Eucharistic ministry


If, while I’m bringing Holy Communion to elderly Catholic Christians, an elderly non Catholic Christian of perhaps 85-90 years earnestly desires to receive, how should I respond? Ask them to wait until I can summon a priest? Urge them to travel to church to sign up for the fall RCIA program? Or, should I explain that the Eucharist is in fact the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord; not a symbol, and give them Communion?

Please answer.


Well you can’t validly dispense Holy Communion to a non-Catholic. I would just explain, charitably, that the Sacrament should only be received by a Catholic in the state of grace. Then ask your parish priest to pay them a visit, I’m sure he’d be happy to talk to them about it.


A little anecdote about such a situation: My mother had been non-denominational Christian and somewhat anti-Catholic for much of her life. Her opinion softened when I married a Catholic woman and later entered the Church myself. In her final year, she was at an adult family home where the local Priest brought communion each week. After watching for some time, and knowing that she could not receive, at age 88 she told the Priest, “You know Father, I’m going to be Catholic.” Since her baptism was not documented and its validity was unknown, Father agreed to conditionally baptize her after a short period of instruction. She was baptized into the Church and her chronic complaints about life just stopped. The Lord called her home 5 months later. It was a life well ended.


Wow, what a great story!!!


I’d refer them to the priest, kindly explaining that if they aren’t in communion with the church, they shouldn’t receive.



[quote="superamazingman, post:5, topic:291099"]
I'd refer them to the priest, kindly explaining that if they aren't in communion with the church, they shouldn't receive.

Also, not to be snooty or anything, but I just want to point out that the actual name of your role is "Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion." A "Eucharistic Minister" is a priest or bishop (not even a deacon), because they can confect the Eucharist. You only help with holy communion, hence the name. I only point this out because the church has asked us to be careful with these terms. Good day to ya!

Redemptonis Sacramentum:

[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”. Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” [Eucharistic minister] belongs properly to the Priest alone.
[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.

Hope this helps.


Um-the OP did not refer to himself as a Eucharistic Minister. He titled the thread "Eucharistic Ministry, referring to the Ministry he was in, not himself.


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