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The ideal Eucharistic Minister is prayerful, esteems teamwork, is attentive and helpful. This person does whatever needs to be done, cafefully and effectively, minimizing confusion and embarrassment, not drawing attention to oneself and away from the important words and actions of the liturgy. The ideal minister is a full service servant, before, during, and after the liturgy.
The perfect Eucharistic Minister is reverent, unhasting, knowledgeable, and as faithful as possible to schedules. Such a minister knows that the call to minister the Body and Blood of Christ is a gift from God. To exercise the ministry of Communion humbly, faithfully, and generously is its own reward beyond price. (From The Ministry of Communion by Michael Kwatera)
As a Eucharist Minister you bring Christ to others. Your expression, attitude and smile convey a warmth and welcoming presence. The importance and seriousness of your minisrty do not make it lack joy and a "personal touch." For you the person receiving is just one of hundreds; for that person it is a special moment. Try to be relaxed and cheerful, mindful of the fact that this ministry righty belongs to you and has not been put into place simply for the sake of speed. Always be conscious that movement and gestures show our belief.
Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
Eucharistic Ministers (EM's) assist the priest and deacon with the distribution of Holy Communion at weekend and weekday Mass as well as holy days. Roman Catholics over the age of 18, who have received the Sacraments of Initiation and are in good standing with the Church may apply to serve in this ministry. EM's distribute the Blessed Sacrament and purify the vessels after Mass. All must be approved by the pastor and the Bishop and are commissioned for a period of two years. Initial training is provided with follow-up as needed.
Ministers are scheduled on a rotating basis. Every effort is taken to schedule families together. Schedules are prepared and distributed every few months. In order for our liturgies to remain as prayerful as possible it is very important that this ministry is fulfilled. Therefore, if an assigned Minister is unable to serve, it is the Minister's responsibility to arrange for a substitute.
EM's at St. Matthew Parish are sometimes asked to assist in services such as the distribution of ashes and the blessing of throats.
Eucharistic Ministry to the Sick and Homebound
These Eucharistic Ministers fulfill a very important need for our Church. They take Communion and share the Word of God weekly to those who are recovering from illness, who are homebound due to disability, or to permanent residents in area nursing homes. The requirements are the same as for EM's for our liturgies. All must be approved by the pastor and Bishop and are commissioned for a period of two years.
Those who bring the Eucharist to the sick and homebound are assigned for a period of one month, four times a year. Ministers are requested to visit three to four households beginning at 10:00AM each Sunday.
A group of EM's visit JFK Hospital every Thursday morning to distribute the Eucharist to Catholic patients who wish to receive Holy Communion.
Every Wednesday morning, EM's from St. Matthew's assist with the distribution of the Eucharist during Mass or Communion Services at the Hartwyck Nursing Facility.