St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Parish

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Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner. Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. (1) When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons. If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, "the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (GIRM 162)."  (From: 2010, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)




1.ABSENCES:  If you cannot attend a Mass to which you have been assigned, it is your responsibility to find a substitute.

2.IN THE SACRISTY BEFORE MASS:  Please sign in, or check in. Remember that there should be no socializing in the Sacristy.  This is per the new instructions to the Roman Missal(see AH)  Since the Priest is focusing on his homily, and the lector is focusing on the readings, we should keep silent as much as possible when we sign in.  The only exception should be conversation related to your role in the Mass.  After you have signed in, you should go into the church and prepare yourself.

3DURING THE MASS PLEASE SHOW REVERENCE: Keep your eyes focused on the “Divine Drama” that is, on the Presider, Lector, or Cantor. This is an opportunity to be an example for others.

4. SIGN OF PEACE: The Priest will go to the Tabernacle. The Eucharistic Ministers should proceed to their designated place in the Sanctuary.  Since the sign of peace took place while we were in the pews, we should not make the sign of peace with others once we are in the Sanctuary.  For those who will administer the Body of Christ, there is a bottle of germx/hand sanitizer.  Please sanitize your hands.  The Presider will proceed with the “Lamb of God” and we should now be focused on responding to that prayer.


  •  Ministers of the Body of Christ will file into the pew behind the kneelers on the Altar Servers’s side of the Sanctuary.
  •  Ministers of the Blood of Christ will file into the pew behind the kneelers on the Pulpit side of the Sanctuary.
  •  After the Lamb of God, we will all kneel and remain kneeling until the Presider has finished the Body and Blood of Christ himself.  At that time, all Eucharistic Ministers should approach the Altar and stand in a straight line at their side of the Altar to receive the Eucharist.  As an act of reverence, and in compliance with the new instructions for the Mass, remember to bow your head before you receive the Eucharist.
  • The Priest will then give Communion to the Ministers of the Blood of Christ.
  • For ministers of the Body of Christ, the Priest will hand the ciborium or paten to you.  The Minister who is serving in the choir aisle should distribute communion to the Altar Servers then proceed to his/her station.

            *Remember, only the Priest should take the cup or ciborium from the Altar.


  • For Ministers of the Blood of Christ, remember that communicants are not allowed to receive by means of intinction (dipping the Host into the cup).  If a communicant tries to put the Host in the cup, politely cover the cup with the Purificator.  You may offer the cup after they have consumed the Host.
  • With the new norms for distribution of Holy Communion, the Priest should consecrate enough Hosts for the number of faithful present at Mass.  The remaining Hosts should be given to the priest at the Tabernacle.  Remember to go to the credeno table and purify your finger tips, lest a particle of the host fall to the ground.
  •  When there is remaining Precious Blood after Communion, the Eucharistic Minister should return to the credence table and reverently consume what remains in their cup.  Remember, when a Deacon is present, the Deacon, rather than the Eucharistic Ministers, will always consume any remaining Precious Blood.  Immediately thereafter, the cups should be completely covered with     the Purificators (not placed inside the cup).
  • All ministers should return the sacred vessels(cup or paten) to the credence table immediately following the distribution.
  • Note that when you are carrying the Precious Blood or the Body of Christ, Ministers should not bow or genuflect at the Altar.  There is no need to, as you are carrying the Body or Blood of  Christ.



  • Purification of the sacred vessels can be completed after Mass.  Once the music is completed, the designated Ministers should proceed to the Sanctuary.  At the credence table, the Chalice used by the priest should be purified.  Ministers should pour a small amount of water from the small cruet into the Priest’s Chalice, gently swish it around and pour that liquid into one of the 4 cups and drink from that.  Ministers do not drink out of the Priest’s Chalice.  Dry the Priest’s Chalice with a Purificator etc.  Once the items are purified, they should be taken to the Sacristy room or once in the Sacristy, the Ministers should pour a small amount of water in the cups and swish it around to purify the cups.  The contents should be consumed, and the cup can then be washed.  [The Ministers need to wash the cups, paten (or ciborium) in the sink on the right side.  This is a special sink, referred to as the Sacrorium.  Anything put into this sink drains into the ground.  Therefore, it is recommended that Ministers use as little water as possible when washing The sacred vessels.]
  • After the vessels have been washed, the purificators should be rinsed in the Sacrorium.  The wet purificators should be placed on the counter top to dry.



  • Immediately following the Mass, after the Music has concluded one of the Ministers needs to            remove the collection basket from the front of the pulpit.  The basket is taken to the Sacristy and             the money is placed in the appropriate safe area.



            *After the vessels have been washed, Ministers of preparation should set up the Credence Table for the next Mass

  •             5 Purificators
  •             4 cups
  •             1 Chalice
  •             1small cruet of water
  •             The Sacramentary
  •             The water pitcher, with water, is placed in the bowl.
  •             (1) Priest’s hand towel is placed in front of the water pitcher
  •             Extra patens
  •             Typically corporals and purificators are placed on top of the Sacramentary for the Altar Servers to bring to the Altar at the appropriate time.


  •             On the paten, place 100 hosts (1 sleeve) and a large host.  The large host should be placed on top    of the smaller hosts.  The hosts are kept in the Sacristy in the cabinet on the right, bottom shelf.
  •             Fill the carafe with approximately 3” of wine.  The wine is kept in the same room as the hosts in the cabinet on the left.
  •             Place these gifts in front of the empty collection basket on the counter in the Sacristy. 




CREDENCE TABLE:  Small side table used to hold the sacred vessels.  The term “credence” (or “credenza”) is derived from the Latin word credentia (security).  It came  to be used in the sense that the servants would taste the food prior to the master to be sure that the food was safe and contained no poison. 

CHALICE:  A derivative from the Latin “calyx”, this is the goblet that the Priest uses in the consecration of the wine.  

CIBORIUM: This term comes from the Greek word “kiborion”, which meant a canopy resting on four pillars and placed over the Altar as a sign of reverence. In the 6th century, this custom spread to the West and the canopies were often called civories or baldacchinos (from the word baldacco-Baldacco, meaning Baghdad, because many rich fabrics from that city were used in the adornment of these canopies).  In the Middle Ages, the term ciborium was used to refer to the sacrament tower, where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved.  In the Baroque era, Communion was usually from pre-consecrated Hosts, reserved in the tabernacle.  The ciboria were large enough to hold many Hosts and looked more like a chalice. 

CORPORAL: The word comes from the Latin word for body (corpus).  This linen cloth is about 20 inches square and is folded in 9 smaller squares.  In the Tridentine Mass, the former Roman Mass, the Host was placed directly on the corporal; hence its name.

CRUET: This is the glass vessel used to hold the water. 

INTINCTION: The distribution of the Eucharist both species, whereby the Host is dipped into the cup and the Minister says “The Body and Blood of Christ.”  We do not allow the practice of intinction at the Cathedral.

PATEN: The sacred vessel that is used when the Hosts are consecrated.  

PURIFICATORS: A linen cloth used to wipe the Priest’s Chalice and the cups.  The purificators are also used to dry the sacred vessels after Mass.  You need 5 purificators for each Mass.

SACRAMENTARY: The book of liturgical prayers, directives and rubrics used by the Priest while offering Mass.

HAND TOWEL: It is used by the Priest to dry his hands