Communion Ministers - Liturgy
These liturgical ministers assist in the distribution of Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of Christ, during the celebration of the Eucharist. Training is required and provided by Parishioner-Coordinator(s) and Saint Denis Staff. Diocesan regulations
make the following provisions for the selection of Communion Ministers:
- The community's need for extraordinary ministers of Communion must first be determined. For both Sunday and weekday Masses, the following present legitimate needs: the presence of large numbers of communicants; the desire to provide Communion under both kinds and more frequent Communion for the sick, especially on Sunday; incapacitation of the ordinary minister.
- Men and women who are 18 years of age or older may be appointed. They should be mature in faith and be known to other parishioners as exemplary Catholics. They must also be fully initiated (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist).
- Selection of candidates should be as objective as possible, seeking an appropriate reflection of the diversity and unity of the local parish community, e.g., not be confined to one age group, sex, race or social class.
- The selection may happen in a number of ways: selection by pastoral staff and parish liturgy committee, nomination by the parish council, or through nomination by the parish at large with approval by the pastor.
- The pastor (or, with the pastor's permission, the parochial vicar) must send the names of candidates to the Office of the Chancellor, who, in the name of the Bishop, gives approval and grants the faculty. The signature of the priest, or in the case of a religious community, the religious superior of the congregation, is required as a recommendation of the candidates.
- The faculty becomes effective at the time of the celebration of the liturgical rite of commissioning (Book of Blessings, Chapter 63). Unless previously withdrawn, it remains in effect for three years. This date is the same for all extraordinary ministers in a given parish.
All Communion ministers must be prepared for their liturgical role through some kind of program that includes the following: (Please refer to the training program for extraordinary ministers of Communion in the Guidelines for the Care and Celebration of the Eucharist in the Diocese of Manchester ).
- Reflection on the nature of liturgical ministry, the mystery of the Eucharist and the theology of the Mass.
- Renewed appreciation of the ritual nature and structure of the Mass, especially the importance and role of the baptized assemble and the multiple liturgical roles within it.
- The relationship between Communion of the sick and the assembly's celebration of the Mass, especially on Sunday.
- Rehearsal of the practical function of the minister of Communion both at Mass and in visitation of the sick. In addition, where it is necessary for such ministers to lead Communion services outside of Mass or to assist with public Eucharistic adoration, they must be specifically prepared for their role as leader of the community's prayer and in the use of the prescribed ritual.
- Spirituality of the liturgical minister.
- Ongoing enrichment provided in the parish and by the diocese.