Holy Family Procedures for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
(updated February 2019)
1. All Lay Persons who distribute Communion, whether they intend to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Communion at weekday or weekend Masses, or as Ministers to the Sick at Hospitals, Nursing Homes, or Home visits, must have a current EMHC Mandate. The training for an EMHC Mandate is not the same as Local Holy Family Training or training for Ministry to the Sick. There are three separate training sessions- EMHC, MTS, and Local Training.
2. The Diocese of Orlando requires that all MHCs serving in the Diocese hold a current mandate. These mandates are obtained by attending a Training Seminar sponsored by the Diocese. Mandates expire on the order of every 5 years and must be renewed by complying with Parish requirements for periodic local refresher training and continuing education. E-mails and the Parish Liturgy Site are used to communicate where and when new EMHC Training Sessions are held by the Diocese and when you need to attend refresher training. Mandates from other Dioceses are not transferable to the Diocese of Orlando. Mandates issued by the Orlando Diocese for another Parish are transferrable.
3. The Diocese of Orlando also requires that all MHCs be fingerprinted and attend a training session on “Safe Environment” for kids and other vulnerable people. Fingerprinting may be arranged by contacting the Diocese of Orlando (Go to http://www.orlandodiocese.org/ and click on the “Fingerprint” option on the right). Safe Environment Training is available on line at the Diocesan Website as well by clicking on the “Safe Environment Training” option on the right.
4. The Parish uses Ministry Scheduler Pro, an on-line website, to schedule EMHCs at Weekend, Holy Day, and Holiday Masses. Each of you will receive an introductory e-mail from Deacon Larry that gives you the website address for Ministry Scheduler Pro (http://www.rotundasoftware.com/ministry/hfcchurch ) along with your user name and password. Please log into the website and go to your profile. Then enter all the address and contact information, as well as your service preferences and your “cannot serve” information in your profile. After you enter the request to change your profile in this way, your request will be processed and approved in a few days. An attachment is available for examples of the log in screen and profile screen.
5. The schedule for Sunday Masses is prepared every six weeks and notice of the new schedule is e-mailed to you along with your user name and password for access to the Ministry Scheduler Website, where the information is posted. The Ministry Scheduler Website (http://www.rotundasoftware.com/ministry/hfcchurch) is the place to go to find the schedule. A roster of current EMHCs along with phone numbers and e-mail addresses is also available there. After the schedule is issued, you may request a substitute for a mass that you have been assigned to on-line at this website.
6. Weekday, Holy Day, Christmas and Easter week Mass assignments will be arranged separately from Weekends. You need to enter your service preference for these days in your profile as well as weekends. Please enter your preferences for these services on the Service Preferences portion of your profile. Once the schedule is issued, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you cannot make it for any reason.
7. Prepare properly for your assignment. This means that you should read the dress code and abide by it, that you know where the Communion Positions are in the Church (see attached diagram) and that you arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of mass time. Consult the schedule and check to see whether you are assigned. When you arrive, sign up for a position in the signup room just to your left after you enter the Church proper.
8. If you are the first EMHC listed on the schedule, you are assigned as the “Captain” and are responsible for working with the Sacristan to assure that all positions are filled on the signup sheet. You should also sign up as a Minister of the Cup if you are assigned as the Captain. Please arrive a little earlier – about 20 minutes before Mass.
9. If a Priest or Deacon has signed up for a Cup or other position, please do not change it. Do not erase anyone’s name from the signup list. The Deacon of the Mass will serve the cup next to the Celebrant independent of the position assigned him. If he goes to your assigned position, simply go to the other side of the altar and support that priest with the cup.
10. If you are not the Captain, please arrive no less than 15 minutes before Mass. Go to the Ministry Gathering Room on the left side of the back of the church (also known as Bride’s room), and check off your name on the schedule. Then sign for a Communion position on the signup sheet. The positions are defined on the diagram mounted in the Gathering room (also attached to this document). Then, take a seat in the congregation.
11. Priests and Deacons are clergy and are Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The Vatican prefers that as many Ordinary Ministers of Communion be utilized at any given Mass as possible. Therefore, if you signup for position 1 and you notice that there are 3 priests on the altar, or if you signup for position 4, and you notice that there are 4 priests on the altar, you should return to your seat.
12. If you are not assigned for a particular Sunday, but you are appropriately dressed, please do check in with the Captain in case there is a need for a substitute. Let the Captain know where you will be seated. In that case, the Captain will be able to locate you and advise you of your position as a substitute.
