Quick question regarding EMHCs


If a person administers the blood of Christ at a particular service, is it correct to say that they were a Eucharistic minister at that particular mass? OR is there a separate term for one who only provides the precious blood?


It is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

The only people who are Eucharistic Ministers are those who confect the Sacrament. In other words, validly Ordained priests and bishops. No one else may be a minister of that Sacrament.

But the Church provides a different ministry, which has a different name, and that is the ministry of bringing the Eucharist to the community. That role is know as the Minister of Holy Communion. Priest, Bishops and Deacons are the Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. A layperson could be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Since the contents of the chalice and the contents of the ciborium are identical in every substantial way, (the only difference is how they appear to our senses) the Ministry is the same for both species.


As Brendon said EMHC’s are NOT Eucharistic Ministers.

Originally they were EMHE’s (Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist) and that caused confusion and resulted in EMHE’s thinking they were Eucharistic Ministers. The Church pointed out that was incorrect and to avoid confusion the Church changed the name to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.


Let’s clarify some terms.

There is a difference between Ministers of the Eucharist and Ministers of Communion.

Ministers of the Eucharist are the ones who confect the Eucharist. Only Priests and Bishops are Ministers of the Eucharist because only Priests and Bishops confect the Eucharist.

Ministers of Communion are those who distribute communion. Any Catholic can be a Minister of Communion.

Bishops, Priests and Deacons are Ordinary Ministers of Communion because it is their rightful place to distribute communion. Other Catholics may be Extraordinary Ministers of Communion because it is not their rightful place to distribute but may be called upon to assist when needed.

Priest and Bishop = Minister of the Eucharist
Priest, Bishop, Deacon = Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion
Non-clergy = Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion



Quick answers:

  1. It is correct to say that they were “extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion” at that particular Mass.

  2. No. There is no separate term for one who assists by distributing the Blood in contrast to the Body. A parish might employ terminology for the sake of clarity, such as printing a schedule in the bulletin; but there is no official or proper terminology that makes this distinction.


The document allowing this ministry called them “Special Ministers of the Eucharist” in the original English text.


Distributing the Eucharist at Mass or at home to the sick etc does NOT make them Eucharistic Ministers. Only those who are ordained can be Eucharistic Ministers.
Lay people are not and cannot be Eucharistic Ministers.
The EWTN link does not say they are Eucharistic ministers.


I didn’t say it said that. I said they were called “Special Ministers of the Eucharist”. It would seem to me that it’s a short step from that to using “Eucharistic Minister” as shorthand.

Really, there was 31 years between Immensae Caritatis and Redemptionis Sacramentum; that’s a long time for wrong terminology to become ingrained and it’s probably going to take twice as long to eradicate it. It’s pretty hard to convince the laity that the terminology is wrong when they hear their pastors using it all the time.


I don’t disagree with what you said but wrong is wrong. It often takes the Church a long time to sort things out.


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