The ordinary minister of Holy Communion is a bishop, priest or deacon (CANON 910, §1). However, other members of the faithful, known as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs), may be commissioned to assist with the distribution of the Sacrament (CANONS 230, §3 AND 910, §2). EMHCs can ensure a timely and reverent distribution of Communion among a large assembly.

Who Can Serve as a Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?

Those selected to serve as EMHCs should be fully initiated members of the community who strive to live the Christian life, to give good example, and who are devoted to this great mystery which signifies the unity of the Church and brings it about. The Church is not expecting saints to carry out this ministry; but those who take their faith seriously and desire to grow in that faith.

  • The EMHC must be fully initiated in the Catholic Church (i.e., baptized and confirmed).
  • It is the pastor’s responsibility to ensure that all EMHCs receive appropriate spiritual, theological and practical training to exercise this ministry with knowledge and reverence.
  • The EMHC must be commissioned to serve in the assigned parish(es)/ institution(s). Commissioning is valid for a period of three years at a time. Those interested in serving as an EMHC should contact their pastor. A pastor or bishop may terminate the service of the EMHC at any time, and the EMHC may also resign at any time.
  • It is preferable that EMHCs do not serve simultaneously in other liturgical ministries, such as lectors or choir members at the Mass. It is more decorous and reverent for an individual to concentrate on a single ministry and it better represents and respects the diversity of gifts in the community.(source: Diocesan Guideline of EMHC)

If a member of St. Joseph Parish wishes to become an extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, they must fulfill these criteria before they are commissioned:

  • Baptized and registered in this parish, and in good standing with the Catholic Church.
  • Have completed the process of volunteer screening, and signed the Model Code of Conduct form, in order to assist in developing and implementing uniform diocesan guidelines for appropriate behaviour for all religious and lay persons involved in ministries and other activities.
  • Have been interviewed by the Parish Priest.
  • Availability to attend yearly EMHC workshop/training (usually held in September).

Please read the Diocesan EMHC Guideline to learn about this ministry.  Download here.

To register, please contact EMHC Coordinator: Tin Kwa
or the Parish Office at 403-289-2591

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