At the Most Holy Redeemer community, the Eucharistic Ministers play a vital role in the celebration of the Mass. These dedicated individuals attend a one or two-day training in the archdiocese, where they learn the proper procedures and reverence required to assist in the distribution of the Eucharist.
As members of the same family of faith, the community of Most Holy Redeemer is called to embrace the mission of “going and serving the Lord” by making Jesus Christ accessible to one another. This mission takes on a special significance when members of the community face illness, accidents, or age-related limitations that temporarily or permanently prevent them from attending Mass on Sundays. To fulfill this calling and support those in need, the community has a Ministry to the Sick and Homebound.
Within this ministry, in addition to other pastoral visits, Eucharistic visits take place. Eucharistic Ministers carry the Blessed Sacrament to those unable to attend Mass, bringing the presence of Christ and the grace of the Eucharist into their homes or healthcare facilities. By extending this profound act of love and care, the Ministry to the Sick and Homebound reinforces the bonds of community and ensures that all members can partake in the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist.
Through their service as Eucharistic Ministers, members of the Most Holy Redeemer community exemplify the selflessness and compassion that Christ demonstrated during His earthly ministry. By sharing the Eucharist with their fellow parishioners, they uphold the sacredness of this sacrament while spreading the love and teachings of Christ to all corners of the community, ensuring that no one is left feeling spiritually isolated or disconnected.
In the Catholic Church, a Eucharistic Minister, also known as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, is a layperson who assists the priest in distributing the Eucharist during Mass or takes the Eucharist to the sick and homebound. Their primary duties include:
- Distribution of the Eucharist: Eucharistic Ministers assist the priest in distributing the consecrated bread and wine (the Body and Blood of Christ) to the community during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass. They may hold the chalice containing the wine or offer the consecrated hosts to the communicants.
- Preparation of the Altar: Before Mass, Eucharistic Ministers may help prepare the altar by setting out the chalices, ciborium (for the hosts), and any other vessels required for the celebration of the Eucharist.
- Purification of Vessels: After Communion, Eucharistic Ministers assist in purifying the sacred vessels (chalices and ciborium) used during the Mass. They carefully consume any remaining consecrated wine and wash the vessels properly.
- Visiting the Sick and Homebound: Some Eucharistic Ministers are also commissioned to take the Eucharist to those who are unable to attend Mass due to illness or other reasons. They bring the Eucharist to these individuals, allowing them to receive the sacrament in their homes or healthcare facilities.
- Reverence and Respect: Eucharistic Ministers are expected to approach their role with deep reverence and respect for the Eucharist, recognizing the sacredness of the Body and Blood of Christ.
- Proper Attire: Eucharistic Ministers are encouraged to dress modestly and appropriately for their ministry, often wearing attire that reflects the reverence of the occasion.
It is important to note that becoming a Eucharistic Minister typically requires approval and training by the local diocese or parish. Additionally, the role of Eucharistic Minister is an extraordinary ministry, which means it is a temporary appointment, and individuals are not permanently ordained to this ministry. The role is meant to assist the ordained clergy (bishops, priests, and deacons) in the distribution of the Eucharist when necessary.