Extraordinary Ministers

Role of Extraordinary Ministers

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest in giving Communion to the assembly. They may also take Communion to the sick and elderly at home or in hospitals. The word extraordinary (meaning “outside the ordinary”) is used because the ordinary ministers of Communion are bishops, priests and deacons. Lay people are not ministers of the Eucharist or Eucharistic ministers. If there are sufficient ordinary ministers they should be used.

In what ways are Extraordinary Ministers implementing their role?

The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the priest and deacon are lacking, when the priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.

What qualities are required of Extraordinary Ministers?

  • An individual is invited by the parish priest or by a delegated member of his pastoral team to become an Extraordinary Minister. Those invited into this ministry must be baptised practising Catholics.
  • An extraordinary minister understand the ministry is one of service and hospitality. Ministers display respect for people, modelling care above efficiency.
  • Participate in practical rehearsal training from time to time.