Communion ministers in the procession

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: What is the guideline regarding the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion processing as part of the gathering procession? I looked at the GIRM and #194 speaks about “…the reader walks in from of the Priest but otherwise walks along with other ministers.” Are the other ministers the EMs? 

Thank you.


A: I know of no legislation putting communion ministers in the opening procession. You are correct that GIRM 194 mentioning “other ministers.” They are also mentioned in GIRM 120c. I think the GIRM is referring to altar servers who are not carrying cross and candles or are not instituted acolytes. But that’s the slot where I invite others into the procession, such as parents and godparents of the child I’m baptizing at that Mass, children making their first communion, or couples celebrating a special anniversary.

If you want to put communion ministers in the opening procession, that’s where they’d go, but in my view they don’t need to be there. They may occupy their regular places from the beginning of the Mass, enter the sanctuary to begin their service, and return to their pews afterward. Many readers do this as well, especially if a deacon is carrying the Book of the Gospels.