offering you what I see as the ultimate lay ministry.
God bless you.


I respectfully disagree. I don’t think that there are “ultimate lay ministeries”, every opportunity is an equal chance to serve.

However, you are probably right in guessing that the Priest sees the OP’s commitment and effort and maybe thinks this could be a “go-to” person. And, if someone has enough on their plate, there is absolutely nothing wrong with politely declining.


I know a Catholic woman who was afraid to volunteer to do anything at her new parish. She said, once you agree to one thing they heap a lot of other stuff on you. She was older and not prepared to do a lot of stuff. She just wanted to attend mass.


I agree with the poster that said if you don’t feel called, don’t do it. Unless there is a desperate need for it and you are the only one.
You are doing a lot already.

I have no chance to do anything in my Parish because the same people do everything. They don’t give others a chance!


This is actually very true in a sense. Sometimes I attend a different parish so that I can just be a “person in the pew.” :smiley:


It wouldn’t surprise me. :smiley:


Yes, that is a common expression of concern. My pastor, on the other hand, was hesitant to give permission to an idea I had because he knows I’m already in charge of the music (and play the organ) at one Sunday mass – “Are you sure you don’t already have enough on your plate?” :smiley: He’s a sweetheart and a realist!

To the the OP, I agree that if you don’t want to do this, just politely say no thank you. If it is something you want to do, then maybe cut back on the other ministries in which you are involved.

God bless you!





It sounds like you’re doing a lot already.

I think pastors and other parish leaders get lazy in the sense that they know there are certain people they can always call on and the person will respond. That’s part of how you end up with the same dozen people doing almost everything in the parish.

It’s more work for them but ultimately good for the parish if they reach out a little further and find people who aren’t already involved in many different activities and invite them to participate. That’s how you make the parish grow.


People tend to complain that the same people do everything. This is part of the reason, and the other part is people think “oh, so-and-so does that” and doesn’t realize that “so-and-so” might need a break, and could use some relief! :thumbsup:


I should point out that as a sacristan, you are already an Extraordinary Minister (EM). Also, as a sacristan you should be trained to do everything the other extraordinary ministers do as you may be called to fill in from time to time in one capacity or another. That is the role as a sacristan.

We are responsible for preparing the church for Mass and we fill in when and where as needed. Training to distribute communion is not a bad idea as it certainly fits within the sacristan role.

That being said, as sacristans, we should not be distributing communion (or serving in any other role for that matter) unless absolutely necessary.

In my parish, however, the sacristan (one of us anyway if there are more than one) usually follows (with the communion cup) the EM who distributes to the members in the back of the church who are not able to move around easily or are wheelchair bound, etc.

With respect to taking on more than is necessary, I have seen where parishes place a “term limit” on how long and how often EMs server in one roll or another so that there is always a rotation of new parishioners serving in one ministry or another. In fact, I am thinking of suggesting this at our parish’s liturgy committee meeting. We have people who have been serving for years and are getting worn out.


This is a very good post. I believe that there is a case of this in my parish in regards to my involvement and others as well. It’s not necessarily bad to be really involved in the parish life, but I always feel as if I should pass on certain things and give other people the chance to speak up and get involved. Sometimes people do want to get involved but either don’t know how or are too shy to ask.


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