Distribution of Eucharist during mass is facilitated by the participation of Ministers of the Eucharist, who assist the celebrant at Communion time. Participants have found that this can lead them to personal spiritual development. Appropriate training is essential and is provided.
Volunteers are rostered for duty having regard to their declared preference for time of Mass. However, when the need arises they may assist with the distribution of Communion at other times. The Lay Ministers also may distribute Holy Communion to the sick and the housebound. Eight ministers cover the two Sunday Masses and the frequency of service is about once a month for each member.
In Fr. Peter’s words; ” It is hard to believe that just fifty years ago lay people did not have any active ministries in the Mass. They didn’t read and they most certainly could not touch the Eucharist. The Vatican Council put the vocation of the Lay People at the centre of its reflection and considered the role that lay people played in the history of the Church. Since then many things have changed. Lay people do the readings, they prepare and deliver the prayers of the faithful, they bring communion to the sick and housebound, they form the Parish Pastoral council… all these things were unthinkable before. But what is the EMHC ….? Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. They help to distribute Holy Communion during the Mass, they could also distribute Holy Communion in a community that does not have a priest (many places in missionary territories … soon in Ireland) We have about 33 EMHC in Balally. They are a very important group in the liturgical celebrations in the Parish. They enhance their own Christian life through their ministry and remind all of us of the rights and duties we have acquired in our Baptism.”