Too Many Extraordiary Ministers of Holy Communion?

I am in a parish that just got new priests, so we have a grand total of 2 plus 1 deacon. Now, my parish is totally in line with the Church based on what I have seen with the 2 years I have been there and have noticed no problems. However, I was reading more about the EMHC’s and I was wondering if what they do is OK. In the time I go to Mass, there is usually only 1 priest celebrating, and each time I go there are 2 EMHC’s, unless the deacon or the other priest is present. They have a schedule for EMHC’s and they do not have any more than 3 at any Mass time. Last time I checked, there were about 2500-2700 families registered with the parishes, and my Mass time is not completely full, but I see it as mostly full. I never saw anything wrong with what they are doing, but what do you think? Does this sound OK?

it is the priest’s decision, under the guidance of the bishop.

Altogether too many people, who appear to be driven by a dislike of EMHCs have opinions as to how many, if any, are proper. It is, in short, not particularly any of their business.

Pardon me if I am a bit short; but this topic has to be one of the top issues that keep popping up, and often with the term “abuse” attached to it. The bishop is the individual responsible for making choices where the GIRM allows. Taking a complaint to the bishop (who likely is aware of how many EMHCs are used), with the complaint that there is an abuse, is likely to receive short shrift. I am not suggesting that you would complain to the bishop; only that he is in charge of liturgical issues and that it is not a matter for the personal opinions of the laity.

And personal opinions are what this thread solicits.

One of the parishes near my house uses them. I’ve found that, if I’m at a Mass using EMHCs, it’s best to keep my head down and not know how many there are…I’d hate to turn into some kind of referee! :thumbsup: Though sometimes it’s like walking a maze finding the Priest’s line if I go to communion :whacky:

May I just ask, can’t you go to any of the lines, rather than ‘walk a maze’ finding the one with the priest?

The Bishops determine the can/can’t part :slight_smile:

The maze is worth it! At the end you’ll find a man who can whisper a few words over a piece of bread and that bread becomes a man, and that man is God. That man was called to the Holy Priesthood founded by Jesus Christ. Whether he talks, looks, or thinks like me and whether we’re in my neighborhood or halfway around the world, I get to call him Father. He can even turn regular water into holy water!! I’ll gleefully* search out his line…

*Interior glee so as not to disturb or be noticed by others.

I’m never in the priest’s line, as he always stands on the other side of the church to where I sit. However, as he’s the one who’s just performed the consecration, it doesn’t seem to matter to me whether or not he’s the person who gives us the Body of Christ.

I sit right at the front with my MIL, where there’s a cut-away pew for people in wheelchairs (she has to use a walker). A lady sat next to me last Sunday, which is unusual as it’s a very small pew. I did notice she walked right across me in the queue to receive the Body of Christ from the priest, though!

I am so important I normally expect only to be given communion from a real Priest. It is so hard to find the right queue until you get nearly to the end. I have had to sometimes duck across the lane to the better quality people with the priest. So difficult to appear humble in situations like that. Now I am on 24/7 oxygen and can’t get to Mass, these little people come to my home and allow me to receive the Blessed Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my Christ. I put up with them…Blessed people of my parish.

Yes, it sounds quite all right.

As a priest, I am actually more curious as to why you would think it might not be.

And curious as to why you would ask anonymous people on the Internet, who don’t know your parish, rather than simply asking your parish priest to help you better understand the role and the work of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Or speaking to the office of liturgy and worship for your diocese.

While I agree with Otjm, it is no less true that, as parish priest, I had my own proper discretion in the use and deployment of Extraordinary Ministers.

I was always willing to discuss it…except in one notable instance. If the person had the attitude of trying to argue with me, rather than discuss, what was not only a matter that was within my own discretion but one that was also beyond his competence because of my background as a professor of liturgy.

Appeals to the bishop were always interesting since it was the bishop who had sent me for advanced studies in liturgical studies to be of more service to him

You must be kidding me.:smiley: The Body of Christ will not turn back to mere bread even if it is not handed to you by a priest. Be thankful that you still can receive the Body of the Lord. In my part of the world, if you are that choosy you may not receive Communion at all as there are literally thousand of communicants lining up for Communion and if we depend on the priest alone, the poor Father may die of exhaustion handing out the host.

Just kidding. :smiley: it is true that we have very large congregation. There are no less than twelve EMHC for each of the Sunday mass. Glad that you really love the Eucharist. :slight_smile:

How very true. I remember those times when I have been in hospital and it was an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion who brought the Eucharist to me for whom it was impossible to offer Mass in that circumstance. I was ever so grateful.

There were those who were a bit timid upon discovering I was a priest and wanted to know if they should try to find a priest instead. I said, “Of course not…It was as much Jesus from your hands as it was from a priest’s hands. The one with the cura animarum had confided this to you…and I am grateful to him…and to you.” If I took a turn for the worst, I would be glad, I said, if they could find a priest to come at the point of death but for their bringing me Jesus every day, I happily responded with a priestly blessing for them.

They are one of the very great gifts I have seen come into being, remembering back to those days when we did not have them.


Also: goodness me, I never knew. :frowning: Praying for you, my friend. :slight_smile:

Quite right. Not your call, not your concern. These parish bashing threads are tiresome frankly. This has been beaten to death. And yet, the Bishops don’t change their opinion. Seems the laity are critical. Yet the Mass and the Eucharist continue. Amazing.

In our parish EMHC’s are absolutely necessary.

Our parish has around 14,000 people and on Sundays we have an average 80% Mass attendance. To accommodate everyone we have 10 Masses every Sunday. Without EMHC’s this would be impossible.

We usually have 7. It does not matter to me which line I am in. I don’t understand the constant fuss over this. :shrug:


I think we have 14-16 EMHC’s at the Sunday Mass I attend.

Before EMHC’s, who would visit the hospitals and private homes to bring the Eucharist?

I never saw anything wrong with what they are doing, and then I read some random thing on the internet and now I don’t trust my own pastor.

That is what it sounds like you are saying here.

Your pastor has wide discretion. We don’t know anything about your parish. Any opinion rendered here is simply that, an opinion, and not one that matters in the least. We are not your pastor. If you have concerns, ask him.

Alright, I got what I was looking for. Thanks

Yes; very tired of it.

My Parish has 9 Masses between Sat evening & Sunday; all are packed to the fullest. We need EMHC at Mass to assist the Priests by their request. We also offer Communion under both species. We also have over 300 homebound Parishioners.

Those who received communion were far fewer before EMHC’s. The bigger concern from what I understand is wondering if they could find a priest to hear confessions.

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