EMHC Guidelines - St. Peter Catholic Church

Please arrive about ten minutes before Mass begins so that Father knows that you
are present. Go to the back of the church to check your name off the list.
the chalice.
Proceed from your seat, bow at the foot of the steps, and proceed to assigned
1. The Celebrant will give the host to Extraordinary Minister #1 (EM-1), and
then the chalice. EM-1 will then follow the celebrant with the chalice, as
celebrant gives the host to the other EM’s and to the Servers.
2. The Celebrant will then hand the side chalices to each of the EM’s. When
EM-1 is finished bringing the Precious Blood to the others, he or she will
place the chalice on the altar, and the celebrant will give them the ciborium of
3. All go to their respective distribution posts as the celebrant goes to the center
aisle, with the other minister of the Body of Christ to his right. Father and the
other distributor of the hosts will stand on the step at the center aisle.
4. Those distributing Precious Blood go to their respective corner of the
5. An altar server will normally accompany the ministers of the Body of Christ
and hold a paten underneath as they distribute Holy Communion.
After Distribution:
Once Communion is over, the Minister of the Body of Christ will bring back ciborium,
set it on the altar, towards the center, and will return to their seat.
The Minister of the Precious Blood will return the side chalice to the altar, placing it on
the side of the altar from whence they were distributing. If possible, they will consume
any excess Precious Blood, if not, they will leave it for the celebrant. Either way, they
will lay the purificator across it and then will return to their seat.
Priests and Deacons are ordinary ministers of the Eucharist. This means that a priest or
deacon at Mass will always distribute before an extraordinary minister. Therefore, if you
notice that an extra priest is concelebrating or a deacon is serving the Mass, that means
we will need one less extraordinary minister. Whoever is third on the list for that day
should remain seated. (However the priest or deacon will take the function of EM-1 in
receiving from the main chalice and then following the celebrant around as he gives
communion to the other ministers at servers. If it is a priest he will normally also take the
function of distributing the host, if it is a deacon, he will distribute the cup and therefore
EM-1 will distribute the hosts as usual). If there are two extra ordinary ministers, then
whoever is third and second should remain seated and so on. Occasionally when the
pastor is not celebrating the Mass, he will come out at Communion time to help
distribute. In that case, again, whoever is third would remain seated.
Intinction is not permitted. Intinction is the taking of a host and dipping it in the chalice
of Precious Blood. There is a good chance of Precious Blood dripping on the floor and so
this is reserved to the priest. He may intinct himself, or intinct and give to another person,
but no one is allowed to intinct the host themselves. Thus, if you see someone starting to
put their host in the chalice from which you are distributing, cover it with your hand and
say “This is not allowed here.” If they persist tell them to please see the pastor after
Mass. If they get it in before you have time to cover the chalice, just let them go through
with it, but still tell them that “this is not allowed here.”
Occasionally people will take the cup but not consume. This is fine. In fact our servers
are instructed to still take the cup from the minister, saying Amen, and then return it, if
they are not receiving from the cup that day since everyone on the altar should still be
uniform in action.
If you notice that less than three extraordinary ministers are walking up to help distribute
and there is only the one priest on the altar, please come forward to assist with
Notes for Distribution of the Host:
If a Consecrated Host is dropped on the floor and the server does not pick it
up, please promptly pick it up and place it on the paten that the server is
carrying. Father will consume it when distribution is completed.
Notes for Distribution of the Precious Blood:
If all of the Precious Blood is consumed before Communion is complete,
bring the empty chalice back to the altar as you normally do and then return to
your seat.
Adoration – It is highly suggested that you commit to making a Holy Hour each week.
This is because the Ministry of Holy Communion is meant to be a ministry with a
particularly strong bond of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. We can grow in our
natural respect and awe for the sacrament by spending time in His Presence each week.
This respect will naturally carry over in the way we unconsciously conduct ourselves
when ministering the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Exposition occurs every Thursday
from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. If you cannot make it during that time period, know that the
Church is open every day from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Ministry to the Homebound – one of the branches of ministry regarding the Eucharist is
that of bringing Communion to the homebound. This is a very important ministry and
also one that takes extra diligence in treating the Eucharist with respect.
-NEVER take the host to someone if you know that you are going to be stopping
for breakfast or to do some quick shopping, etc. The route should be from the Church to
the place of ministry. We must be conscious of the incredible gift that we are carrying
when we bring Communion. This includes being aware of our conversation if we are
travelling with someone. It is better to commit to praying some prayers, decade of the
Rosary, etc. when travelling with someone if there is danger that our conversation might
turn to something unworthy of our Lord’s Presence.
-If for some reason you end up with extra hosts at the end of the trip – either
immediately return them to the Church, or if this is not possible, reverently consume
them yourself. Under no circumstances should the Eucharist be stored in your home or
car awaiting a more opportune time for ministry – this is the Living God. There is grave
danger in forgetting this and becoming carefree and is one of the reasons the Church did
not allow this type of ministry for centuries. Therefore we must be extremely diligent in
our concern and respect for this Sacrament.
-Please bring your pyx (small container for hosts when travelling) to Sunday Mass
and when the priest asks for those bringing communion to the homebound to please come
forward, do so. After receiving the host, you may either leave directly for your ministry
or stay for the conclusion of Mass. However, if you stay for the conclusion of Mass,
please remember that you are carrying Our Lord and therefore be as quickly (though
politely) on your way at the conclusion of Mass. In other words don’t stop over for
coffee and donuts if you are carrying the Blessed Sacrament. If you plan on staying for
coffee and donuts, arrange to get the Blessed Sacrament afterwards.
Without Scandal – one of the requirements of an Extraordinary Minister of Holy
Communion is that they be living a life in the grace of the Church. This means among
other things – if married – being so in a valid marriage recognized by the Church (before
a priest or deacon). This also means not living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, not taking
public stances for things considered intrinsically immoral by the Church (eg. abortion,
homosexual marriage, etc.), in a word not living a life that could give rise to public
scandal. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion should be living a Christian
life worthy of imitation and should have deep devotion and reverence for Our Eucharistic
Suggested Dress:
Sunday Best!
Men – shirt and tie, no jeans
Women – skirt or dress of appropriate length or pantsuit, appropriate tops with a
modest neckline. No form fitting dresses, please.
Pyx and Booklet – In the sacristy of the church are kept booklets with the prescribed
prayers for homebound visits as well as extra pyx to carry the Blessed Sacrament in.
Please see Reed Hauser or Fr. Hahn to arrange picking these up for your ministry.
If for some reason you cannot meet your commitment, it is your responsibility to
obtain a substitute. Please post the dates on your calendar when you are scheduled to be
an Extraordinary Minister as soon as the schedule arrives to avoid conflict. Thank you.