The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion of SVDP
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
As Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, we are called to deepen our devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to model our lives more closely to the Lord. We are called to minister to the people of God by assisting the priest in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, within the Mass or by taking communion to the sick. This is needed in the absence of a sufficient number of priests and deacons. To be considered for this ministry of humble service and immense love, you must be a registered member of the parish, in good standing with the church, and approved by the pastor. If you would like to be considered for this ministry, please call the Parish office (727) 938-1974.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” ROM 6:3-4
St. Paul reminds us we lived and died in Christ. Our Baptismal Rite calls us to this “newness of life,” a holiness. We are all called through the Sacrament of Baptism to serve; it is both a right and a duty.
Vatican Council II, repeats this theme of holiness so beautifully in the great Dogmatic Constitution of the Church Lumen Gentium.
“The change of heart that occurs when Catholics fulfill the UNIVERSAL call to holiness, to the perfection of charity, to a life lived for the glory of God.” This is the most important change, the change of heart that occurs in the acceptance of the calling.
It is through the work of the people in the celebration of the Liturgy that the laity become one in Christ linked in Communion with our brothers and sisters. We should always consider ways to increase that grace.
In the early years of the Apostles, St. Paul’s work of spreading the Gospel helped inspire house churches and the creation of our Liturgy. Homeowners and neighbors participated in drawing from their Jewish faith and made adaptations to help formulate our first celebrations of the Mass as a church community.
Vatican Council II, 1965-1967, reinstated those early beginnings of the church where laity took a more active participation in the Liturgy and a less clerical approach was present. The work becomes more of the people and becomes closer to the meaning of the word Liturgy. We are encouraged to be more than mere spectators. In 1971, because of the groundwork established by Vatican II, the U.S. Bishops granted laity permission to assist the ordinary ministers of Communion distribute the Eucharist when a large number of faithful are present. This period of time ushered in some of the most profound changes in the church.
We at SVDP wish to foster a deeper understanding, love and devotion of the Eucharist. With spiritual guidance of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, we are never far from that calling and the dedicated examples of worship and glorification of the Eucharist. This is true in whatever type of ministry we may choose to serve. The “manna” from the Old Testament takes on a much stronger meaning: A spiritual hunger and thirst that begins to define itself within us through the Eucharist. We learn to be good servants of the Lord first and then to be a good servant to others.
“Jesus shows his love for his disciples and for us not with words alone but with the gift of himself. This is the tip-off for us to know that as Jesus’ disciples we are to love others by giving ourselves to others in service, not just in our Eucharistic ministry (Extraordinary) and in all the ways we serve others, we share with them the gift of God’s love which is also the gift of eternal life.” Mitch Finley states this so clearly in his book, The Joy of Being a Eucharistic Minister.”
The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion of SVDP are fully initiated members of the Catholic faith, registered parishioners of the community, and are commissioned for one year. We are striving to be a diverse group; as the great Irish Novelist James Joyce once described the Catholic Church, as “Here comes everybody.” We come to the Lord from all walks of life with one common bond and burning love for the Eucharist.
There is a thorough orientation program, which includes a brief historical and theological background. Diocesan guidelines, parish guidelines, the practice and discussion of handling sacred vessels and scheduling policies are all included in training. Preparation includes on-going self-education and the study of the Paschal Mystery is greatly emphasized, as well as prayer and reflection. The Gift Shop stocks ample reading material and some requested materials may be ordered. In addition there are periodic workshops conducted by the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
We are fortunate here to have daily Adoration and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Extended hours are on Wednesdays and first Fridays.
“Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotional practice much to be recommended for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Time spent prayerfully in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament nourishes a Eucharistic spirituality and helps cultivate a deeper devotion to and respect for the Mass and for Holy Communion. The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion who makes regular prayerful ‘visits’ to the Blessed Sacrament, and/or regularly spends time in prayer before the exposed sacrament-in a chapel of Perpetual Adoration for example- is an EMHC who will carry a more lively spirit of love for the Eucharist to those who receive Communion from him or her.” Mitch Finley
All EMHC are asked to spend a more lengthy yearly reflection on the Eucharist, preferably at Advent or Lent season.
“Happy is the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in all things!” St. Peter Julian Eymard
We as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should be signs and carriers of Eucharistic joy. We are all called to our faith and one another through our Baptismal call. “Say yes, and take it into your life and see how it changes you!”
If you have a desire to serve in this public ministry, we encourage you to Contact: Gloria Jung – Coordinator/Trainer – [email protected]
- We are registered Parishioners, fully initiated in the Catholic faith with a calling to the Eucharist. We come from all walks of life.
- Registration Forms may be dropped off at the Parish Office.
- After the initial contact of interest, a follow-up call will be made to you, and any questions and requirements can be discussed at that time.
- An informal and brief introduction needs to be arranged to meet with the Pastor. The secretary can do this for you if you wish.
- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion belong to a Liturgical Ministry. Therefore, Commissioning is required.
- We serve at the pleasure of the Pastor and community of believers under the authority of the Bishop. It is a great honor and privilege.
- We assist the Ordinary Ministers (ordained ministers) of Communion and therefore are called Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
- One should have a desire to be molded in the ministry and put all personal agendas aside, it is one of humble service. One should be dependable, responsible, possess love of the Eucharist, possess cardinal virtues, not perfect but working to lead a virtuous life and possessing the love of Christ's Mission in our journey of faith.
- Dress Code is required.
- Ability to consume both species of Communion.
- Youth are eligible after their Sacrament of Confirmation.
- There is a brief but thorough training period.
- Self study of material is the first step in formation accompanied with prayer and reflection.
- Candidates take as much time as they wish to become comfortable with training material before setting up a training session.
- After one feels comfortable enough, the candidate makes an appointment to meet for training. It is normally two and a half to three hours. Two sessions may be requested if desired.
- Training is most often one-on-one.
- Training days: Conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (except 1st Friday, due to All-Day Adoration). No training on Wednesdays because of All-Day Adoration.
- Training times: Usually after morning Mass or from 12 noon to about 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. But other arrangements are possible.
- Scheduling is created on a rotation basis.
- We have youth to retired seasonal adult parishioners.
- Scheduling procedures for vacationing time and away dates maybe arranged.
- It is possible for families to serve at the same Mass.
- Commissioning and renewal are conducted once a year.
- Parish Workshop is conducted annually at SVdP. EMHC are expected to attend. This is normally the only meeting during the year.
- Diocesan Workshops are on annual basis and are at various parishes in the Diocese. These are meant primarily for new EMHC or for those who might desire a refresher.
- EMHC are updated on changes or procedures by email or Church Social Hall Bulletin postings.