The anglican diocese of montreal

Lay Eucharistic Ministry

Lay Eucharistic Ministry — Lay Ministers of Communion

Lay Ministers of Communion are appointed by the Bishop for a year (renewable), on the recommendation of the Annual Vestry with the concurrence of the Incumbent. The recommendations are sent to the Bishop’s office; the permission is conveyed to the parish in writing.

Lay Ministers may give the Sacrament in either kind.

All licensed Lay Readers, and all ordinands at any recognised seminary of the Anglican Church of Canada, are also authorized to give Communion.

Lay ministers may, with the approval of the Bishop, the parish priest, and Vestry, take Communion from the Reserved Sacrament to those at home or in hospital.

  1. The administration of Holy Communion, apart from the normal gathering of the faithful in church, should be linked to the main parish Eucharist on Sunday, as a general rule. (See also the rubrics at the top of page 257, Book of Alternative Services.)
  2. A suitable container (pyx) for the consecrated elements must be used.
  3. The intended recipients of Holy Communion who are unable to be in the church must be contacted and have given their consent prior to the day when the Sacrament will be brought to them.
  4. Every effort should be made to reinforce the link with the main parish Eucharist on Sunday, symbolizing the reaching out of the gathered church to its scattered members, within the context of the Eucharistic meal. Where possible, Holy Communion should be taken with proper reverence from the service directly to the recipients and, in any case, this should happen with enough frequency to keep the congregation involved. Where, as is often the case, time constraints make this impossible due to conflicts with institutional schedules or other difficulties that arise, communion should be brought as soon within the week as possible. The lay administrator should carefully explain to the communicant the connection with the parish celebration.
  5. At the parish Eucharist, the shut-in members should be included in the prayers of the people, and the congregation encouraged to uphold them in their private prayers.
  6. The form of service to be used for the administration, by cleric or lay administrator shall be that provided in the Book of Alternative Services (page 257ff), or if the language of the Book of Common Prayer is desired, it shall include the following elements, unless the health of the communicant requires a shorter form: 6.1. The peace - a mutual greeting 6.2. The reading from scripture 6.3. Prayers, including an expression of penitence, a prayer for forgiveness, such as the collect for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, and the Lord's Prayer. 6.4. The administration of the Sacrament. 6.5. Thanksgiving and The Grace.
  7. If any of the Sacrament remains after the administration of communion, the lay administrator should immediately and reverently consume all that is left, unless the Sacrament is to be returned to the Church for reservation, before proceeding on his/her way.

Lay Eucharistic Minister

Position reports to the Lay Eucharistic Ministry Coordinator and to the Clergy and is responsible to the parish community

Primary Function: The Lay Eucharistic Minister will visit each assigned parishioner (shut-ins or in hospital/nursing home) every two months or as agreed to with the parishioner and will administer the Eucharist from the reserved Sacrament.

What is the purpose of this position? How does it contribute to the wider mission of the Church? The Lay Eucharistic Minister plays an important role in the parish community by ensuring that parishioners who are not able to attend worship due to health constraints continue to receive Eucharist on a regular basis, are made aware that they are upheld during the worship of the congregation and that the parish Clergy are apprised of any pastoral concerns that should be addressed.

Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the Clergy and the Coordinator of Lay Eucharist Ministers, the Lay Eucharistic Minister is responsible for the following:

  1. To ensure that the list of shut-ins for which they are responsible receive the Eucharist using the assigned liturgy and ensuring that the shut-ins receive Eucharist at least once every two months (depending on health and willingness of the shut-in).
  2. Documents and reports all visits using the appropriate reporting form.
  3. Advise the Rector or Honorary Assistant of any shut-ins who are in need of Priestly Sacraments.
  4. Report any problems regarding the Home communion sets to the Coordinator.
  5. Log the Home communion sets in and out of the office to be sure that their whereabouts is known.
  6. Attend training and orientation to and evaluation of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers and attend annual L.E.M. retreat
  7. Attend any scheduled meetings regarding this ministry
  8. To meet with the Clergy individually at least quarterly or more frequently as required for debriefing and support
  9. To ensure that the Clergy is aware of those who will receive communion so that the names may be read aloud during the Sunday service
  10. Lay Eucharistic Ministers will visit parishioners in pairs unless arrangements are made for the shut-in’s family member or friend to be present (they may also participate) or another suitably screened parishioner may accompany the L.E.M. on the visit.

Criteria for selection: what skills are needed or would be useful? What interests might it appeal to? Are there personality traits that would be an asset in doing this position? Lay Eucharistic Minister will demonstrate skills in leading worship and communication, and a love for and understanding of the sacraments. Due to the nature of working with vulnerable people and the potential for being in individuals' homes, the position is considered 'high risk' position for purposes of screening in faith. The Lay Eucharistic Minister must have a criminal reference check if they are going to do home visits. The Lay Eucharistic Minister attends corporate worship services on a regular basis and is a regular communicant of the Anglican Church.

Term of Office: What is the time frame? Is it renewable? How often? The term of the position is two years and is renewable.

Reimbursement: what financial costs are covered? Specific requests for which there is no budget may be made to the Clergy.

Support: what training is provided? Who is responsible for this position? Who supports the person doing it? The Coordinator of Lay Eucharistic Ministers will be train Lay Eucharistic Ministers and meet with them frequently as necessary to discuss their ministry and any concerns.

Time commitment: how many hours a week/days a month? Is there a concentrated period of work? Regular attendance at parish worship one to two hours per week; two hours every 3 months to meet with the clergy or designate and the other eucharistic ministers; attends the installation service annually

Benefits: what satisfaction might a person get from this position? How might it be an avenue for discovery or development of gifts? How might this position assist a person to live as a baptized Christian? Opportunity to let God use you to maintain the sacramental connection with the parish community and those who are sick or shut-in. This position impacts the quality of worship life and interpersonal relationships of those who are shut-in and the community. There is an opportunity to be part of an exciting, dynamic and important ministry.

Suitable LEM prayers can be found here.

Suitable LEM psalms can be found here.