Deacon distributing communion

Should be an easy question.

If there is a Priest, a Deacon and some extraordinary ministers of holy communion distributing communion under both kinds which species should the deacon be distributing? Please give me the source material. Thank you.

From the G.I.R.M.
182. After the priest’s Communion, the deacon receives Communion under both kinds from the priest himself and then assists the priest in distributing Communion to the people. If Communion is given under both kinds**, the deacon himself administers the chalice to the communicants;** and, when the distribution is completed, he immediately and reverently consumes at the altar all of the Blood of Christ that remains, assisted if necessary by other deacons and priests.

As an EMHC, I don’t think it matters who distributes one particular species or the other. Our Lord is fully present in either. As far as I know there is no certain type of protocol. I am as qualified as the Deacon is in the instance of distributing Holy Communion.

Another source document for what you seek is “Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America” assuming you are in the US.

The relevant section is 26 (bold mine):

  1. By virtue of his sacred ordination, the bishop or priest offers the sacrifice in the person of Christ, the Head of the Church. He receives gifts of bread and wine from the faithful, offers the sacrifice to God, and returns to them the very Body and Blood of Christ, as from the hands of Christ himself. (39) Thus bishops and priests are considered the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion. In addition the deacon who assists the bishop or priest in distributing Communion is an ordinary minister of Holy Communion. When the Eucharist is distributed under both forms, “the deacon ministers the chalice.” (40)

It isn’t a matter of being qualified or of protocol. A deacon is an Ordinary minister of Holy Communion, whose station when Communion is under both kinds, is the Chalice.

I will tell you that at my Parish the Deacon - if present - distributes the eucharist next to the Priest.

Whether right or wrong - I don’t know, but I can tell you, other then on the alter to the EMs I have never seen our Deacon distribute the chalice.

The same goes for when our Seminarian is present

Thanks for that, I guess I have seen that before. My only thought when I saw it was that in that section it seemed to be talking about a situation where there was just a priest and a deacon. I thought that it might change if you add extraordinary ministered of holy communion into the mix.

The deacon is an ordinary minister, he has to facility to distribute either species.

I don’t think it changes anything except the number of each. The Deacon is the ordinary minister of the Cup. He even holds the cup for the doxology. So he would get one chalice and the presiding priest would distribute the hosts while any EMHC would be used, as needed for secondary “stations” of either.

Corki is right. The deacon’s special province is the chalice.

Well, that makes sense. I had never head this question posed before. We are always learning.

I know this is not exactly what you meant, at least I hope not. You are not as “qualified” as the deacon to minister the Eucharist. The ordination makes him an ordinary minister of Holy Communion. An EMHC is just what it says, an “extra” ordinary minister, in other words, needed at times but not ordinarily.

Protocal goes like this: celebrant distributes the Body, deacon “should” distribute the Blood with the celebrant. Many do not, they will take the Body station next to the priest celebrant.

There is reason for this, some will agree some won’t. Both species are not required to be distributed at every mass. The directives on both species is open to some opinion difference. Right or wrong, this is the reality. With that said, if only the Body is required to be distributed to the faithful, and there are two stations, then the priest and deacon would take those two spots. If both kinds were distributed then two ordinary and two EMHC would be used, the priest who believes not both kinds “need” to be distributed would say the first available spot after himself is the Body next to him; therefore two EMHC would take the cups. Either way is appropriate.

I always minister the cup with the celebrant, in my opinion that is where the deacon belongs if both are distributed. But many higher up than me think differenty.

It bothers me though, that so many people believe the the cup is any less important that the Body. Both are fully the Eucharist. I speak mostly of the laity here. Someone on this thread made a distinction between the two as if there was any less importance of the Blood than in the Body. We have some teaching to do!!!

**

quote by Corki
26. By virtue of his sacred ordination, the bishop or priest offers the sacrifice in the person of Christ, the Head of the Church. He receives gifts of bread and wine from the faithful, offers the sacrifice to God, and returns to them the very Body and Blood of Christ, as from the hands of Christ himself. (39) Thus bishops and priests are considered the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion. In addition the deacon who assists the bishop or priest in distributing Communion is an ordinary minister of Holy Communion.** When the Eucharist is distributed under both forms, “the deacon ministers the chalice.”** (40)


Lapey,
The quotes from the documents that have been provided seem to not support your statement that the deacon “should” distribute the blood (when Communion under both kinds are offered). The statements are more direct that it is the duty of the deacon to minister the Precious Blood.

