I will only receive Holy Communion from a deacon or priest. Never a Eucharistic layman.

Is this wrong?


It’s not wrong, but consider this-
I work in a nursing home. We do not have a priest who comes on a regular basis. We do, however, have a very dedicated group of lay people who see to it that Communion is offered to our residents on a regular basis. We can get a priest, if need be, but somewhat regular Communion would be an impossibility without these lay volunteers.

This may not be a consideration of yours now, but trust me, at some point in your life, it may be the only way you can receive.


My church has one very dynamic and hard-working priest and about 40 Eucharistic Laymen. The priest has the help of a brilliant lady who works as the parish secretary and who organises all the rotas with great efficiency, as my town has a very large population of elderly and house-bound people. It would be absolutely impossible for the priest to meet the needs of all the people on his own!

There are also volunteers who prepare and distribute food every day to help the growing number of homeless people in the town - this is done from the parish house. I think it’s wonderful to have so many committed and selfless people who give their time to support the community in so many ways.


I consider it a privilege to receive from consecrated hands and typically position myself to do so (without changing lanes!). And when I receive from my lay brothers and sisters (I’m also an EMHC), I am grateful for their ministry. So, to the OP, I guess if you are “wrong” it depends on the state of your heart while receiving – is it preference or obstinance on your part; respect or arrogance? You are the only one who can answer that.


For your information there is no such thing as a Eucharistic layman. The priest is the Eucharistic Minister and the lay people are EMHC’s (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion).

To answer your question you are not obliged to receive from an EMHC.


While it certainly is not traditional for laymen to give the Eucharist, Christ is still Christ and I would rather receive from a layman than not at all. :wink:

We live in an instant gratification society where most people cannot stand having to wait for things. Originally, everyone had to wait their turn. Now, laymen give out the Eucharist so that people don’t have to wait as long. :shrug:

In the Byzantine Catholic parishes, it is still only bishops, priests, and deacons are allowed to give the Eucharist. At my parish, if the deacon has the flu, we wait twice as long for Communion to be distributed (and I would not change it for the world). :smiley:


Well…this is sort of off topic, in a way.

A couple years ago my wife spent a few days in the hospital. While I was there with her, an elderly man, an EMHC, came to her room unannounced and asked if she’d like to receive Communion. She said yes.

By the time he left tears were streaming down her face. She wept as she told me she hoped her grandmother, who had been bedridden in a full-care facility in the last years of her life, had had regular opportunities to receive.


It really depends on why you do that. If it’s just your preference, that’s fine, you have that right. On the other hand, if you’re saying that EMHC are not valid, that’s different, because you’d be saying that the Church allows something that’s wrong.

So, as others have said, it depends on you.


I have a question I hope others can help me with. I am a Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I distributed the Most Precious a Blood to our parishioners and as requested by our pastor, I consumed what was left. I had someone tell me that I should NOT have consumed it (standing off to the side) of the altar. I am very upset by this comment as I was told by my pastor to consume it but he did not specify where. I thought I was doing the right thing at the correct place.please help if you can!


Donna. follow your pastor’s instructions.

In my parish the EMHCs empty the chalices, too, as we use four chalices and the priest says it would seriously affect him to consume so much, particularly if he is having to say more than one Mass back to back.

It’s not possible for any sacristan to gauge how much wine to put in the chalices to the teaspoonful. Sometimes we almost run out, other times there is an inch or so remaining.

Your job is to do what the pastor says, take no notice of anyone else.


No, your job is to do what the pastor says as long as he isn’t asking you to violate Church Law or the Rubrics of the Mass. We are not nondenominational Protestants. We have higher authorities than the local pastor and if we know father is doing something he shouldn’t be we ought to (after addressing it with him in a very cordial manner) seek resolution from our Bishop.


I’ve seen EMCHs toss back the Precious Blood like they were downing a shot of whiskey as they were walking back to the credence table or the altar. That is totally unacceptable. But reverently consuming the remaining Precious Blood by the altar and placing the Chalice on the corporal for the priest to purify it is perfectly OK.


