St. Lambert Church
8148 Karlov Ave
Skokie, IL 60076 (847) 673-5090
“The Eucharistic celebration is an action of Christ and the Church, which is the ‘sacrament of unity,’ that is, a holy people gathered together and ordered under the Bishop. For this reason, the Eucharistic celebration belongs to the whole Body of the Church. Such a celebration manifests this same Body and affects it. As to the individual members of the Body, the Eucharistic celebration touches them in different ways, according to their rank, office, and degree of participation in the Eucharist.
In this way, the Christian people, ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own,’ demonstrates it cohesion and its hierarchical ordering. Therefore, all, whether ordained ministers or Christian faithful, by virtue of their function or their office, should do all and only those parts that belong to them.” [#91 GIRM]
Regardless of whether you are scheduled to serve as a Eucharistic Minister, please check to see if assistance is necessary. It’s likely that your help will be welcomed since we often don’t have enough Ministers. Arrive at least 15 minutes before Mass in order to have sufficient time to vest and prepare for the service. This is a good time to reflect on the importance of what you are about to do Guidelines for Eucharistic Ministers and to spend some time in prayer before Mass begins.
In the procession to the altar, Eucharistic Ministers follow the servers and the choir. Upon entering the sanctuary, the ministers go to the left (ambo) side near the choir stall and wait until the celebrant venerates the altar. The ministers bow to the altar as the celebrant genuflects or bows, and then take a place in the back row of the choir stall. The outside seat of the stall should be reserved for the lector(s).
Ministers should model full, conscious and active participation for other members of the assembly (listening actively, attentively, joining in the prayers, singing, attending to your posture, bowing during creed, and so on.)
Eucharistic Ministers should remain in the choir stall until the celebrant has received communion. Once the celebrant has received, ministers go to the side of the altar where the priest will distribute communion to them. If for any reason a minister does not wish to receive the precious blood, simply indicate that to the priest or the deacon when the cup is brought. Once the ministers have received communion, the priest or deacon will bring them a ciborium or a chalice for distribution of the eucharist to the congregation.
Ministers should then proceed to their stations. Typically the priest and one minister will distribute the Body of Christ at the head of the center aisle. One minister should distribute the host at the head of the aisle on the north side of the church and one at the head of the south aisle. These ministers should be alert to occupants in handicapped accessible pews on each side who may need the eucharist brought to them. Should an usher indicate that a member of the congregation seated elsewhere needs to have the eucharist brought to them, be prepared to do so after finishing distribution at your station.
If there is a choir, an additional minister may be required to bring the eucharist to them in the balcony. Ministers of the Precious Blood station themselves at the head of the north-center
and the south-center aisles respectively.
In distributing Holy Communion, ministers should make a point to establish eye contact with each communicant. Extraordinary ministers are ministers of both the Body and the Blood. They are not simply distributing items to individuals, but participating in an essential moment in the mystery of faith, a moment of inviting others and self to recognize and reverence the body of Christ in its many dimensions. This is reflected in the Church’s regulations that ministers are to announce “The body of Christ” [not “This is the body of Christ” or some other phrase].
If a minister of the Body of Christ runs out of hosts, that minister should go to another station for additional hosts. If necessary, the hosts may be broken so that a sufficient amount is available for the number of people receiving. If a minister of the cup finds that all the Precious Blood has been consumed, the chalice should be brought to the sacristy and placed on the table to be purified by the deacon or priest. Do not attempt to pour the precious blood from one chalice into another. Do not put the purificator into the cup as there will be some amount of the precious blood remaining. When your section has finished, please check to see if assistance is needed at another station.
After communion, the Ministers return to the area near the tabernacle. Ministers of the cup should consume the remaining Blood of Christ, or if unable to do so, ask
for assistance. Ministers of the host should hand their ciborium to the priest or the deacon who will consolidate the remaining hosts. All the ministers wait until the hosts are consolidated and then genuflect (or bow if unable to genuflect) as the priest of deacon genuflects when closing the tabernacle. Empty ciboria and chalices should then be taken to the sacristy where they will be purified by the priest or deacon. Purification of Sacred Vessels after Holy Communion The General Instruction makes no
provision for laypersons to assist in the preparation and purification of sacred vessels at Mass. Several years ago, the Holy See did grant permission to the dioceses of the United States to engage laypersons (sacristans and Eucharistic Ministers) to assist the priest in the purification of sacred vessels at Mass. When the renewal of this permission was sought in 2006, it was not granted.