13. At the end of the Sign of Peace, the EMHCs and EMHC – Cups should approach the altar and stand to the left or right of the foot of the altar during the Lamb of God- with the Ministers for the Ciborium on the far left (ambo side), and the Ministers of the Cup on the far right (choir side). Please leave the center of the altar open, i.e. please do not stand directly in front of the altar. After the Priest’s Communion, you should come up the steps and stand behind the altar to receive Communion. EMHCs should stand behind the altar on the ambo side; EMHC – Cups should stand behind the altar on the choir pit side.
14. EMHCs will be administered the Eucharist, and then the Cup. They will then be given a Ciborium. EMHC – Cups will be administered the Eucharist. They will then be administered a Cup to retain along with a purificator cloth. Only a Priest or Deacon is permitted to distribute a Ciborium or Cup to an EMHC or EMHC – Cup. Ministers should not begin to go to their assigned station until the Celebrant leaves the altar for his station.
15. When receiving the Eucharist, the communicant should bow his head, then indicate whether they desire communion in the hand or the tongue by holding their one hand open or presenting their tongue.
16. The EMHC should administer the Eucharist by selecting one from the Ciborium, and holding it vertically slightly above the vessel. They should say in a clear voice “The Body of Christ”. The communicant then responds “Amen”, after which the MHC administers the Eucharist on the tongue or in the hand as indicated.
17. All mothers with children in their arms should be administered the host on the tongue.
18. The EMHC – Cup should administer the Cup by saying in a clear voice “The Blood of Christ”, and by then handing the Cup to the Communicant. When the Communicant returns the Cup, the rim should be thoroughly and firmly wiped clean with the purificator cloth both inside and outside the rim, and then the Cup turned a quarter turn. The purificator cloth should be rotated or otherwise repositioned to use the entire cloth during the process.
19. When receiving the Cup, the communicant should bow his head, respond “Amen", take the Cup from the EMHC – Cup, consume a portion, and then return the Cup to the EMHC – Cup.
20. All who present themselves for Communion in either form should be served. If there is a question of propriety or scandal, administer Communion and speak to the Celebrant after Mass. Note that the ministers must administer the Eucharist and Cup to the communicants. The congregation is not permitted to self-administer the sacrament. If someone attempts intincture (where they attempt to dip the host into the cup themselves), they should be politely told that intincture is not permissible.
21. You are responsible for assuring that the host is consumed. If you notice someone has not consumed the host you gave them, go after the person and politely ask them to consume the host.
22. The invitations “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” must not be modified by narrowing them or expanding them.
23. If the Eucharist is dropped during administration, the MHC should pick it up, and then hold it with the same hand with which the vessel is held. When Communion is finished, the host may be consumed or may be given to the Celebrant for proper disposal.
24. If the Precious Blood is spilled, the EMHC – Cup should first ask the communicants to go to another minister, then cover the spot with the purificator cloth. The area should be cleaned after Mass by the Priest or Deacon or Sacristan.
25. Some persons, including spouses who are not Catholic and young children, may present themselves for a blessing by crossing their arms in front of them. Do not give them Communion. The Vatican and the Diocese have issued statements asking us not to bless people in the Communion Line because that’s what the General Blessing at the end of Mass is for. However, we suggest you extend your hand and say “May Jesus Christ enter your heart”. This invocation prepares young children for actual Communion, and serves as an invitation to a spiritual Communion for adults. It is not a blessing.
26. After distribution of Communion, the EMHCs should return the Ciborium to the Tabernacle area. If they are the first to reach the Tabernacle, they should stand in attention till a Priest or Deacon arrives. Otherwise, they should present the Ciborium to the Priest or Deacon from the foot of the steps, and then genuflect reverently before returning to their seat. Once the Priest and or Deacon arrives, an MHC should leave for their seat unless the Priest or Deacon requests assistance. Do not return cups or ciboria to the altar.
27 . After distribution of the Precious Blood, the EMHC’s holding the Cups should take them to the back of the Church, and enter the room to the left, opposite the sign up room on the right. Consume any remaining Precious Blood and then place the purificator cloth over the Cup. Do not pour anything into the Sacrarium (sink) in the Sacristy. The Captain is responsible for assuring that all of the Precious Blood is properly consumed, especially in cases where an EMHC has a problem consuming his excess. Then return to your seat. The cups will be returned to the Sacristy later by the Sacristan.
Thank you for participating as a Minister of Holy Communion.