Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Currently our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) stand directly behind the alter and in front of the tabernacle “After the priest has concluded his own Communion, he distributes Communion to the extraordinary ministers, assisted by the deacon, and then hands the sacred vessels to them for distribution of Holy Communion to the people.”  

Seeking GIRM or theology, that addresses the appropriate and most reverent location an Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should stand while on the alter.


A: There’s nothing wrong with your present practice. The focus of the communion rite is communion, not the tabernacle. The Body and Blood of Christ rest on the altar. The hosts in the tabernacle are not more sacred than them. The priest in your situation has his back to the tabernacle throughout a large part of the Mass. The rubrics shine light consistently on the altar—not the tabernacle–during the course of the Mass.