Asked to be Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion


I could really use some words of encouragement and prayers. My husband and I have been asked by our pastor to be Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. This is a great honor for us but to tell you the truth, I’m scared to death! I will be entrusted to hold/handle our Lord’s body or precious blood and thinking about it has me completely wigged out (for lack of a better term)!

A little background on us. My husband is a cradle Catholic and I have been attending RCIA for the last 18 months or so. My husband finally received a decree of nulity for his previous marriage and later this month I will be baptised, confirmed, married in the church and receive first communion. We, obviously, cannot begin our ministry until all this occurs.

I have been longing for quite some time to be in full communion with the Church, but now am completely stressed out about the whole thing. I’ve even had some doubts creep into my mind. Do you think I could be under “attack” because I am so close to receiving the sacraments? :shrug:

I pray every day asking for the courage/strength to get through this. Your thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated. :gopray2:


my advice is one thing at a time, and ask the priest for time to reconsider his request after Easter, and after the mystagogy periode (which should be no less than until Pentecost). focus on the immediate work of preparing for Easter. and yes since especially in Lent that involves repentence, contrition and penance you will very likely be under attack, and good directors and catechists will be giving you weapons to fight it, namely the scrutinies and penitential rites, minor exorcisms, and the presentation of the Creed and Our Father. You will not be weaponless in the battle. These also reinforce what you should already know that the entire Church is praying for you and supporting you at this time.

part of what you are feelings is the natural “let-down” from the long stress of working through the annulment. Once your marriage is convalidated you will also have that grace – and it is immense – working for you as well.

Welcome home!


Ah I am so happy for you coming so close to having access to the Sacraments! :slight_smile: Oh blessed day!

The angels rejoicing! The bells ringing!

In regards to becoming an ECM…

I would say to simply say no.

It’s too soon.



^What Shin said! Nice to meet you, Sister! :heart:


:slight_smile: Puzzleannie and Shin - thank you both for your quick replies. I think maybe asking our pastor to wait is a good idea.

Annie - you are right in that the annulment process was long and difficult. Because it was such a long time, I don’t have to wait until Easter. I will receive the sacraments and we’ll be married later this month. Our pastor wants to get us involved as soon as possible and invited us to become EMHCs. I really do want to get involved in my parish.

I guess I’m just a bit overwhelmed (excited,too) right now. I’m praying that the grace I will receive through the sacraments will help me get through this.

Thanks again and have a great day.



St Thomas Aquinas talks about this in his Summa Theologica

“The dispensing of Christ’s body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because, as was said above (A[1]), he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ’s body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.”

To many people is NOT an urgency!. :thumbsup:


Perhaps if you think it is too soon to be EMHC’s, you could start getting involved by being hospitality ministers (or whatever your parish calls the greeters, ushers, etc)?


Puzzleannie, took the words out of my keyboard.

One step at a time.



Before you say yes research exactly what an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is and when to be used.


Thank you all for your replies. I’m feeling much better now…not nearly as stressed. My husband feels that I will be fine once I receive the sacraments and the inital “excitement” is over.

Buffalo - It’s my understanding that the time taken for the distribution of Holy Communion should not exceed the length of the Mass itself. My parish has over 8400 members and we only have 2 priests and 1 deacon. So needless to say, we need to use EMHC. Thank you for your reply.

I’m finally coming home the 21st of this month. :extrahappy:


So you want to take away your Priests duty. Did you read what St Thomas Aquinas said about lay people giving out communion. It is the job of the priest, unless an urgency!. Time is NOT an urgency. Then people will just have to stay longer for Mass. I highly doubt that 8400 people attend Mass at once. There are better ways to serve your parish.


Stop badgering the OP.

The Catholic Church allows for the use of extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion. The decision as to whether they are needed or not, is left up to the Bishops and the priest that serve under him.

It is not your place to tell EMHC’s, that they should not be serving in this capacity.



relax, take a deep breath and you’ll be fine!!! I will pray for you, because I know you will do well.


One of the many reasons the mystery is lost in the OF Mass.


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