EMCs, as “extraordinary” ministers of Communion, assist priests and deacons with the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick and homebound in their places of residence. Whether at Mass or in other special situations, the minister enables the recipient to share more deeply in the Body of Christ and experience the great love of the Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This ministry arises from the reforms of the liturgy established by the Second Vatican Council. In 1973, Pope Paul VI promulgated the document known as Immensae Caritatis (“Immense Love”) that fostered greater participation by the faithful in sacramental Communion. The Holy Father wrote:
Present-day conditions demand that greater access to Holy Communion should be made possible so that the faithful, by sharing more fully in the fruits of the sacrifice of the Mass, might dedicate themselves more readily and effectively to God, and to the good of the Church.…
Therefore, in order that the faithful… may share in the Sacred Banquet and not be deprived of this sacramental help and consolation, it has seemed appropriate to the Holy Father to establish Extraordinary Ministers.
The ministers perform this liturgical function to assist the priest and deacon who are the ordinary ministers of Communion. As Pope Paul VI noted, they perform this ministry to enable the assembly to participate fully in the sharing of the Body and Blood of Jesus.
This ministry is open to adults who meet the requirements of the parish and the Archdiocese of Washington and receive the applicable training.
Communion ministers are needed for all the Sunday and daily Masses and other special liturgies during the year. Schedules are arranged with the Ministry leaders.
Neal Osten, Coordinator
For more information and/or to volunteer for this ministry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.