Is there a difference between Communion and the Eucharist?

Is there a difference between Communion and the Eucharist? Is a deacon allowed to serve Communion? I am asking because I was recently at a Mass where the visiting priest did not show up. The deacon decided to go ahead with the Mass “since everyone was there.” He served the host.

Only a priest is allowed to celebrate Mass. I’m guessing that what you witnessed was not a Mass but a Communion service in the absence of a priest. At such a Communion service, the hosts have been consecrated at a previous Mass and reserved in the tabernacle for use at Communion services or for distribution to the homebound. If this is the case, then yes, a deacon can preside at a Communion service and distribute Communion.

The word Communion refers to the host and the precious blood that are distributed for consumption. The word Eucharist can also be used for the host and the precious blood, but is also sometimes used as a synonym for the Mass.

Recommended reading:

Mass Appeal by Jimmy Akin

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