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Communion and Eucharist Minister

Communion and Eucharist Minister

Minister of  Communion

The PRIEST is the only Minister of the Eucharist.
Lay people who assist with the distribution of holy communion are therefore always called MINISTERS OF COMMUNION (never Eucharistic Ministers)

Priests and deacons are 'Ordinary' minister of holy communion. Lay ministers who assist with communion are therefore called 'Extra - ordinary'.

Only a "validly ordained priest" may consecrate the Eucharist. As stated in Canon Law, "The ordinary minister of holy communion is a bishop, presbyter, or deacon
An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church is, under the Code of Canon Law, "an acolyte, or another member of the Christian faithful designated ", in certain circumstances, to distribute Holy Communion. The term "extraordinary" distinguishes such a person from the ordinary (normal, regular) minister of Holy Communion, namely a bishop, priest or deacon.

Canon law permits that "where the needs of the Church require and ministers are not available, lay people, even though they are not lectors or acolytes, can supply certain of their functions, that is, exercise the ministry of the word, preside over liturgical prayers, confer baptism and distribute Holy Communion, in accordance with the provisions of the law." The term "lay people" does not distinguish between men and women.

Eucharistic Minister

In the Catholic Church the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone." That is also specified in the Vatican document "Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum". RS Section  states: "the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest. Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone."

"Eucharist", in the Catholic Church, refers to both the celebration of the Mass, that is, the Eucharist liturgy, and to the bread and wine which are transubstantiated (changed in substance) into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. The term "Holy Communion" refers only to the latter. Thus, the terms "Eucharist" and "Holy Communion" are not interchangeable.

Compiled by Ben Chang

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