QUAERITUR: “Body of Christ” not “The Body of Christ” because people embody Christ

From a reader:

Our priest informs the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion [Indeed, they are not "Eucharistic Ministers".  In fact, we need to have the discussion of whether they are techincally ministers at all.] of our parish that, henceforth, they are not to raise the Host as they give it to the faithful, and that they are not to say "The Body of Christ" but rather "Body of Christ", addressing the communicant, because the focus is on the communicant, who embodies the Body of Christ is thereby worthy to receive the actual Body of Christ. [Wow… just… wow.]

The italicised quote from Fr.’s letter is probably rather wrong-headed – one wonders how he squares it with the Lord, I am not worthy we have all just recited.  Probably laymen should not, in fact, "elevate" the Host, since that is rather a priestly gesture; but in the Missal I can only find the words and actions of the priest and deacon.    Are the proper words and actions of the EMHC specified anywhere?

I frankly don’t know if there are official directives or books issued by the Holy See or the bishops conferences describing in detail the exact manner of distribution of Holy Communion by an EMCH (in church).  I suppose we will know about 5 minutes after I post this entry.

Other points to help resolve the situation:

First, have fewer but better trained EMCH’s, or no EMCH’s at all.

Second, follow what the book says.

In Latin, which is the official language of the Latin Church, we say "Corpus Christi".  It is always permissible to use Latin and it has the advantage of avoiding the entire debate about the translation.

As far as the translation is concerned, in English you correctly translate Corpus Christi as either "Body of Christ" or "The Body of Christ". 

There is also the theological consideration.  Do those two versions, one with "the" and one without, mean different things?  More on that down the line.

In the "White Book" of the new approved English language translation of the Roman Missal we find an answer to your question.   This is what Rome has approved.

134. After this, he takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants. The Priest
raises a host slightly and shows it to each of the communicants, saying:

The Body of Christ.

The communicant replies:


And receives Holy Communion.

I think this issue of EMCH’s raising the Host to "show" it to the communicant probably is done in imitation of the priest when he shows the Host to the whole congregation (see the rubric, above).  So, it seems to me that the communicant has already seen the Host at the elevation and the moment before the priest’s Communion.  She therefore gains nothing additional from an additional stare.  In the meantime, the EMCH is sending mixed signals about her role.  (I use her because I am being inclusive.)

Back to the theological point that priest was trying to make in his letter: because the focus is on the communicant, who embodies the Body of Christ is thereby worthy to receive the actual Body of Christ.

The priest is saying that "THE Body of Christ" indicates that the Eucharist, the Host, is THE Body of Christ, whereas saying "Body of Christ" implies a more inclusive way of understanding Christ’s Presence.

The priest is confused – and confusing others – about ways in which Christ is present. 

Since the Council many enthusiasts have blurred the distinct ways in which is known to be present to us.  He is present in the Word, Scripture, in the assembly of the baptized gathered in His Name, in the symbol of the altar, in the person of the priest himself, and – in a way that is preeminent and unlike every other way of being present, in the Eucharist.  No other manner of Christ’s presence is comparable to the Eucharist.  You might say that in Scripture the Lord Himself says that when you feed the hungry, you feed Christ Himself.   The priest himself might say, the communicant is the hungry one (Christ) coming to be fed on the bread of life (Christ) and so, – wait for the grip of logic’s steel jaw to close around you now – since they are both Christ, the Eucharist isn’t more Jesus than the person in front of you.

This is, of course, rubbish.  The communicant is a dignified baptized member of the Body of Christ, the Church.  As St. Leo shouts at Christmas, Agnosce O Christiane dignitatem tuam.  And he is right to do so.  But the Eucharist is GOD, Jesus truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  The Communicant is not divine.  And though in heaven we will undergo a "divinization" which is foreshadowed in our proper reception of Communion, the Communicant is not the Glorious Risen Savior, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

The proper action of the communicant should be to kneel before the presence of Almighty God, barely daring to raise her eyes (I’m being inclusive today by using feminine pronouns) and humbly receive the Host.  The proper action of the EMCH should be, in most cases, "Father, no… I should not distribute because my hands are not consecrated for this task."  (Though I understand that there are genuine cases of need for help when the numbers truly are too great.)

The priest has confused all sorts of terms.  The Church is Body of Christ.  The communicant is a member of the Body of Christ.  The Host is the Body of Christ.  But these other manifestations of the Body of Christ are not like the Body of Christ which is the Eucharist.

