Eucharistic Ministry

The Ministry of Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister is to prepare the elements for the celebration of the Eucharist, to assist with the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful, and to purify the sacred vessels after Communion. At each Mass at St. Theresa’s we have one extraordinary minister for the Body of Christ, and four for the Blood of Christ. Rob Laycock coordinates this ministry. Eucharistic Ministers are appointed to this ministry by the Archbishop. Orientation will be provided for new Eucharistic Ministers. Please consult the Eucharistic schedule as well as the procedures below:

St. Theresa Schedule - Mar-June 2019 revised again.pdf

Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers should consult the procedures below:

Eucharistic Ministry Set Up Procedures 2010.pdf


Prior to the liturgy

  • Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist are responsible for either serving when scheduled, or for finding their own replacement.
  • Ministers should arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the liturgy.
  • Upon arrival, Eucharistic ministers are to sign in on the ministry schedule whiteboard on the wall beside the confessional leading up to the loft.
  • The first Eucharistic minister to arrive is responsible for preparing the sacred vessels and cloths for the Eucharist, and for assigning who will serve the Body of Christ along with the priest (write this on the whiteboard)
  • Pictures posted in the sacristy and in this Eucharistic Ministry Set Up Procedures 2010.pdf illustrate how to prepare the vessels and cloths.

During the celebration of the liturgy

  • During the singing of the Lamb of God, the Eucharistic ministers go first to the back of the church to sanitize their hands and proceed to line up at the front of the left hand aisle. After the priest consumes communion, the Eucharistic ministers take their places directly behind the altar to receive communion themselves. The Eucharistic minister who is to serve the Body of Christ stands at the leftmost side of the line of ministers, closest to the choir.
  • The Eucharistic ministers then proceed to their designated stations for the distribution of Communion to the assembly. The minister serving the Body of Christ stands beside the priest at the front of the central aisle. Two ministers serving the Blood of Christ position themselves on the right in front of the ambo, and at the exit of the right aisle. The other two position themselves on the left in front of the lectern by the choir, and at the exit of the left aisle. There are pieces of tape that mark the places to stand.
  • After the last congregant has received the Eucharist, the Eucharistic ministers consume the remaining Blood of Christ before proceeding to the sacristy to return their chalices or ciborium.
  • The minister serving the Body of Christ places the remaining consecrated hosts in the Tabernacle and returns the Tabernacle key to the cupboard at the back of the sacristy.
  • All ministers return to their seats.

At the conclusion of the liturgy

  • All ministers return to the sacristy to purify, clean, and store the sacred vessels or if at the Saturday Mass, prepare them for the Sunday Mass.
  • Upon the conclusion of the last liturgy for the weekend, the ministers assist with repacking all the communion vessels and altar goods for storage. This includes placing all the sacred cloths (Purificators, Finger Towels, and Corporals) in the laundry bag hanging in the cupboard.

Laundering the Sacred Cloths

After Mass, the Eucharistic Ministers should place any used and soiled Sacred Cloths (Purificators, Purifiers, Finger Towels and Corporals) in the laundry bag in the designated cupboard. Hand towels and dishcloths that have been used to clean the Altar Vessels must be placed in the same laundry bag. There is a separate ministry that washes the sacred cloths using the procedures below:

  • soak the cloths in clean cold water in a bucket
  • wring excess water out of the cloths into the bucket
  • pour the water from the bucket into the yard or garden (this is so that any wine or pieces of the host may be dissolved and returned to the earth)
  • spray any marks (i.e. lipstick) with a spot cleaner
  • soak cloths in a pre-wash cleaner to make them clean and white (this is an optional step)
  • hand wash or machine wash the sacred cloths
  • iron the sacred cloths using the proper folding instructions for each of the Purificators, Purifiers, Finger Towels and Corporals

Bringing Holy Communion to the Patients of Seven Oaks Hospital

There is a Mass scheduled at Seven Oaks Hospital twice a month on Wednesdays. On the alternate Wednesdays, when there is no Mass, the priests of our diocese bring Communion to the patients at the hospital. If the priests are busy with other duties, then Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist may be asked to bring Communion to the hospital.

Any Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who are willing to serve in this hospital ministry must receive special training before being scheduled to participate, and they work in pairs. Seven Oaks Hospital provides training on their basic rules and also on the procedures for entering a room of a patient in isolation because of an infectious disease. A police criminal record check is also required.