Proper Location for distribution of the Eucharist


I have been to Mass at parishes where at the time for Communion, several of the EMHC head to the BACK (or center) of the Church at designated posts for distribution of Holy Communion, so that depending on what section of the church a person is sitting in, you don’t necessarily approach the Altar to receive Communion, You might end up in the back, side, center, wherever you are ‘cut off’ so to speak, by an EMHC. Is this proper? Shouldn’t all communicants approach the Altar in order to receive? Can someone point me to where I can get a clear answer to this? Thank you!


GIRM #160 says that the priest approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession. (Emphasis mine.)

It sounds to me like the norm is saying that the faithful usually process towards the sanctuary, but they don’t necessarily have to do this every time. If there are a great many communicants, I can see having priests/deacons/EMHCs in the back.


Just walk on by the EMHC and never, ever give a public reason for doing so.


May I ask why? The Church has said that it is permitted to use EMHCs.

Hypothetical scenario for you…a few months ago, I was sick. I celebrated Mass like I always do, and then I explained to the congregation that since Father was fighting a bad cold/flu, he would not be distributing Communion and we needed another EMHC. Would you have elected to not receive our Lord in the Eucharist on those days?


I recall that, in reading about the historical development of the Eucharist, there was a point in time that the priest celebrant could distribute from wherever in the Church – as long as he could see the altar from the spot at which he stood.

That no longer applies, as the quote from the GIRM that Father has provided clearly demonstrates…


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