Get the priest a Say the Black. Do the Red coffee mug and other swag to stimulate his theological reflection.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ASK FATHER Question Box, Our Catholic Identity, SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Elly says:

    “I use her because I am being inclusive.”

    Father Z you are so funny! Thank you for all you do on this blog.


  2. Incaelo says:

    I don fully agree with you here, Father, and I think that is because there is, in my opinion, a major difference in receiving the Eucharist standing and on the hand, or kneeling and on the tongue. I am an occasional EMHC and the vast majority of people in my parish receive Communion standing and on the hand. Were I not to raise the Eucharist to eye height and so identify it as the focus of my words “Body of Christ”, it would be, to all appearances, a simplistic and inconsequential affair, virtually Protestant or agnostic in nature. Something that we do because everyone else does it.

    When people receive kneeling at communion rails, it is a different story. There I see no need to raise the Eucharist and so emphasise that this is, indeed, the Body of Christ. The whole attitude of the person kneeling makes that clear enough.

    Of course, I’m speaking as a Catholic in the Netherlands, where any emphasis on the Eucharist as the Body of Christ is a serious necessity.

  3. Genna says:

    I thought that, rather than a second “elevation”, the Host was raised for practical reasons to enable the communicant to indicate reception by mouth or hand. The Host seems to be raised to about the right height for reception on the tongue. Shows how much I know. . . .

  4. SonofMonica says:

    I thought the second elevation was so that when you said “the body of Christ” people knew you were talking about the Host, and not simply stating an abstraction. But I can see how it provides the opportunity for the communicant to indicate reception by tongue or hand, as well.

  5. Arieh says:

    The proper action of the EMCH should be, in most cases, “Father, no… I should not distribute because my hands are not consecrated for this task.”


  6. SonofMonica says:

    “Father, no… I should not distribute because my hands are not consecrated for this task.”

    This is what I have always planned to say if ever asked.

  7. SuzieQ says:

    Reminds me of a student Mass in college where the extraordinary minister said, “This is the Body of Christ and so are you.” …whaa? I guess she took my dumbfounded look to be an ‘amen’ because she gave me Communion before I could get any words out… I didn’t really know enough at the time to be properly outraged, but I still understood something was very wrong.

  8. Father S. says:

    I think that this is yet another reason why continuing education for priests should be mandated.

  9. wolfeken says:

    I think this is yet another reason why complete sentences should be used, such as “Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen.”

  10. doanli says:

    Sometimes I think I’m blessed to be a simple soul and would just be happy to go back to Holy Communion. (Unfortunately, theological issues like these are way over my head sometimes. I just want to obey the Magisterium of the Church.)

  11. Sedgwick says:

    This is one of the primary, though little discussed, defects of the poisonous Novus Ordo. One, laity handling the Blessed Sacrament. Two, the elimination of the traditional prayer “May the Body of Our Lord preserve thy soul unto life everlasting” at distribution, and its replacement with the bald statement, “The Body of Christ.” Three, the distribution of Our Lord as though He were a mere movie ticket.

    Is it any wonder, given these grievous insults to Heaven, that both priests and laity have descended into Great Apostasy?

  12. “Reminds me of a student Mass in college where the extraordinary minister said, ‘This is the Body of Christ and so are you.’ … whaa?”

    I never cease to be amazed at the ongoing trend toward gimmickry in the liturgy, the need to make something up. Is it really a defective theology, or simply a narcissistic desire to call attention to oneself. “Ooooh, look at me, look at me, I’m being Church, tra-la.” I just want to look right at them and say, “Oh will you grow the @#$& up already???”

    But that would be an occasion of sin, so I offer it up.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    The Diocese of Providence in Rhode Island has an excellent new system in place for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist; how they are chosen, prepared, etc. The Holy See should adopt these norms for the Universal Church and make them mandatory.


  14. moon1234 says:

    Just kneel in front of the EM. It is devout, the NORMAL way to receive communion and will most likely be a teaching moment for them as well. (Not to mention very irritating to a liberal. How dare we kneel and adore God. We are equals and are to stand on two feet and take what is rightfully ours.)

  15. Hmmm.

    When I kneel for communion on the tongue I have to tilt my head back ~ so I have difficulty barely raising my eyes or I would go cross-eyed!

