The Ministry of the Eucharist: An Important Office of Immense Love
We welcomed twelve Year 11 students and five staff members to the Chapel, this week, to commence their training as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
The training afternoon asks participants to reflect on their calling to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, to investigate the ministry itself, and to create a deeper sense of the theology of the Eucharist and the Mass. Participants also are provided with an opportunity to explore the ministry’s practicalities as they prepare to serve the College community.
The Eucharist can be understood as both the source and summit of the Church’s life which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow. In other words, all Catholic activity should be seen to flow from the Eucharist and to find its ultimate meaning in the Eucharist. Those who follow Jesus are encouraged, through the Eucharist, to move beyond the familiar and the comfortable, to challenge boundaries and social exclusion, to be a community engaged in a reconciling ministry, building up the body of Christ and forging a communion of persons after the example of Jesus.
Celebrating the Eucharist was instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper. The altar serves as a reminder of the table around which Jesus and his disciples gathered on the night, he shared his last meal with his friends. Memory is a significant theme in Eucharist. When believers receive the Eucharist, they remember Jesus at the Last Supper. Sharing is also an important theme of Eucharist. Believers not only share the body of Christ, but they also share this with each other in community.
The word “ministry” comes from the Latin word ministro, which means ‘to serve’. Ministries are the means by which members of the Church can use their talents to serve their communities. Because our participants are specially called to this Ministry, they should strive to live more fully by the Jesus’ sacrifice and to be moulded more fully in its likeness. Ministers should seek to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what they do and understand that ministry is a service, and an act of love.
The Roman document Immensae Caritatis outlines the following criteria for the selection of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:
“The person . . . should distinguish himself (herself) by Christian life, faith and morals; striving to be worthy of this great office, cultivating devotion to the Holy Eucharist and acting as an example to the other faithful by piety and reverence for this most Holy Sacrament of the altar.” (Immensae Caritatis, 6)
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMOHC) are people entrusted to a special service for the members of their communities. The starting point for all ministries in the Church must be the ministries of Jesus himself, for the Church today continues the mission of Christ. The ministry of an EMOHC is that of assisting with the distribution of Communion. In our local parishes, EMOHC may also be called upon to take Holy Communion to the sick.
We extend a big thank you to Father Phillip for assisting in the facilitation of our training session. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will be commissioned at the College’s Opening Mass in February 2024. They will also be presented with Certificates of Commissioning.
May God truly bless your work in this ministry, and be reminded that as you serve one another, you do it in love for Christ.
Melissa Trolio, Director of Mission