Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion questions

Is it ok for an extraordinary minister of holy communion to give themselves the Eucharist or precious blood left over during mass? I’ve been noticing this at my parish and I always thought it was the priest that should do this. :confused:

I am not sure I would categorize what you might be seeing as “giving themselves” the Precious Blood. The priest often asks or requires EMHCs to consume the Precious Blood in their chalice. We no longer have communion under both species, but when we did it was a standing direction of the priest that the EMHCs go into the sacristy and consume the remaining precious blood before bringing the chalices to the altar for purification.

So, I would say it is the priest who has given them the chalice to consume and then return to him or to a deacon or instituted acolyte to purify.

If you are concerned, talk about it with your priest as we have no real way of knowing what it is you are perhaps seeing in your own parish.

Under GIRM 2000, a priest or deacon is now required to purify the vessels (which may be done after Mass), but as for finishing any left over consecrated bread or wine the EMHC may do it themselves or enlist other members of the congregation to help them. You don’t want to have the priest have to drink the equivalent of five glasses of wine in just one morning now, do ya? :slight_smile:

The laity are never to self-communicate (like priests do), i.e. EMHCs must receive communion from the priest.

After Mass, if there is excess Precious Blood remaining, and it is too much for the priest to consume, he can ask EMHCs, or any other clergy or lay people, to help him consume the Precious Blood.

However, this is a very good reason not to offer the laity the Precious Blood, as it is prone to abuse of the Eucharist (mostly unintentional).

God Bless

In what way? I don’t mean the ‘mostly unintentional’ comment. but more generally, how does offering the Precious Blood mean it is prone to abuse of the Eucharist?

The Body of Christ is easily reserved if extra is consecrated.

With the Precious Blood, it can not be reserved, and it is very hard to estimate what volume to consecrate; you can’t know how many people will choose to receive under the second species as well.

That often leads to the issue of lots of Precious Blood remaining that has to be consumed. The Priest can’t drink it all, and usually doesn’t want to delay Mass while it is consumed.

So, Mass ends with a lot of Precious Blood remaining in various chalices. This then needs to be consumed, and the vessels purified. But often sacristans don’t know the proper way to do this.

You can have the Precious Blood being poured from one chalice to another (a sacrilege) or even poured out (a grave sacrilege).

Given the high risk of sacrilege, and the fact that the Body and Blood of Christ is fully present under each species, there seems no good reason to distribute the precious blood to the laity.

God Bless

“Unintentional abuse”? :shrug:
What exactly is that?

To be an “abuse”, there must be intent, if there is no intent, there is no “abuse”.
When did it happen that I can label every little thing I don’t particulally like as an “abuse”?:shrug::rolleyes:
Sorry, but I did not receive that memo!

Our EMHCs are under instruction to consume whatever is left in the chalice they are ministering unless it’s too much and they are driving. Then they can enlist help from others who’ve received Communion. If I’m near the end of the line and there is still a fair bit of the Precious Blood remaining, I’ll consume just a bit more than I would if I were the beginning of the line. That helps cut down on what the EMHC will have to consume.

I don’t know about a memo, but if someone involved in the liturgy (e.g. a priest or EMHC) does something that is contrary to the rubrics for the Mass, it is a liturgical abuse whether they did it knowingly or not. The liturgy has not been celebrated according to the rubrics, so liturgical abuse has occurred.

Doing it unintentionally doesn’t affect the fact of the abuse, only the culpability for it. A trivial analogy would be if I deliberately misspelled a word (for example to cause offense, like calling someone a “womyn” to make fun of her feminism) I would be culpable for that. If I accidentally misspelled a word, there would be no culpability. In either case, however, the word would be misspelled.

The OP’s question here, and it is a legitimate question, is whether the practice being observed is contrary to the rubrics. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that.



Pouring out (into the Sacrarium), or pouring of the Precious Blood from one vessel to another, is an abuse. It’s sacrilege.

I hope these things are done unintentionally, and people don’t know any better.

God Bless

  1. It is not acceptable for extraordinary ministers of holy communion (EMHC) to give themselves the Eucharist or precious blood.

  2. In every situation I know of, the priest gives the cup or ciborium of hosts to the EMHC, he then distributes the body and blood, and finally consumes what remains (if necessary). But note what happened initially, THE PRIEST GAVE THE CUP or CIBORIUM to the EMHC. Instead of immediately consuming the bread or wine, he first distributed some, then consumed. Or consumed some, distributed and consumed some more.

  3. On occasion, an EMHC may give me a chalis of blood to consume. Again; this chalis had been given him by the priest to distribute, I then was given the chalis and I consumed all that remained. I did NOT give it to myself.

Please note: If you receive at a single mass, you only receive one time. Even if it be 2 species (wine and bread), multiple hosts, or multiple times from the same of different cups. It is one reception as you are at one eucharistic feast.

Again, sacrilege has to be deliberately intended as sacrilege to be so.

There is no such thing as unintended sacrilege. If a child vomits after receiving, would you say they had committed sacrilege?

Pouring the Precious Blood into the sacrarium is totally wrong. But how often have you seen that happen? I never have. Doing so as a deliberate denial of the continuing Real Presence could be callled sacrilege, but is more likely to be ignorance. The priest should correct it if it happens.

Pouring the Precious Blood from one vessel to another used to be the practice, I gather, and no longer is. If it still happens, it is ignorance of current instructions or plain disobedience. I don’t see how it could be sacrilege in itself, if it used to be acceptable.

In my parish, we tend to underestimate so that, most of the time, we run out of the precious blood before Communion is over.

It’s not a sacrilege. Please provide a citation for that extraordinary claim.

It’s not uncommon at cathedral liturgies where large number of people are receiving from just a few ministers (because of the one, long central aisle) for the priest distributing from the cup to have their cups replenished from another cup or flagon.

interestingly we attend 2 different parishes because of work schedules…1 always purified at the altar, the other after Mass
a short while ago the Pastor at the parish that purified after Mass announced that they would now do them on the altar as the Holy Father has said it is preferable

I have not read this anywhere myself, but could this have been brought up through discussions with the new translation?

He said that it is the faithful’s duty to obey the Holy Father’s requests to the best of our abilities so he will now do it that way…and they always do

we are lucky, both parishes stress fidelity to both the Holy Father and our Bishop

Excess Precious Blood should NOT be left standing in the chalices until after Mass, but must be consumed before the Post-Communion Prayer, by the priest or deacon, or by lay people if the priest or deacon specifically asks them to do so.

The first stage of purification of the chalices, i.e. adding water to them, swilling it around so it goes up the wall of the chalice, and then drinking the water, should also be done during Mass not afterrwards, and by the same people as above.

The practice of pouring the Precious Blood from one container (usually a flagon) to another (usually a chalice) after consecration ended years ago. I have never, in the 10 or so years I’ve been a EMHC, seen anyone pour the Precious Blood out / down the drain.

The only reason I ask is because I seen an EMHC give themselves a host after everyone was done with communion. After this was the rest of the hosts were taken over to the tabernacle for Fr. to put away after he collected the other 6 cups or so from the EMHC’s. I can understand them drinking the wine, but I didn’t know they were allowed to give themselves a host. They already got communion from the priest before coming down to give to everyone else.

I would say if you don’t know the circumstances…then I wouldn’t judge. It could have been that the host got dropped…and needs to be taken care of or some other explanation that you don’t know.

I think that was a typo, bilop meant to say can’t not “can”.

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