Extraordinary Minister Rules Of Conduct

I have a question. I am a middle-aged Catholic man with a Catholic family. We are active in the church and attend regularly. I was “taught” that when I receive communion in my hand that I am to hold my left palm upward, right hand beneath " like a throne" to receive Jesus. Further, I am to keep my eyes fixed on the Eucharist as I respond “Amen”. As I was doing this in Mass today, I was surprised that the Extraordinary Minister did not place the host in my hand. When I looked up at her it was as if I she was requiring me to look at HER, instead. When I finally did this she placed the body into my palm.

I don’t think I’m overeacting. It was clear that time lapsed. She was not goinng to give me communion until I looked at HER. Is this correct? Is this a change? It was kind of embarassing.

I follow the Pope and Magisterium and would not post this if I didn’t want to know more. Is there someplace I can go to find out. All I found dealt with non-Catholics receiving communion. Any information is appreciated.

Who knows what she was thinking or why she did this. If it’s something that continues to happen to you, you can politely discuss it with the pastor of the church.

Did she hold up the host in front of her face. Perhaps she wanted you to look at the host, not at her. We were taught to hold it up before placing it in the person’s hand or mouth. We hold it up, say “the Body of Christ,” and then when the person says “Amen” we put it in their hand or mouth.

I’m Anglican and so I can’t say if its right/wrong for you guys but know many who receive communion as such some with their eyes closed… I know because have accidently seen on the altar. But I know I receive wafer from the priest direct to mouth as such and whilst I don’t smile as such etc I automatically look at his face out of human reassuranceness I guess. I don’t think there is a right or wrong though. With our Chalice Bearers one o them does smile afterwards.

Was you in a different church or was she a visitor? Either way she may have just wanted to know that you knew what you were doing as such or just like that ‘contact’ first with people and if you not used to her then it may feel odd if you been taught otherwise. But not wrong I would have said

It is more than obvious that the entire issue of ELEM is in disarray. Will the Bishops declare that there be more substantial training required before lay-persons are permitted to distribute communion? Surely the faithfull should have no concern as to who, how, they are receiving the sacrament, yet, some of the performances entered into by some lay people in the distribution of the sacred species is odd, particularly when they deem they have the requirement to add and or subtract from the offering, ie Jim this is the body etc, or blessing a non-receipient by laying on hands, bending on knee for children, this is a quite unacceptable practice.

It is our home parish for 15 years. She has been there and is not new. I see your point, I suppose. Just wondering what they are taught.

You could go to www.usccb.org (US Bishops internet site) and search the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) for receiving the Holy Eucharist.

I don’t recall seeing something that specific about eye contact, but I realize I do look the priest (or EMHC) in the eyes when he (or EMHC) says, “The Body (Blood) of Christ”. I believe that this is the way we indicate our understanding of the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t ever recall where the priest did not look me in the eyes when he spoke those words, but I can think of several times when the EMHC did not. I think the training of EMHC’s is all over the map, sadly, so you may anticipate differences one from another. Don’t be offended if the EMHC was trying to follow what he/she has been taught.

True Pilgrim:

She was wrong. You were right. Please discuss this with your pastor.

I understand that, too. I have been receiving communion this way for years, so this was the first time this happened. I belived that we are to, out of reverence, fix our gaze on the host. To stop, look up, and make a social connection seems to diminish this very special moment.

I will get over it. I wanted to know if this was “trained into” extraordinary ministers - to get a “visual acknoledgement” that was over and above my verbal “Amen”.

I am not trying to be petty or difficult. I’m just trying to keep up.

Thank you. That’s interesting. I gues I could ask another EMHC at my church - but no thers have required this of me before. Thanks for the tip on the GIRM.

A communicant is not entitled to be impatient. She did not require you to look at her; you surmised that. She may have just wanted to be sure that you were ready. After all, it would be wrong to place a host in someone’s hands when they were not expecting it, lest the host be accidentally dropped.

A EMHC cannot deny Holy Communion to someone who will not make eye contact, but when the EMHC says, “The Body of Christ”, it will also not hurt you to make the small act of charity of returning eye contact when you say, “Amen”.

Re-examine your attitude, and be quicker to “love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” (Rom 12:10)

Having said that, when I serve as a EMHC, I raise the host such that the communicant cannot look at me without the host commanding their eye contact instead…that is, I hold the host between our eyes or slightly higher, and fix my eyes on the host. I was not taught that; it just seems the way to do it.

Has anyone even considered that she may have been momentarily distracted for some reason? One single occurrence, with one person, hardly means “the entire issue of ELEM is in disarray,” or even that she should be reported to the pastor.

I guess in some regards, this is an answer I was also looking for - that perhaps she was introducing something that isn’t taught. I consider it really the height of my being at the moment I say AMEN and consume the host. To have to “greet” the minister in the middle of this seemed, well, like it violated or intruded into this special moment.

I’m really not trying to be weenie about this. Does anybody else feel this way when they receive communion?

Yes…if the last communicant had not consumed the host immediately upon receiving it in the hand, she could have been watching that last communicant walk away, making certain that the communicant had indeed consumed the host.

Also, some communicants are hard of hearing. If you don’t make eye contact and you don’t hear them respond “Amen”, how do you know they are ready to receive?

Though when I say I look I am looking at his face rather than his eyes as such but not out of whatever been taught not taught. I would find looking into eyes too unsettling any time…

It may have been just a hitch for her. Have you received the wafer before from her then since shes not new etc… ???

Well, yes, we’re not talking about an eye lock. That makes many people uncomfortable, particularly when it is a man having a woman not his wife look directly into his eyes for too long. There can be a “come hither” feeling to it that would feel very inappropriate anywhere at any time, let alone at the moment of receiving Holy Communion.

I didn’t mean any harsh words about this, really. In the end, if this is a norm or requirement that, after 55 years I am just now exposed to - then I will fall in line without a doubt. I just wanted to know if it was a norm or if others have experienced it. Extraordinary Ministers have my full respect and honor - Mass would be so long and drawn out without them!! (we have 4500 families). I did’nt mean any disunity at all.

sorry, and off track slighly but it does worry me
I hate that especially when been only one at the service sometimes so he’s given half a chunk of his I think and taken what feels like ages to get through and it gets stuck etc into the bargin. Adding to the stress of it all. Too much emphasis for me on finishing the wafer first and often don’t get through it in time…though he did wait that one time it was getting stuck. He had to but I was getting embarrased in myself…

EMHC is that a modernized version of the correct title ELEM?


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