    I’ve always wondered why small parishes with a mere handfull of folk need “Eucharistic Ministers”??

    Is it ok not to take the Blood of Christ? Kneeling down, getting back up while disabled and without an altar rail is hard enough once. But to try and do it twice and with someone that might be totally confused… **Sigh**

  16. AnAmericanMother says:


    Even the Episcopalians say the proper prayers at distribution.

    If I wasn’t sure this is the One True Church, I would despair, I really would . . . .

    Can’t wait for the new translation . . . step by step.

  17. Gwen says:

    I kneel for communion on the tongue at my NO Mass. I don’t raise my eyes, even barely. Our parish uses EMHCs on Sundays, and I always try to get in the priest’s line (I go to the end of the line), because I’m just not sure what the lay EHMC might do. For the same reason, I bow reverently as I pass by the Blood. Seems inappropriate to kneel for the Body and stand for the Blood, and I don’t want to be the cause of some EHMC spilling as they try to pass me the chalice in an unaccustomed manner.

    I’ve been asked to be an EHMC and I have told them, “I don’t feel worthy, or called, to do that.”

    Our priests always say “the Body of Christ,” except for our new rector, who says “Corpus Christi.” And they wait for the “amen.”

    Interesting….since I started kneeling to receive, a few others have started doing this also (at daily Mass).

  18. prairie says:

    The body is the Christians in communion? This sounds a lot like an argument I’ve heard from Reformed Protestants about what is meant by “This is my body” and “Whoever does not discern the body” and “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood” and… I guess this priest didn’t go as far as to deny transubstantiation, but he sounds a lot like a heretic.

  19. ipadre says:

    The rubrics are clear enough for any priest who can read and is humble enough to be obedient! That is the problem today, there is a crisis of obedience.

  20. keithp says:

    Last Sunday my parish had a guest Priest (from Nigeria). I was pleased and relieved when the EMHC’s stood back and allowed both Priests to give communion.

    OTH, when I approached the Father from Nigeria, he neither raised the host nor spoke the words “The Body of Christ”. He just sorta handed the host out very quickly. I don’t intend this as a harsh criticism but a desire for priests to be at least as knowledgable or eductated as the lay folks.

  21. Ingatius says:

    Thank for you this, Father, something which I’d never really properly considered.

    On your rubrical line, a friend sent me a rather amusing image (sometime ago I must confess) which I have finally got around to uploading on my blog. I don’t want to post a link, but do check it out as I think it might raise a little smile.

    You may, of course, have already see it!

  22. Oh, for Pete’s sake;
    dumb me…I thought this rubbish was confined to the ’70’s.
    Guess not.
    What a load of hooey…there may be something to the understanding of the sacramental “The Body of Christ” making present “The Mystical Body of Christ” ala deLubac (please don’t crucify me, here!!).
    But, liturgically, Fr. Z., yes, just say the black, do the red.
    When, o Lord, when???
    When will you deliver your people??

  23. tioedong says:

    One advantage of holding up the host and saying it is Christ’s body is that it gives the person receiving two seconds to indicate if he wants to receive in the hand or on the tongue.

    Here in the Philippines, folks do it both ways.

    I receive in the hand for practical reasons. If we had a communion rail, I’d receive on the tongue reverently, with closed eyes, but when you are standing in line, closing one’s eyes is awkward but opening your mouth without closing your eyes seems irreverent…and here in the Philippines, I’m often taller than the Eucharistic minister.

  24. And, one more disgusting anecdote:
    I have heard, on more than one occasion, that the pastor instructed whomever was distributing Holy Communion to say to the communicant, “You are the Body of Christ”, while looking directly in their eyes, probably with tears…
    Sorry for my sarcasm; but this is just so bad.

  25. Mike says:

    There is, if I remember correctly, a sermon by St. Augustine, which goes something like this: “You hear the Apostle say “You are the Body of Christ”. Well, be what you receive.”

    Not that I condone liturgical free-wheeling. A layman giving Communion in my parish raises the Host very high before offering to the communicant, and it’s extremely distracting.

  26. Central Valley says:

    Fr. Z. another wonderful post. I would forward this to the diocese of Fresno, Ca., but they would hit the delete key as soon as they opened it. Thank you for the truth.

