Communion Service.

This morning I wanted to go to Mass but was disappointed when the priest didn’t appear but nor did the deacon.

It was a Communion Service done by a layman and afterwards he set up Exposition or benediction, I left as the Monstrance was placed on the altar.

I didn’t realise laypeople could do this.

So what are laypeople allowed to do when no priest is around?


Lay people, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, can lead a Communion Service for a large group just as they can do a simpler service when bringing communion to the home-bound. They can also set up Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and also Repose the Blessed Sacrament. They can not do a Benediction, a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.

It depends. In my diocese, some lay people are allowed by their Pastors to lead a Communion Service if there is no priest available. It is not supposed to “take the place” of a daily Mass, but to be used only in unusual circumstances.

In the US, there is a specific formula we follow and each Bishop can decide if/how Communion Services will be held.

I don’t know what the situation is in the UK re whether the Bishops decide - I’d imagine so. but there is certainly an order of service for Communion services in the UK.

You must remember, they are not consecrating anything,
They are simply making Eucharist available to receive and Adore.
There are guidelines. Don’t you believe in your pastor’s ability to make decision for his flock?
Would you rather the doors be locked and turned away? Take your blessings where you can find them.
Be at peace.

Well stated.


I think it will become more common as Priests retire and there aren’t replacements.

When the priests are on retreat in my area, that is when we have a communion service. Either a deacon or a lay person can do it and it is very reverent. I am blessed to be able to receive the Eucharist on those days. Consecrated hosts are available for us.

So a layperson who isn’t a Eucharistic Minister cannot perform this service?

I would assume a layperson would not,unless the person is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist as they would be distributing the Eucharist.

Again, it all depends on the Pastor and/or the Bishop.

I am a trained EMHC but I do not fulfill that role at Mass with any regularity.
I have, however, led many Communion Services in my nursing home ministry.

If you have concerns about something that happened at your parish the best thing to do is talk to your Pastor.

In my parish anyone who is properly prepared may lead the service but an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion does the Communion Rite. I’ve lead the service but always with an EMHC.

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