Assembly at the Altar
The 7 Eucharistic Ministers (EMs) assemble around the Altar as shown in the diagram below (‘P’ represents Presider; ‘E represents Eucharist/Host; ‘C’ represents Chalice).
The EMs closest to the congregation (‘3E’& ‘4C’) should not stand beyond the front of the Altar.
Before the Breaking of the Bread
Assembling at the Altar, one of the EMs (typically ‘1E’, i.e., 1st to the Altar) needs to do the following.
Get the ciborium(a) from the tabernacle.
If not already on the Altar, get the empty ciboria from the side credence table to the ‘E’ side of the Altar (normally the altar servers will have done this already).
We need a total of 4 ciboria:
1 for the Presider
3 for the EMs
and 4 cups on the “C” side of the Altar. The Presider will often use his own chalice, so a total of 5 should usually be on the Altar.
After Breaking of the Bread
The Presider offers the Eucharist and Chalice to EM ‘1C’.
EM ‘1C’ keeps the Chalice.
The Presider continues to distribute the Eucharist to the rest of the EMs.
EM ‘1C’ takes the Chalice and follows the Presider to offer the Chalice to the other EMs.
Once each EM receives the Eucharist and Precious Blood from the Presider and EM ‘1C’, the other EMs can proceed to pick up the Eucharist (‘E’) or the Chalice (‘C’).
EMs MUST wait with the Presider and the rest of the EMs at the Altar until all EMs have received the Eucharist or the Chalice before moving to distribute to the Assembly.
EMs ‘1C’ should distribute the Chalice to the musicians first before distributing to the Assembly (and the altar servers if applicable). Typically, ‘1C’ will proceed to the far right side of the Altar nearest the musicians for distribution of the Cup (up against the wall).
After Distributing the Host
One of the Eucharist EMs should stay by the “E” side of the Altar to assist (or wait for) the Presider to consolidate the remaining Eucharist into the ciborium(a) and place it/them back into the tabernacle.
The other 2 Eucharist EMs should leave their ciboria on the Altar. The Presider will clean them and the altar servers will place them on the credence table.
After distributing the Eucharist, EMs of the Eucharist should cleanse their fingers with the holy water on the edge of the Altar and dry them with the purificator provided.
After Distributing the Precious Blood
The Chalice EMs MUST take the Chalices back to the Sacristy to purify the chalice. If you cannot finish the remaining Precious Blood, please ask another EM, Sacristan or the Presider (wait for the Presider at the Altar) to consume the Precious Blood for you before you purify the Chalice. DO NOT leave the Chalice on the Altar unless asked to do so by the Presider.
Purify the chalices
The Chalice EM returns to the sacristy
consumes the remaining Precious Blood,
adds a small amount of water to cleanse the chalice, and consumes the water,
cleanses / dries the Chalice with the purificator.
places the soiled purificator into the drawer marked as such.
DO NOT POUR the Precious Blood or the rinse into the sink in the sacristy.
Any consecrated Communion has to be disposed of directly into soil, not the sewer.
Keep talking on the altar and in the sacristy to a minimum. Asking for assistance or to answer the Presider is acceptable; but please, NO SMALL TALK. With the new construction, voices / noises carry more easily.
If there are additional co-celebrants, deacons, etc. celebrating the mass, fewer EMs may be required. Be prepared to return to your seat should too many EMs be on the Altar.