  27. southern orders says:

    Years ago I had a parishioner who always would say “I am” to the words, “The Body of Christ.”
    The truncated form that the revised liturgy now foists upon the laity suffers from impoverishment. “May the Body of Christ keep you safe unto life everlasting, Amen” is more elegant, richer and more meaningful. The priest even in the OF Mass still gets the full treatment, but the poor laity don’t! What clericalism!

  28. ssoldie says:

    50 years of chaos and confusion, and still going on, shall we call them the “fruits” of the great pastoral Vatican 11 council. I was once told the term was ‘extraordinary laymen of Holy Communion’ or was it just ‘Communion’ more fruits of the ‘fabricated liturgy’remember the consecration is valid (prayfully).Ah! thank God for the beautiful “immamorial” latin Mass codified at the Council of Trent. Any body see the latest “Vortex” Michael Voris?

  29. cblanch says:

    Shortly before I began to follow this blog, I became an EMHC (in April). My initial intention was to help out visiting the sick since I’m a former nursing assistant and I enjoy the elderly. I have already “resigned”. Not only did I feel a nagging sense of this comment by Fr. Z,

    ““Father, no… I should not distribute because my hands are not consecrated for this task.””,

    but I was spending the entire Mass thinking about when I would have to go up to help out, instead of preparing my heart to receive Jesus as I normally did before I became an EMHC. On the Sundays I was scheduled, I felt like I hadn’t been to Mass at all! Not to mention I had a hard enough time getting my young children to Mass without that added responsibility. I have definitely learned something about discerning the Lord’s will with this entire ordeal. Becoming an EMHC was WRONG all over the place for me.

  30. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    As Father Stravinskas would no doubt point out at this point, in the older rite, the Amen was said by the priest, and was the conclusion of a prayer that the Body of Christ would keep my soul unto eternal life; now that Amen concludes a simple statement: [This is] The Body of Christ.

    Is this perhaps because in the “bad” old days, anyone receiving Holy Communion would know that this was Christ, and that St. Thomas Aquinas’ Lauda Sion was on the priest’s mind (or at least in the mind of the Church), where nowadays the communicant is required to assent to the fact that what is presented to him is, in fact, the Body of Christ. Given how slovenly our attitudes are at Mass in the modern era, is it reasonable to assume that the Amen is often the commission of a mortal sin: full knowledge, grave matter and full consent seem to be there in the obviously unsacral way Christ is given “into the hands of sinners”.

    As to the wierd idea of the priest, surely this can be sensibly attributed to a non-sacral environment?

  31. AM says:

    non-sacral environment?

    ‘Tis also an environment in which reception of the Most Holy must be to be on the hand — since Fr. will not allow Communion on the tongue, and said so publicly after Mass one Sunday. (The Sunday on which the Diocese rescinded its own “ban” of that tradition, due to the ‘flu virus.)

  32. Tom Ryan says:

    What bugged me (back when I went to EMHCs) was the need they felt to address me by my first name before they played priest. Sometimes they would ask, sotto voce, “your name?…”

    Fear not, this too will go away:


  33. The Cobbler says:

    With what you hear from some Protestants, Roman or otherwise, you’d think Christ had said, “Take and eat, you are my body, and I wish to share a meal with myself in you.” It’s getting to be where the simplest defense against Protestant theology creeping into the Church is to be a Bible-thumper and quote what Jesus actually said. What an ironic world we live in.

  34. lmgilbert says:

    Well, I am an EMHC and when distributing Holy Communion I hold the host over the ciborium, say, “The Body of Christ,” wait for the “Amen” and then give the host to the communicant.

    For one thing, it is an opportunity for the faithful to declare their faith in the Real Presence. This is bad? In this spiritual climate? For another, this slows things down to a fitting pace, for it is irreverent to give the impression of merely passing something out, like flyers at a street corner, or a card dealer pass out the cards. It is the Lord, and the pace should be as majestic as possible.

    As for not having my hands consecrated, my whole being was consecrated at Baptism, and if being in a state of grace is all that is required to receive Him into my body (the alimentary canal, let us remember), unworthy as I am, what more is required in the eyes of the Church to touch Him with my hands?

    Furthermore, it is increasingly necessary, really necessary. Gone are the days when two or three priests would emerge from the sacristy to assist the celebrant in distributing Holy Communion. I admit there are abuses, especially at daily Mass, but abuses there do not eliminate the necessity here.

    Beyond that, commenters, what exactly is gained by pouring scorn on the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion? How does this contribute to the unity of the Church? How does it edify anyone?

