Too Many Eucharistic "Ministers"?

Andrew M Brown asks the right questions, “Do we really need so many ‘Eucharistic ministers’?”

The thing I really noticed, though, was the sheer number of people who stand around giving out Holy Communion in some Catholic parishes. In the Church of England, they’re called “Eucharistic ministers”. Now Catholics seem to have adopted this term, and the practice as well.

What’s the point of all these assistants? The Catholic Church does allow for what it calls an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, in cases when the priest is not available. But there is absolutely no need to have five extra ministers, giving Holy Communion under both kinds, as I saw this morning in an ordinary parish church, two thirds full, with a perfectly capable parish priest.

Keep reading Brown’s article here.

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  • Agnieszka

    Definitely there’s way way too many, and there’s always “training” for more, and more, at our parish.
    Most of them seem to be good folks “trying to help”.
    I cringe. I go to the priest, sometimes the same one who appeals for more EMs.

  • William Howe

    There is always a shortage of extraordinary ministers, especially for those who take the Body of Our Lord to shut-ins, residents of nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities.  I do so wish that Rome would allow these ministers to also give the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.  It has been my experience that when I really need a priest to minister to one of my dying “parishoners” in the home I service on Sundays, it is nearly impossible to get one.  The elderly are, too frequently, our forgotten Catholics.

  • frival

    William, it has nothing to do with Rome “allowing” extraordinary ministers to give the Sacrament or not – the capacity to give the Sacrament rests only with those who have received priestly ordination.  It is a priestly function and as such must be performed by a priest.  In particular, in its fullest form, this inclues hearing the Confession of the recipient which, obviously, can only be done by a priest.  I too am saddened though at the difficulty you face with getting a priest to come attend a dying person, it is a hardship of our current days and hopefully one which will be remedied in the coming years.

Too Many Eucharistic "Ministers"?

Andrew M Brown asks the right questions, “Do we really need so many ‘Eucharistic ministers’?”

The thing I really noticed, though, was the sheer number of people who stand around giving out Holy Communion in some Catholic parishes. In the Church of England, they’re called “Eucharistic ministers”. Now Catholics seem to have adopted this term, and the practice as well.

What’s the point of all these assistants? The Catholic Church does allow for what it calls an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, in cases when the priest is not available. But there is absolutely no need to have five extra ministers, giving Holy Communion under both kinds, as I saw this morning in an ordinary parish church, two thirds full, with a perfectly capable parish priest.

Keep reading Brown’s article here.

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.