Communion ministers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I have another question regarding the distribution of Holy Communion. I’m familiar with a local parish whose priest does not have any eucharistic ministers other than himself. Is there any Church guidance regarding a parish discouraging any Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, other than the priest distributing?


A: The priest is under no obligation to include communion ministers. There are various iterations of the main guideline, but look here at Article 8 §2 . Extraordinary ministers may exercise their function at celebrations “where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion.” 

So, ultimately, it’s a judgment call.

However, many priests have discovered that the use of extraordinary ministers not only aids the distribution of communion, but also balances the time necessary for different parts of the Mass and manifests the many gifts of the Spirit at work in the assembly.