Special Ministers of the Eucharist
In our parish there are fourteen Special Ministers of the Eucharist. These are ordinary members of our Parish Community who have made a commitment to assist the priest and people of St. Vincent's parish in the distribution of Holy Communion.
To become a Eucharistic Minister, you should be willing to undertake this office for the service and growth of the Church. You should be resolved to administer the Holy Eucharist with the utmost care and reverence, to strive earnestly to live the Christian life, to grow in holiness, to love your neighbour, to give good example, and to take your faith seriously. You may be asked by the Parish Priest to be a Minister of the Eucharist, or alternatively, after giving the matter due consideration, you could approach the Parish Priest yourself and say you are willing to assist in this ministry. There have been several invitations in the newsletter for parishioners to come forward and offer their services in this way.
The Rite of Commissioning Special Ministers of the Eucharist usually takes place during a parish Mass. The Parish Priest commissions the new Ministers, but it is the Bishop of Shrewsbury who grants the Ministers the faculty of distributing Communion.
Three Ministers assist at the Sunday Morning Mass. One distributes the consecrated Hosts and two distribute the consecrated Wine. On Wednesday and Friday morning, one or two Ministers go forward to help as required. A rota is prepared for the Sunday Mass. No rota is prepared for the weekday Masses.
Special Ministers of the Eucharist also take the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and housebound at home and to those in our local Nursing Homes when needed. Not all Ministers feel able to do this for various reasons, but those who do generally feel it is a very special and worthwhile experience.
In St. Vincent's Parish, our priest cannot be with us to celebrate the Eucharist every weekday. However, there is the opportunity every Monday morning for our community to gather together to celebrate the Word of God and to receive Holy Communion. A Reader leads the Liturgy of the Word at these celebrations and a Special Minister of the Eucharist leads the prayers and distributes the Holy Communion. It is understood that not everyone feels able to do this, but currently we have several Eucharistic Ministers who are willing to do so.
After being commissioned, the Special Ministers of the Eucharist undertake to attend one of the Days of Prayer organised for them by the Diocese, and at the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday, they must renew their commitment before the priest and people of this Parish.