If by this, you mean that you always make sure to get in the line served y the priest or deacon, I do not see a problem with it.
If it means you actually do not receive communion at times for the sole reason to avoid receiving from an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, I think it is, at the least, questionable.
There are legitimate reasons for the use of EMHC, they are allowed by church law. Now, everyone has their own interpretations of these rules, and I will admit to being personally opposed to many of the very “loose” interpretations used, never the less, I think a “boycott” of communion is the wrong solution.


As others have said, it depends on your reason. It’s still the Body and Blood of Christ no matter who is administering it. If it makes you feel special because you received the Body from the priest or deacon, are you disappointed when you receive the Blood from an Extraordinary Minister? What would you do if there was no priest or deacon? There was an elderly chaplain who would visit our parish and because of his age he would sit down during Holy Communion and let the Extraordinary Ministers administer the Eucharist. Of course you may not know he was going to do that until you are at that point in the Mass, and I hope you don’t walk out of Mass just because you can’t receive Holy Communion from a priest or deacon. I think it’s wrong to speak in absolutes. You may prefer to receive it from the ordained, but there may come a situation when you can’t.

That would be amazing to have every parish have an army of priests and deacons for every Mass. Unfortunately, not every place has such a luxury. I hear down in Mexico some priests give 10 Masses every Sunday. And without enough assisting priests and deacons Mass would take forever.

That’s what it feels like when I have to consume what’s left over in my chalice. We joke about how the other parishioners think we must like serving so we can get a little tipsy. Usually we try to ask the Hospitality Ministers to consume the last of it because they are the last to receive Holy Communion at our parish, or whoever is last to receive if there isn’t too much left. Or we ask the other Extraordinary Ministers who have already gone back to their seats (we’re required to sit together in the front). If those options are not available then I go to the credence table and consume the last of the Blood. I consume it over the credence in case I were to spill some.


I can promise you if you bring this to the diocesan bishop as a “violation of Church law” he will chase you out and back to your pastor whom he entrust with these type issues.

If you want to follow the rubrics and liturgical law to the fullest, I would leave Mass every time “high” on the Sacred species of wine; the Precious Blood of Christ.

The rubrics for Mass with a deacon in the GIRM state that the remaining Precious Blood is to be consumed by the Deacon at the Altar. Where there are four or more cups there can be quite a bit left, it would not be prudent for one person or even two alone, the deacon and the priest, to consume all of the Sacred Species. If there is only a small amount and only one, two or three chalices, that would be different. I have served at a monastery where one person consumes all of the remaining PB, except when I am there, I will always help, as is my duty as the deacon of the Mass.

The way it should be taught for the EMHC is to reverently move from the spot of distribution, either to the main altar or the credence table; and there reverently consume the precious Blood. They may also be instructed to consume the remaining PB at the spot where they are serving as soon as all communicants have been served.

The best way in my opinion is to remain standing in your spot until all people have been communicated then before moving consume the remaining PB then bring the vessels back to the altar or credence table. The key thing to remember is to lessen the danger of profanation, so consuming while moving should never happen.

But in all cases, do it as your pastor says to do it unless there is reason to suspect profanation of the Sacred Species. Poring excess down into the sacrarium is profanation, what is described here is not.


We only have one priest and one deacon. :shrug: I don’t know were I gave the impression of an army. :smiley: We just wait a long while for the distribution of the Eucharist. :wink:


This would be the most desirable, but unfortunately in these days of 86 EMHC at every Mass, it would be a logistical nightmare. We have a credence table off to the back of the altar out of sight of the people that we instruct our EMHC to go to then after Mass, at the request of our bishop, the vessels are purified by me or an acolyte.


I’m lucky, we only have 2 EMCHs in our parish at the Sunday Mass and they are both ministers of the Cup. We only have 1 at the Saturday evening Mass.

While this is a change that has come about in the last 3 years or so, the only time we have an EMHC help with the distribution of the Hosts is at the Christmas Eve Family Mass where it is standing room only and the priest has to leave immediately after Mass to travel to another community, 45 minutes away.

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