Saturday, November 24, 2007

Liturgy: What's in a name?

The technical (proper) term is extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. Why is this title correctly preferred over terms like...
  • Eucharistic Minister
  • Special Minister of the Eucharist
  • Special Minister of Holy Communion
  • Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist
Pick apart the name. See if you can figure out where it's right and the others are wrong.

4 comments:

Lily said...

OK, I'll bite. I get the first three, but the fourth you'll have to explain.

japhy said...

The only (and therefore "ordinary") minister of the Eucharist is an ordained priest (or bishop) [CCC 1411]. There is no such thing as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, because to "administer the Eucharist" means to confect the Eucharist (the "thanksgiving", the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass).

There are ordinary and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, however. This designates the difference between the terms "Eucharist" and "Holy Communion": the distribution and consumption of the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord is "Holy Communion", whereas the confection of said is the Eucharist proper.

Lily said...

I never knew that fine distinction, thank you for the clarification. I felt like the two terms were NOT interchangeable but I didn't know exactly why. Thank you!

japhy said...

Well then, I'm glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Happy Thanksgiving.