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« on: August 17, 2008, 09:16:54 PM »

My good friend, a Catholic woman said she wanted to apply to be a Eucharistic minister. What is that? What qualifications/training must one have?

I am a bit shocked to hear that a layperson can just apply to distribute the Eucharist.
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2008, 09:54:25 PM »

What is that?
An "Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion" is a layperson, who after proper training and permission, is allowed to distribute Communion.  It is only to be allowed when there are not enough clergy to administer Communion and there is no acceptable acolyte present.

What qualifications/training must one have?

Yes, there is training.  It depends on the diocese if it is to be done in-parish by the parish Priest or if the training is to be done the Bishop.  The length and intensity of the training can vary as well.

I am a bit shocked to hear that a layperson can just apply to distribute the Eucharist.

If interested, you can read the Redemptionis Sacramentum for more information on that matter.
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2008, 10:27:13 PM »

I went to a Catholic high school, and they would even have students handing out the Eucharist... It makes me wonder how many people *really* got the required training  Huh

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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2008, 10:38:29 PM »

I went to a Catholic high school, and they would even have students handing out the Eucharist... It makes me wonder how many people *really* got the required training  Huh

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Usually depends on the diocese how seriously the required training was taken.  I went to a RC high school and only the Priests would distribute Communion, and all Eucharistic Ministers were required to not only receive instruction from the Aux Bishop, but be approved by him.
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2008, 11:54:12 PM »

I work in a secular hospital and many of the Eucharistic ministers I  see on a daily basis really take their calling very seriously.  Here they wear a special  medalion necklace with a chalice with a host over it that identifies them.  They generally do not  talk in the hallway while carrying the host. They will stay a short while with one who is sick to say a prayer or offer solace but no chatty  visits. Apparrently in the Austin Texas Diocese, someone is teaching their Eucharistic Ministers correctly. Of course the better thing would be to ordain  more deacons to provide the service or restart the order of deaconesses so they would have clergy who were eucharistic ministers.  Most of those who come to serve at the hospital I work in are older  men and women in the  senior years 60+.

Thomas

edited for spelling and expanded text
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 05:07:55 AM »

My good friend, a Catholic woman said she wanted to apply to be a Eucharistic minister. What is that? What qualifications/training must one have?

I am a bit shocked to hear that a layperson can just apply to distribute the Eucharist.

Yes, hello, I used to be a Eucharistic minister in our local church. The priest just asked me to do it and I received some minimal instruction. I felt unhappy to do the job and it got me thinking about the various slip shod ways of doing things in the Roman Catholic church-unordained ministries being one of them. Imagine a church at any time in past history allowing such an innovation! Then everyone comes forward for communion with no more than an hour's fasting (if they can endure it!).

Archbishop Antony Khrapovitsky said the differences between the Orthodox and western churches were more to do with asceticism than doctrine.

 
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 02:20:00 PM »

The last ordinary Roman Catholic Mass I was at with my mother's side of the family about two months ago there were 4 lay people handing out the host plus the priest (5 handing out the host).  Then there were 2 handing out the chalice.  That is 7 people handing out Communion for about what seemed to be 75 people.  Hardly extra-ordinary circumstances.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 02:21:09 PM »

I went to a Catholic high school, and they would even have students handing out the Eucharist... It makes me wonder how many people *really* got the required training  Huh

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In my Catholic High School many of us were lay engineers of Communion distribution.  The training was like one class period during school if I remember correctly.  I remember the first time I handed out communion.  My car engine died on the highway and a State Police Trooper picked me up and dropped me off at the High School and the Bishop was standing right there.  I was late for school, arrived right as Mass procession was starting and was dropped off by the State Police in front of the Bishop.  I explained my car just died and he understood Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 03:29:31 PM »

I was a Eucharistic Minister and licensed Layreader in the Episcopal church. During celebrations of the Eucharist we only administered the Chalice, never the Host. We only adminstered the Host when we took Communion to the homebound or hospitalized. We took Communion to thme under both species, we had these sets with a small paten and chalice.
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008, 03:35:52 PM »

Administered one, but not the other? er...OK.
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2008, 03:36:48 PM »

The last ordinary Roman Catholic Mass I was at with my mother's side of the family about two months ago there were 4 lay people handing out the host plus the priest (5 handing out the host).  Then there were 2 handing out the chalice.  That is 7 people handing out Communion for about what seemed to be 75 people.  Hardly extra-ordinary circumstances.

Right. Of all liturgical abuses, I think an overabundance of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist is the most common I've seen. You can usually tell the parishes where this is abused when you see in the bulletin that they are called "Eucharistic ministers" (NOT the correct term). For my part, I have always refused to become one when asked, pointing to a host of instructions from the Holy See specifying that they are to be used only when absolutely necessary. In most cases, it's not because the priest is too lazy, it's because of the preponderance of the silly idea that people aren't participating at the Mass if they aren't physically "doing" all kinds of things---to some, the Sacrifice of the Mass is like a Little League baseball game, where everybody has to get at least one at-bat.

It's going to take a while to clamp down on this, though things have improved over the dark days of the 1970s.
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2008, 03:38:37 PM »

I was a Eucharistic Minister and licensed Layreader in the Episcopal church. During celebrations of the Eucharist we only administered the Chalice, never the Host.

Very strange. Is this common in the Episcopal Church? I used to go to Episcopal churches, but they were of the Continuing Anglican variety.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2008, 03:42:08 PM »

Very strange. Is this common in the Episcopal Church? I used to go to Episcopal churches, but they were of the Continuing Anglican variety.
It became very common in the early 80's...in fact the program was piloted in my hometown.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2008, 03:48:11 PM »

It's going to take a while to clamp down on this, though things have improved over the dark days of the 1970s.

No longer allowing Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to take part in the purification of the Sacred Vessels was definitely a step in the right direction by Benedict XVI.  Hopefully we will see more moves in this direction but it looks like USCCB will fight each of them tooth and nail.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2008, 04:21:08 PM »

No longer allowing Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to take part in the purification of the Sacred Vessels was definitely a step in the right direction by Benedict XVI.  Hopefully we will see more moves in this direction but it looks like USCCB will fight each of them tooth and nail.

Well, in 20 years, many of the obstructionists in the episcopacy will be retired or dead. Two generations of the Church's shepherds have done their worst, but the younger of the two is now aging. Benedict XVI isn't old fashioned, he's cutting edge!  Smiley Time is on his side, even if God calls him home tomorrow.
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2008, 04:42:14 PM »

No longer allowing Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to take part in the purification of the Sacred Vessels was definitely a step in the right direction by Benedict XVI.  Hopefully we will see more moves in this direction but it looks like USCCB will fight each of them tooth and nail.

I see lay person communion distribution engineers cleaning the vessels all the time.  That is a no-no even in the Roman Catholic Church.  Every mass I attend with the Irish family some lady is up there cleaning the Chalice like she's a deacon.  I don't say this against the Roman Catholic Church, I think it is a real problem.  When I was a lad and served mass when we'd go to the Latin Rite church we weren't allowed to clean the vessels and lay persons that distributed communion weren't allowed to self commune off the altar like they do today.  We didn't have non-male altar co-ordinating engineers either.
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