Good News on Reform


Hi all,

A few months back (okay, more like 8 months back) after speaking to the deacon who forwarded my concerns to the bishop, I sent a letter to the CDWDS about how the Eucharist was handled at a local parish. My main points were about fractioning the Precious Blood after consecration into individual chalices, having EMHC’s go to the tabernacle to retrieve previously consecrated Hosts, lay ministers aiding the priest with the fractioning rite, when EMHC’s were supposed to approach the sanctuary, and the use of improper vessels. I hadn’t received a response for many months so I just assumed that nothing was going to happen and admittedly I was slightly depressed about the issue. I could never look up to the altar as a lay minister was pouring the Precious Blood from a glass “flagon” into chalices, needlessly spilling drops at each transfer. However, just yesterday I learned that this was going to be reformed and that changes were finally coming to the parish. I could not be happier to hear about this! I can only hope that this increases our reverence and wonder for the Blessed Sacrament and intensifies our cognizance that what we are receiving is the actual Body and Blood of our Lord.

Unfortunately, I have also heard anger and disillusionment from the EMHC’s about the changes. They feel that they are being pushed out and that the Church is moving toward only priests being able to distribute Communion. I can understand the hesitation about the change since we are all hesitant about change at first, but I cannot sympathize with the latter point. I feel that they are misinformed about their role and do not understand that they are a necessity only for practicality and not to increase lay involvement. I only hope that peace and reconciliation comes out of the anger.

But for now, I will focus on the positives that have occurred. Please pray for our parish that these changes will be welcomed and foster a deepening of our faiths. And pray for our priests and bishops who do so much for us.


That is very unfortunate when that sort of thing happens. Many EMHC’s get mad as their role get’s smaller, when indeed they themselves should be praying for their role to be eliminated! So frustrating…


That is what a priest friend of mine has mentioned to the EMHC’s in his parish, that every prayer for vocaitons is a prayer that their ministry might end.


I pray that one day EMHC goes away completely. I always do my best to avoid receiving from them and always go to a priest (or deacon at worst). I was once asked to do it and also refused (I don’t feel right doing it nor touching the Eucharist, but that’s another topic).



Sadly - and I am not just speculating here - many EMHCs do it with the wrong motives. It is not about filling in where there is a need, but seeking status. There’s seldom a shortage of volunteers for that “ministry” in a parish. Less visible but essential tasks like washing and ironing altar linens, decorating for the Season, or just plain cleaning are always short of help. At my old parish, after the Easter Vigil, there was a huge need for people to stay and clean up so the place would look nice for the 7 AM Mass on Easter Morning. There were candle stubs and candle wax on the pews and carpet, programs scattered everywhere, just an unbelievable mess. Seriously, it looked like the aftermath of a frat party, minus the beer bottles. There’d be a handful of people in there cleaning and after the reception/pictures in the hall for the newly-received, the priests would be back pushing a vacuum cleaner around until 1 AM!

While my old pastor was (in my opinion) bad about overusing EMHCs, he was also somewhat demanding of them. He had no time for poseurs. If you were on the roster, even if you weren’t scheduled that day, you were expected to be dressed appropriately in case you were called to fill in. Two no-shows without arranging your own sub beforehand meant you were out. And he also drilled it into the EMHCs and the readers that, even though we are just laity, the average pewsitter assumes we are something special and will be watching us, so it is vitally important that we dress and behave and respond appropriately.

The dress appropriately got the most grumbles.


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