Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
This ministry was introduced by Pope Paul VI with the instruction Immensae Caritatis (1973).
Every Saturday evening and Sunday at SS Peter and Paul, Lay Ministers of the Eucharist assist the priest at Mass in the distribution of Holy Communion.
Ministers also assist the priest(s) of the parish in taking Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. Every Sunday, and occasionally on weekdays, Ministers take Holy Communion to the sick directly from a Mass, thereby uniting them to the sacrifice of the Mass, and assuring them of the prayers and love of the community gathered for Mass.
“Go now in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” says the Priest as he dismisses the Eucharist Minister(s), to which the Congregation respond “Amen”.
Every year at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, Ministers renew the commitment they made at their commissioning. They attend a day of retreat annually where they reflect on the gift of the Eucharist.
They also arrange an annual Mass at which the Anointing of the Sick takes place. They try to ensure that as many of our sick and housebound parishioners as possible can be brought to the church for this Mass.
The team of Ministers meet every three months, after the 7.30pm Mass on the first Friday of the month, to arrange rotas for assisting the priest at Saturday evening and Sunday Masses and rotas for visiting the sick and housebound, to decide arrangements for their annual retreat and to plan the liturgy, transport and refreshment arrangements for an annual Mass at which the Anointing of the Sick takes place
Ministers are chosen by the Parish priest and undergo formation and training, both spiritual and practical, for their responsibilities before being commissioned as a Minister of the Eucharist for the Parish by the Archbishop, one of his Area Bishops or the Vicar General. The words of the commissioning rite make clear the expectation that Ministers of the Eucharist provide examples of Christian living in faith and conduct, of prayerfulness and reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament and always strive to be worthy of this privilege of serving the people of God.
There are currently 26 Eucharistic Ministers in the parish.