All the baptised share in some manner the priesthood of Jesus Christ. They exercise this at Mass by joining with Jesus, in the person of the ordained priest, offering sacrifice to the Father. They may also serve in various liturgical ministries that they are able to exercise because of their baptismal union with Jesus Christ the High Priest. These ministries include: Altar Server, Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Communion, and Music Ministry.
The ministries of Lector (Reader) and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (Eucharistic Minister) are very important ministries. The Lector is entrusted with reading aloud the Word of God in such a way as to enrich the hearers, and he/she helps to make God present as the word is spoken. It is an important task and not just for someone to “get up and read.” The Eucharistic Minister is entrusted with taking reverent care of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and of assisting the priest and deacon in distributing the Holy Eucharist to others.
- Eucharistic ministers and Lectors must live according to the law of Christ and the Church. (GIRM 101)
- They must be registered and active members in the parish. Active parishioners are those that contribute time, talent and/or financial support to the work of the parish on a regular basis.
- They must be fully initiated Catholics in good standing. That means they have received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, and participate faithfully in the celebration of the Eucharist.
- They must be single or married. If married, they should be in a marriage that is recognised by the Church.
Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers must first recieve a training on the exercise of their ministry. After this they are scheduled to exercise this ministry at Mass. In addition, trained Extraordinary Ministers may also participate in the Ministry to the Sick and Homebound and bring communion and comfort to those who are unable to attend Mass.