There will be a training class for new and recertifying EMHC August 26, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the main sanctuary. Please complete the forms below and submit them at least one week prior to class. For additional information and to submit forms, contact Robert Bruckner at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What is an Extraordinary Minister?
In short, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is a lay person or religious who has been deputed by the bishop for a period of time, or by a priest or deacon for a single occasion, to assist the priest and deacon in distributing Holy Communion to the faithful on those occasions where a shortage of ordained clergy makes it impossible for them to distribute Holy Communion to all the faithful in a reasonable way. It is thus a privilege to which the Church invites certain individuals under given circumstances, and not a right. The distribution of Holy Communion should not be seen as a more complete exercise of the priesthood that belongs to all believers in virtue of their baptism, as that priesthood is ordered to the sanctification of the world through the public life of the individual, together with their private prayer and sacrifice, and not to conducting public worship in the name of the Church. Rather, it is to be looked at as the exercise of a function that is proper to the ordained priesthood, but which, of necessity, must be carried out by others; this highlights the extraordinary nature of this service, which, rather than being part of the structure of the Church, is instead tied to particular needs arising from the limited number of clergy.
Thus the use of extraordinary ministers must be considered a sign of the shortage of priests and deacons, and should be an encouragement to pray for an increase in holy vocations to the priesthood and deaconate. Extraordinary ministers perform a very valuable service to the Church in supplying for this temporary need, but it is important to recognize that this service corresponds to an extraordinary situation in the life of the Church.
Qualifications to Serve as an Extraordinary Minister
The faithful who are special ministers of communion must be persons whose good qualities of Christian life, faith, and morals recommend them. Let them strive to be worthy of this great office, foster their own devotion to the Eucharist, and show an example to the rest of the faithful by their own devotion and reverence toward the most august sacrament of the altar. No one is to be chosen whose appointment the faithful might find disquieting. (Immensae Caritatis, 1, VI)
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has given some concrete expressions of these norms, namely that an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, if married, be married within the Church, have received the sacrament of Confirmation, and be at least 16 years of age. Also, it is necessary that the individual receive the certification of their pastor that they are properly qualified and trained.
TO SERVE AS AN EMHC, you must be “in Communion with the Church”:
If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact Deacon Luis or Fr. Matthew before the training class.