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You are here: Documents > The Eucharist and the Mass  Back one page.
Letter on the Use of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (U.S.) (Prot. Prot. N. 2177/98/L)
July 25, 2000

Author:
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Your Excellency (Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, NCCB President),

Thank you for your kind letter of 24 July regarding the recent reply given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to the proposal of the Conference of Bishops of the United States of America of the text of a Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass.

As regards the question raised by Your Excellency concerning n. 21 of the Pastoral Introduction and the assistance that may be rendered by extraordinary ministers in the distribution of the Precious Blood and in particular in any necessary first distribution among ancillary vessels, the Congregation is happy to confirm Your Excellency's interpretation. While, as is clear from the document itself and from the underlying universal norms, it is in the first place the duty of ordinary ministers to engage in such service, in the event of real pastoral need arising and in the absence of ordinary ministers in sufficient numbers recourse may be had to extraordinary ministers in the way you describe.

In this context, the Congregation would wish to mention its concern that extraordinary ministers be dressed with a modesty and dignity befitting the function they perform.

With warmly reciprocated good wishes to Your Excellency for an appropriate period of summer repose, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Francesco Pio Tamburrino, O.S.B.
Archbishop Secretary

The original paragraph in question from the Pastoral Introduction to the Roman Missal (U.S.) reads as follows:

"those instances where large numbers of chalices are required for the distribution of the Eucharist under two species, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion...may assist with the pouring of the Precious Blood into ancillary chalices during the singing of the Lamb of God. (PIOM, no. 21.2) In such instances, the Extraordinary Ministers come to the Altar as the Lamb of God is sung. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion do not, however, assist with the breaking or distribution of the consecrated hosts into ancillary vessels."

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You are here: Documents > The Eucharist and the Mass  Back one page.

Home | New | FAQ | Search | Forum | Links


All contents © copyright, 1998-2014
The Catholic Liturgical Library
http://www.catholicliturgy.com