DAILY CATHOLIC - THURSDAY, November 13, 1997   volume 8, no. 30



      Too many Catholics don't believe in the real presence of Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, we continue our series on the Eucharist, today bringing you a few capsule paragraphs from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in conjunction with today's release of VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS on the same subject.

Taken from No. 903, page 239; and No. 1348, page 340 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

    Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted permanently to the ministries of lector and acolyte (436) When the necessity of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, laypersons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion in accord with the prescription of law." (437)

    All gather together. Christians come together in one place for the Eucharistic assembly. At its head is Christ Himself, the principal Agent of the Eucharist. He is high Priest of the New Covenant; it is He Himself Who presides invisibly over every Eucharistic celebration. It is in representing Him that the bishop or priest acting in the person of Christ the head (in persona Christi capitis) presides over the assembly, speaks after the readings, receives the offerings, and says the Eucharistic Prayer. All have their own active parts to play in the celebration, each in his own way: readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose "Amen" manifests their participation.

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