✟ EMHC: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Then He took a loaf of bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

-- Luke 22:19

"Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion" is the formal title of laypeople who distribute the Eucharist during Mass. As the title implies, there are also "ordinary ministers" - those who are literally "ordained" to the ministry -- namely bishops, priests, and deacons. These ministers are usually the first in order to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ, the deacon being the customary distributor of the cup.

When there are not enough priests and deacons available for the numbers of faithful present, those who are authorized as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may be assigned to distribute Communion. They are also the ones who take Communion to our parishioners who are homebound or confined to nursing homes.

The administration of Holy Communion during the Mass is truly a ministry. It is the ministry of bringing the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ to the People of God. It also witnesses to faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the action of sharing in the Eucharistic meal of Christ’s sacrifice. The ministry should, therefore, be treated with utmost dignity and reverence.

Extraordinary Communion ministers receive spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. Such preparation addresses appropriate attire, demeanor, and the manner in which to handle the consecrated bread and wine.

✟ Requirements

  • Must be at least in their senior year of high school, known for a good Catholic manner of living & for service to the parish & community.
  • Should be persons who have resided in their parish of registration for some time & therefore, be known to the pastor & people of the parish.
  • Training sessions are held throughout the year and are given by Father Richards and other priests. At the end of training, candidates receive a 3-year mandate, after which it must be renewed.    More Information

"Those who have been appointed to be EMHC are necessarily to be duly instructed & should distinguish themselves by their Christian life, faith & morals. Let them strive to be worthy of this great office; let them cultivate devotion to the Holy Eucharist & show themselves as examples to the other faithful by their piety & reverence for the most holy Sacrament of the altar. Let no one be chosen whose selection may cause scandal among the faithful."

-- Diocese of Harrisburg Training Manual for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

All registration forms must be submitted through your Parish with your Pastor’s signature and the Parish seal.

Mandate Application for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion 
Mandate Application for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion [SPANISH] 
Diocesan Norms for Extraordinary Ministers – Revised September 2012 

✟ Contact

If you are interested in becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, please speak with one of our priests to express your interest, or contact:

Vicki Ohler