When you became an EMHC. .

. . . were you “installed” with a sort of prayer and blessing or some other kind of rite? When training us as EMHCs after Mass last Sunday, all the priest did was give us a sheet of paper outlining the procedure, answered some questions, showed us where things were in the sacristy and that was it.

Just wondering what happened when any of you became EMHCs. . . ?

I attended a 3 hour training session conducted by a priest who was appointed by the diocese to do the training. This training session went over all the rules, what to do in case of accidents, etc. Then I attended 2 more training sessions given by my pastor regarding the procedures in my parish going over where to sit in the pews, where to stand to distribute the Eucharist, etc. Then I was asked to step forward during Mass, and I was given a blessing along with the other new EMHC’s. After Mass was over, I was given a certificate that was signed by the Bishop and my pastor. I am also required to go for retraining and spiritual reflection once a year. My parish had a service and retraining session back in October. I do not take the Eucharist to the homebound, but if I was to do that, additional training would be given by my pastor.

^That’s interesting. I signed up mainly to take Holy Communion to the homebound, and was given no more “instruction” than that which was given to the EMHCs as a whole. And this instruction, as it were, was really only a review, since most of the EMHCs there were ones I’d recognized as already being EMHCs.

Of course, if I have any questions, by all means I’ll ask my priest. I just wondered if it was different in other parishes.

I only got about a 10 minute training from our priest. We did get this nice sheet of paper from the Bishop, and we were installed during mass last year. I wish I had more training than what we had, though.

in this diocese you are supposed to complete the basic course sequence on the Catholic faith, plus a course sequence covering your specific ministry, in the lay ministry institute before you may be commissioned for that ministry. The Office of Catechetics has its own certification program, since lay ministry does not offer those courses yet, but catechists as well as other ministers are supposed to be commissioned by the bishop, or by the pastor in the name of the bishop. Even those who have been serving for years in this ministry are expected to complete the training, simply because many of them were not well trained, but predictably there is a lot of objection, and not a lot of compliance in many parishes.

I found on the job training best for EMHC’s to the sick. I usually sent the candidate six times with various experienced ministers. This exposed them to homes, retirement homes and hospitals with different instructors each time. That way they got to see most of the variations to fit specific needs. They started our observing and got to do a bit more each time.

This was in addition to a general class on being an EMHC. We try to have a refresher class at least once each year.

Several years ago while I was an associate in our parish youth ministry, we held an election for new youth officers.
The following Sunday, it fell to an elderly visiting priest to formally install and bless the new officers. He duly blessed them as new EMHCs, and asked them to come forward to carry out their new duties at the appointed time.
The good Sister in charge told the teens to go ahead, this time, in order not to embarrass the priest. They continued as youth ministry teen leaders, but their term as EMs lasted only one Mass. :smiley:

You know, it’s been a while, but back in PA, that is about what happened for me, too. I was expecting classes or something, and had to educate myself on it, separately.

I hope and pray that somday we will see an end to the use of EMHCs. It is sad indeed to have to endure such extraordinary circumstances but in many cases the use of EMHCs is a necessity. I hope all EMHCs will pray to the Father that their service will not be needed. Until then carry on…

Amen. All EMHC’s should realize that what they are doing is because of the lack of ordinary ministers (priests and deacons).

Instead of institutionalizing the position of EMHC, we should all be working to eliminate the need for them. The fact that we have EMHCs in the first place belies a major problem, and EMHCs should be the first to be pleased when they are told that they won’t be needed anymore because a priest or deacon is available.

I agree with you. The only reason I became an EMHC is because my priest asked me to. I would be happy to not be needed any more.

You did well in answering the request of your priest. The number one desire of each and every EMHC should be to end up “liturgically unemployed”.

My name was placed in our bullentin for three consective Sundays giving anyone a chance to state their opinions if they thought I should not become an EMHC… I then had to attend a class which lasted about 2 hours and given a booklet explaining everything pertaining to EMHC… We also have a repeat session each year which is mandatory to attend… I felt the Priest that trained me did an excellent job for all of us… We also received a certificate from our Bishop which then qualified us to be EMHC…

Ecclesia de mysterio, Article 8 §2:[The function of the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion] is supplementary and extraordinary and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law. It is thus useful for the diocesan bishop to issue particular norms concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion which, in complete harmony with the universal law of the Church, should regulate the exercise of this function in his diocese. Such norms should provide, amongst other things, for matters such as the instruction in eucharistic doctrine of those chosen to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the meaning of the service they provide, the rubrics to be observed, the reverence to be shown for such an august Sacrament and instruction concerning the discipline on admission to Holy Communion.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass (USCCB):Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. In all matters they should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America, NDRHC, no. 28).

There is an Order for the Commissioning of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

In our parish prospective EMHC go through these steps:

  1. Sign up
  2. Interview with Pastor or Parochial Vicar
  3. 2 hour Training session from Deacon in charge of Adult Ed on Theology of the Eucharist
  4. 2 hour Training session from same Deacon on taking Eucharist to the Sick
  5. 2 hour training session from lay person (me) on Ministry, practical purpose of this particular ministry, details on serving at Holy Mass, what to do if something goes wrong.

After completing all five steps, their names are sent to the chancery, the Archbishop commissions them.
Then, before they serve they are formally installed and blessed during a Mass.

That sounds rather thorough! God bless your Archbishop!

I only take communion to the ill, but my training involved two separate times going with the lady I fill-in for and a powerpoint presentation. I was then called up front during mass and commissioned.

The training sessions in my parish covered the first two requirements. My pastor followed the Order for the Commissioning at the Mass where I was commissioned.

I have never done this, but if I were to be asked, my pastor would provide the training.

I had a 1 hour training course with our pastoral associate. She also gave me a parish booklet.

I wish there wasn’t a need for EHMCs. However, if there is, I prefer it to be filled with orthodox Catholics who would prefer not to be there :slight_smile:

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