Distributing the Eucharist outside of Mass?

Hello! I have a question. I am on a retreat team for a Confirmation retreat for high school students. The leader of the retreat wants the small group leaders to distribute the Eucharist as part of this evening prayer service. Obviously this does not seem right to me, but how do I argue against this?

You can Distribute the Blessed Sacrament Outside of Mass and ideally it should be done by a priest or deacon.

Two candles are lit; The corporal is spread; The Confession (Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti…) is said by all communicating. The priest or deacon picks up a Host and says (Ecce Agnus Dei…) Behold the Lamb of God. The communicants respond I* am not worthy to receive*… The minister distributes the Sacred Hosts. After that the Hosts should be reposed in the tabernacle or consumed. The minister purifies his fingers, folds the corporal and extinguishes the candles.

You can argue by instead arraning for a Priest to say Mass at the retreat or simply having a public Spiritual Communion.

While Communion can be distributed outside of Mass, this idea seems designed to multiply the number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion unnecessarily.

Where is your retreat being held? Is this service to be held in a church? If not, how are you getting access to the Hosts for Communion?

One person giving Communion to the students during the service could be fine; multiple persons giving to a few people each is not something I would consider appropriate at any time.

The only time communion should be distributed outside of Mass is for the sick or if it is in the context of a Sunday Liturgy in the absence of a Priest. A communion service should not be conducted just so that you have communion on a retreat. Also there is a specific ritual for this that must be followed and a deacon or qualified EMHC should conduct this service. I would try to find a priest to celebrate Mass or just have a Word Service without communion or celebrate Morning or Evening Prayer.

I think an Act of spiritual communion would be better.
Here is an example I use:

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

I hope this helps :slight_smile:

I made a Google search. The bishop of Erie (Trautman) provide rite for that, the bishop of Rockville Center forbids that. Here is a relevant article at the EWTN,


it is wrong because tends to wash out the difference between the Mass and the service.

Question: If the sick are entitled to daily communion in every day, and this was practice in the good old times too, then in the parishes without resident priests why the people are discouraged of the daily communion?

you can’t have a communion service without permission of the pastor or priest in charge of the group, and not at all unless there are extraordinary ministers including one delegated, with permission, to bring the Blessed Sacrament, with due reference to the retreat place. There must a be a reverent place for the Sacrament while the group is gathering for the service. It is up to the pastor if he commissions the retreat leaders as ministers for this purposed, but a lay retreat coordinator has no authority to do this on his own. Of much more value will be scheduling retreat activities to accommodate Mass, and hopefully the priest realizes this. Adoration in a holy hour could also be a very valuable part of the retreat if there is a suitable place and suitable reverence for the sacrament before, during and after.

I think without condescending…

Just trust the father,I would imagine he has permission!


Why would it be wrong? It is not forbidden by the Bible. You can have communion anywhere!

Not really. Special care must be taken to assure the protection of the Blessed Sacrament against any type of profranation. This becomes difficult when there is no safe place to keep it.

It says you’re protestant. Are you familiar at all about the Catholic belief of communion?


I convinced them not to do it. phew. To clarify what was going on, it was not going to be a service in a sense. We have small group “families” on the retreat, we were having a small group prayer session to end a night of the retreat. The person in charge said the Eucharist helps “bring everyone closer together.” We are not doing it, praise be to God. We really need more reverence for the Eucharist everywhere…

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