Eucharistic Ministers and Readers


During the OUR FATHER the ministers approach the sanctuary and bow together. The minister responsible for the ciborium will go up first and go to the tabernacle alone where the minister will unlock the tabernacle with the key that can be found on the right hand side of the tabernacle, open the door, genuflect and then remove the ciborium. The ciborium is then taken to the altar where the lid and veil are removed and placed on the right hand side of the altar. The minister will then stand nearest the lectern next to the other ministers.

Meanwhile the other ministers will have gone to the back of the altar standing in a semi circle waiting for the minister with the ciborium to join them. During the Sign of Peace ministers shake hands with the Celebrant before shaking hands with each other.

The Celebrant will offer the host to the ciborium minister first and then to the ministers of the chalice. He then offers the first chalice to the ciborium minister who should take the purificator first and then the chalice. After drinking from the chalice the ciborium minister passes the purificator and chalice to the minister next to him while the Celebrant offers the remaining chalice(s) to the other minister(s).

If there are any members in the congregation who are unable to approach the sanctuary the Celebrant or the ciborium minister will go to them before standing on the first step in front of the altar to begin the distribution of Holy Communion saying “The Body of Christ”. Anyone approaching the altar who is not receiving communion can come up for a blessing. The Eucharistic Minister can place the hand over the head of the person while saying “God bless you”.

Meanwhile the other ministers stand at the top of the side aisles passing the chalice to those who approach saying “The Blood of Christ” and wiping the chalice with the purificator each time.  Should the chalice be empty before the last person approaches, the Eucharistic Minister returns to the side table early.

After distribution of Holy Communion the chalice ministers return to the side table, consume the remainder of the Precious Blood, place the empty chalices on the table and wait there for the ciborium minister to return. The ciborium minister leaves the ciborium on the altar for the Celebrant to place all the remaining hosts in one ciborium. The minister then takes that ciborium to the tabernacle, places the Blessed Sacrament in it, genuflects, locks the tabernacle and joins the other ministers, places the key on the table and purifies his/her fingers in the bowl.

All ministers return to the centre of the main aisle, bow together and return to their places.


Two chalice ministers return to the sanctuary, bow in front of the tabernacle and pour water into the empty paten to collect any particles of the host, pour this water into one of the chalices, and with the fingers wipe the inside of the chalice before drinking it. The other chalice should be purified with water in the same way. The chalices are then dried with the purificators.

The chalices, paten and tabernacle key but NOT the bowl with particles of the host should be taken from the little table to the sacristy. The jug of wine and silver tray with the small water containers on the little table opposite should also be taken through. The key is to be placed in the safe and the ministers wash the chalices and paten before placing these also in the safe. The purificators should be left in the laundry bag in the sacristy. If there is any wine left in the jug this should be poured back into the bottle next to the sink.                                                                                                 April 2012

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR READERS AND CANTORS: as revised at Meeting, 29 March 2012

General: Readers should NOT announce the items to be read whilst at the Lectern, as these are contained in the Mass Books. They should, however, announce the Entrance Antiphon at Masses without music and the Communion Antiphon, to start the congregation together.

Entrance Antiphon (Announce)

The readers read the words from their seat as the Celebrant approaches the altar.

Approach to the Lectern

After the Celebrant introduces the readings the reader (and cantor) come to the centre of the altar and bow to the altar and to the Celebrant before going to the Lectern.


The reader begins each reading with the words in the Lectionary: “A Reading from ………………….” as set out in the heading. At the end of each reading the reader pauses for a moment and then says “The Word of the Lord.”

The Responsorial Psalm

The reader, after a short pause, should read the Response slowly and the congregation should repeat it. At the 10.30 Mass the cantor will sing the psalm after the reader has moved away from the lectern.

The Gospel Acclamation

The reader, after a short pause to allow the congregation to stand, should start to read the Acclamation allowing the congregation to join in. At 10.30 Mass the cantor should advise the reader if the Gospel Acclamation is not to be sung, and stand well aside after the psalm.

After the Gospel Acclamation the reader (and cantor) leave the Sanctuary (together) and bow at the centre of the altar.

Bidding Prayers

After the introduction by the Celebrant the reader approaches the altar as before and reads the bidding prayers from the sheet on the Lectern, leaving the Sanctuary as before after the Celebrant has said the final prayer.

Communion Antiphon (Announce)

The readers read the words from their seats as soon as the Celebrant has received the Chalice.

Practical Matters

Although we have now had a new amplifying system installed it is still vital to speak loudly and slowly and to achieve the best results, the reader should, as far as possible, speak directly into the microphone. There is no problem when reading the left-hand page but when reading the right-hand page the book should be moved as far to the left as possible so that the microphone can pick up the voice.

29 March 2012

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