    Surely it does nothing to persuade anyone that traditionalists are brimming over with good will for their fellow Catholics! I don’t know if such scorn is a sin, but surely it is a blunder.

  35. The name thing is copying off the Eastern folks of various Rites. In that case, I believe it’s closely connected to the priest knowing his whole flock, including who’s been going to Confession and who hasn’t been.

    In the Latin Rite, it’s a bit creepy; and unless the EMHC actually does know my name already, a bit presumptuous. But since it’s not in the rubrics, they really shouldn’t be saying it. I mean, God knows my name; I don’t need an invitation from some stranger who wants to be on a first name basis with me for the space of two seconds, and then never see me again.

  36. boko fittleworth says:

    At the TLM I went to on Sunday, the woman next to me said “Thank you, Father” as she received standing at the rail.

  37. Dave N. says:

    This goes back a bit further than the 1970s….

    “What you see…is bread and a cup. This is what your eyes report to you. But your faith has need to be taught that the bread is the body of Christ, the cup the blood of Christ…. If, then, you wish to understand the body of Christ, listen to the Apostle as he says to the faithful ‘You are the body of Christ and His members’…. You reply ‘Amen’ to that which you are, and by replying you consent. For you hear ‘The body of Christ,’ and you reply ‘Amen.’ Be a member of the body of Christ so that your ‘Amen’ may be true…. Be what you see, and receive what you are.”

    –St. Augustine

  38. Hilleyb says:

    My 2000 printing of the ICEL rite of “Communion in Ordinary Circumstances” (yeah right) is very clear:

    The minister shows the eucharistic bread to those present, saying:
    [A] This is, etc.

    A little later:

    The minister goes to the sick person and, showing the blessed sacrament, says,
    The Body of Christ. (and/or The Blood of Christ.)
    The sick person answers “
    Amen,” etc.

    And even (again, this is pre-2003 GIRM),

    After the conclusion of the rite, the minister cleanses the vessel as usual.

    Who is the minister of the communion rite? There is no instruction, yet, from the Concluding Rite of the same,

    A minister who is not a priest or deacon invokes God’s blessing and makes the sign of the cross on himself or herself, saying:
    Minister: May the Lord bless us,
    protect us from all evil,

  39. AM says:

    Hilleyb, is the rite of Communion in Ordinary Circumstances a translation of a rite from the books, or an emission of the ICEL in one of its creative moods?

  40. Revixit says:

    Our pastor asked me to be a Eucharistic Minister and when he asked, he said that none of us are worthy but someone has to do it. And, yes, he asked me to be a “Eucharistic Minister,” not an “EMHC” and I think my certificate from the archbishop says “Eucharistic Minister” on it but it’s been many years since I’ve seen it, though I’m sure it’s in a drawer somewhere.

    Some people seem to think we invented that title for ourselves but, at least in my parish, we didn’t. I’m not sure why one title is better than the other. I agreed to serve in this ministry so that I could take Communion to the sick, not because I wanted to serve at Masses. I served at Masses at Father’s request.

    Father trained us to hold the Host up over the ciborium and then say “The Body of Christ,” which does give a split second to determine whether the person receives on the tongue or in the hand. We didn’t come up with this on our own. Whatever the Eucharistic ministers in a parish are doing, it is probably exactly what the priest has told them to do.

    I have learned through various Catholic forums that a lot of people think the Eucharistic ministers are just showing off up there on the altar, which is not the case. In my parish, Father always had all the ministers come up on the altar and receive Communion from him before we started giving Communion to the people. Some people in the pews apparently view this as “showing off,” especially if any women are on the altar.

    As someone has already said, when you are serving, you don’t feel like you’ve really been to Mass. You get over being terrified that you’ll drop a Host or spill the Precious Blood but you don’t get over feeling rushed. It convinced me that I wouldn’t want to be a priest.

    I quit the ministry years ago after learning that Pope John Paul II had told the American bishops to cut back on the use of Eucharistic ministers and the bishops had ignored him.

  41. Sedgwick says:

    RealCatholicTV.com has a wonderful interview with a Canadian priest on the subject of the Novus Ordo. One of the many things the priest points out is that there is no such thing as a lay “minister” (as in “EMHCs”), as the word “minister” means there has been an ordination. Laity can only have apostolates, not ministries. Just to put the sacrilege of laity handling the Blessed Sacrament into a deeper hole…

  42. Mike says:

    Virtually all of my parish’s EMs bow instead of genuflect before the Tabernacle…Someone must have told these mostly wonderful old ladies wrong!

