Guidelines Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion


The proper term for the women and men who distribute Holy Communion at Mass is “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” (EMHC). EUCHARISTIC MINISTER is the proper term for those who distribute Holy Communion by ‘virtue of their office’. This includes those who are ordained as temporary deacons, permanent deacons, priests and bishops. All EMHC will show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire and manner when handling the Consecrated Bread or Precious Blood. At all times, remember that you are an active participant in the liturgy. Participate joyfully in the singing and prayers. God has created us to be holy! Cheerfulness is a big part of being holy. Your Communion ministry is a role of service and assumes regular Mass attendance and positive attitude in the parish. Your lifestyle should not give scandal to your ministerial role.


01. Be EARLY: Please be present at least 15 minutes before Mass to perform before Mass duties.
02. Be REVERENT: Present a quiet demeanor and show devotion to Eucharist by folding your hands.
03. Be PRESENTABLE: Dress as respectful adults. This does not mean suits for the men and formals for the women. Also, it does not mean ragged blue jeans, cut-offs and tank tops. In short dress appropriately. The manner of your dress should not call attention to YOU!
04. Be RESPONSIBLE: When you are assigned, check the schedule weekly. If you know you will be gone, please find a substitute minister for your duties.
05. Be OBSERVANT: Please pay attention to see if the assigned ministers are carrying out their “before Mass” duties. If they are not, please come forward to see that things are done and to fill in if necessary.


06. Make sure that 4 cups, 2 Ciboriums and 4 Purificators are on the credence table.
07. Put the Tabernacle key in the Tabernacle.
08. Make sure that the wine is poured into the pitcher.
09. Take the pitcher with wine; bread container and ciborium; and water in a cruet to the Gifts Table at the entrance of the church.
10. Kindly put 10-15 extra hosts for those who come late.
11. During offertory the following will be brought to the Altar: bread in the ciborium, wine in the pitcher, water in a cruet and collection basket.


12. At the Sign of Peace, kindly come forward to do your ministry. Go to the credence table and use hand sanitizer.
13. One EMHC goes to the tabernacle and takes the Holy Communion and places it on the corporal on the Altar.
14. The EMHC stand behind the Altar facing the priest.
15. The priest will give the Body of Christ first and then the Precious Blood to the EMHC.
16. Then the Priest and the EMHC will go to their stations for the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ.
17. Look the communicant in the eye and say either “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ.” Wait for the person to say “Amen.” Do not say anything else.
18. When offering the Blood of Christ, hold the cup at chest level. Turn the cup and wipe it with the purificator before offering it to the next communicant.
19. When children come up on the communion line, feel free to place your hand on their head and bless them. When adults come with their hands crossed over their chest and do not open their mouth, they are asking for a blessing rather than for Holy Communion. Simply say, “God bless you” or make a sign of the cross on their forehead.
20. Should the Consecrated Host fall, the minister of the Eucharist should immediately pick it up and consume it. Should some of the consecrated blood spill, the minister of the Eucharist should immediately cover the area with the purificator. It will be cleaned up with clean water after mass.
21. After the distribution of Holy Communion consume the remainder of the Precious Blood and return empty chalice on the credence table placing the purificator over the chalice.
22. One of the EMHC take the balance of the Holy Communion back into the tabernacle. Remember to genuflect, close the tabernacle door and then lock the door.
23. The EMHC will go to the front of the Altar and bow to the Altar and return to their pew.


24. After mass the EMHC will gather the Communion Vessels and take them to the Sacristy.
25. Purify the Sacred Vessels very carefully by rinsing and consuming the contents. Then wash them in warm water and soap and after drying the Sacred Vessels, return them to their proper storage place.
26. Until the Sacred Vessels are purified, cleaned and put away please do not go for any other work.
27. Remove the Tabernacle Key from the Tabernacle and put the key in it’s proper storage place.


28. Holy Communion is taken to the homebound every Sunday.
29. When they go they will take a copy of the bulletin.
30. There is a laminated sheet in the sacristy with all the prayers you need to say while giving Holy Communion. Please take this sheet and a missal with you.
31. EMHC are encouraged to give a summary of the homily at mass.
32. After giving Holy Communion to the sick, kindly return to the church and put away the remaining items used for the service.
33. Thank you for serving the FAMILIES IN FAITH PARISH. May God continue to bless your life and may your ministry continue to help our parish grow in love for the Lord and our neighbor.

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