Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist


#1

They are overused, and no devout Catholic has much use for them, except in (rather ironically) extraordinary circumstances. What could possibly be done to discourage their rampant overuse?

Mat.


#2

Well, the celebrant needs help, Mat. The use of lay people in this capacity is approved by our top spiritual leader. Please don’t hold EMHCs in contempt. Perhaps too many EMHCs are commissioned in some parishes – and others have difficulty recuiting enough. If you believe too many EMHCs are being used, perhaps you can express your opinions to your pastor and bishop. But isn’t it wonderful that there is a means for the congregants to receive Jesus under both species?


#3

Stop offering the Cup. Use the Host only. A lot of the abuses involve use of theCup.


#4

turtleoompa,

Interesting answer to a problem (the use of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist / the offical title by the way is Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion), where I don’t see a problem.

But your solution runs in opposition to both Pope Leo and Pope Gelasius who both emphatically condemned persons who abstained from the chalice. (Catholic Dictionary, 202)

well something to think about at least!

Peace,

Br Mark, OSB


#5

One of the saddest abuses of EMHCs I’ve seen was on Holy Thursday this past April at my parish. Mine is a one-priest parish, but we have a nearby Vincentian Center with a half dozen or so priests who are available at times to say Mass (although they do this not only at my parish but at several others in the area).

At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, during the Eucharistic Prayer, all of them were up in the Sanctuary, standing at the Altar, taking part in the consecration.

After they received Holy Communion… they sat down again, and EMHCs took their place, received, and distributed Communion to the faithful. I was disheartened. It goes against Redemptionis Sacramentum and Inaestimable donum:

[quote=Redemptionis Sacramentum, 157]The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.
[/quote]

[quote=Inaestimable donum, 10][A] reprehensible attitude is shown by those priests who, though present at the celebration, refrain from distributing Communion and leave the task to the laity.
[/quote]


#6

That’s definitely an abuse and should be reported…

From Redemptionis Sacramentum:

  1. If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.258

  2. Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.259 This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.


#7

Thankfully, times have changed since then, and the Church has dogmatically proclaimed that we receive ALL of Jesus in his body, blood, soul, and divinity in the consecrated host. It is NOT necessary to receive from the cup. It’s merely an option. Hence, lay faithful do not receive from the cup at a Papal Mass.


#8

Something else to think about. Council of Trent --21 Session

history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct21.html

ON COMMUNION UNDER BOTH SPECIES, AND ON THE COMMUNION OF INFANTS

CANON I.–If any one saith, that, by the precept of God, or, by necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament not consecrating; let him be anathema.

CANON 11.–if any one saith, that the holy Catholic Church was not induced, by just causes and reasons, to communicate, under the species of bread only, laymen, and also clerics when not consecrating; let him be be anathema.

CANON III.–If any one denieth, that Christ whole and entire -the fountain and author of all graces–is received under the one species of bread; because that-as some falsely assert–He is not received, according to the institution of Christ himself, under both species; let him be anathema.


#9

A few years ago, our parish read (well, over 400 copies of the book were sold to parishioners) Making the Eucharist Matter, by Frank Anderson, and, as it has been a few years, I cannot say why, but I recall it was quite convincing that we should receive in both species, and as a result, the whole parish was encouraged to receive in both species. I have come to prefer it, I feel I have missed out when I attend a church where no one receives the precious blood but the priest.


#10

#11

, by Frank Anderson, and, as it has been a few years, I cannot say why, but I recall it was quite convincing that we should receive in both species, and as a result, the whole parish was encouraged to receive in both species. I have come to prefer it, I feel I have missed out when I attend a church where no one receives the precious blood but the priest./QUOTE]

Can’t say about that book you read–but if you feel you “miss out” by not receiving the Chalice—then more orthodox catechesis may be needed.

I agree I am a Daily communicant, I never recieve The Chalice I “miss out” on nothing.
[/quote]


#12

(Heavy sigh…)

Okay, miss out was the wrong phrasing.

However, my preference is to receive in both species.

I believe my catechesis, while ongoing, is in good shape,but thanks…I’ll know who to call on if I ever need expert advise! :wink:

In Christ…


#13

The Body and Blood of Our Lord in Mass are exactly the same in substance.

However, they have different accidents (Outward properties). Recieving both the Body and Blood helps fufil the symbolism of this heavenly banquet.

Whilst the Body and Blood are both literally the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, this does not mean that we should strip all symbolism from the Eucharist.

I recieve both species.

For the reasons listed above, by not recieving of the chalice, we wouldn’t be losing anything, apart from symbolism.

Scrap EMHC unless really neccessary (No, Mass being 10 minutes longer is not a neccessity ;)).

If it really is too long or there arn’t enough Priests/Deacons, then don’t administer the chalice.

Oh yeah, communion rails and kneeling would be wonderful, too. :wink:

JD


#14

Woe is us! All these years of “relaxin” - just celebrating everyone’s good times - bunches of folks helpin out on the altar -
nobody knows the why and how of the Sacrifice of the Mass!

How do we fix this situation? (I’d call it a mess but somebody might get all defensive)

First we need the Priests to lead the flock - learn and teach our Roman Catholic faith. The Church has defined the why and how - we need to follow!


#15

Let’s put this into perspective. The pastor is the one who determines how many lay people are needed to serve as emHC in his parish. No one else. If you believe that your pastor is using too many lay people as emHC, you may express your concern to him charitably. If you cannot resolve the matter, you may take it to your diocesesan bishop, again charitably. Other than that, your choice is to just deal with the number of lay people your pastor chooses to use as emHC. It’s not your call.

It’s really that simple.


#16

Then that is your preference. But you are missing out on absolutely nothing by receiving Him in the consecrated host. You already have ALL of Jesus right there.

Something to consider however…since right around the time of the plagues, we do know for a fact that there’s all sorts of additional “stuff” you’re drinking when you share a cup with many other people. When you have company over to your house for a special occasion, do you all drink out of the same glass?

I have several friends who are priests, and they would never consider allowing others to drink from the cup. After all, they have to drink what remains, and “it ain’t pretty”. They consider the precious blood to actually be profaned by all the “things” floating around in it after it’s been shared by several people.


#17

I agree and I think I read that the Pope wants to limit their use but I cant recall where I read this.


#18

Just think of all those women wearing lipstick who drink from the cup.:eek: I’m happy to just receive the Eucharist. I know that’s all I need.:slight_smile:


#19

Maybe it was here:

It is the Priest celebrant’s responsibility to minister Communion, perhaps assisted by other Priests or Deacons; and he should not resume the Mass until after the Communion of the faithful is concluded. Only when there is a necessity may extraordinary ministers assist the Priest celebrant in accordance with the norm of law.


#20

I have been an EMHC from 1986 until Katrina and I hope to be again soon. It has been very spiritually rewarding to me. I belong to a very small parish and the priest handled 2 parishes before Katrina. We never abused the use of EMHCs during the Mass and we could have used more to help with visiting the home bound parishioners. Father tried to see everyone once a month but needed help - he also had two nursing homes to tend to. Now I am temporarily attending a church that is larger than my old church and I can’t say I’ve seen EMHC abuse but they do use more than I think is needed.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.