  43. Tom Ryan says:


    The RealCatholicTV links have been banned at Catholic Answers, FWIW.

    Any one ever see the EMHCs (or priests for that matter) who think it’s imperative to say “The Body of Christ”
    just a little bit differently to each communicant? The inflection is varied, the particular word that gets
    emphasized changes etc.
    Fortunately, the EMHCs are seldom vastly outnumbered by the number of communicants so they don’t run out of

  44. Revixit says:

    Virtually all of my parish’s EMs bow instead of genuflect before the Tabernacle…Someone must have told these mostly wonderful old ladies wrong!

    Comment by Mike — 11 August 2010 @ 7:23 am

    “Old ladies” and “old gentlemen” often have arthritic knees and can’t genuflect properly even when holding onto something, as one does when entering a pew.

    If they are not holding on to anything, they also might fall while trying to genuflect and that could result in a broken hip, which can be disastrous for old people. Many an old person goes into decline and dies after breaking a hip.

    Bowing is far safer for the older person. Our priest told all of us to genuflect OR bow and let us choose which.

  45. Gail F says:

    Mantwithblackhat wrote:

    “I never cease to be amazed at the ongoing trend toward gimmickry in the liturgy, the need to make something up. Is it really a defective theology, or simply a narcissistic desire to call attention to oneself. “Ooooh, look at me, look at me, I’m being Church, tra-la.” I just want to look right at them and say, “Oh will you grow the @#$& up already???””


    I think this all stems from the idea that people don’t understand the liturgy and you have to spell it out for them. The biggest problem with that attitude is that things never get spelled out enough. Once one symbol or sentence or action is “explicated,” someone else comes around and decides to explicate the explicated version.

    As far as elevating the host goes, I think there are a lot of practical reasons for doing so (some have been listed here). If it’s practical to do so in a particular situation, that’s reason enough to do it. There is no need to come up with a theological reason to match it.

  46. saghughes says:

    As I recall, in the Ordinary Form of the Mass with the variations proper to the Cistercian order one variance struck me particularly. The priest elevates each species after the Canon and proclaims “Corpus Christi” and “Sanguis Christi” respectively, the congregation responds “Amen” and then the Eucharist is received in silence.

  47. brassplayer says:

    Beyond that, commenters, what exactly is gained by pouring scorn on the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion? How does this contribute to the unity of the Church? How does it edify anyone?

    Surely it does nothing to persuade anyone that traditionalists are brimming over with good will for their fellow Catholics! I don’t know if such scorn is a sin, but surely it is a blunder.


  48. Hilleyb says:

    The text of the rite seems to originate from a 1982 volume called “Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum.” From what I can tell online, the original volume contains the full instructions and guidelines. The ISBN number of my pamphlet is 089942-082-6.

    The copyright page refers to the “English translation” and “Spanish translation.” Also, it does not bear an Imprimatur but a “Concordat cum originali,” by the NCCB (USCCB) Secretariat for the Liturgy. I suppose one would have to check the 1982 book for the true origin.

  49. Joshua08 says:


    At least one reason “Eucharistic Minister” is a wrong title is that the Eucharistic Ministry is only fulfilled by a priest/bishop. The Eucharist is Sacrifice and Sacrament. Hence lay people distributing the Host or Blood are only helping in one part, and not the most important, of the eucharistic ministry. Further, only deacons, priests and bishops are ministers of communion normally. Hence it is important that we remember that laity helping is extraordinary, and not the norm (though institute acolytes are extraordinary ministers automatically)

    Further, such is the term used by the Church in her law. Even deacons were called extraordinary ministers back when the old law regarded them as such with respect to the Host. Even deacons are not called Eucaristic Ministers.

    I understand that a majority of those who use the term do not mean anything bad by it but it is important that we do not call them what they are not

  50. Jerry says:

    @Tom Ryan – “The RealCatholicTV links have been banned at Catholic Answers, FWIW.”

    FYI — the ban was lifted yesterday. It was imposed not because of CA objections or concerns regarding the RCTV content, but because some of the forum posters were not able to express their opinions regarding RCTV in a civil manner.

Comments are closed.