Note that there is a distinction between “purifying” sacred vessels and “cleaning” them. Purification of sacred vessels includes putting some water in the sacred vessels
and then consuming the remains of the consecrated bread or wine. This action belongs to the ministry of the bishop, priest and deacon. The “cleaning” of sacred vessels, including washing the vessels after being purified may be done by a deacon or priest and also by a layperson designated by the pastor to do so.
Distinct role Liturgical documents emphasize that Communion ministers should not assume the roles of others such as cantor, reader, acolyte at the same liturgy at which they are ministers of the Eucharist. Nonetheless, due to a lack of other ministers the situation may necessitate that a Eucharistic Minister be ready to assist in another capacity at a particular liturgy. However, no individual should sign up for more than one ministry at any individual service.
St. Lambert Church
8148 Karlov Ave
Skokie, IL 60076 (847) 673-5090
Extraordinary Ministers for the distribution of the Eucharist are properly formed, instructed and commissioned lay persons.They could be male or female and should reflect the cultural diversity of their parish community. These ministers are appointed for a given parish community to aid in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass. EMEs are to exercise their ministry only in their own parish or institution. EMEs should not perform any other liturgical ministry at the Mass at which they serve as an EME. When the situation requires, the presider of the Mass may call upon them to perform other duties such as lectors and acolytes
In order for a person to be appointed as an EME, the following conditions must be met:
• Be a fully initiated Catholic living in harmony with the teachings of the Church and be In the state of grace
• Be of sufficient age and maturity to perform the duties of an EME at Mass
• Be chosen and appointed by the pastor for the parish entrusted to him
• Prior to beginning their ministry, EMEs should be trained in the meaning of their ministry and the procedures to follow.
• EMEs should participate in ongoing theological and ministerial formation at the parish and/or Archdiocesan level.
After preparation for this ministry is completed, a formal commissioning of EMEs can take place, normally at a Sunday Eucharist, by the pastor or his delegate.
An “Order for the Commissioning of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” can be found in the Book of Blessings, Ch. 63.
Length of Service
Since ministry is a call both from God and the community in which it is exercised, it is appropriate that the choice of ministry and renewal of the term of service be mutually agreed upon by the individual and the parish. EMEs generally will serve for a period of at least two (2) years, after which time there may be an evaluation that may lead to a determination that the minister be re-commissioned for another term, called to another ministry,or relieved of their duties. It is helpful that each parish keep accurate records of each EME’s training, ongoing formation and their term(s) of service.
Reverence and Attire
EMEs show utmost reverence for the Eucharist. This reverence is reflected in their demeanor at Mass (full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy; their attire, and the manner in which they handle the Eucharist.
A neat and reverential appearance is in keeping with the minister’s role and belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is the reason St. Lambert has chosen to ask all ministers at Mass to wear the black ministerial robes with the colored collars according to the liturgical season/day.
EMEs should refrain from using strong cologne, perfume or aftershave because some recipients of Holy Communion have sensitivities to these scents and because these fragrances often remain on one’s hands and can be transferred to the Eucharist.
• EMEs should arrive at the church at least 15 minutes before the scheduled Mass to both check in, and prepare themselves interiorly for their ministry
• If necessary, and approved by the Pastor, EMEs may be required to prepare the appropriate amount of Eucharistic bread and wine to be brought during the Offertory.
• EMEs should be part of the opening and closing procession and should sit in their assigned choir stalls in the sanctuary
• EMEs should not perform another ministry during the same Mass, unless an emergency situation arises or the presider requests it.
• EMEs are called, as is the entire assembly, to full, conscious, active participation In the Eucharistic celebration.
• Because EMEs are models for the ritual behavior of the assembly, they should do all the ritual gestures of the assembly with strength and reverence, and make all verbal and sung ritual responses with faith and enthusiasm.
• EMEs should model the current church and parish practices during liturgy.
Procedures for Distribution
• EMEs may enter the sanctuary during the Fraction Rite, but should not approach the altar until after the presider has received Holy Communion.
