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St. Cecilia Church Extraordinary Ministers of Communion Instructions

It is a privilege and responsibility to serve at the Lord's Table. Please pick up your schedule, note the dates you serve and mark them on your calendar.

Iif you are unable to serve on an assigned date, it is your responsibility to find a replacement. Phone other ministers on the list. You may consider offering to take one of their scheduled times in exchange. Advise your team captain of your replacement.

On your scheduleded day:
· arrive at the church 15 minutes before Mass is scheduled to start. Sign in and wear the ministry medallion. If you arrive later, your team members wonder if you are coming.


Note new changes in Communion ministry effective August 2008:
- the Extraordinary minister in position #2 should pour the wine

The team captain should determine who will be bread ministers, who will take the consecrated hosts from the tabernacle, who will pour the wine, and who will distribute the purificators.

During the Sign of Peace, shake a few hands as you make your way out of your pew and up to the altar. Stand in the appropriate spot according to whether you will distribute the body or blood.

The bread minister who gets the consecrated hosts from the tabernacle will stand in position 1.
The cup minister who pours the wine will stand in position 2.
The additional cup minister on this side of the altar stands in position 3. This person should distribute the purificators to each of the wine ministers. Wine ministers should drape the purificator over their left wrist, until they have received the blessed sacrament. They can hold the purificator in their hand when they receive their cup.

On the other side of the altar, the other two wine ministers are in positions 4 & 5.

As you go to the altar, share the Sign of Peace with whomever is there and take your spot. If you are pouring wine, do this immediately. Pour equal amounts in the 3 silver chalices. The bread minister will open the Tabernacle and retrieve the consecrated hosts. See note below about the Tabernacle.

An altar server will bring the silver tray from the credence table to the altar during the sign of peace. On Sunday, the Communion for the Sick (black) box should be on the tray also. Once the wine is poured and hosts distributed among the two ciboria, Father will begin distribution of the host among those present at the altar (extraordinary ministers of communion and altar servers). Stand close to the altar for Father's convenience.

Hold the host and consume when Father does.

Father will then begin distribution of the cup. He begins with the large gold chalice, saying "The blood of Christ" to person #2 (response is always 'Amen'). Person #2 then offers the cup to person #1. The priest continues distributing the three silver chalices, giving them to communion ministers #3, 4 and 5. Communion minister #5 will then turn to their right and offer it to the altar server, saying "The blood of Christ." Communion minister #3 will offer the cup to the two servers on that side of the altar. After each person shares the chalice, the communion minister wipes the rim with the purificator.

After everyone at the altar has been offered the cup, all communion ministers go to the distribution area at the bottom of the steps. Let Father take the lead to stand on the side of his choide;the other bread minister should stand on the opposite side. Extraordinary Ministers of the cup stand to the left and right of the priest and Extraordinary Bread Minister, leaving enough room for people to line up. It is especially important to keep enough space between during the busy masses, such as Easter and Christmas.

Extraordinary Bread Ministers
The bread ministers hold up a host and offer it with "The body of Christ". Make eye contact. The host is to be consumed immediately. Some people may want to dip it in the cup; this isn't proper.
Adults and children may approach the bread minister who are not able to receive Eucharist (because they have not been through First Communion or as adults are not members of the Catholic Church). They should have their hand on their heart or cross their hands over their heart to indicate they wish to receive a blessing . Mark the sign of the cross on their forehead, saying "May God Bless You - The Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Extraordinary Cup Ministers
Ministers of the cup hold it up and offer it saying "The blood of Christ". Make eye contact. After each person partakes, the Extraorinary communion minister wipes the rim with the purificator. The purificator may be opened up fully and both sides used to wipe the rim. After each parishioner partakes of the cup, the cup minister should rotate the chalice so that the next person will drink from a different position on the rim. Cup ministers should watch with children or elderly that the cup is firmly in their grasp before releasing it. Have your hands ready to catch in case there is a slip.

Ministers of the cup should keep an eye on each other. If both ministers on one side run out of wine, and there are two left on the other side, the one closest to the empty side should move over, so there is one cup on each side.

When your cup does run out, return to the credence table. Use the cruet of water to purify the sides, swirl it around, and drink it. The chalice does not need to be wiped with the purificator. Leave the chalice and purificator on the silver tray. Remove your medallion.

