Oddness, two for one?

This was really strange, well, I thought so, and I’m not sure if I think it was boarderline inappropriate.

I was at mass yesterday and when I went for Communion the Eucharisitic minister was digging about in the cup with teh Hosts and picked up a half a normal sized one and said to me “Oh, this is too small, I’ll give you a couple”, then she added into my serve another piece from the Priest sized host.

It was so odd. I mean, I was a Eucharistic minster for my school and for one of my previous Churches and if there was half a small one that I picked up I gave the half a small one, I didn’t think size was a matter. I mean, seesh, its not an all you can eat buffet, and I really hope no one gets half a piece and gets jealous or annoyed someone else gets a larger piece!

She didnt even say “the Body of Christ” because she seemed more interested in giving me a “good helping”.

I suppose the other way to look at it is that I got extra Christ! But still -_-’

Before everyone jumps on this to “prove” how EMHC are bad/shouldn’t be used/ect, I think we can say that this particular one you mentioned needs a re-training. It doesn’t matter how small a host you receive is because you are always receiving all of Jesus.

It seems to me that this person understands it more of a “community meal” where everyone gets “equal share”. I don’t know if this person didn’t understand or didn’t receive proper training or something though.

Well, you received all of Jesus from the first one, so the second one didn’t really add anything you didn’t already receive.

I did my training when I was 17 and I loved it and respected it (and miss it since I’m not doing it currently) - in fact, I nagged the nun at our school to allow students to have this role. Over the years I have seen behaviour that really is quite dodgey. But it all boils down to, as you say, correct training.

The Eucharistic ministers at this particular Church always had me raising an eyebrow or two at their behaviour, yet others I’ve seen in other Churches were amazingly pious.

From what I’ve observed those who need retraining are going to result in a class so large it will need the state of Alaska as a classroom.

In some respects I might feel uneasy about the whole experience you did.
But would I feel so surprised that this sort of thing doesn’t repeated itself?
Not surprised in the least. I can only echo what (“Vera dicere”) said about lack of training for EMHC"s.
This training situation is grossly lacking. Is more always better? Seems that this Eucharistic Minister has a problem with Faith even in the smallest crumb-like particle of a consecrated host with Jesus being fully present in even the smallest particle.

My biggest question here is not so much the EMHC but (“Who is it that is training EMHC’s in your parish?”). I mean does a parishioner simply walk up to a priest and ask to serve as a Eucharistic Minister and automatically qualify?

I was a former EMHC in the past and received formal training from my parish priest at the same time while fulfilling the position as Sacristan and Custodian of my parish for ten years.


it falls on the priest, he must be good with training as well as strict with the rules. our former parish pastor is that way, therefore our altar servers, readers, choir and EMHCs are very good.

also, the level of detail the priest will go with the EMHCs, so that they will be prepared for instances like this. sometimes the parish priest may train but not cover a lot of dos and don’ts. also, in instances like what was described, the EMHC may also get confused with the heat of the moment and may need to react quickly. some may feel they need to keep distributing communion rather than stop the line and go ask the priest if they are in doubt.

Training falls to one of the Deacons in our parish. I don’t find a lot to fault in the following of procedure although they seem too rushed as if they just want to get it over, but some of their attire is suitable only for flea market shoppers.


What used to be performed by one or two priests now takes a small army!

You bring up an excellent observance which often irks me with a thorn in my backside.
The reality is that distribution of Holy Communion often develops into a hasty display of expediency. Funny though…so few Catholics see it that way. Ever watch immediately after a number of Catholics receive Holy Communion into their innermost heart, and instead of returning to their pew to thank their Lord and their God, they just can’t wait to rush their way out the main Church doors.

And then their are Sunday Masses when the priest decides to sit out distributing Holy Communion and sits in the Presidential chair letting the EMHC’s take over giving out communion. Well I won’t ramble on much further except to say that there is absolutely No Excuse for liturgical abuses.


again it falls on the priest. the priest should decide if an applicant is capable of the duties of an EMHC or not. up until the Rite for EMHCs (forgot what its actually called), the priest may reject an EMHC if he deems them not worthy of the duty. while i do not doubt a Deacon is capable of training EMHCs, i personally believe it should be the parish pastor who does so. because it his responsibility to ensure that the EMHCs are competent, and aside from interviews, he will also find this out during training.

Yeah but if you got rid of EMHCs and all the missteps and abuses they entail, you’d add a whole five minutes to the already unbearable tedium of the Mass.

I will not allow this thread to devolve into yet another bashing of EMHCs, questioning their need, their attire, their number, etc. There have been an abundance of threads on those topics, which have been discussed to death. Please stick to the OP’s topic alone, everyone. Thank you.

i was only making a suggestion
as i have said, i’m not doubting a Deacon is qualified to train. i’m just saying because the responsibility and authority of choosing and appointing EMHCs fall on the parish pastor, i think that he should take a more hands-on approach in the selection and training so he can personally assess their capability and qualification to the ministry. and the parish pastor should also take a hard line that if an EMHC doesn’t appear qualified, he must turn him/her down

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