Acolytes and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

It belongs first of all to the Priest and Deacon, as ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, to minister Holy Communion to the faithful who ask to receive it. It is most fitting, therefore, that they give suitable part of their time to this ministry of their Order, depending on the needs of the faithful.

It also belongs to an acolyte who has been properly instituted to give Communion as an extraordinary minister when the Priest and Deacon are absent or impeded by sickness, old age, or pastoral ministry or when the number of the faithful at the holy table is so great that the Mass or other service may be unreasonably prolonged.

The local Ordinary may give other extraordinary ministers the faculty to give Communion whenever it seems necessary for the pastoral benefit of the faithful and no Priest, Deacon, or acolyte is available.

Acolytes

Instituted acolytes are men who have received the minor order for service of the altar. Acolytes prepare the altar and the sacred vessels at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, assist the Mass Celebrant and Deacon at Mass especially, and at other liturgical functions. Acolytes may also assist the Priests and Deacons in distributing Holy Communion at Mass in an extraordinary fashion, and, after Communion or Mass, may purify the chalice and other vessels. Lastly, acolytes may bring Holy Communion to the sick and homebound in an extraordinary fashion.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs) 

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, or EMHC, are publicly faithful men and women who receive proper formation and are given the faculty to help in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass when no Priest, Deacon, or acolyte is available and when there are so many people at Mass that it would be unreasonably prolonged. They may also bring Holy Communion to the ill and the homebound.

Click here to download the rules for EMHC's at St. Peter Church.

Click here to download the Rite of Administration of Communion and Viaticum by an Extraordinary Minister published by the USCCB in January 2013.

Schedules