As an Extraordinary Minister of Communion you are first and foremost a member of the body of Christ. Each Christian, through baptism, died with Christ, and in confirmation was anointed with chrism to share in the priestly, prophet, and royal ministry of Jesus.
Note: Bishops, priests and deacons are “ordinary” ministers of communion, meaning that the ministry of communion is considered a usual intrinsic part of the ordained clergy’s role in the church.
In 1965 Pope Paul VI granted permission for others to minister communion in very specific circumstances. At first this privilege was given to religious communities/houses when a priest or deacon was not available. Soon local ordinaries were granted permission for lay people in their diocese to assist priests and deacons. In 1973 a document, Immensae Caritatis, Latin for boundless Charity, which gave permission to religious and laity to function as extraordinary ministers was approved by Pope Paul VI.
Qualities of a Minister of Communion:
A person recognized for good qualities of Christian life, faith and morals. The person should strive to be worthy of this great office and have a devotion to the Eucharist along with a commitment to serve in this capacity.
Four key words of the ministry are: Humility, Hospitality, Gratitude, Reverence
Every extraordinary minister of communion must be responsible for serving as scheduled. Courtesy and common sense dictate that a minister notifies the appointed person if they cannot serve. They should find a replacement minister from the list provided to all ministers and call another minister in advance to replace them when necessary. Fran McCormick must be notified when a minister plans to go on vacation, retreat, etc. 718-451 1671 Religious Education office.
Illness: If a minister of communion has the flu, a cold or other illness that can be spread easily they should find a substitute rather than risk spreading that illness.
Communion to the sick:
Eucharist may be taken to the home bound by a minister following mass, without delay. Ministers carrying the Eucharist should not stop to have conversation, pick up a newspaper, groceries even if it is for the person they are taking communion to. They must go directly to the home.
If the Eucharist or some particle of it falls, pick it up reverently. It may be consumed or completely dissolved in water before being poured down the sacrum. If the consecrated wine is spilled from the chalice, the area should be washed and the water poured down the sacrum.