procedures for all extraordinary ministers of holy communion
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procedures for all extraordinary ministers of holy communion

PROCEDURES FOR ALL EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNIONJanuary 2014REVERANCE:Reverence is the most important thing. This is the “sacrament of sacraments”. The bread andwine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ, and become our spiritual food and drink.It’s a sacred meal and our union with Christ. The Eucharist is equally sacred in both forms. Thisshould be reflected in the way we hold it, and in our attentiveness towards it. It is joyful.DRESS CODE:Women - modest dress or pants suit; men - coatDresses with bare back and shoulders, jeans and T-shirt are inappropriate attire when givingCommunion. The clothes we choose to wear say a lot about who we are, so please, be respectfulof what we are doing and dress appropriately.BEFORE MASS AT ALL MASSES:The team leader should be present in the sacristy 30 minutes before the Liturgy. All otherministers report to him/her no later than 20 minutes before the Liturgy. Please check off yourname on the schedule and note the position you have taken. Ministers who are not present ontime may find that all the positions have been taken. If you want certain positions, be sure to bethere early. Position slips are first come, first served.POSITION SLIPS:Please read your position slip even if you take the same one each time; sometimes there arechanges or additions that you need to be aware of.POSITIONING:All ministers come forward to the bottom of the altar steps after the Sign of Peace. Bear in mind:When you come forward to the altar area, you should enter into the ritual which is theBreaking of the Bread. The Sign of Peace is concluded and all attention, yours included,should focus on this. Clearly it is not a time to continue handshaking with other ministerswhen you reach the front of the church. This distracts you, the other ministers, and theassembly. CUPS ARE ON THE LEFT (chapel side) AND PATENS ON THE RIGHT (sacristyside).Patens are brought to the altar by the server, and the team leader expedites the placing of theseon the altar. The team leader hands empty patens to the presider and places full patens on thealtar. The Team Leader will distribute the Hosts into the vessels only if requested by the presider.Note: If a deacon is present, he will help the presider distribute the Hosts.Please view Diagram #1 which shows the appropriate way to line up. It is important that whenwe come up to the front and stand at the bottom of the steps of the sanctuary, we are standing infront of the side pews at both sides, leaving a large open space directly in front of the altar. Thiswill enable people seated in the pews to see what is happening on the altar.Never block the assembly’s view of the ritual.As soon as the Hosts are distributed into the sacred vessels, the sacristan will bring theReserved Eucharist from the Tabernacle and place it on the altar. Simultaneously, the teamleader will position him/herself with the other ministers at the bottom of the steps of the sanctuary.The presider will elevate the Body and Blood, and the presider will consume.Cupbearers 1C and 2C need to be the first two in line on the chapel side so they can see when thepriest receives Communion. As the presider starts to consume the Host, cupbearers 1C and 2C,will immediately come up side by side in front of the presider at the side of the altar. They shouldthen stand side by side next to the candle, close to the altar to receive Communion. The presiderwill give each the Host and then the Precious Blood. In giving the cup, he will first hand each a

purificator. The cupbearers should move to their respective sides near the baldechino columns tooffer the cup to the other ministers.The ministers will approach the presider, two by two, to receive the Host:RECEIVING COMMUNION:When we are scheduled to serve as ministers of Communion, we are to receive byextending our hands — one hand over the other — for the presider to give the Host.We do not receive the Host on the tongue. As Extraordinary Ministers of HolyCommunion, standing before the community on Sunday, we are an example and anencouragement of what to do. At other times, when we are not officially serving, we mayreceive the Eucharist in another manner.After receiving the Host, each minister will proceed to the nearest cup minister to receive thePrecious Blood and then immediately go to the side of the altar to pick up his/her appropriatevessel. He/she then passes behind the cup minister to wait at the top edge of the steps on theside where they will serve. They will not move beyond the ambo or the podium where the cantorstands. Each turns somewhat toward the presider. As the presider moves to go down to thepeople, all the ministers go immediately to their respective places.For ministers who take positions 3 or 4 (both cup and paten): if there are no handicapped people inthe two first pews assigned for them (Baptistry side), go immediately to your place to distribute. Ifthey are present, distribute Communion to the pew, then go immediately to your place. Ministerswith positions 3P and 3C should go to the wheelchair area last.Ministers who take positions 1C or 2C need to stand at the head of the side aisles to allowmore space for people to line up after receiving the Host from the presider or deacon/team leader.Standing any closer to the presider causes a traffic jam. Positions 3C and 4C are the chalicesthat serve the side pews with Precious Blood. When they are finished serving the side aisles,they should turn around and stand next to the end of the marble half wall to serve the peoplecoming from the center aisle. If one of the other cup ministers leaves his/her position due to anempty cup, the position 3C or 4C should move and take that minister’s place. DO NOT pour thePrecious Blood from one cup to another.When giving Communion, say “the body of Christ” or “the blood of Christ” (nothing else). It is anacclamation, not a sentence. Look the person in the eyes and give them your full attention.If you run out of Hosts, go to the altar and take more from the ciborium; if you run out of PreciousBlood, give your cup to the sacristan and return to your seat.After you are finished, ministers with patens gently place what is left into the ciborium that is on thealtar. If the team leader or deacon is at the altar, hand them the paten. Ministers with cups,consume any remaining Precious Blood at your place, then bring the cup to the sacristan. (Ifthere is too much Precious Blood to finish, drink what you can in place, then take it to the areawhere the sacristan is standing in the wedding chapel and ask the other ministers for help.)Return to your place in the pews.At the 11:00 Mass only when the choir is present: the two ministers serving the choir begintogether, the minister with the Hosts begins at the sacristy side, and the cupbearer stands near thealtar. When finished, the cupbearer should remain in the sanctuary ready to replace anycupbearer who runs out of Precious Blood.OTHER THINGS TO BE AWARE OF: If you see someone who doesn’t consume the Host, ask that person to consume it.

If you drop one of the Hosts, pick it up and consume it; if you spill Precious Blood, blot it upwith a purificator and cover the area with the purificator to keep people from walking on it.After Mass, wash the area with soap and water. Clean the purificator in the sacrareum.Intinction is not permitted at St. Anne’s. If someone moves to dip the Host in the PreciousBlood, cover the cup with your hand and tell them it is not permitted at St. Anne’s.When you are not on the schedule, please stop by the sacristy and let the team leaderknow you are available to help if needed, assuming you are appropriately dressed.If someone is in your position, find the vacant position and go there.TWO IMPORTANT POINTS TO OBSERVE:All welcoming/blessing of those who come forward but do not receive Communion(children/babies, etc.) should be brief, accompanied by a gentle touch.While you are giving Communion, if anyone comes to you and asks for an extra Host to bring backto a handicapped person, graciously ask where the handicapped person is seated and tell themyou will go and give that person Communion when you are finished at your station.SUBSTITUTESYou are responsible to know when you are serving and to get a substitute if you can’t bethere. Finding a substitute is easy … simply send an email to Let theperson who is substituting know s/he is picked and send another email to em@saccathouston.orgstating that the position is filled and by whom. If after trying several times to get a sub, no one isavailable, call the team leader for that particular Mass and let him/her know.WEBSITETo get to the web site, go to the home page. Click on the EM box in the lower lefthand corner. The user id and the password are both “liturgy1”.The website contains documents relating to our ministry such as the position charts and thisProcedures guide. It also contains contact information for all of the Eucharistic Ministers currentlyon our roster. Only commissioned Eucharistic Ministers may serve as substitutes. Please donot ask anyone other than those on this list to replace you (if you ask for a substitute by sending anemail to, you do not have to worry about this).

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