And while I am one of the first to defend the Deacon as the ordinary minister of the Chalice, I have seen another more logistical reason for using the ordained clergy for the Consecrated Hosts and the EMHCs for the cups of Precious Blood. Here in Texas, most notably among the Hispanic communities there is often a fierce determination (for lack of a better phrase) to receive Communion only from the ordained. Using the priest and deacon for the distribution of the Hosts prevents a messy traffic jam in the Communion procession. :slight_smile: I’m not saying it’s right, just that it’s understandable.

It bothers me though, that so many people believe the the cup is any less important that the Body. Both are fully the Eucharist. I speak mostly of the laity here. Someone on this thread made a distinction between the two as if there was any less importance of the Blood than in the Body. We have some teaching to do!!

I just re-read this whole thread and no one has made that disctinction until you did. It has happened elsewhere on CAF but this thread was staying true to the teaching of Christ fully present in either species.

:thumbsup:

Given the fact that the Deacon is an Ordained Minister serving under the Ecclesiastical authority of the Bishop and then the Priest, it seems to me the Deacon’s role in the Church is too often seen as a diminished one in the eyes of the laity.

Yes; the Deacon’s role is one of a humble servant to the Priest.

But too often I’ve witnessed the significance of his Ordained role diminished as if putting him on equal footing with EMHC’s whom should be also at humble service to (“both”).the Priest and the Deacon.

Maybe its just me but because a Deacon is Ordained and as me being a lay person I humbly bow to the significance of the deacon’s ordination.

Peace
Chris

Distributing commuion is strongly encouraged by the the Church under both species, with the prefered method that the precious blood be distrubted by the cup.
The deacon’s has several roles in the mass, to proclaim the gospel and as keeper of the cup. As an ordained minister he has the facility to distribute either the presious body or the prsious blood. If at a mass there is only a preist and deacon, the deacon would distribute the prescious blood.

To the OP: So that you will be able to find this quote more easily. When you click on the link for the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Chapter IV, 1. B Mass with a Deacon

Are you referrring to the preferred method of the Church, or of individual parishes?

If you are referring to the Church, then you would be incorrect.

Sacramentali Communione

  1. For a fitting administration of Communion under both kinds care must be taken that all is done with proper reverence and that the rite outlined in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal nos. 244-251 is observed.
  1. The character of the particular liturgical assembly as well as the age, circumstances, and preparation of the communicants should be considered, then the choice should be made of the way of giving Communion that insures its being done with dignity, devotion, propriety, and the avoidance of the danger of irreverence.
  1. Among the ways of communicating prescribed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, receiving from the chalice itself ranks first. Even so, it is to be chosen only when everything can be carried out in fitting order and with no danger of irreverence toward the blood of Christ.
  1. When they are available, other priests or deacons or even acolytes should be chosen to present the chalice. The method of communicating in which the communicants pass the chalice to one another or go directly to the chalice to take Christ’s blood must be regarded as unacceptable.
  1. Whenever none of the ministers already mentioned is available, if the communicants are few and are to receive Communion under both kinds by drinking directly from the chalice, the priest himself distributes Communion, first under the form of bread, then under the form of wine.
  1. Otherwise the preference should be for the rite of Communion under both kinds by intinction: it is more likely to obviate the practical difficulties and to ensure the reverence due the Sacrament more effectively. Intinction makes access to Communion under both kinds easier and safer for the faithful of all ages and conditions; at the same time it preserves the truth present in the more complete sign.

From your own quote see #3 & 4
3) Among the ways of communicating prescribed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, receiving from the chalice itself ranks first. Even so, it is to be chosen only when everything can be carried out in fitting order and with no danger of irreverence toward the blood of Christ.

  1. When they are available, other priests or deacons or even acolytes should be chosen to present the chalice. The method of communicating in which the communicants pass the chalice to one another or go directly to the chalice to take Christ’s blood must be regarded as unacceptable.

This is a little of subject but the only part I would disagree with is humble service to the priest. The Deacon’s call is to the word, liturgy and to charity. His humble service is not directly to the priest but to God and his people. Although a priest may be his supervisor, he is a minister directly to his ordinary.
In a mass he is by canon to distribute the eucharist. THe EMHC should undersatand that they have a role only when there is that necessity and when there are no other ordinary ministers.

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