St John’s Horsham
Sharing the Body and Blood of Christ
New Guidelines for Commissioned Ministers of Holy Communion
As with all ministries in the Church, it is important to prepare carefully by prayer. This is the way we respond to the call of the Lord. Preparing with prayer helps others to pray. We assemble in the sacristy to pray 10 minutes before Mass.
If you are unable to take your turn, please ensure that a replacement is found in good time. This must be a fellow Minister whose name also appears on the rota.
MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
We always talk about the Body of Christ, the Host, the ciborium, the Precious Blood, the Blood of Christ, the chalice.
ARRIVE IN GOOD TIME
Allow yourself time to compose your thoughts before Mass and to be available in case there are any necessary alterations you should know about
DURING THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
In the Liturgy of the word we listen attentively to the voice of the Lord as heard in the scriptures.
APPROACHING THE ALTAR
- Ministers should approach the altar as the priest receives from the chalice.
- Come quickly and reverently genuflecting individually.
- Please stand above the first step on the carpeted below the altar step on the lectern side and the organ side of the sanctuary. This will be close to the place where you will administer Holy Communion.
- Having received Holy Communion simply turn to take up your precise position to administer Holy Communion.
- The minister who will distribute the host receives from the chalice given to the minister standing by their side. Generally we will not go to the tabernacle. If this is necessary the priest or deacon will go.
DISTRIBUTING HOLY COMMUNION
The words The Body of Christ or The Blood of Christ are the only words used.
The clergy will answer any questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to share any concerns with them.
FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION
The prayer at this point is not strictly speaking a blessing, therefore a commissioned minister of Holy Communion can say: “The Lord Jesus bless you and keep you”.
AFTER THE DISTRIBUTION OF HOLY COMMUNION
- The Minister distributing the Body of the Lord returns any remaining Hosts to the altar, genuflects and leaves the sanctuary immediately.
- The deacon or priest returns any unconsumed hosts to the tabernacle.
- If a deacon is not present, the minister distributing the blood of Christ from the principal (larger and more ornate) chalice also consumes the any of the Precious Blood remaining (if possible) and takes that chalice straight to the centre of the altar, (genuflects if any of the Blessed Sacrament remains upon the altar) and also leaves immediately.
- This means that the deacon or priest will purify the principal chalice and the ciboria at the altar with the assistance of the server.
- A longer, larger credence table is in place. The other three ministers distributing the chalice go immediately to the credence table. They consume the Precious Blood, add water to their chalice, drink the water and then dry the chalice with a purificator, this is then placed firmly inside the chalices.
- They arrange the chalices in a straight line to the back and in the middle of the credence table.
- Be conscious of the fact that this is a silent time for the congregation.
- Return to your places in the church when you are ready. Make your reverence individually.
Please note that the vessels are washed again once they are returned to the sacristy after Mass.
Would the minister of the ciborium continue to do this.
TAKING HOLY COMMUNION TO THE SICK AND HOUSEBOUND
- Please place your pyx on the credence table before Mass begins with the right number card beside it.
- Please come to the altar step after the Prayer after Communion.
- The deacon or priest will return the pyx containing the Body of the Lord to you with a prayer.
- Go at this point through the side door of the church and make your way immediately to your sick communicant..
- Please do not make any other reverence and do not take holy water when you are carrying the Body of the Lord.
- Remember to cleanse the pyx with water (which is then consumed) once you have finished giving Holy Communion to the housebound.
Rev Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica 2011