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Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

Extraordinary Ministers of Communion to the Sick and Homebound (EMOC) are called to serve in the very life of the church, the living Body of Christ. Holy Infant embraces those who are unable to be present at Mass by sending Ministers to them directly from the liturgy. In this way there is a visible and tangible link between the assembly and those who are either sick or homebound. The EMOCs share both the Word and the Eucharist with those they visit and therefore sharing with them the mystery that makes us one.

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 persons 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.


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. 


All liturgical ministry is absolutely crucial and essential for the celebration of the liturgy.  An EMOC has the option of choosing the frequency of their service via the online Liturgy Scheduler, usually once or twice a month. Please be present when scheduled or request a substitute through the Liturgy Scheduler as early as possible.   


  1. Contact assigned sick and homebound parishioners prior to Saturday afternoon.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • 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 sign in or inform someone at the front desk, if available, of your arrival.
  3. Bring special needs and circumstances to the attention of the Eucharistic Minister of the Sick Coordinator as soon as possible.




  1. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the celebration begins.  Put on your nametag.
  2. 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.

  1. An EMOC Coordinator will arrive before Mass begins and will have the host container in the pew area near the choir where ministers that have duty usually sit.  The readings for Atria and Bartlett will also be available then.  Please arrive no later than 8:25 AM to obtain the hosts for your pyx, the reading, and copies of the parish bulletin.   
  2. Upon dismissal by the Celebrant, the first minister to arrive at the area will take the tray with all of the pyxes from the Celebrant and hold the tray until the Celebrant is finished with the dismissal.  Then, the minister with the tray of pyxes will carry the tray to the atrium where each ministry will retrieve their pyx.  After all pyxes are selected, the tray should be left in the sacristy.



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
  • 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 consecrated bread.



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. 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.

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