St Osmunds Catholic Church, Barnes

Extraordinary Ministers

On January 25th 1973, The Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments issued the Instruction on Facilitating Sacramental Eucharistic Communion in Particular Circumstances, which addressed the appointment of “Extraordinary Ministers” of the Eucharist. (Note that the “Ordinary Ministers” of Holy Communion would be the Bishop, Priest, and Deacon (Code of Canon Law, #910.1).)

Extraordinary Ministers may be used to assist the Ordinary Ministers in the following circumstances:
(1) at Mass when the size of the congregation would “unduly” prolong the reception of Holy Communion (especially since the relaxation of the old “fasting laws”);
(2) when the Ordinary Ministers would be prevented from distributing Holy Communion by ill health, advanced age, or other pastoral obligations;
(3) when the number of sick or homebound in various places (hospitals, nursing homes, or private homes) requires assistance to provide for regular reception of Holy Communion.

Therefore, the Vatican allowed Bishops to appoint a “suitable person” for a specific occasion or a period of time to assist the Ordinary Ministers to distribute Holy Communion.

Each diocese sets its own regulations for the appointment of Extraordinary Ministers. Usually, a person must be mature and at least 21 years of age. The candidate must attend a workshop offered by the Office of Sacred Liturgy or be trained locally in the parish. Upon recommendation of the Pastor, the Bishop appoints Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to a term, which may be renewed. The appointment, however, extends only to service within a particular parish.

If you are interested in becoming an Extraordinary Minister, please contact the presbytery.

Get in touch

79 Castelnau
SW13 9RT

0208 748 5833
Email: [email protected]

Parish Priest
Monsignor Canon James Cronin
Parish Secretary Cath Brizzell