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 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 minister 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 Magdalens, the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest at Sunday Masses on a rota basis. The schedule is displayed in the narthex, can be downloaded from this site and the individual ministers' names are shown for each Sunday Mass on the Mass Times page. 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 minister(s) should step down. In any case where the designated minister is unavailable for the scheduled duty, that minister should arrange suitable cover.
If anybody would like to volunteer to join the commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at St Mary Magdalens, in the first instance please speak to Fr Mathew 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.