Known by various names: "Special Ministers of Holy Communion" or "Extraordinary Ministers of Communion". Whatever their title, these people have become a part of a ministry in their parish and religious communities.
As a minster of communion, they are identified as one who serves God's holy people:
Eucharistic Ministers help during Mass because of the size of the congregation or a particular difficulty in which a celebrant finds himself. With the large number of sick, especially in the hospital, nursing homes and those who are shut in a home, the Eucharistic Minister will help attend these people when the priest is unable to do so due to his schedule of duties or the number of visits to be made.
The Eucharistic Minister may be called upon to take the Sacred Species especially in the Viaticum to the sick in danger of death.
Being the number of faithful requesting Holy Communion is so great that the celebration of Mass or the distribution of Eucharist would be unduly prolonged, the special minister of communion helps ensure the distribution of the Eucharist in a timely fashion.
The ministry also enables a congregation to share in a communion service when a priest cannot be present.
The significant role of laypersons in the ministry of communion is here to stay. The ministry complements and extends the ministry of the clergy and yet it is not only that of official assistant to the clergy, it is a particular way of exercising one's baptismal priesthood.
If you are interested in becoming a Eucharistic Minister, please call the Rectory at 973-748-1800.