EMHCs at weekday masses


I’ve been going to weekday masses with no more than 40 people in attendance. Along with the priest here are 2 EMHCs at these masses handing out communion. What is the point of this? The GIRM states that EMHCs are there to assist in the distribution in a reverent and orderly manner when the size of the congregation calls for it. For this they are necessary on Sundays, vigils and obligation days but not on sparsely attended weekdays.

From The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

"In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner. Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. (1) When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons. If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, “the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (GIRM 162).”

“When recourse is had to Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, especially in the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds, their number should not be increased beyond what is required for the orderly and reverent distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord.”



You’d really have to ask the priest why he has EMHCs at those Masses.


Completely the priest’s call. He determines when it’s necessary.


So you are saying the quotes and links I posted are worthless?


Why ask the priest? Common sense is enough to determine they are not needed for weekday masses I attend.


Your comments aren’t worthless at all! But you would need to ask the priest at the mass you are attending why there are EMHC at those weekday masses. We cannot possibly answer your question, “What is the point of this?” And you cannot possibly bring about change by asking us.

Talk with your pastor. :+1:t4:


Well, as the GIRM does not post any objective metrics as to EMHC, who else should decide?


No. I’m saying the person who gets to determine when those numbers warrant EMHCs is the priest. So you should ask him.


Well, since you are the only one in your parish with common sense, you should talk with the priest so as to educate him I guess. :roll_eyes:


Gertabelle is spot on. We cannot possible answer your question. Please talk to your pastor and relate your questions and concerns. Then, unless he is doing something intentionally heretical or illicit, accept his answer.
I’ve been at daily masses where the EMHC has been the only one distributing communion. Of course the pastor had a brace on his knee.


You don’t mention if communion is given under both forms. If it is, extraordinary ministers are absolutely needed. If not, it’s up to the judgment of the priest.


The wine is not offered to the congregation.


I wasn’t asking why this particular priest does this. It was a rhetorical question. Having a priest and two EMHCs distributing communion with less than forty people in the pews seemed in conflict with what I read on the linked website.


I would likely agree that there is a conflict here. But complaining about it here brings about no good change. So other than a solid venting of frustration, what is to be gained by complaining?

Incidentally, the parish closest to me always has EMHCs at daily mass. The parish I regularly attend never has them at daily mass. There is a difference across the board between these two parishes with how mass is celebrated… which is why I attend a parish that is farther away from home.


It’s actually not wine but the Precious Blood

(sorry a pet peeve)


Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?


I can’t recall ever seeing EMHCs at daily masses unless it genuinely is a large crowd. Just strikes me as very odd. Two or three ministers for 40 people? Communion must take about 30 seconds :P.


The information on the USCCB website is guidance, but the actual rubrics/laws concerning this, while not much different, are worded just differently enough I believe that it gives total discretion to the priest about when and how many EMHCs to use.


I don’t see numbers on your quote?


The priest may be elderly, or have bad knees or might be exhausted due to health problems or other reasons.

There are plenty of reasons why a priest might want to do this.

But the real question I think is do you have a big concern about this? If so, why? Do you have doubts about the EMHC’s hygiene practices?

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