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Expediency in Taking Eucharist to Sick Calls

downloadQuestion

I am a Special Minister of the Eucharist. I have joined a new Parish and am confused by some of the practices here.  I was taught that Eucharistic Ministers who take the sacrament to shut-ins were to receive the pix and proceed immediately from the church to the home or hospital of the person being visited. The ushers would open the church doors for us as we left.  The Eucharistic Ministers in my current Parish receive the pix, put it in their pockets, and chat with friends in the vestibule leaving to see the sick or elderly.  I feel this is disrespectful, am I wrong?

Response

First, the proper name of the lay person commissioned to distribute the Eucharist is EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER OF HOLY COMMUNION.

Second, in regard to your question, after receiving the Eucharist, Extraordinary Minister should go directly to those communicants who are homebound or sick in the hospital or nursing home. If there are several people to visit, they may exchange a few niceties, but generally they should not be distracted from their purpose. I have never heard of ushers holding the doors for them, but I can appreciate such a sign of respect.

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