Eucharistic Ministers are selected by the
Pastor to assist the priests in distributing the Holy Eucharist at Masses. They undergo a training process and seek
to be of service to God and the worshipping community.
:: What is a Eucharistic Minister?
Eucharistic Minister is an individual who has been invited by the Pastor to assist in the distribution of the Eucharist (both
the Precious Body as well as the Precious Blood) during liturgical celebrations.
:: What are a person’s
The Eucharistic Minister to the Altar attends the liturgy (usually a Mass) and at the appropriate time
assists in preparing the Blessed Sacrament for distribution, and then assists in Its actual distribution. Afterward,
the Eucharistic Ministers, in our Parish, return the unused Sacrament to the Tabernacle, assure the unused Precious Blood
is properly consumed, and after the Liturgy, the ministers purify the sacred vessels so they may be clean and put away by
:: What is the importance and symbolism of the minister?
It is important to note
that the ministers are there to serve. At St. Luke, the ministers do not wear liturgical garments, and they do not process
in with the other ministers at the Mass, instead they wear their normal clothing and seat themselves, as usual, in the congregation.
When the appropriate time comes, the ministers unceremoniously come forward. This is to demonstrate that they are coming
from the congregation to serve the congregation.
:: What are the requirements to become a minister?
First, the individual must be invited to become a minister. This usually takes place after an individual expresses
interest in becoming part of the ministry. Then the candidate will go through two training sessions. Liturgical
formation of about four (4) hours in length is then followed by Practicum training (the mechanics of what is to be done) which
lasts anywhere from one hour to one and a half hours. Once a year, the parish has a commissioning (usually on Corpus
Christi) of the new ministers.
:: When can a parishioner become a Eucharistic Minister?
Catholic, who has expressed interest in the ministry and has been invited by the pastor and gone through the training can
become a Eucharistic Minister.
:: What is the history of ministers in the Church and at St. Luke?
In the early church, the “breaking of bread” was done in individual homes, but as the church grew, and the priesthood
developed into the primary ministers, the use of lay people to distribute communion disappeared. For many years, it
was considered a serious sin for a layperson to even touch the Blessed Sacrament except with their tongue and mouth for consumption.
Only the priest, whose hands (fingers) had been anointed during his ordination was allowed to touch the Blessed Sacrament,
and then only with his anointed fingers.
Part of the reforms of the Second Ecumenical Council was to return some of
these duties to the laity. Eucharistic Ministers are “extra-ordinary” ministers in that they are only used
when there are not a sufficient amount of ordained ministers to handle proper and timely distribution. St Luke’s
Church started the ministry in 1978.
:: What do you think are the blessings one receives from being a minister?
The blessings from this ministry, like many others, are very personal. Each minister will have a different
answer. Many, however, will reflect on the closeness one feels with Christ, especially when bringing the Precious Sacrament
to someone who may have difficulty getting to the front of the Church. It is a special feeling to know that you have
“touched” so many of your brothers and sisters, both figuratively and literally, while distributing the Sacrament
that is the center of our faith.
:: How many ministers are there at St. Luke?
are a little over 100 ministers here at St. Luke. Quite a few of them, however, do not serve on a regular basis.
Ministers work on teams. There are dedicated teams just for the 6:30 a.m. Sunday Mass as well as the 5:30 p.m. Sunday
mass. There are 10 teams that rotate around the Saturday 5:30 p.m., and the 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and noon Masses on
While 100 ministers sounds like a lot, we still run short virtually every mass, and other Eucharistic Ministers,
not assigned to that mass, volunteer to assist. We are always looking for new people who would like to join the ministry.