(Jesus) … took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you”.

(Luke 22:19-20)

In the past, only bishops and priests were allowed to minister Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. This was changed in 1983 under a new Code of Canon Law which permitted the appointment of appropriate laypersons to carry out certain functions, including ministering Holy Communion.

Ministers of the Eucharist, also know as Ministers of Holy Communion, assist the Parish Priest to distribute Holy Communion of both kinds during Mass, according to the custom in the parish. They can also assist, when requested, with distributing Holy Communion to the sick and housebound across the parish.

The consecrated Host is presented to the Eucharistic minister by the priest during the Communion Rite. The Eucharistic minister offers communion to the communicant with the words “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ”. The communicant responds with “Amen”. The communicant may receive the Host directly onto the tongue or into their hands. If the latter, the communicant should reverently consume the Host immediately.  

Eucharistic Ministers are appointed by the Parish Priest and should be respected members of the parish. In order to be able to minister to the sick and vulnerable people in their homes, Eucharistic ministers may be asked to complete a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is a Government check which checks the background of the applicant, including any criminal record. Only once the appropriate checks and training have been completed will the ministers be allowed to serve.

The co-ordinator is responsible for the day to day organisation of the weekly rota, and organising any special requests for distributing Holy Communion outside of the scheduled Mass services.

Ministers are invited to attend a Diocesan Inspirational Day every year and will be asked to renew their commitment on a regular basis.

For more information or if you wish to volunteer, please contact our Ministry of the Eucharist coordinator:

Margaret Young

Tel: 01947 228758


Image of “Missionary of the Eucharist” and possibly photos of ministers giving Holy Communion at Mass (with permission)