Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?

I was asked by my priest to be an EMHC. I’m confused because I’ve been doing some research and it seems that the role is being overused/ abused and I don’t want to be disobedient to the Church.

You should be able to tell if more people are needed by just observing. Did you ask if some people will be leaving the ministry? Of maybe he needs peope to visit the sick with the Blessed Sacrament?

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are allowed by the GIRM when there aren’t enough ordinary ministers available (i.e. other priests, deacons, bishop, etc.).

“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).”

You should consider it an honour and accept with humility.:slight_smile:

Then tell your priest no.



That is wonderful that you got asked to be a Eucharist minister. What confuses me is that you see the role as being overused and or abused. Why??? Personally I have never felt that call to become an extraordinary minister. I feel that I am not worthy.

If it seems to you that the role of EMHC is being overused or abused, it’s probably because it is. I’ve experienced it at practically every parish I have attended. One of the most egregious abuses was just last Sunday at a special Mass to kick off our 40 hours devotion. Sixteen priests were there for the opening Mass, and they still felt the need to send an EMHC up to the choir.

My two cents: decline the offer but in charity, tell your pastor why you are declining. Make sure your thoughts are known about the overuse of EMHC’s. He may decide to curtail their use in the future, but don’t count on it.


The key is in the word - extraordinary.

I think that they are overused as well. At our church, during the 8 am morning mass, with 20 people or less, there are three EMHCs there, which I believe to be totally unnecessary. Sure, I could see one there with the Precious Blood, but I see no reason why there needs to be someone else distributing communion when there are so few people there.

She’s not been asked to be a priest.

Please let’s use correct terminology.

Edit: A Eucharistic Minister is a priest (or deacon - for you exception-people out there)
An EMHC = laity.

I would be obedient to your priest’s request. EMHCs also take Holy Communion to the sick or shut-ins in your parish. Also, you are only allowed to serve in this ministry for a set amount of time (5 years in my dioscese), so it may be that others are leaving the ministry. Ask him to tell you more about how it works in your parish/dioscese so you can be more comfortable with the role. You should also receive training and guidelines.

I have never seen that at any daily Mass I have been to. That is excessive. In fact, our parish doesn’t distribute the Precious Blood specifically because our Masses are so full and it would take to many EMHCs. But even at other parishes, I don’t usually see the Precious Blood distributed at daily Mass.

We might have 1 EMHC at our daily Masses, but even at 6:15 we have well over 50 people. At the noon Mass there are regularly over 100. EMHCs are not scheduled for daily Masses though. One of the senior EMHCs will go up if Father brings an extra ciborium out of the tabernacle. For our Sunday Masses, we only have 3 or 4 scheduled, but if all the priests are available, not all of the EMHCs will serve. We are trained to always give precedence to the priests. I wsh all parishes followed those rules for Extraordinary ministers.

I’d suggest you ask him specifically why he wants you to do it. Maybe he needs more visitors to the sick, or maybe he wants more reverent people in the rotation.

You are wrong. See OP. she was asked by priest.

No a Deacon is not a Eucharistic Minister. A Eucharistic Minister is one who can confect the Eucharist. Deacons cannot do that.

A Deacon, Priest or Bishop is an Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion ( the bringing of the Eucharist to the Community)

A layperson would be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communuion

OPN said that she was not asked to BE a priest, not BY a priest.

What OPN was getting at is that a “Eucharistic Minister” is, by defintion, a priest. It is the one who can actually consecrate the bread and wine and thus confect the Eucharist.

This is a different ministry from being a Minster of Holy Communion, which is bringnig the Eucharist to the community.

Two different roles and thus two different names :slight_smile:

now you are just twisting words as you have before.

Extraordinary minister she was asked by a priest not Eurcharistic Minister, that was my blunder. She wasn’t asked to be a priest.

Please don’t get off topic discussing the definition of EMHC. Stick to the OP’s topic, everyone. Thank you all.

There is a great deal about EMsHC on these forums. I would suggest you talk to your pastor about your concerns.

Perhaps you misread me.

What I said:

View Post
She’s not been asked to be a priest.

Please let’s use correct terminology.

Edit: A Eucharistic Minister is a priest (or deacon - for you exception-people out there)
An EMHC = laity.



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