The Ministry of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
While the heart of the celebration of the Eucharist is the Eucharistic Prayer, the consummation of the Mass is found in Holy Communion, whereby the people purchased for the Father by his beloved Son eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ” (NDR, 5).
As Catholic Christians, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. As Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, we must continue to offer fitting lives as we perform a great ministry in the Church. Therefore, we must take it upon ourselves to regularly take care of our spiritual health by constantly discerning our call and through constant prayer, reflection, and reception of the sacraments, nurture our spiritual development. We are living examples of Christ in the Eucharist, may we continue to welcome him into our lives.
The Role of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
Beginning with the great prayer of thanksgiving, the Eucharistic Prayer, the communion rite is at the heart and center of the entire Eucharistic celebration. By serving as a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion you accept the call to share the very body and blood of our Lord with the gathered assembly as well as to the sick and homebound of our community. Thus, you are called to be an example of faithful service and reverence to all you serve. In order to lead the community into the act of sharing communion, ministers should possess sufficient maturity and make sure to not call attention to themselves or to distract from the flow of the celebration.
By virtue of your baptism you are called to reflect the light and love of Christ with those at home, at work, in your neighborhood, and in every place you are able. Responding to the call to serve at the Lord’s altar by assisting in the distribution of the Eucharist, you will strengthen the faith of the assembly and enable them to share in the presence of Christ in their homes, work, and interactions with the larger community.
Is anyone among you sick? . . . Pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. (James 5:14, 16)
Hospital ministers bring Eucharist and fellowship to the Catholic patients at Pennsylvania Hospital. Not every patient will be physically healed in the hospital, but our experience as hospital ministers has shown us again and again the power of Christ’s presence both in his Body and Blood and in our own prayers and compassionate presence among the sick.
On Sundays, three ministers attend and act as ministers for the 7:30 Mass where they are blessed and missioned, walk over to the hospital and have breakfast together, and then bring the Communion that was shared first during Mass and then among the group of three to the patients. All Catholic patients are visited on Sunday (about 30 per minister). On weekdays, if a hospital minister is available, he or she will visit a smaller number of patients.
Each finds the way of ministering that is most comfortable for him or her. All offer the Eucharist and a short prayer. Some offer longer prayers. Some invite conversation. Because we bring our own selves to this ministry, hospital ministers commonly feel they get as much if not more from the ministry as the patients do. And the patients are very grateful. This is a ministry that truly nurtures the minister’s relationship with God as it provides a much-needed service.
Becoming a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
If you would be interested in serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, contact Bill Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becoming a Hospital Minister
To sign up to serve in a ministry, please visit: http://www.rotundasoftware.com/ministry/OSJ?enroll=1