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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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One Response

  1. Well, all I can say is there were NO “Eucharist Ministers” in my day! When I attended the seminary, ONLY priests and I believe deacons, could handle the Sacred Species. We were not even allowed to play football at recess; only touch or handkerchief football. A priest’s hands were sacred and to be protected. There was a special liturgical ceremony for this. “New Church” is so foreign to me in so many ways . Those of my ilk were referred to as “liturgical freaks” in the seminary. I suppose that is a correct moniker and I now see so many strange and different things. I do not relate to the Novus Ordo. There are a few Traditional Churches left and God Bless Them!

    FATHER JOE: I have never heard the expression “liturgical freaks.” The ordinary ministers of the Eucharist are bishops, priests and deacons. There are also men installed as ACOLYTES which remains a ministry that a man is given prior to the ordination to the diaconate. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are, as the title stipulates, not ordinary ministers. That is why they should not be called Eucharistic Ministers either. They act as extensions of the pastor. You may certainly prefer the older form of the liturgy. There is no problem with that. However, attacks upon the reformed liturgy is also an attack upon the substance of the sacrament and the oblation of Christ. We must be careful not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. The Church is the Church. Peace!

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