• Ordinarily no minister should go to the tabernacle to bring previously consecrated hosts to the altar since this is reserved for the presider and/or deacon. All hosts for distribution should be consecrated at that Mass.
• EMEs receive Holy Communion after the priest (and deacon) have received, and before the reception of Holy Communion by the assembly; as indicated by the GIRM 2002 and the US Bishop’s Conference; all should make a bow of the head while saying “Amen” when receiving both the Body of Christ and the Precious Blood.
• EMEs are not to self-communicate either the Sacred Body or the Precious Blood.
• After EMEs receive Holy Communion, they are given their appropriate Communion vessel by the priest or deacon. Once all EMEs have their vessels, they proceed reverently to their Communion stations.
• In giving Holy Communion, the minister holds the host slightly above the vessel, looks at the communicant, and in a clear voice says, “The Body of Christ” to which the communicant responds “Amen”. These are the only words to be used. Nothing is to be added or subtracted, not even a name. Then the Sacred Body is placed in the hand or on the tongue according to the manner indicated by the communicant.
• If a communicant begins to walk away carrying the host, the EME should say in a subdued voice, “Please consume the host now”
• Distribution of Communion under Both Species is recommended in all celebrations of the Eucharist; but it is the communicant’s option to receive from the Sacred Cup.
• In giving the Precious Blood,the EME holds the Sacred Cup up slightly and says in a clear voice, while looking at the communicant, “The Blood of Christ” to which the communicant responds “Amen”. These are the only words to be used. Nothing is to be added or subtracted, not even a name. Generally, the communicant should hold the Sacred Cup firmly in both hands and drink from it. However, in the case of a physical disability or weakness, the EME should be ready to assist in holding the Sacred Cup
• After the Blood of Christ has been received, the EME should wipe the rim of the Sacred Cup, inside and out, with a purificator and turn the Sacred Cup slightly before presenting it to the next communicant. The EME should be careful not to wipe in a manner where the purificator is dipped into the Precious Blood.
• The Sacred Cup is always ministered to the communicant; it may never be left for self-communication, except in the case of concelebrating priests.
• Intinction.In the Archdiocese of Chicago, the practice of self-intinction, is not Permitted.
• Those EMEs finishing distribution before others, can move to assist those ministers who still have communicants to serve; follow specific parish procedure in this regard.
• It is recommended that ministers of the Sacred Cup are positioned at sufficient distance from the minister of the Body of Christ to ensure a smooth flow of the Communion procession.
• It is recommended that every parish train enough EMEs to be able to offer the Sacred Cup at every Mass.
Accidents During Distribution
• If a host falls to the ground during distribution of Holy Communion, the EME should pick it up immediately and consume it then, or after distribution is over. It should never be put back in the vessel to be given to another communicant. The presider may instruct EMEs to reserve it and give it to him for consumption.
• If the Precious Blood is spilled, the area should immediately be covered. It should then be blotted and washed after Mass with water and a purificator. The purificator should be rinsed and wrung out in the sacrarium. If there is no sacrarium, it should be rinsed in another vessel and the water poured into the ground in a secluded spot.
• In either case, do not panic, and do not embarrass the communicant.
Procedures After Distribution
• Once EMHCs are done with distribution, they return their vessels to the altar where any remaining hosts may be either consumed or prepared to be taken to the tabernacle; any remaining Precious Blood should be consumed at the altar or the sacristy by the priest, deacon or EMEs (Norms #52).
• Communion vessels may be taken to the side(credence) table or brought into the sacristy and cleansed after Mass, so that all may maintain a prayerful silence of word and movement after Communion; the vessels should be suitably covered.
• EMHCs should return to their places in a dignified and reverent manner, not rushing.
• Communion vessels should be purified by a priest, deacon or instituted acolyte.
A master list of EMEs is being compiled including emails and phone numbers. Please advise the coordinator of any changes in those.
Every attempt is made to schedule EMEs according to their preference. Communicate to the coordinator any temporary or permanent changes in your assignment
There is a printed schedule in the sacristy if you wish to check your assignment.
• EMEs do not wash their hands in the ablution bowl in the sanctuary either before or after distribution of Holy Communion. All EMEs are reminded to wash their hands in the sacristy or the rest room before Mass begins.
• While performing their ministry, EMEs do not bow or genuflect to the altar or Tabernacle