Return to your place in the congregation.

Extraordinary Ministers of the body stay in their distribution positions until all members of the congregation have come forward. Occasionally, if the priest or a communion minister runs out of hosts, they will get a few more from one of the other ciboria.

When the last of the congregation members have received Eucharist, the priest or other Extraordinary bread minister and any cup minister with wine left will serve the music group. Other Extraordinary Ministers of the cup return the credence table and drink the remaining wine, or ask another communion minister or altar server to help if you cannot manage what's left. Once the cup is empty, purify it with the water and drink. Remove your medallion and return to your place.

If Father serves the music group, the other bread minister returns to the altar and waits for Father to return with the other ciborium.

The bread minister who removed the hosts from the tabernacle will put all remaining hosts back in the Tabernacle ciborium. Any crumbs in the bottom of the empty ciboria are brushed in with the remaining hosts. They are also the body of Christ and are treated accordingly. The bread minister returns the blessed hosts to the Tabernacle, closes and locks the door, genuflects and replaces the key on the silver tray, and returns to the congregation.

Washing of the Vessels
After the closing hymn, it is the team's responsibility to clean the vessels. These duties should be shared so the same person or people are not doing it every time:
· take the silver tray with the empty wine decanter, soiled purificators, 4 chalices, water cruet, 2 ciboria, Tabernacle key back to the Sacristy.
· hang the Tabernacle key on the marked hook in the cupboard.
· place the soiled purificators in the laundry bag on the left end of the main counter.
· take the silver tray with the chalices, ciboria, decanter to the Hogan room. Put warm, soapy water in the sink. Wash and dry the dishes.
· the water in the cruet has not been made holy, so it can either be poured out and the cruet washed, or put the cruet with water back in the cupboard. Do not return it empty
· return the clean dishes and tray to the Sacristy. Put them in the cupboard.

A word about the Tabernacle
The body of Christ resides here, so care and respect are shown. The tabernacle is kept locked at all times. It is unlocked during mass and the consecrated hosts are used in Eucharist. The person opening the tabernacle does not genuflect after they open the door, since the focus is on the newly-consecrated hosts on the altar. They remove the ciborium and take it to the altar for the priest.

At the conclusion of Eucharist when the unconsumed, consecrated hosts are being returned, the bread minister should place the ciborium in the tabernacle, close the door and lock it, then genuflect. The key is placed on the tray with the wine decanter, chalices, ciboria. When returned to the sacristry, the key is kept on a hook in the cupboard.


Special Occasions
Unleavened bread and red wine are used for the following masses: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, First Eucharist, and Body & Blood of Christ. The bread is cut into strips and placed on plate. Altar servers will go with the bread ministers to hold the plate. The bread minister then rips off small pieces. Depending on the number of people at mass, the bread ministers should try to determine whether to rip them smaller or larger.

Other things that can happen:
· spilled wine. The purificator should be used to wipe the floor.
· dropped hosts: once the hosts have been consecrated, they must be treated with great respect. Any hosts that have fallen should be put in a secure place until communion is finished. The parish minister, priest or parish liturgy chairperson should deal with them appropriately.
· not enough hosts: if a bread minister runs out of hosts, check with the priest or other bread minister and obtain a few from them. If all are low, hosts may be broken to ensure all who come forward receive at least a partial host.
· if consecrated wine runs out, no more is available at that mass.

Terms:
Chalice: Cup used to hold wine during Mass.

Ciborium: Container for hosts distributed during Eucharist (plural: ciboria)

Corporal: A square of linen cloth placed upon the altar and upon which the chalice and ciboria are placed for Eucharistic blessing.

Credence Table: A small table for the bread, wine, and vessels of the Eucharist when not in use at the altar.

Cruet: Container for the water used by the priest to add to the wine.

Purificator: A band of cloth used to clean the rim of the chalice.

Pyx: The container for taking the consecrated host outside of church and Mass (Communion to the Sick).

Tabernacle: The place where the consecrated hosts (body of Christ) are stored. It is locked with a key and treated with great respect. The red light near the tabernacle indicates Christ's presence there.

Updated Oct. 13, 2008

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