Re Holy Communion

Is it a serious offense if an Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion drops accidentally the Sacred Host? Is this a ground to summarily dismiss the lay minister by the Parish Priest?

NO - accidents can and will happen - ask any Priest

I have a dreadful feeling that this is a very loaded question

Bowing out now

Last Sunday our Deacon accidentally dropped the Host. Should he be reprimanded by the Bishop?:smiley:

Accidents are part of our imperfect nature and I assume that God knows that. However, I am quite sure that God would not be pleased with someone’s negligence and/or indifference while distributing Communion.

Because this is an accident that happens from time to time, there are well-defined procedures for addressing the situation.

If a person does this often, even if by accident, the question must be asked whether that person is capable of exercising this ministry (does he have a medical condition that affects his dexterity?). If that is the case, he must be asked to resign if he does not to so voluntarily.

Being able to fulfil the ministry is a sine qua non. These ministries are not assigned primarly for the benefit of the minister but for the benefit of the faithful. Habitually dropping the Host would be a serious problem.

In a parallel situation, for example, a priest who is unable to stand may not celebrate Mass publicly.

If the accident was caused by carelessness, perhaps the Pastor would have reason to question the dedication of the minister.


What of the pastor is the one who drops the host? :wink:

One of our altar servers spilled the whole chalice when receiving the Blood of Christ - he is still not dismissed :wink:

I agree with everybody else: It is an accident an can happen, but I’d like to know why it is necessary to pose this question? If this happened, it would be sad indeed - but most frequently, the real reason behind something is not what the eyes see…

I wrote the query because of the collateral issue of summary dismissal of the EMHC. Thanks for your response.

I guess the accident itself would not be grounds for dismissal, but if the person was physically unable to avoid these accidents, or overly careless, that may be a reason to dismiss them from the ministry.


Amen. But due process must be observed in all cases. Do you agree? Matthew18 gives the model of fraternal connection. Right?

the priest who decides what lay person will be commissioned to serve in this or any ministry in his parish, and it is the bishop who determines the trainings and other qualifications. the priest may dismiss any lay minister or volunteer and is not required to give his reasons to anyone. it would be charitable for him to tell this person why, but no way should the rest of the parish be discussing or speculating on the incident. I doubt very much if one isolated accident would be the reason for dismissing a lay minister, and in Christian charity, this parish would be well served if others not involved would just drop it, put it out of their minds, and go on with their own spiritual journey and discipleship.

Matthew is talking about fraternal correction in cases of sinful actions that impact the community, he is not talking about accidents. And nowhere does he recommend 3rd parties weighing in on such discussions.

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