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Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound - OLD

Revised July 2013

As ministers of communion, we have been called to serve the very life of the church, the living Body of Christ. Eucharist is what defines us as community, as a Catholic-Christian people living the command of our Lord, as we make known the promise of the Gospel.  The sharing of the Body and Blood of Christ is the source of our collective spiritual life.  In our ministry, we serve our sisters and brothers by sharing with them the mystery that makes us one. (Liturgical Ministry: A Practical Guide to Spirituality by Donna M. Cole)

The Christian worshiping assembly embraces those who are unable to be present in the person of those whom it commissions to carry Communion to their brothers and sisters.  And so it is most fitting that they go directly from the assembly's weekend this way, the assembly of weekend worshipers is visibly linked to the sick and homebound who are unable to participate fully at the weekend Eucharist. (The Ministry of Communion by Michael Kwatera, O.S.B.)

All liturgical ministers are registered parishioners, confirmed and in good standing.  The guidelines that follow conform to the theological and liturgical principles in the diocesan guidelines.

Attire and Behavior

By dressing appropriately, liturgical ministers help the assembly focus on the ministry rather than on personal appearance.  Ministers, regardless of age, should dress at a minimum in “business casual” attire.  Sneakers, jeans, T-shirts, sweat/jogging suits, shorts, and skimpy clothing of any type are not appropriate.  Pins or jewelry with any type of writing, EXCEPT for a name badge, should not be worn.   

Ministers model a respectful and reverent attitude by arriving on time, avoiding distracting behavior (e.g. talking with others during the liturgy unless appropriate), and participating in the entire liturgy.

Training and Formation

Technical orientation and training as well as liturgical and spiritual formation are a necessary part of every ministry.  Initial orientation and training are required before the new minister enters service.  Each minister is also expected to grow in faith and action through attending ongoing formation for established ministers at least once a year.  Each minister is expected to attend the yearly formation held for all Holy Infant liturgical ministers.

Substitution Procedure

 All liturgical ministry is absolutely crucial and essential for the celebration of the liturgy.  Please be present when scheduled or request a substitute through the Website as early as possible.   

General Preparation

  1. Saturday/Sunday assignment schedule will be available in the sacristy.
  2. Contact assigned sick and homebound parishioners prior to Saturday afternoon.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Ascertain the time that is most convenient for the Eucharist to be distributed.  Inform the sick/homebound of the estimated time of arrival at their residence. 
  1. After the liturgy, distribute the Eucharist to those on your list. 
  2. When visiting a nursing home or a care center, please inform someone at the front desk of your arrival.
  3. Bring special needs and circumstances to the attention of the Eucharistic Minister of the Sick Coordinator as soon as possible.


Day of the Liturgy

Preparation Prior to the Liturgy

  1. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the celebration begins.  Place a check next to your name on the schedule posted in the sacristy and inform the host that you are present.  Put on your nametag.
  2. Begin by visiting the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for a few minutes. Ask God’s blessing upon your ministry. Offer your ministry to the Lord before, during, and after the liturgy. The following is a suggested adaptation of the direction of intention by St. Francis de Sales:

Lord, I give you my actions and ministry.  Help me to conduct myself in a manner that will give praise to you and assist my brothers and sisters in their worship of your holy name.

  • Place the required number of unconsecrated hosts in the pyx.
  • Place the pyx on the plate with the unconsecrated bread.  This plate will be in the sacristy or on the preparation table in the back of the church.
  • Print your name and the names of the sick and homebound being visited in the three ring binder the presider will use during the liturgy (see sample on page 4). The binder is on the presider’s bench in the sanctuary. Take the binder into the sacristy to fill it out and return it to the presider’s bench. Inform the presider of the correct pronunciation of any difficult names.
  • Collect a set of materials for each person to be visited. Include the bulletin, requested newspapers and magazines, and other reading materials from the racks in the atrium.


During the Liturgy

After the host announcements and second collection, the presider will call and send forth the ministers of the sick and homebound from the assembly.   

Prior to leaving the church, be sure to have:

  • Pyx
  • Small purificator
  • Rite of the Communion to the Sick
  • A copy of Liturgy of The Word book provided by the parish for the minister’s use
  • Handouts or materials of interest from the racks in the atrium
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of those to be visited

After all visits are completed, please consume any undistributed eucharistic bread.