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"Take this and divide it among you"
The Eucharistic Assistants in a Parish or Benefice are authorised and trained by the incumbent in consultation with the PCCs. Anyone who is a full member of the church and regular communicant may serve God and their church family within this ministry.
A record of those authorised will be maintained within the benefice by PCC Secretaries and presented to the APCMs each year.
A Eucharistic Assistant is appointed to assist a priest at Holy Communion, they are NOT authorised to take communion to the sick or to lead Communion by Extension on their own. They may distribute either bread or wine although usually it will be the wine chalice they take.
Eucharistic Assistants should aim to be at church in good time and prepared to fulfil their ministry. They may find it helpful to know how to lay up the communion table and help to do so as they can be reflecting and praying as part of that preparation.
They should ensure their hands are clean and recently washed and may make use of the hand gel that should be kept in each church when they come to the sanctuary.
So what are we doing as we share in this ministry?
Our function is to offer bread and wine but our action is one of prayer as each person comes before us we allow our prayer to touch them, that this bread and this wine might be for them a moment of communion with God for the recipient, a reaching beyond the veil into the presence of the Divine. For this reason we come with prayerfulness to the task, we stand first before the judgement seat and receive the grace of God again ourselves before we serve our brothers and sisters. Our task is to serve and therefore we seek to minister to the unseen need of the person before us.
Download a copy of Assisting with Holy Communion
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