March 4th and 5th, after each Mass we will be having a training and retraining of our Eucharistic Ministers. To be sure, being a Eucharistic Minister is no small matter. Being the one to administer Christ’s presence to another is literally sharing Christ to the world. This is why there are rituals associated with it such as the rituals within the Mass. Our Eucharistic Ministers are asked to dress appropriately and then process in to Mass along with the celebrant. This is to demonstrate the intrinsic importance of the Eucharistic Minister’s role in the Mass. During the rite of Communion they are to join the celebrant on the altar to demonstrate their hand in participating in the Communion which we all share.
Another vital part of being a Eucharistic Minister is the role of taking the Eucharist to those unable to join us in our parish celebration of the Mass. It is no secret, that at any given time, we have fellow Catholics living at our care center and due to illness, are unable to come to Mass. Separation from the general community and the separation from the parish community is one of the more painful things that those who suffer illness or frailty must endure. At the very least, our parish can send a representative to those people separated from us and bring Christ in the Sacrament in the fullness of the community of believers.
It is important to remember that what we celebrate at Mass is the Eucharist in the midst of our community and in the context of the Mass. Taking the Eucharist to people unable to attend due to illness, as those in our care center, at home or in the hospital, is in fact, bringing the Eucharist and our community to them. It is more than simply bringing the pyx with Communion within it, in the Eucharist in its fullness, it is an extension of the very Mass we are celebrating. The minister is literally bringing the Mass and all of us with them to share with those who are separated from us.
To emphasize this point, there is our ritual of calling the Ministers of the Eucharist to the homebound after communion to the altar and commissioning them to be sent forth to share the Eucharist with those who cannot join us. It is important for the congregation to see this and to be reminded that there are those who suffer and are separated from us. This is not a private thing and during that prayer over the Eucharistic Minister to the homebound, the rest of the congregation is united in that prayer. “Be assured of our prayers as you go…” The minister departs and takes the Eucharist, the Sacrament, our prayer as well as all of us with them.
We would like to ask you to seriously consider not only becoming a Eucharistic Minister, but also help us with our Eucharistic Ministry to our homebound. Please join us after either of our Masses on the weekend of March 4th and 5th to learn, relearn and be commissioned to be a Eucharistic Minister.
Rev. James Kirby
Run2win4Him James Kirby