Information for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Questions often asked



What should I do if I drop the host or spill the consecrated wine?

Accidents will happen. Ministers should deal with them quickly and discreetly. Do not panic! Spilled consecrated wine should be blotted up immediately with a purificator or towel. If a large amount has been spilled, take the consecrated wine-soaked towels or purificators immediately to the sacrarium (special  sink in the sacristy). Otherwise, the purificator can be left on the credence table until after the liturgy. In most cases, when a host is dropped, it should be picked up and consumed.

Should I say the name of the person to whom I am giving communion?

The act of giving and receiving communion is an act of faith in the presence of Christ. By saying “Amen” to the minister’s “The body [blood] or Christ”, we are making a statement of faith. Nothing should dilute or diffuse that action. The practice of saying the person’s name when ministering communion comes from a desire to be hospitable. While naming a friend, seems more hospitable to them, it may unintentionally make a person whose name is not said feel less welcome. Our primary bond at the celebration of the eucharist is our bond in the Lord Jesus. Through our baptism and through the eucharist, we are one in him. Everything else, even our name, is secondary. 

When I am ministering the cup, some people want to dip their host instead of taking the cup and drinking from it.  Should I allow this?

No. The church’s preferred method is that the individual drink from the cup. The words of Jesus instruct us to “take and drink.” 



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