Resurrecting an Ancient Ministry
Resurrecting an Ancient Ministry

In an early document of the Church, c. 150 AD, St. Justin Martyr gives an account of an early Christian gathering.  He describes a scene remarkably similar to the Eucharistic liturgy we celebrate today.  This, of course, is no accident since one of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council’s liturgical reform is a restoration of early liturgical practices.

Near the end the document states, “and the deacons bring a portion [of the Eucharist] to the absent.”  Today we have many extraordinary ministers who help in this capacity: Eucharistic Ministers to the Sick.

Those who volunteer assist the hospitalized and homebound to realize that they are “united not only with the Lord’s sacrifice but also with the community itself, and are supported by the love of their brothers and sisters.” Holy Communion Outside of Mass, #14.

By reading biblical passages to the shut-ins, bringing them the Eucharist, praying with them, and leaving a copy of the parish bulletin, these ministers link the sick more closely to the healthy worshiping community.

We thank our faithful Eucharistic Ministers to the Sick for being the vital link between the sick and homebound of the parish.    (Oct. 19, 2003)

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