The Rite of Commissioning for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
TAKEN FROM THE BOOK OF BLESSINGS ARTICLES 1875-1879
(PUBLISHED BY THE LITURGICAL PRESS: COLLEGEVILLE, MINN, 1989)
Persons may be commissioned to distribute Holy Communion in special circumstances by the local Ordinary or his delegate according to the following rite. The rite should take place in the presence of the people during Mass.
In the homily the celebrant first explains the reason for this ministry and then presents to the people those chosen to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, using these or similar words:
Dear friends in Christ,
Our brothers and sisters, N. and N. are to be entrusted with administering the Eucharist and with taking Communion to the sick.
The celebrant pauses and then addresses the candidates:
In this ministry, you must be examples of Christian living in faith and conduct; you must strive to grow in holiness through this sacrament of unity and love. Remember that, though many, we are one body because we share the one bread and one cup.
As Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be, therefore, especially observant of the Lord’s command to love your neighbor. For when he said to them: “This is my commandment, that you should love one another as I have loved you.”
After the address the candidates stand before the celebrant, who asks them these questions:
Are you resolved to undertake the office of giving the body and blood of the Lord to your brothers and sisters and so serve to build up the Church? I am
Are you resolved to administer the Holy Eucharist with the utmost care and reverence?
All stand. The candidates kneel and the celebrant invites the faithful to pray:
Dear friends in Christ,
Let us pray with confidence to the Father;
let us ask him to bestow his blessings on our brothers and sisters,
chosen to be extraordinary ministers of the Holy Communion.
Pause for silent prayer. The celebrant then continues:
Creator and guide of your family,
bless + our brothers and sisters N. and N.
May they faithfully give the bread of life to your people.
Strengthened by this sacrament,
may they come at last to the banquet of heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
The general intercessions should include an intention for the newly-commissioned ministers.
In the procession at the presentation of gifts, the newly-commissioned ministers carry the vessels with the bread and wine and at Communion may receive the Eucharist under both kinds.
A leaflet version of this Ceremony is available in the download section of this website.