Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it,
and giving it to his disciples said,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.“
Matthew 26: 26-28


The Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion is a bishop, priest, or deacon.  However, other members of the faithful, known as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs), may be commissioned to assist, as needed, with the distribution of the Sacrament.  That is, when the needs of the Church require it and when Ordinary Ministers are lacking.

During Mass, EMHCs have the privilege of bringing the Body and Blood of Jesus to the faithful members of the assembly in order to provide a timely and reverent distribution of Holy Communion. The model of the EMHC is one of a servant of God, ministering to the parish as the Body of Christ and following the example of the Apostles who fed the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:34-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-15).

Those who assist the presider in the distribution of Holy Communion bring to their service a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, a prayerful heart, a reverence for those who are gathered, and an attitude of love. It is a grace-filled opportunity to minister to the Saint Andrew’s community.

EMHCs assist the priests at all weekday and weekend Masses, on Holy Days.  Outside of Mass, EMHCs may also assist in the distribution of the Eucharist to those who are homebound or in local nursing homes and hospitals.

Please contact Father Mel Ayala if you feel called to this ministry.



Father Mel Ayala provides training at Saint Andrew’s for all EMHCs that serve the parish. Participation in additional training offered by the Archdiocese of Washington is encouraged.

Upcoming Workshops offered by the Archdiocese of Washington may be found here.



Each EMHC is expected to serve at least two Masses each month. Sunday and Holy Day self-scheduling is conducted through Signup Genius. Daily Mass ministers are regular weekly commitments. Contact Lisa Longacre at for more information.



Guidelines for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Archdiocese of Washington)

Redemptionis Sacramentum (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Vatican)

The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist (General Audience, Saint John Paul II, September 13, 1989)

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