HCWEOM 54-67: Communion to the Sick Administered by an EM

Communion to the Sick and Viaticum are treated in the Church’s documents on Pastoral Care of the Sick. I’ll just mention that when an ordinary minister (priest or deacon) is unavailable, an acolyte or lay minister may tend to the dying person as well as the sick person. In the next post in this series, we’ll take a brief look at how Viaticum is administered by a lay minister.


54. A priest or deacon administers communion or viaticum to the sick in the manner prescribed by the Rite of Anointing and Pastoral Care of the Sick. When an acolyte or an extraordinary minister, duly appointed, gives communion to the sick, the rite here described is followed.

55. Those who cannot receive communion in the form of bread may receive it in the form of wine. The precious blood must be carried to the sick person in a vessel so secured as to eliminate all danger of spilling. The sacrament should be administered with due regard to the individual concerned, and the rite for giving communion under both kinds provides a choice of methods. If all the precious blood is not consumed, the minister himself must consume it and then wash the vessel as required.

The ordinary form for Communion to the Sick is similar to the other rites for Communion. It looks a lot like the short form on which I just reported. The Introductory rites cover a liturgical greeting (56) and a penitential rite (57). A brief passage from Scripture (58) follows, not necessarily a Gospel reading. The Communion Rite includes the Lord’s Prayer (59) through a post-Communion prayer (62), and a concluding rite invoking God’s blessing in the third person form customary for non-clergy (63).

There is an even shorter rite “used when communion is given in different rooms of the same building, such as a hospital.” To answer my earlier concern about quick visits, the rite does allow for the addition of¬† “elements taken from the ordinary rite.” (64)

Sections 65-67 describe the rubrics for the “Short Rite of Communion of the Sick,” a brief antiphon, the distribution of the Sacrament, and a concluding prayer. Starting with the ordinary form of Communion outside of Mass, and working down to the “short rite” for the sick, one can see the framers’ priorities in liturgical elements.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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5 Responses to HCWEOM 54-67: Communion to the Sick Administered by an EM

  1. Margaret Chairez says:

    Could you please send me a copy of the rite of communion to the sick? I have a sister that I would like to take communion to. I used to be a eucharistic minister in my old parish 10 years ago, and have lost my copy of the rite.

    Thank you.

  2. CECIL MENESES says:

    Good day!! I am a member of an EMHC here in the Parish of Our Lady Fatima, Sorsogon city Philippines. Could you please send me a copy of the rite of communion to the sick? I used to give Holy communion to the sick and the homebound every sunday, and have lost my copy of the rite.

    Thank you.

  3. Peggy Wirth says:

    I’m in the same situation as the first lady.
    I’m currently a EM but lost my copy of the rite for my father who is now homebound.
    I would appreciate a copy that I can print from my computer.
    Thank You
    Peg Wirth

  4. Joan says:

    Could you please send me a copy of the rite for communion at home. I belong to a parish in North Ipswich and have taken communion to the sick previously, but my copy as been lost. I have a new lady with whom I will be visiting on a weekly basis. I can print from computer

  5. Todd says:

    My advice is to order the book from an outlet in your own country. Sometimes, national conferences add special texts. In the case of Britain, probably everything in British spelling.

    Even better would be to inquire at your parish. I know my parish provides these books free of charge to the people who bring Communion.

    I would prefer not printing out the whole rite and sending it–copyright violation. I have permission to quote from liturgical books on this site, as long as I don’t make the material available for sale.

    Sorry, ladies.

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