Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sioux City: Guidelines for Reception of Communion and EMHC's

.

Guidelines and Norms for
the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion
Under both Kinds

and

Extraordinary Ministers
of Holy Communion



Bishop
R. Walker Nickless, Sioux City. IA, has issued a long document for his parishioners on the reception of Holy Communion and on the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. It may be found here.

[Excerpts]



II.
When Communion Under Both Kinds May Be Given



Particular Law for the Diocese of Sioux City

1. Where there is a large number of faithful present and the gathering is taking place in a building or venue other than a church, Communion is to be offered only under the species of the Consecrated Host. Exceptions to this norm may be granted only with the explicit written permission of the diocesan bishop.

c.
The Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America states, “In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary minister might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice.”[17]


a. Priests in the Diocese of Sioux City might consider using intinction or offering Holy
Communion only under the species of bread, so as to avoid such an “excessive use” of
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.


Particular Law for the Diocese of Sioux City

2. In parishes, chapels, and institutions in the Diocese of Sioux City, Communion under both kinds is permitted on those times specifically instructed in the ritual books, i.e. Confirmation, Ordination.

3. Communion under both forms may also be distributed at Masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

a. This should be done in such a way so as to avoid the “excessive use” of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Communion may be briefly prolonged, so as to use fewer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

4. Communion under both forms may be distributed at daily Masses at the discretion of the priest who is celebrating the Mass.


IV.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

a. An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) is one instituted as an acolyte, or one of the faithful so deputed in accordance with Canon 230, § 3.[20]



Particular Law for the Diocese of Sioux City

5. Guidelines for Selection of Candidates:

a. The Pastor shall oversee the selection of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

i. Pastors are encouraged to collaborate with other parish or school staff members in recommending candidates to serve as EMHC.

ii. Once persons have been selected to serve as EMHC, the pastor shall submit these names on the proper form, with a letter of request to the Office of Worship, which will coordinate the bishop’s approval and mandate.

iii. To avoid unnecessary confusion, all requests must be made in writing to the Office of Worship on the proper form with all of the necessary information. All requests will be processed at the beginning of each month. Any requests sent in after the first of the month will be processed the following month. The letter of request must include the full name of the person requesting the permission and the type of role that the person will fulfill (school, parish Masses, homebound/hospital/nursing home).

b. EMHCs should only be selected, approved, and mandated according to pastoral need.

c. Both men and women may be chosen as EMHC, to administer communion both at Mass, and to the sick and dying. Those who are invited to serve in this ministry shall be:

· aged 18 or older (i.e., have completed their eighteenth year),

· baptized and confirmed Roman Catholics,

· regularly sharers in the Eucharist,

· of exemplary Christian character,

· committed to the faith,

· devoted to the Eucharist,

· respected by the community,

· demonstrably interested and involved in the community's life,

· in good standing according to the law of the Church,

· spiritually sound,

· and capable of adhering to all of the Church’s procedures for EMHCs.

Those chosen must make a public profession of faith and be deemed responsible to carry out the mandate entrusted to them.

d. For those who are confirmed and under age 18 to serve as an EMHC in the school setting, a special mandate can be requested. This mandate will apply only to the particular school and its Masses.

i. A principle or chaplain at the high school may request this mandate through the person’s local pastor.

a) All means should be exhausted, i.e., Catholic faculty and staff should assist as EMHC primarily, and mandates requested for those confirmed students under the age 18 only when absolutely necessary.

ii. In order to avoid a large number of persons under the age of 18, and since they will be granted the mandate to serve at school Masses only, it may be

Particular Law in the Diocese of Sioux City, (5) Guidelines for Selection, cont’d:

advisable to limit the times during school Masses that the use of these EMHC would be needed, i.e., offer Communion under one form.

e. The invitation to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is not to be understood as a reward, but as a call to service. Parishes and communities should avoid practices in selecting Extraordinary Ministers where individuals simply volunteer themselves for this ministry.

b. Guidelines for the Use of EMHCs:

i. EMHCs may distribute Holy Communion at Mass only when the ordained ministers present are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion, or when the very large numbers of the faithful present would excessively prolong the celebration if only the ordained ministers distributed Holy Communion.[21] A brief prolongation in the distribution of Holy Communion is not a sufficient reason to have more Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion than necessary.[22]

ii. “To avoid creating confusion, certain practices are to be avoided and eliminated – especially, extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants (they are not to enter the sanctuary until after the priest-celebrant has received communion); and the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of ‘a great number of the faithful.’”[23]

a) The time of distributing Holy Communion should be proportional to the length of the rest of the celebration.


V. Procedures During Mass

a. The EMHCs should not approach the altar before the priest-celebrant has received Communion, and they are always to receive from the hands of the priest-celebrant the vessel containing either species of the Most Holy Eucharist for the distribution to the faithful.[24]

Particular Law for the Diocese of Sioux City

6. EMHC are granted permission to consume the remaining Precious Blood from their chalice of distribution upon returning to the altar.

7. The practice of consuming the remaining Precious Blood in the place of distribution or at the credence table or in the sacristy is not permissible.



VIII. Other Functions of Extraordinary Ministers

a. Ash Wednesday

i. EMHCs may distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday according to the “Order for the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes” found in chapter 32 of the Book of Blessings.

b. Saint Blaise

i. EMHCs may also bless throats on the feast of St. Blaise (Feb. 3) according to the “Order for the Blessing of Throats on the Feast of Saint Blaise” found in chapter 51 of the Book of Blessings.


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