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How can I become a eucharistic minister?

How can I become a eucharistic minister?
The process of becoming a communion minister begins by letting your pastor know that you are interested in serving. Priests and deacons are considered the “ordinary ministers of communion” and for some parishes this may be sufficient. However, moderate to large size parishes depend on the assistance of lay ministers of communion. Once formed, the pastor submits the names of the lay ministers to the bishop who approves their commissioning as “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.”

The pastor then commissions ministers at a Saturday or Sunday liturgy during a brief ritual. Ministers are commissioned for their parish for a period of three years. The commissioning is not transferable. To minister at another parish an individual would need to speak to the pastor of that parish. This parish ministry may include bringing communion to the sick and home-bound as needed.

Formation for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion usually includes ministry formation as well as introductory training in the history, spirituality, and theology of Eucharist. The method of actually offering the host or the cup and the related logistics, while important, are only a small portion of this process. Additional formation is required of those who will bring communion to the sick or home-bound.

Pastors are responsible for the formation of their lay ministers. However, the Office of Worship will offer regional sessions for multiple parishes—time permitting—when requested.

For more information, contact
Matthew Clark
Administrator of the Office of Worship
Diocese of Erie

What is the Church’s policy on Sunday obligation for attending Mass while on vacation?
Q: My husband and I will be vacationing in Glacier National Park in northern Montana later this month. We will be there over the weekend. I have been researching Mass times for that weekend. The closest church is 7 miles away but the only Sunday Mass is 11 a.m. which is too late if we're not make our western destination by evening. The next closest church is 30 miles away from where we are staying. What is the church’s policy on Sunday obligation for attending Mass in these circumstances?

A: Participation in Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday is an essential part of fulfilling God’s commandment to “Keep Holy the Sabbath.” We as Catholics have a serious responsibility to do everything reasonable to fulfill this obligation. It’s important to note that God does not need us to attend Mass – God does not need anything. We need to attend Mass. The personal and spiritual support which comes from the prayer of the community, and receiving the Lord in the Eucharist, is essential to our spiritual well-being.

With that being said, the Church’s sacramental law recognizes that sometimes participation in Sunday Mass is impossible due to illness, bad weather, lack of a church nearby etc. God does not expect the impossible from us. So if it is not reasonably possible to attend Mass, then we are obviously not bound to do so. In these cases, the Church strongly encourages us to take suitable time instead for personal or family prayer in place of the Sunday Mass celebration.