An “extraordinary” minister of Holy Communion is a lay person, who has been carefully chosen, prepared and commissioned, within a particular parish or chaplaincy, to assist the “ordinary” minister with the distribution of Holy Communion both during and outside of the Holy Mass. The use of the term ‘extraordinary’ has a technical meaning. It simply means ‘out of the ordinary’, rather than ‘great’ or ‘remarkable’. It is used to distinguish the ‘extraordinary’ minister from the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ minister. The ‘ordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are ordained ministers - Bishops, priests and deacons.
An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, often referred to as a Eucharistic Minister, may be required at Mass to assist the celebrating priest with the distribution of Holy Communion - either to allow the faithful to receive Holy Communion under both kinds or where, without assistance, the Communion Rite would be unduly long.
Outside of Mass, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion may be required to assist the priest to administer Holy Communion to the sick or housebound, to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament or to assist at a Celebration of Word and Holy Communion in the absence of a priest to celebrate Mass.
At St Mary Magdalen church, the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest at Sunday Masses on a rota basis. The schedule is displayed in the narthex. In any case where an additional ordained priest is present at Mass, that priest or deacon will take precedence over an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and the named Extraordinary Minister(s) should step down. In any case where the designated Extraordinary Minister is unavailable for the scheduled duty, that individual should arrange suitable for cover for his/her absence.
If anybody would like to volunteer to join the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at St Mary Magdalen church, in the first instance please speak to Fr Paul or use the contact form.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) has lifted the restrictions on home visits in line with Government relaxation of some of the Covid regulations. Home visits by priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may now restart, subject to the guidelines laid down by the CBCEW. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion involved in home visits should download a copy of the Guidance for Acts of Worship – Pastoral Care of the Sick which must be followed.
Click here to download the guidance document.
Now that he has settled in to the parish, Fr Paul would very much like to get around and visit more people who are, for whatever reason, unable to get to Mass in person. If you know of anybody in this position who would appreciate a visit, please check with them first, and then pass their details to Fr Paul who can will then contact them to arrange a home visit.