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How to Become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

Marlene Alphonse
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are appointed to distribute the Holy Communion and assist the priest on days when there is a huge crowd in the Church. Read on to know how you can get to that post and humbly serve your Lord.
I have called you by name, you are mine.- Isaiah 43:1
How many of us have actually heard God's call and responded to it? Those who do, are invited to serve God in whatever way they can. Spreading the Good News, helping the needy and assisting in Church works are some of the ways through which we can serve God. These days, becoming a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is also one path of service.
Originally, the duty of distributing the Holy Eucharist to the people during the Mass was reserved only to the parish priest. But as the number of faithful began to increase, especially on special occasions like Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter, it was not possible for the parish priests to distribute the communion to everyone.
Hence, certain laity were chosen to assist in distributing the Communion. These individuals are called Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Who Can Be Called an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion?

Under the Code of Canon Law, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is, 'an acolyte, or another of Christ's faithful deputed, in certain circumstances, to distribute Holy Communion'.
A layperson is appointed to assist the parish priest―the Eucharistic Minister―to distribute the Holy Communion among churchgoers, or to take it to members of the church who can't come to the Mass.
A few people from the community are chosen according to certain criteria laid down by the Vatican, given the necessary training, and then appointed as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. These individuals are called upon when the priest requires assistance to serve the Eucharist.

Guidelines to Becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

  • A layperson can become a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion by following certain guidelines laid down by the Church, and should undergo training
  • You need to be a regular church-goer, and the sacraments should be taken regularly.
  • Practice the sacrament of Confession and other necessary sacraments as required by the Church before you receive the duties.
  • You must have great reverence towards the Church and its role in society. This must be portrayed in your demeanor and manner in which you serve the Communion.
  • During the procession, distribute the consecrated Bread and Wine reverently to the faithful, just as a priest would do.
  • Once the distribution is over, make sure the unused bread and wine is stored properly. There is an unused Sacrament, it must be kept in the Tabernacle. Purify the sacred vessels, so that they may be used during the next distribution.
So if you have heard the divine call and want to serve Him, serve Him in your own humble way wholeheartedly. God bless!