Scheduling: The schedule for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist is mailed out in advance and typically contains the schedule for three months. You should let Deacon Rick know when you are available to serve in this ministry. Usually, three names appear on the schedule per Mass, but exceptions occur when there is distribution under both species; these names, however, are not indicative of the "position number" of the minister. Once you receive your schedule, the expectation is that you will maintain your obligations to the parish; therefore, it is your responsibility to find a substitute should you be unable to be at the particular Mass. A list of names and telephone numbers of the other Extraordinary Ministers is included with the schedule. When you arrive at Mass, you should report to the sacristy, where you will find a Sign-In sheet on the Bulletin Board. Remember to Sign-In, as this designates who will assume a particular position.
Ministers of Hosts
At the Sign of Peace/Lamb of God:
Make sure you are seated near aisle/end of a pew; do not delay too long before approaching the sanctuary.
After the sign of peace, at the start of the Lamb of God, the Extraordinary Ministers should approach the sanctuary. Those distributing hosts are to line up in front of the tabernacle, if there is Communion under only one species. If there is Communion under both species, ministers of the cups line up in front of the tabernacle, leaving enough room for Minister 1 to approach the tabernacle. Ministers of the hosts should line up on the opposite side of the sanctuary facing the others in front of the servers. Remember that you are members of the Assembly and should be singing the Lamb of God as such.
Minister 1 is responsible for getting the ciborium from the tabernacle; therefore it is Minister 1's responsibility to make sure the tabernacle key is in place before Mass. The said minister is to genuflect, open the tabernacle, remove the ciborium, remove the lid, bring the ciborium to the altar, then return to the line. Minister 1 is also responsible for reposition of the Blessed Sacrament after Communion. If there is a visiting priest, wait to see what the priest does regarding the protocol.
If there is Communion under only one species: After the priest's communion, the priest will bring the Eucharist to those distributing hosts. After you receive the Eucharist, approach the altar, take the patens and go to your position.
If there is Communion under both species: After the priests communion, the priest will bring the Hosts to all Extraordinary Ministers. The priest will then bring Communion from the Cup to those distributing from the cup and give you a cup and purificator. These ministers will walk across the sanctuary and offer Communion from the Cup to those distributing Hosts when the priest goes to give the servers communion. After this all will move to their assigned positions.
If you are distributing Hosts, you should show the Host to the communicant, say "The Body of Christ", place the Host on the tongue or in the hand of the communicant after he or she says "Amen". Be mindful of your eye contact, tone and volume of voice, and body language. After the Communion procession, follow the directions of the ushers, as there may be some handicapped individuals who need Communion brought to them. If there is a "back-up of communicants elsewhere, be alert and go help out. After you have finished distributing hosts, place the paten on the altar and return to your seat in the assembly unless you are Minister 1, in which case you wait for the priest to purify the vessels and you place the ciborium in the tabernacle. Do not stack the patens on top of one another in the altar.
If you are distributing from the Cup, as you extend the cup to the communicant, you say, "The Blood of Christ." The communicant responds, "Amen", communicates, and then hands the cup back. Take the purificator, wipe the area of the cup from which he or she drank and rotate the cup. Continue to repeat this procedure. After all have communicated, take the cup to the servers table, face the altar and consume the remaining elements. If you cannot consume everything that is in your cup, either ask for help from another or place the purificator over the cup and the priest can consume the remainder after Mass. When you are finished return to your seat in the assembly.
What should I do if I drop a Host or spill the Precious Blood? If the eucharistic bread or any particle of it should fall, it is to be picked up reverently. If any of the precious blood spills, the area should be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium. (GIRM 239) If you drop a host, pick it up, place it between your fingers and continue distributing, or place it on or under the paten where you can keep track of where it is. The priest can consume it later.
What should I do if I am obviously running out of Hosts or have already run out of Hosts? If you are running out of Hosts, you may break a host into several pieces, being mindful of all particles of the Sacred Species. If you run out of Hosts, ask another Extraordinary Minister or the priest to give you some more hosts. Stay alert!
If you have any questions, please call the rectory or feel free to ask the priests for instructions. We will send the names of those who have attended this session/are involved with the ministry to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. We thank all those who have served our parish in this special ministry.
Remember these words from the Gospel of John: Jesus said "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; ...he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and ...abides in me and I in him" (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).